When I tell people that I make a new scrapbook every year for each of my kids for their birthdays, they are either impressed or they feel awful because they haven’t done anything. Most likely I will hear, “I started my son’s, but he is now 10 (11, 14, 19…) and I have only done two years. They feel discouraged and always end with “one day…I’ll get to it.” Unfortunately, if you don’t actually plan for that “one day” it most likely won’t happen.
Scrapbooking is just like everything else. In order to accomplish something, you need to plan, organize, set goals, and actually make it happen. You have to “do it.” Wishful thinking never gets the job done.
Because I do one for each kid every year, I have to be organized. I have folders on my computer for each kid based on what scrapbook I will be doing for them. For example I have Maddie18, Jerrika15, and Isaac11. I then break each of those folders down to include different aspects of the year. In Isaac’s I have The End of 4th Grade, The Beginning of 5th Grade, Cub Scouts, etc. And then with each of those folders I have additional folders inside each one. So for The Beginning of 5th Grade I have First Day of School, Awards, Artwork, Field Trips, etc.
You must break it down or you will get overwhelmed. When the kids come home with paper (art work, awards, report cards, etc.) I scan it and put it in the appropriate folder. That way it is there and I don’t have to hold onto a ton of papers forever. This also helps when I sit down to actually do the scrapbook, because everything is already organized for me.
I take this same approach with pictures. Put them in their appropriate folders and you will know exactly what you are going to include in your scrapbook.
I do have a “family” folder (Family12, Family 13) for each year. I then put sub folders in to keep track of the family moments we have. For example, Jensen Christmas, Spring Break, Trip to Moab, Grandma and Grandpa’s Homecoming, etc. I just make sure I put the pictures into these folders so I have everything in one place when I sit down to do a scrapbook.
But what if you haven’t gotten started yet? What if you just have piles of stuff that you want to scrapbook? What if your pictures aren’t organized? What if you are really behind?
None of that matters. Set some goals to work on things a little at a time. If you have piles of stuff, set some time and go through it. You will soon realize that you don’t need to save everything. Save the cutest pictures your kid drew, save that first spelling test, save his letter to Santa. But you don’t need to save every picture from a coloring book or every assignment they have ever done. Pick and choose, and choose only what you really feel is worth preserving.
If you are “behind” maybe you need to think differently. Instead of documenting every year, make a “school days” scrapbook and just highlight some of the important things that happened. Have a “family vacation” scrapbook where you have all of your vacations in one spot. Have a “holiday” or “Christmas” book to just highlight those through the years. There are many ways you can break it up so you can accomplish some scrapbooking without feeling you have to do so much.
The key is to decide where to start…and then actually start! Sort, organize, de-junk, or make folders. Whatever you need to do to start making headway with your scrapbook.
It’s a good day to get started!