Confession: I currently have 10,534 pictures sitting on my iPhone. I assume I am on the extreme end of digital hoarding, but something tells me I am not alone among my fellow “document everything” moms. The tricky thing is, what to do with all the millions of moments that are collecting dust on the good ‘ol smartphone? It’s time for us moms to actually enjoy our endless collection of toothless grins and adorable chubby cheeks.
Here are a few ideas of how to get those pictures off your phone and clear up space for the next 1,000:
We all know there are hundreds of services to upload and order prints, but the challenge as a busy mom is finding the time to log in and order on a consistent basis. App services like Chatbooks and Groovebook turn your digital photos into pretty photo books that you can collect to document events and seasons. You can connect apps like these with Facebook or Instagram to automatically print and mail to your doorstep on a monthly basis, and most are very inexpensive to maintain. After signing up for one of these services recently I am slowly building a collection of little books to flip through instead of keeping them in “the cloud” where they may be forgotten forever.
There are many unique ways to repurpose your photos through crafts, and you’ll find thousands of ideas with a quick search on Pinterest. If you aren’t the crafty type yourself, it’s fun to get the kids involved and get their creative juices flowing. There are many easy photo crafts that even toddlers can accomplish, like this simple popsicle-stick frame. This also gives you the opportunity to reminisce about fun things you shared as a family. Collect the crafts in a memory box to give to your children later in life — it’s always fun to open up a dusty old box and see baby photos with smeared glitter to spark those childhood memories.
You can easily drop a lot of cash on paintings and other decor for your home. Instead, finally print those vacation shots and start a collage project by arranging frames in a gallery style on the wall with a family motto over it. Using decals is an inexpensive way to embellish your display, and you can find hundreds of options on Amazon. Or, order a canvas print from a site like Shutterfly to fill your walls with happy memories.
You don’t have to wait for a holiday or a specific occasion to transfer your photos into tangible use. Keychain broke? Order a new one with a picture of your baby’s first smile on it. Need a new coffee mug for the office? Get one with a family picture from your son’s last birthday party. From pillows to blankets to tote bags, there are a million options to turn moments into real objects for use in everyday life.
While homemade albums and scrapbooks may be a thing of the past, we can all take advantage of new modern ways to repurpose the moments we have been hoarding on our many devices. No matter what you decide to do with your collection, join me in my resolution to remove my photos from my phone and print as many as possible. After all, you want those wonderfully awkward photos to be on display so you can properly embarrass your kids when they are teenagers, right? Photo on, mamas!