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#SpringCleaning: How to Organize Your Phone Photo Album

Spring cleaning used to be about “wiping away winter” by airing out the house and cleaning the soot the accumulated over the winter months when fireplaces were common. Nowadays, it’s a fading trend, since central heating has taken over and become the norm. I suppose some aspects of spring cleaning have remained popular, such as wilding out and cleaning everything in the house (and I’m talking about everything). After cleaning, you usually feel so much better, since the clutter has disappeared. However, people forget to clean the one item they use on a regular basis: their phones. Specifically, their photo albums.

Cellphone photo albums seem weird to give a good spring cleaning, but we often forget how often we take and save pictures and screenshot things. If you keep doing that and never go into the album app to tidy it up, then sooner or later your phone will run out of storage! It’s best to clean it out occasionally, and spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity to revisit those holiday pictures and figure out which ones you want to keep.

The way I like to clean out my photo album is to first look at the pictures in the “All Photos” view. Doing this first helps to mass delete screenshots and duplicate pictures in one pass. This is also really great in trying to speed up the cleaning process if you have over 1,000 pictures and videos. The mass deletion clears up some space on your phone and lessens the number of pictures to go through in the next step.

After I finish the mass deletion, I go through my pictures one by one. This is a time-consuming step but it can be completed in parts if wanted. I prefer doing it in one go, but, for others, that might not be possible. Looking at the pictures individually allows you to catch pictures that need to be deleted that you might have missed during the mass deletion. It also helps to reveal that the photo set from that one (or six) photo shoot(s) is taking up too much space in the album with a series of pictures that look almost identical. Look, I get it, the head tilt is different in one picture and maybe you like your smile better in another one, but you need to choose a handful that you like and get rid of the rest. If you can’t do that, then delete the ones you don’t like.

After this step, you may or may not want to go back to the first step and repeat the two steps until you are satisfied with your photo album on your phone. You may also want to stop here. If you are feeling energized with this purging and want to clean it up even more, then here is one more step for you.

I like having all of my pictures in one album, but when you need the perfect GIF to respond to your best friend, then scrolling through 100+ pictures might not be fun. That’s when making specific folders/albums for your pictures makes life easier. Having these specific folders/albums allows you to group pictures however you want. For example, I have albums for GIFs, memes, friend pictures, screenshots of things I want to do and more. Sounds a little outlandish, but I like organization… and it’s a great way to procrastinate!

 When you finally finish cleaning and organizing your phone photo album, you’ll definitely feel refreshed. Spring cleaning is great for getting rid of the old, and pictures can capture moments that, at the time they were taken, were great but not anymore. You’re not only getting rid of digital clutter but getting rid of emotional clutter too. Do yourself a favor and remember your phone on your next big cleaning spree.

Paige Pennebaker

Chapel Hill '21

Paige Pennebaker is an aspiring writer who attends UNC-Chapel Hill as a Senior during the day. She enjoys writing fiction and has been published on shortfictionbreak.com. While fiction is where her heart is, Paige also has a lot to say about the real world and how to get by.
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