Jan 29, 2012

Check! Project One is Done!

But first!  Before I post about organizing my layouts into albums ...  I want to share all the Jenni Bowlin Studio excitement going on this week.  What an exciting week, with CHA-W happening in California ... but that doesn't mean we can't have our own fun, too.  LOTS of great stuff happening with lots of great prizes ...  thanks Jenni Bowlin Studio!

1.  New Gallery contest with an awesome prize:

2.  A Chat Tuesday with another awesome prize:

Come to the forum for the chat!

3.  A secret (or not-so secret) announcement coming tomorrow - here's a hint:

Isn't this hobby GREAT!

and now ... I present ... with a great sense of relief ...

Ahhhhh! It feels sooo good to get a project done, doesn't it!  I've now got all my layouts into organized albums.  The albums are not labeled yet because I'm waiting for one "special supply" to come in. But they look nice, organized, and that makes me happy!

I want to share how I did this and a few things that I learned along the way:

What I did:

1.  Not only did I gather my "homeless" layouts, but I also pulled every single layout out of ever single album since they were not particularly in any particular album for any particular reason.  And my new "system" requires my layouts to be organized.

The only albums that I did not take layouts out of were my Creative Memories albums.  I couldn't ... the layouts were stuck to the page.  But that's OK - those albums look so very nice, and still in perfect condition, and well, are chronological.  So they already have a happy organized home.  Those are some great quality albums.  And you know, I still like those layouts.

2.  I then started separating all the layouts into piles by category.  The categories that worked for me, were "Family", "Heritage",  Domenic Army, John Baseball, Matthew Baseball, and then a separate general album for every child I scrap.  I scrap not only my own boys, but my sweet nieces and nephew too.

3.  I also had a "re-scrap" and "fix" pile.  I did see some layouts that, quite frankly, I sort of hated.  They were mostly layouts where I don't think I did the story or the photo justice.  I put them in "re-scrap" pile.  To have a small pile of layouts I want to re-scrap doesn't bother me at all.  I love scrapping, and having more "material" to scrap is actually a good thing!  I also had a "fix" pile.  You know, those layouts where the chipboard letters lost their stick, and little fixes like that.  These will be great for a rainy day.

4.  I threw out one layout.  Yep.  But it was a layout from an assignment I had years and years ago to scrap St. Patrick's Day.  We're Catholic, we love and pray to our saints, but this is not a big holiday in our house. I actually had Matthew stage photos for me.  I thought of Matthew years from now, opening his book and thinking,  "oh ya' - this is the day Mom forced me to eat green eggs and ham."

5.  The digi layouts were great because I had multiples of them.  I was able to split them between multiple books.  I even had layouts that were 100% digi and then reproduced in hybrid form.  Loved being able to keep one and give the other away.

6.  I then laid out my layouts in their categories and matched albums with the piles.

7.  I took each pile and tried to organize it chronologically to a degree.  I didn't get hung up on this part.

8.  Putting all the layouts into their respective albums was such a nice feeling.  It was so nice to see the album come together.  And since I had basically looked at every single layout I've ever done, I was able to really see what I did that I liked, and what I did that I didn't like.  I was able to get a good picture of my "scrapbooking style"  if I have one at all.

At this step, I was able to see what albums and page protectors held up over time.  Boy do I LOVE We R Memory Keepers albums and protectors.  So you can imagine my disappointment when I went to place my WRMK albums on a favorite piece of furniture that houses my albums to see this:

Yes - that's 1/4 inch of an album that's too big, or 1/4 inch of a shelf that's too small ... so the WRMK albums needed to be moved to an old book shelf I was planning to throw away...  but it's staying now until a better plan comes up ...

Some American Crafts page protectors sagged and the holes started to rip.  I'm not sure why this was happening and have seen others talk about the same problem.

I tried to remedy this with placing paper hole reinforcers on the page protector holes:

All I had were ones in distracting colors:

but it worked!  The protectors seemed stronger and more stable.  I then found the clear Avery Reinforcements, but they didn't stick to the plastic very well.  Bummer!

I have a fun idea for labeling my albums, but will have to wait until a certain special supply comes in.  That's a project for another rainy day!

And that's it!   I think if my layouts could talk they'd say "What took you so long!  We love our new homes!"

Have a FUN and creative week.  If you're at CHA - I'm totally jealous.  If you're not, well then we'll be having our own fun here!


  1. Very inspiring, Betsy!! Want to come here and battle through mine? :)

  2. Maybe you have inspired me!!! I can see it can be a very big job but I so need to do just what you did.

  3. I found your blog through Masterful Scrapbook Design/Focal Points topic. I really loved your pages and insightful interview.
    I live in CT as well and am the mom of two girls (one in college and one to enter college next fall).
    Anyhow, I would like to thank you for all the tips on organizing pages and albums. I have put my pages in albums rather haphazardly. I have them vaguely categorized but I definitely need to take the time, as you did, to put them in better order. I appreciate the all the time you put into this post ~ I'll be coming back to it again when I start my big project.


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