And I repeat, please hit delete

by | Scrapbook Storage and Organization | 9 comments

delete-buttonAs I’ve grown more interested in simplifying my life, the delete button is one that I use much more often. With every single file I download, I look long and hard at whether I will need it again.

I treat all of my photos and digital scrapbooking files the same way, with a discerning eye for how much value this item is adding to my life.

I don’t have room for digital clutter. Here are my tips on what to keep and what to toss.


  • I KEEP original images (jpg or RAW) from my camera, however
  • I DELETE roughly 1/3 of the images right away.
  • I KEEP edited final jpegs in high resolution form.
  • I DELETE web-sized photos I uploaded to my blog or Facebook.

Digital Supplies

  • I KEEP a backup of my supplies.
  • I DELETE designer ads, blinkies and duplicate copies of the current TOU.
  • I DELETE duplicate copies of the preview file.
  • I DELETE .zip files after unzipping.
  • I DELETE kit alphas that I really don’t like.

Digital Projects

  • I KEEP original (.PSD) files, even after the layout has been printed.
  • I DELETE full- and gallery-sized images after printing.

Your opinion may vary from mine and that’s just fine. Do what works for you, but make sure you have a good reason behind keeping every file! So what do you keep and what do you delete?

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  1. Laura

    My list would be very similar to yours. I burn PSDs to disk and delete them off my hard drive, but I keep web-sized versions of my layouts on my hard drive. I don’t delete extra copies of designer TOUs as long as they’re text files, but I have deleted them if they’re bigger (PDF or JPEG). I back up all digi purchases and some freebies, but once they’re burned to DVD I’m capable of deleting them from my hard drive if I don’t expect to use them again.

  2. Erin

    great tips! Thanks!

  3. Christine

    I think differently than you when it comes to digital stuff. It’s all on my HD, so I don’t see any harm keeping a lot of my stuff. I don’t have trouble finding anything. Hard drives are cheap nowadays. Then I don’t have to spend time actually deciding what to delete. Saves me lots of time! :p

  4. bina

    Delete is my best friend. I do not download a lot of supplies. I have started digital scrapbooking in 2005 and I do not think that I still have any of the stuff that I thought was great then. I delete permanently and I delete the zip files too. I also delete kits that I just got. I do not burn DVDs. I have EHDs. I do not think that I have supply files that I bought prior to 2008.

  5. mskinsey

    Just out of curiosity, would those of you who delete your zipfiles tell me why? It seems to me those are wonderful insurance in case of a computer failure. I used to burn all zipfiles to DVDs, but now that I have a couple of EHDs (one that is 250GB, and the other, 1TB), I store them all there. This was a lifesaver last year when my computer fried because of power surges.

    Hurricane Omar took our power out for 2 weeks, and when the local company gradually brought everything back up, the intermittent electrical surges were incredible. I know of one techie who lost 3 computers in one day! Because I still had access to those zipfiles, I was able to restore my entire stash! Not only that, I organized everything much better. I didn’t bother to unzip a lot of the QP files, though. Now that I’m more proficient with PS CS3, I prefer to create my LOs from scratch rather than use QPs. I love templates, though … boy, do I love templates!

    And I love your website! I’ve learned so much from all the great tips and techniques here.

    • Jennifer

      Zip files can become corrupt and unusable, so its best to back up your supplies in their unzipped format. With images, zipping doesn’t do a lot of compression anyway.

  6. Jesa

    I was browsing older post and came across this one. It never crossed my mind to delete unzipped files in fear that I may loose access to a lost file. Also deleting parts of digi kits I don’t like. Lots of helfpul hints to declutter digi space. Thank you!!

  7. Bazzatron

    Hard drives are so big that I don’t see the need to delete anything. You never know what you might need or want in the future!

  8. Jean

    I would just say ditto to everything you said. Too much clutter and content means I can’t find anything and I stop scrapping.



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