Let’s face it, our biggest monster we’re leaving for our kids, isn’t what is jacked up in our attics or what’s building up in the garage. It’s our cluttered digitized life of files we have spewed all over our electronic world.

Maybe it is because they aren’t tangible that they fall into the ‘out of sight, out of mind category’. But they are there just the same, floating in an abyss of tabs, folders, and cloud storages, increasing daily and becoming a mountain of madness we can’t conquer. Our phones and home computers are choking on memories and files, slowing them down as we hold down the shutter button to get the perfect picture.

Hi, I’m Shelayna, and I’m a photoholic. Since I was 8-years-old, I have always had a camera in my possession. Of course, in 1994, it was either a 35mm or a 110 for me, but I carried it everywhere and took pictures of everything.

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I need to keep my digital life organized to make it easier for these girls to sift through memories in the future.

When digital cameras came on the scene, I was sceptic. I was just starting college and couldn’t afford one of those new fancy cameras that never seemed to run out of film. And I don’t think it was the equipment’s cost itself that was intimidating me, but how on earth was I ever going to afford all those prints?

Fast forward to 2023, and I have owned a digital camera for nearly half my life. And yes, my pic count has more than quadrupled with being able to take any number of pictures every day. Having a smart phone has not helped at all.

I learned a few years back, that if I wanted to locate an image quickly, I can find it simply by organizing my photo’s digital files by year, month, and event.

Maybe you don’t own a fancy DSLR that has interchangeable lens, and requires a few extra steps to get it right in camera. However, your IPHONE or Android has no problem adding up the pics of you getting the perfect selfie, or that 1 in a million shot where your kids are actually all ‘cheesing’ together instead of the 100s of others where they are pretending to look or straight up ignoring the camera. I feel you mom, my kids do it too.

It’s time to declutter your internal hard drives, memory cards, and even the cloud. Let’s start by making 1 annual folder and simply dub it by this year. Example 2023.

Now you and I both know that 1 folder for an entire year does not mean your digital files are organized. Currently, they are like a collection of unmatched socks in a laundry basket that no one wants to piece together. But like all those socks that can be separated by color to find mates, we can separate in advance, our digital files by month.

In my 2023 filing system, I  have 12 folders for the 12 months of the year. My folders are labeled with 01 January, 02 February, 03 March…..12 December. It takes 2 minutes to prep 1 year. Now they are lined up in a nice row starting at 01 and ending at 12. Again, we take a lot of pictures in a month’s time, so we must go deeper than 12 folders.

I’m a homeschool mom. I do a lot of activities with my kids, and my camera can take a lot of pictures at one time. So, whether we are baking, conducting a science experiment, hiking a mountain, at Strong Museum, or visiting my grandma, each event will get its own folder inside the month is was taken.

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This is the day I made applesauce with my girls for my newborn clients!

Now if I need to find the 1 specific image, all I really need to know is what month of what year did I take it. I go to the annual folder, find the month, scan till I see the proper folder and chances are I saved it there. You will not believe how often I must do this.

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This was a vacation month for Josh, so we were busy taking several field trips across the state.

I find purging my digital files monthly is what works best for me. It doesn’t take long to drag and drop in selected folders from each event into their proper place. Once I know they are saved, I will delete them off my memory card so I can start all over for the next month. I always feel so refreshed with a blank memory card! Oh, the possibilities are endless!

So, whether you are using a cloud service, your computer, or external hard drive, you can easily and efficiently save all your memories in an simple to find database that won’t leave you guessing or frustrated with a mountain of memories that can’t be controlled. Your kids will thank you.

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