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The Minimalists
The Minimalists are Emmy-nominated Netflix stars and New York Times–bestselling authors Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. Alongside their podcast cohost, T.K. Coleman, this simple-living trio helps millions of people eliminate clutter and live meaningfully with less. Learn More.

Delete 1,000 Photos in 11 Days

If you’re like me, you tend to keep a plethora of photos on your phone. Now that everything is digital, we don’t even think about it.

Point and shoot.
Nope, didn’t like that one.
No worries, take another.
This time without the flash.
Now another.
And one more.
Just in case.

Before long, your phone is a bulging crypt of unwanted and duplicate images. Because you’ve kept all those photos, it feels impossible to curate a meaningful collection of memories. Too time consuming. Too much hassle. Not worth the effort.

So you put it off, hoping you’ll get to it someday.

Of course, it’s not going to get any better the longer you wait: every day brings forth unlimited new photo ops.


So you let the digital clutter build, forgetting about every pic taken more than a week ago.

Until, one day, you realize the whole thing is untenable: you’re never going to use these photos if you don’t clean up the phone!

That’s where I was last week.

I recently allocated a significant chunk of a sixteen-hour flight from Sao Paulo to Los Angeles deleting surplus photos on my phone. I realize you might not have an international flight on the horizon, so I devised a plan for you to delete 1,000 photos in the next eleven days.

Delete one photo today.
Double it tomorrow.
Double it again the next day.

When you start small, letting go is more manageable. Anyone can choose one photo to delete. Then, as you double the deletion each day, you gain momentum, and erasing each photo gets easier and easier.

If you make it to day eleven, you’ll’ve expunged more than 1,000 photos. If you need to delete more, keep going (or start over).

Once you’ve culled the excess, your device will hold a curated selection of photos you can be proud of. If you want to share your newly trimmed collection, get a nice digital frame to publicly display your memories.

P.S. If you have a hoard of physical photos, a Scanning Party will fix that problem.