Dealing with digital photo clutter by emailing my kiddo daily


At one point I had over 3000 images of Margs on my iPhone.Β  I had no idea how many I’d accumulated until one day I was faced with a storage problem that wouldn’t allow me to snap any new photos.

You see, weeks after Margs was born I realized I had hardly any photos of her with me. There were a ton of pictures of Mer and Margs but only a handful of pictures of me with my little girl. (Sadly, I don’t think I have any photos with her from when she was actually born) What ensued was a hormone raged argument meltdown initiated by me accusing Mer of not wanting to digitally document my relationship with Margs. Although I admit this was completely blown out of proportion (I blame the post partum hormones and the start of my post partum depression) the reality was that Mer just didn’t think to take photos of our growing little girl. Once I calmed down, I explained to Mer that it was extremely important to me that Margs grow up with photos of us with her at every stage of her life. Since then, my dear husband snaps photos on the regular and now, we’re faced with thousands of photos creating a sea of digital clutter that can get very overwhelming.

Mer and I have decided that once a year we’d look through the photos we’ve taken and go print the images at our local photo print shop (this will actually be part of her yearly birthday presents). Digital photos are awesome but I cannot tell you how disappointing it is to try and find photos from a certain event, holiday or get together only to find out that they’ve been deleted or lost somewhere within the folders of the computer. So, when it came to dealing with the zillions of photos we take of her we had to come up with a system because we did not want to lose any along the way. Printing them helps reduceΒ  the volume but because we opt to print the “best” photos there are often a bunch of really awesome ones that don’t make the cut and I cannot bring myself to trash them.

Instead of deleting them we’ve decided to email them to Margs.


One of my recent emails contained an image of Margs with a fleet of rubber ducks explaining how the only way to get her to sit in the bath long enough to get bathed is to throw in 2 dozen rubber duckies.

Yup, my 14 month old has her own gmail address and she gets emails from me, her father and her bubbie on the regular.

I try to email her daily. Sometimes the emails are short, other times long. Most days, they include the photos I’ve snapped of her with a summary of what we’ve done that day and a description of any relevant news stories that I think are important (history buff in me) with a brief explanation of why I’ve included them for her.

We don’t open or read her email (other than to check that the emails were making their way through in the beginning). Our goal is to continue emailing her regularly to accumulate her digital story so that she can read and appreciate them at her own speed when she’s older.

Although I think technology can be extremely scary when it comes to children. I do think if used carefully it can be a wonderful resource. In our case, we’re using it to create a time stamped life story for our little girl that she can read when she’s old enough.

We haven’t decided when we’ll give her the password. 16, 18? We’ll see how it goes. (Hopefully gmail will still be around by then) But for now, we’re having an absolute blast sending her little notes and watching her inbox grow.

How do you deal with photo clutter in your house?



Leave a comment

  1. February 20, 2017 / 7:13 am

    Wow. That is an amazing idea. We have over 5,000 pictures of our son and no clue what to do with them all. Printing is costly and where do you store that many? I’ve been keeping them on flash drives per year but I love this idea!

    • February 20, 2017 / 3:01 pm

      Yes printing is very expensive even if you do it yourself and this just makes it so much easier to manage for us!

  2. February 20, 2017 / 7:15 am

    What a cool idea!!!! This great. I love that you write her little notes in the moment as well. It will be like a treasure chest for her.

    • February 20, 2017 / 3:01 pm

      Thank you!

  3. Michaela Cox
    February 20, 2017 / 7:19 am

    Great article and I totally get it and this make sense. If I can put forth an idea I would check out I do everything on there. I make calander, photo books, wall art, address labels, Christmas cards store and print photos and so much more and I can up load my pictures I take on my phone to shutterfly with the App

    • February 20, 2017 / 3:00 pm

      Thank you for sharing Michaela! I’ll have a look at shutterfly!

  4. February 20, 2017 / 7:53 am

    she will love it <3 how precious to be able to almost write a journal to your daughter and give it to her some day. what a treat!

    • February 20, 2017 / 2:59 pm

      I hope she’ll love it! She may very well think it’s totally lame but we’re risking it! πŸ™‚

      • February 20, 2017 / 3:04 pm

        if she doesnt love it, i love it enough for her haha

        • February 22, 2017 / 7:27 am


  5. February 20, 2017 / 9:37 am

    thanks for sharing this idea

    • February 20, 2017 / 2:58 pm


  6. February 20, 2017 / 9:45 am

    I started a gmail account for my daughter as well! From the moment she was born I have emailed her updates and stories. I don’t send as many pictures as I did in the beginning. But I love being able to jot an update down and sending it to her. I am not a scrapbooker and I never felt a connection to those calendars to mark firsts. I also send stories about our family with history when I learn something new. I hope gmail is around as well – because she already has her named saved as a great email address! πŸ™‚

    • February 20, 2017 / 2:58 pm

      Awwwwwww I love this!!! I try to email daily – I’m pretty good about it but ya know some days things happen and I don’t get around to it!

    • February 20, 2017 / 2:58 pm

      Thank you!

  7. February 20, 2017 / 11:05 am

    I don’t do anything cool with my pictures but I did decide a few years back to get more pictures with me and my kids together. It’s been great. I appreciate your posts on loss. It’s sure hard. Keep on writing!

