How to organize, backup, and delete photos on your iPhone

People warned me about all sorts of things before I had a baby – sleep deprivation, a slightly more chaotic life – but nobody told me how quickly I’d accumulate photos on my iPhone! I recently backed and deleted 3,000 photos I’ve taken over the course of five months. I can’t tell you how much I dread this process leading up to it but luckily, I found a way to make it more efficient. Here’s what I did:

Develop a routine: 
You don’t have to organize all of your photos in one sitting. If you have a couple hundred, you can probably knock it all out at once. If you have thousands like I did, then set aside 15 minutes, an hour or whatever you can everyday for photo organization time. I did mine over the course of two days, with the majority of it while watching a rerun of The Office. It actually goes by much quicker than I thought it would.

Sort and delete the photos you don’t need
I don’t like to backup blurry photos, screenshots, or multiples of the same shot. It takes up too much space and it makes it hard for me to find what I’m looking for. So the first thing I like to do is to delete photos I don’t need. The easiest way to do this quickly on an iPhone is like this:

Open the photo app

Tap on photos (not albums)

In this view, you’ll be able to see all of your photos sorted by date and location.

Tap ‘select’ in the top right corner to delete batches of photos taken on the same day that way if you have multiples of the same photos, you can delete in batches.

Backup your photos
After you’ve deleted multiples and screenshots of things you don’t need. Backup your favorite photos using one of the many photo cloud apps. Google photos is my is my favorite. This app syncs with your Google accounts so you can access your photos from any device. In the future, you can set it to auto sync all photos taken on your phone. I don’t like that feature because it backs up too many useless photos on my phone, therefore taking up too much space on my Google Photos app. I only sync once I’ve deleted photos I no longer need on my phone.

Order prints and books
Now that you’ve deleted pictures you don’t need and backed up the ones you want to keep, use a photo processing app to order prints or books. I’ve always used the Walgreens app for prints and Shutterfly for photo books. Both apps will allow you to access your camera roll so you can easily select the photos you want to use from your phone. Don’t forget to search Rakuten (formally eBates) for a coupon code and to get cash back. I never order photo prints without a code. You can also get free prints from Free Prints, all you pay is shipping based on the number of photos you order.

Delete (again)
Now that you’ve backed up your photos and ordered the prints or books, delete photos on your phone. Only keep the ones you think you will refer back to in the immediate future. You can always go back to Google photos or wherever you stored your photos to retrieve them.

Frame and file
To ensure your photos don’t fade, either frame them or put them in a photo album. They will fade if you leave them in a box for many years.

If you’re printing a lot of Instagram-sized prints, Amazon has a lot of cute 4×4 sized frames. This Umbra Gridart 16-Opening Picture Frame is one of my favorites.

Bonus organization tip:

To avoid feeling overwhelmed when creating photo books, try to order them every three months. You could do the same with prints. You could also create a draft photo book in Shutterfly and add photos to the book weekly so you’re not doing it all at once.

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