Got Scrapbooking “Guilt?”

27 Jul
A page from my latest vacation album

A page from my latest vacation album

Sometimes it seems overwhelming, everything that needs doing. For many people this includes saving their photos and stories in albums.  It’s an important and meaningful tradition, but they worry that they have too many photos and not enough time. As a consequence, they have trouble starting an album, and even more trouble finishing it. Then they feel undeserved guilt about not saving their photos. What a vicious circle!

The way I think about creating albums for my family completely changed a few years ago. I used to try to “keep up” on my photos, when I wasn’t paralyzed by the overwhelming many I have. Or I’d get stuck on one 2-page spread. Except when I made vacation albums. I have always been able to complete those, and quickly to boot. It took me awhile to figure out why that is. I think it was my mindset. With vacations, I had already decided which story to tell, and it had a beginning, middle, and an end, just like a published book.

Using the right tools, albums can be completed very quickly. It took my bringing my “vacation album mindset” to other albums, though, for me to make use of those tools. I shifted my focus from too-small or too-big to just-right: just one whole album.

Are you willing to try it? Here’s how you can complete albums and let go of some scrapbooking “guilt,” too:

  1. Focus on only one album at a time. Of course, you can make future album plans, but don’t focus on them!
  2. Choose to work next on the very next pictures and story that are the most important to you to save. Ignore the rest for now!
  3. Decide on the scope of your album’s story: its beginning, middle, and end. Can your story fit in one album or do you need to make the scope smaller? Gather all the photos and memorabilia you’ll use once this is determined.
  4. Choose the type of album you’d like to make based on what you would like to put in it.
  5. Choose and purchase your paper and embellishment designs for this album—and plan to use them all up (if you’re using traditional—digital never gets used up)! That way your albums will always be made with up-to-date artwork and you won’t waste money on supplies that are never used. Power Palettes and Album Kits especially help you keep a themed look through your whole book—just like a publisher would.
  6. Set a reasonable but ambitious deadline for yourself, and make your whole album. Be smart about your tools and supplies: don’t use a mishmash that makes decision-making very slow, and whatever you do, don’t use supplies that will shorten the life of your images! You want your efforts to last!
  7. Sit back and enjoy the album you have completed, and share it with others.

And one last note: If you have acquired a myriad of scrapbooking supplies over the years that you have found to not be to your taste anymore, as one of my favorite resources FlyLady says, bless someone else with them and let them go! Give them to a women’s shelter or a Scout council. Organizations with close ties to kids can almost always use paper and stickers for crafts. You don’t need the guilt of something you’ll never use taking up space that could serve you better.

So lighten your load, have a great time making albums, and then go make more memories!

© Carolyn Gordon and Cropping with Care, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Carolyn Gordon is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carolyn Gordon and Cropping with Care with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Carolyn Gordon is an independent consultant and the opinions and content on this site are not necessarily endorsed by Creative Memories. Power Palette is a trademark of Creative Memories; “Cottage Garden” designs © Creative Memories.

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One Response to “Got Scrapbooking “Guilt?””

  1. jacki Raymond July 28, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

    Love the page and really like the permission to let go of stuff that I no longer use!

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