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Exploring Womanhood > Heart of the Home > Hobbies > scrapbooking

Scrapbooking Organization 101
Copyright © 2009 Tara Hamilton

After a year-long hiatus from scrapbooking, what I found is that I had a computer full of digital camera images and no idea of how to pick up where I had left off. I also have some OCD tendencies, so I knew that this was no small undertaking for me. This is how I coped:

1. OUT WITH THE OLD
To motivate myself to organize my materials, I vowed not to purchase prints of recent events until all of my old pictures had been scrapbooked. This was a great incentive to get my older pictures scrapped as I was VERY excited about some of the more recent pictures (trip to Disney World, vacation with family, etc). However, before I could completely take on this task, I had to do a fast sort . . .

2. FAST SORT
Plastic sandwich baggies are a perfect container in which to organize pictures in as they are transparent, inexpensive, and easily stored in shoebox size boxes or plastic totes. To start my fast sort, I took all of the pictures that I wanted to eventually scrap and separated them into discrete "page packets" (labeling them clearly: "1st birthday," "Disney World 2008," etc.) Don't worry about the numbers of pictures in each bag, but also try to be realistic. For example, 30 pictures are not likely to fit on a single page, so try to pick your favorites. If you want to scrap a lot of pictures to a single page, remember that they do not all have to show on the page - to include the entire group you can make accordion albums or mini-albums for your layout.

Do your fast sort in a minimum amount of time. You will feel so accomplished once you have a grip on how many pages you want to make from your picture stacks.

3. PICK THE COLOR
Once you have your pictures separated, look at the focus picture and determine a fitting color scheme. Is the red shirt of your son the most prominent color? Once you have sorted your picture stacks into appropriate color schemes, you can mark them with a Sharpie directly on the bag. This will prepare you for a fast scrap. Again, try to do this FAST! There is no sense in wasting energy on the menial scrapping tasks.

4. FILE LEFTOVERS
Until recently, I printed and purchased all of the pictures that I take. But since I don't scrap every picture I take, nor do I scrap every single event, I am trying to change my ways and carefully estimate the actual pictures that I will use. However, even after conservatively estimating the pictures I will need in a scrapbook page, I am often left with pictures remaining that I need to file. Before moving on to the "fun" stuff, make sure that you file your pictures now.

5. USE PAPER KIT
To scrap most efficiently, you must be organized and I find it easiest to let someone else do the organization for you. I like to pick paper packs that best match the color schemes that my will match most of my layouts. This also allows me to make the best use of coordinating embellishments (ribbons, brads, flowers, etc).

6. DON'T REINVENT THE WHEEL
Sure, scrapbooking is supposed to be fun, but, if you have a pile of pictures to contend with, it can easily end up stressful. So, if you are low on time or creativity, go to a magazine for inspiration . . . I like to clip pictures out of pages or elements that I love and put them into a journal to flip through when I need creative direction.

7. RELEASE YOURSELF!
Lastly, remember that scrapbooking is a hobby, not a guilt trip. Without seeing the actual scale of your own organizational "nightmare," it is hard to recommend an exact solution, but some scale of this procedure should help you. Most importantly, get through Organization 101 to get to the fun part: creating!

About the Author:
Tara Hamilton is an Independent Consultant with Close To My Heart. Visit Scrapbooking Release at http://tarahamilton.wordpress.com, for inspiration, storage ideas, scrapping techniques, and fabulous promotional pricing and specials. With our amazing ink storage tower, "How-To" books Cherish and Reflections by Close To My Heart founder Jeanette Lynton, and coordinating paper packs and embellishments, you will be motivated to organize.

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