    • February 20, 2017 / 2:57 pm

      Thank you for your kind words πŸ™‚

  8. ladyinthemountains
    February 20, 2017 / 1:46 pm

    I love this. I am a scrapbooker and have scrapped my kids lives for them. They all have their own books chronicling their lives. When/if I have grandkids, I will try to remember this.

    • February 20, 2017 / 3:05 pm

      I really admire those who have the creativity and patience to scrap book! I’m sure your kiddos will treasure those!

      • ladyinthemountains
        February 22, 2017 / 9:44 pm

        Scrapbooking doesn’t have to be elaborate. Unfortunately, the ones that are elaborate scare off the others that just want to save the memories. Most of my books are very simple. I believe getting them done simply. I occasionally will do something fancy but getting the pages done is the most important part.

        • February 23, 2017 / 7:24 am

          This is very true!

    • February 20, 2017 / 3:03 pm

      My pleasure! πŸ™‚

  9. February 20, 2017 / 4:36 pm

    cool idea! I try to do a digital book (like shutter fly or peekaboo) once a year, just so the kids have something to handle and remember.

    • February 20, 2017 / 5:53 pm

      Awesome! I don’t know much about digital books- do you export them to your hard drive once they are done?

      • February 20, 2017 / 6:57 pm

        I probably didn’t call it the right thing… You put your pictures in and create a scrapbook of sorts on the website and it is printed in book form:)

        • February 22, 2017 / 7:27 am

          This is very interesting – is it expensive to print? Do you print it yourself?

          • February 22, 2017 / 10:29 am

            The cost depends on which site you use. Shutter fly always has coupon codes you can use. They print it and it is sent to you. You have all sorts of options like soft back or hard back, sizes, color schemes….that kind of thing.

          • February 22, 2017 / 11:26 am

            I’m going to check it out. We printed an album for 2015 and it cost me over 100$ just for the photos and then I had to buy an album and spend hours slipping each photo into the sleeves. If it’s around the same cost it would be a much better and easier alternative!

          • February 22, 2017 / 3:04 pm

            I don’t think I’ve paid more than $40 for a book, and if you can get a coupon code its cheaper.

          • February 22, 2017 / 4:58 pm

            I’m going to have a look! Thanks again for letting me know about that!

  10. February 20, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    Hi. I didn’t realize that this is one way of backing up photos. Our son has his own gmail just so I could register him in his games. Maybe I’ll start doing this too.

    • February 22, 2017 / 7:27 am

      It really makes dealing with all the photos easy. They’re in her inbox just waiting for the time when she’s old enough to have a look!

  11. February 20, 2017 / 11:29 pm

    I had thought of starting a gmail account Dorn my son and sending him letters on his birthday every year! But not this photo idea- this is SO SMART and I love that you include little notes too!

    • February 22, 2017 / 7:25 am

      Thank you!

  12. Mad Girl to Made Girl
    February 21, 2017 / 7:24 am

    What a beautiful idea! Your daughter will love this when she is old enough to read them!

    • February 22, 2017 / 7:25 am

      Thank you πŸ™‚

  13. February 21, 2017 / 11:46 am

    A fantastic idea! I don’t know what to do about photo clutter. My pictures number well over 2,000 in my phone. HELP!!!

    • February 22, 2017 / 7:24 am

      Lol I was in the same situation. Emailing them really helps πŸ™‚

      • February 22, 2017 / 10:36 am

        I’ve got to do something! Thanks for your suggestion. I love what you’re doing for your daughter. ❀

        • February 22, 2017 / 11:25 am

          My pleasure! & thank you!

          • February 22, 2017 / 12:10 pm


  14. February 21, 2017 / 11:52 am

    This is such a great idea! I am going to start now with both of my toddlers. I am horrible about not getting things printed off.

    • February 22, 2017 / 7:24 am

      Glad you found this helpful! Have fun with it!

  15. February 21, 2017 / 2:45 pm

    What a great idea. I wouldn’t wait too long. 8 or 9 years old is a good age, plus it encourages her to read.

    • February 22, 2017 / 7:23 am

      The teacher in me loves this. You’re right, it’s a great way to encourage her to read!

    • February 22, 2017 / 4:58 pm

      Thank you! We find it very helpful to manage our photos!

  16. February 22, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    That’s a brilliant idea, but you may want to log into the account every now and then just to clean up the clutter! Unfortunately with all of the stupid ads and scams out there, it might fill up her inbox with junk and then some of the emails might get sent back. It’s almost like a baby book without the book! That’s pretty neat. Hopefully your blog is around long enough for us to see her reaction when she finally gets to open it! πŸ™‚

  17. February 24, 2017 / 10:31 am

    Nice post! I had heard of this recently: taking photos and emailing it to an email account for your child. Right now, I try to keep my Instagram account filled with pictures, but I try to email myself pictures of my 5 month old son too. Good stuff here!

    • February 24, 2017 / 11:15 am

      Thank you!

    • February 28, 2017 / 10:10 am


  18. February 28, 2017 / 12:04 pm

    What a great idea! I will surely be doing this with my little one!

    • February 28, 2017 / 2:12 pm

      Great!! Enjoy!

  19. March 2, 2017 / 12:14 pm

    Read this earlier today and decided to do the same for my kids. Been sending life lessons all day to make less parenting for me in future.. haha .. Great idea thank you!

    • March 3, 2017 / 6:06 am

      Oh good! Glad you found this helpful!

  20. March 19, 2017 / 5:07 pm

    Very very cool!!

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