Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Scrapbooking 101-411 Style!

Isn't it frustrating always having to do repeated searches for photos, and can't find the exact ones you needed for a scrapbooking layout? Disorganized and unlabeled photos eat away your scrapping time as you spend time searching for the perfect photos for your layout. Sometimes you've even forgotten about a few fabulous snapshots in your unsorted pile of photos and missed out on using them.

Spend some time today to sort and file your photos in an organized system to make scrapbooking a joy, not a nightmare.

Firstly, gather all your photos together. Then go through a toss-give-keep session.

OK, you probably have to be a little more decisive here. Get rid of those bad photos you know you won't be scrapbooking as they are of poor quality, badly-lit or simply can't make the cut.

What about those so so but aren't scrapworthy photos? Pull these out and get them into a pile. Then give these photos away to family members, use them as extras your kids can experiment with, or use them in creating gift albums.

These are your winners and keepers. They don't have be to perfect shots. They do have to make you feel, capture moments and evoke memories. These are photos that inspire you to scrap. Even if you choose not to scrapbook them, these are photos that have a place in your photo albums.

Photo Organization
Sorting Out Your Photos

What to do with your keepers? There's several methods you can use to sort out your photos. Sorting them out will keep your photos organized and your photo search an efficient process.

Find out which sorting style suits you best from the list below and get busy with your photo organization. All these sorting methods apply to photos spanning many seasons, events and years.

This is great if you have hundreds of photos or a huge backlog of photos that will be put on hold for sometime. You can sort your photos by year and break it down further by month. And that's how I sorted mine.

It works very well if you scrapbook chronologically as you have all the photos sorted and figured out by dates.

Though I scrapbook randomly, this method still works for me. I find it quite easy to run through my two photo boxes and look at the photos sorted out by dates, and pull out the relevant photos I want to scrapbook about.

Date order not important? Want the freedom to scrap on specific subjects whenever the mood strikes and have the relevant photos close at hand? Consider sorting your photos by themes such as family reunions, vacations, anniversaries, birthdays, outings, sports, friends, children and such.

This method is also fabulous if you intend to create theme albums later on, as you'll already have all the photos sorted out by themes.

Family Member
Do you often create layouts focusing on different family members? Then you can consider sorting your photos into individual groups that feature each family member prominently. Each individual pile of photos will include everyday and event photos that involved that family member.

This is quite similar to sorting by theme except you know exactly which album your photos go to. You can have individual albums covering different themes such as family, children, grandparents, vacations, holidays and such.

Sort your photos according to the album they will be appearing in. Make it even more organized by further breaking down the photo stacks into specific subjects for each album.

Photo Organization
Ways to Store Your Photos

Now that you have your photos sorted, what's next? You need to have them protected and stored away as you are unlikely to be scrapbooking all of them at once.

There's several ways to store your sorted photos, pick one and get your photo organization system on the roll.

Photo Albums
The best part about putting your photos into photo albums is that others can view them right away. It's a viewing-friendly format. Avoid the magnetic albums though as they might break down your photos over time

With photo albums, your family don't have to wait till you turn the photos into layouts. It also reduces the pressure to be caught up with your scrapbooking. You know that even if you don't scrapbook these photos, you still get to see the photos as often as you like.

Photo Boxes
I have two photo boxes where I slot all my photos in. Within the photo box, you can use index cards, envelopes or divider tabs to keep your photos categorized by date or subjects, depending on your earlier sorting method.

If you want photo boxes designed with scrapbooking in mind, you might want to take a look at Cropper Hopper photo organizer. This is the one I use and love it.

Page Protectors and Big Envelopes
Store your photos in individual acid-free page protectors or envelopes. Along with the photos, you can include any journaling notes or memorabilia in each page protector or envelope.

The advantage? You can bring along the protector or envelope to the scrapbook store to shop for papers and embellishments. It's a fantastic way to ensure well-coordinated layouts.

It's also great if you attend a lot of crops and can just fill up the protector or envelope with all the elements you planned to create the layout with. Then you just grab the protectors or envelopes you'll be needing and off you go.

To keep your filled protectors or envelopes organized, put them into an inexpensive three-ring binder where you can flip through and find the pack you want to scrapbook about.

With your new photo organization system now set in place, you need to maintain and keep it up-to-date! As soon as you print more new photos or bring back another batch from your developer, set aside some minutes to quickly sort and file them accordingly.

You'll be pleased with how your small, consistent efforts pay off in more productive time for scrapping.

Happy scrapping with your newly set up photo organization system!



  1. GREAT post, Tiffany! I know people have asked me time & again how to sort their photos & I always say the same thing... what kind of order will you scrap them? Chrono, theme, person, etc. I'm anal-Annie about Chrono, it's just who I am - total control freak! But I will jump ahead & do a page but it will go in the book choro order only.


  2. What a wonderful source of information. I've yet to scrapbook, but eventually want to so this post is very informative. Thanks :)

  3. Excellent ideas and advice. Thank you!