Friday, February 20, 2009

when it all comes together: my (insane) system

our *little* collection of albums is growing :) a local craft superstore was having a 50%-off sale on all their albums (a rarity, obviously) last weekend. so, on jon's birthday, i made him buy me scrapbook albums...because duh, when are you going to find them this cheap again? we just called it my valentine's day present...because he won't be here for our valentine's day. i'm kicking myself for not buying more....but i had to say "no" at some point, right?!!?

i'm sure most of you don't really care about my scrapbooks...or my hobby...or how i organize my photos...but for the one of you who does care (mom, are you reading??!), i figured i'd share :)

the following method ONLY applies to my already-printed photos (i.e., ones from my elementary & high school days...with a few collage photos thrown in the mix). i have an entirely different way of organizing my unprinted (digital) photos...which, if you are interested, i'll share later :)

the MOST important part of this already-printed-photo system is a "storage binder"--either a 3-ring binded 4x6 photo album or what i use: a large, super cheap 12x12 3-ring binder. my mom (hi mom!) found these binders for $3 (thereabouts). they aren't very attractive (at all) & i'd never display them in my living i turned them into storage binders. inside each binder is a "phase" of my life: one binder is full of photos from elementary & middle school, another from high school, & the 3rd one is full of photos & memorbilia from college.

i don't hesitate to pack these binders full...nor do i care if they drop, fall apart, or burst open...the pages aren't in any particular order & are easily storable.

each binder is divided by "tabs" (i.e., old pieces of paper stapled to ugly cardstock). for ALL my albums, i divide the albums into WHO (people we care about), WHAT (things we do, events, celebrations, holidays), WHERE (places we go) & ALL ABOUT US (jon & i). the albums from my past (college & earlier) will only be divided into WHO & WHAT--the "where" is fairly obvious.

inside each binder are clear page protectors (they came with the cheap-o albums). i have them sorted into relevant subjects. inside the WHO binder are page protectors with groupings of photos based on person.

below is my brother: i gathered ALL the photos i had of him from my giant, messy tupperware container of photos/memorbilia/random pieces of paper & (1) put them inside the page protectors then (2) took an inventory & realized i need more photos; i wrote myself a note on the notecard and on the spreadsheet (see below)...

Here is another example. This goes in the "WHAT" album from my GU years. Same process as above except i had all the pieces to this one so a quick sketch went on my notecard...

A closer look a the sketch--i told you it was quick!

And this is where it gets a little extreme...since i'm not home all the time AND i tend to be a forgetful person (who wouldn't with all the photos we take these days?!). i keep a spreadsheet of the pages that need to be done + what aspects are missing/in progress. the awesome-ness of this 'system' is that i get A LOT of pages done each time i have a few hours to scrapbook. see all those gray lines? ALL of those were finished today :) just a few hours!! i did the journaling on my computer during the past couple of weeks on weeknights during my psych rotation...& since the photos were already organized with rough sketches in the page protectors...VIOLA!!!

...pages like this one, below. you can see the computer journaling...{this is from my 18th birthday/high school graduation day}

...and a few more pages like these...

now...i know this all sounds a little, okay a lot extreme. and it seems expensive (which, according to husbands it may very well be). but there are ways to get around the crazy cost of all these cutesy supplies (like buying albums @ 50% off). and there are ways to keep this managable.
while i was working on this today i was thinking to myself how totally awesome it would be to know what was going on in our parents' lives at this point in their homes, marriages, & career's. my only hope through all this therapeutic creativity (it really is therapy to me after the crazy weeks i have on rotations!...keeps me grounded & reminds me what is really important) is that our own family will enjoy flipping through these books someday. and that they might walk away with a better idea of what our lives were like...
More Resources:
Sketches: monthly here, awesome book here
Albums similar to the ones we buy here
Cheap-o places to shop: Hobby Lobby, Tuesday Morning, Big Lots, JoAnn's (with their monthly 40% off coupon) {i don't go anywhere else!}


joyfuliving said...

umm...yeeeah. okay. if only. ;)

and make that {at least} TWO people that care...heeeelllooo!

Mary & Jake said...

Wow J I am quite impressed! I only wish I had that organization! I just pulled all of my old photos out a couple of weeks ago and I am sifitng through!

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