By this point, most of us have had at least one experience with a device running out of storage. Though our phones and computers have ever-increasing storage capacity, it seems like they just keep filling up. How can you stop the cycle?
First, we have to figure out what’s taking up the space.
For most of us, it’s not the programs or apps on our devices taking up storage space. Before streaming music was prevalent, I know most of my phone’s storage was taken up with music. Now, however, I’d be willing to bet that most of our storage woes are due to photos and videos that we’ve either taken ourselves to share or photos and videos that have been shared with us.
How do you know? Well, our phones make it pretty easy to see what’s taking up space. On my iPhone, for instance, I can simply open up Settings/General/iPhone storage and I see that I’m using 39 of 128 GB of space.
Most of my stored items are actually apps, but that’s because I’m automatically uploading my photos to the cloud. If you haven’t checked into it, storage from Apple or Google is really affordable. You can change settings on your phone to automatically upload photos from your device, to the cloud, and then remove them from your device. That way, you’ve always got room on your device. It’s a great solution for keeping your device’s memory free, but it doesn’t solve everything. Unless you’re willing to continue to upgrade your storage over and over and over, you’re still going to have to take some time to curate your photo library.
I know it’s hard for some people to delete photos you’ve taken or received, but I encourage you to review what’s in your digital library. If you took a picture of something funny or clever or whatever with the intent to share, delete it once it’s been shared! You probably don’t need it for posterity. It was just something that caught your eye or tickled your funny bone at the time. Likewise, if you’re active on social media, you may have taken photos or videos to share with your friends and families on those platforms. Once they’re on a social media platform, unless you intend to print those photos or use videos for a longer project at some time, you don’t have to also keep a copy for yourself.
If you just can’t bring yourself to delete any of the 200 photos of your children or pets doing something cute or funny or can’t bear not to have 15 photos of a scenic overlook from varying perspectives, it’s okay. You’re not alone. You do have the option to continue to buy more storage space.
In this time of isolation, I’m not encouraging you to be ruthless with digital reminders of happier times, but if you do find yourself with extra time on your hands, maybe it’s a good idea to spend a little time decluttering.