Spring cleaning took on an entirely new meaning during months of quarantine. Have you joined the masses of families using this time at home to take on home organizing or cleaning projects during the COVID-19 crisis? If you’re ready to get started on decluttering and organizing your photos and videos, we’ve got some great tips to help.
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a stale ritual. Fresh trends like Marie Kondo’s ‘tidy up’ revival and a premium wardrobe service that acts as a digital walk-in closet are making it easier and more fun to get your life in order.
In lieu of a spring cleaning checklist, we’re looking past the normal nooks and crannies to focus on the big picture. Or pictures. And home movies.
Follow these tips to organize high-value items and find more room to breathe.
Tip #1: Set a Schedule – and Stick to It!
The hit series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is prompting countless people to declutter with the KonMari™ method. The first rule in this approach? Make a commitment.
You can push yourself to get started and finish strong by putting a start date and an achievable end date on your calendar.
A good deadline should be aggressive and realistic. Allow yourself more than a week, but you’re more likely to lose momentum or just give up if you’re still ‘spring cleaning’ in August.
Remember, there’s no shame in missing this deadline when you can honestly say that you did your best to meet it. If there’s more work to be done, you’ll at least have a better sense of how much longer you need. Just make sure you continue to stick with it until it’s done.
Tip #2: Keep Only the Best Photos and Videos
It’s not easy to part with sentimental items like VHS tapes and 35mm negatives that hold family memories. A piece in The Guardian notes that for these things, Kondo’s method is focused on finding keepers that spark joy when held.
Your own ‘best’ photos could be the ones that show people vs. landscapes, or aren’t blurry, or stand out from a batch of near-duplicates. This criteria might still be too broad for large family archives.
If you’d rather purge ASAP and make the tough decisions later, consider a digitizing service that stores everything on a hard drive so you can get rid of the physical media. EverPresent offers photo selection to only digitize items that meet your criteria.
The Guardian article stresses the importance of before you get rid of them. This act can be as simple as thanking your photos and videos (per Kondo) before you chuck them, knowing that your best family memories will always live on in digital format.
Tip #3: Declutter Your Digital Media
Why not clean up the files and folders on your laptops, smartphones and hard drives in the spirit of spring? This task might seem less satisfying than freeing up square footage in your home, but it’s arguably more rewarding in the end.
Imagine keeping all of your favorite memories – not every road trip pit stop, but each moment that truly brings you happiness – at your fingertips. We call it digital organizing.
Much like paring down physical media, this process involves getting rid of unwanted junk and rearranging what’s left so it’s easy to access and maintain.
The power of organizing allows you to sort digital photos and videos into folders and subfolders, change their file names, and add metadata to keep track of the who/what/when/where behind each memory.
Tip #4: Modernize Your Wardrobe with Garde Robe
Marie Kondo shows families how to sort and fold clothes to save space. But what if you’re a fashionista with lots of outfits, or have a home in the city with no closets?
Garde Robe has you covered. It’s a luxury wardrobe service that blends tech with convenience so clients can look their best and live without clutter.
Our friends at Garde Robe can store your collection in climate-controlled spaces, and sort it all in a digital catalog so every accessory’s just a screen-tap away. They even offer same-day pickup, event-ready delivery, and seasonal wardrobe rotation as needed.
If Goodwill donations and the KonMari™ method are no match for your next-level wardrobe, we highly recommend this NYC-based fashion solution. Click here to learn more!
Tip #5: Use Mobile Apps for Productivity
Beyond fashion and family memories, lots of useful mobile apps can help you cut clutter and reorganize nearly everything in your life.
Most of these are essentially productivity apps for you to plan and track cleaning routines, family schedules, and home organization. If your phone already goes everywhere that you do, these apps will help you streamline and stay on top of your life at all times.
One of our favorites is Decluttr, a service that lets you sell old technology without the hassle of running auctions on eBay or hauling it off to the dump. Once you digitize your video tapes and rescue old photos from the smartphone graveyard, why not make some cash from those dusty phones and VCRs?
Tip #6: Enjoy the Ride
It’s fine if you’re not ready for spring cleaning just yet. There’s something cathartic about purging clutter, but be careful not to push yourself too hard or get carried away.
This point brings us back to Tip #1. If you’re on the fence about a huge spring cleaning, pick a start date that gives you a few weeks to plan your attack. And if a deadline suddenly seems too ambitious, don’t start making rash decisions to stay on schedule.
Sorting through decades of clutter often takes help from the whole family, too, so give them time to weigh in as needed. Throwing out someone’s favorite hat won’t feel quite as good if it’s done without their knowledge, and it can lead to some uncomfortable encounters.
Ready to start? Then open your windows and grab a pair of gloves. We hope you find some joy along the way!Like what you’re reading? Sign up for our mailing list to see more posts like this.