Thursday, September 15, 2011

Organizing Completed Pages

Do you have a method to organize your pages into albums that works for you?  It took me several years to figure out how I wanted to organize my albums.  So, I figured I'd share what I have finally figured out works for me.  Maybe some of this will work for you OR give you an idea of what would!
For about 3 years, I created pages but didn't put them in albums because I didn't know how I wanted to organize them.
 Do I two of each layout so each kid could have one? What if we decide to have another baby?
Do I put Christmas & Birthdays in the same albums with vacations?
What about pages about personality traits or funny things the kids say? Or the more feeling based pages?
Sports photos? School photos? Visits to/from friends or family? ACCKKKKK!!!
 Before I get to my actual system, it's worth mentioning I do all my pages on 12x12 patterned paper, solid color paper or card stock (not the album pages).  I stick to mainly 1 and 2 page layouts and don't often do more than that on one topic.
So, here's my strategy...

1.  Each of the girls will have a separate album for their first year. Evan's is a traditional first year album, and I'll do something for Mattie's, but I'm not inspired by the pictures from her first year. (Her personality is so much fun and the pictures just don't do that justice...)
2.  Special vacations each get their own album (example - our anniversary trip to Punta Cana, or our family trip to Disney almost 2 years ago). If it's a long weekend or short trip, it goes in the year albums (#5 below).
3. Each kid will get a school album which includes 2 two page spreads per school year. (Each year I include school pics, class photos, photos from class parties, first day photo, picture of teacher/s and a pocket to include report cards, certificates and a couple favorite pieces of art work or school work.
4. Each will also have a birthday album. One of my favorite things is to plan parties - especially birthday parties. I always have a gazillion pictures I want to include which would result in at least 4-6 pages. SO, by having an album solely for birthdays, I don't feel like I have to restrict the number of photos I use so as not to overpower everything else. Included are an actual invitation, pictures of decorations, favors, guests, cake, gifts, activities, etc.
5.  Finally, an album for each year. This includes everything else - sports photos, visits to family, personality/emotion based pages. I will include a one page summary of birthday parties in this one, and of course 1st day of school.  So there may be some repetition between the different albums, but that's ok!
American Crafts D Ring binders are my album of choice. They are simple, reasonably priced and I love that they are three ring binders. It makes adding a page or moving pages around simple. As I put pages in, I don't worry too much about exact dates - if I know three pages were during January, I lump them together before February.  I put in February, March and so on. Later, if I do a page that needs to go in February adding another page protector to put the page in takes only seconds. It doesn't bother me to have a blank space in there as eventually I'll have one to add later on and things can be easily shifted.
Does anyone else worry about goofy things like "when it's time for the kids to get the albums, what if they both want them?"  I can't have them fighting over the albums, can I?  (Yes, I realize neither kid might want them...)  My father in law gave me the idea to scan them.  I love this idea, because now I have the original page, the digital page (which could be printed if I/they ever wanted it to be) and if my albums were ever to be damaged or lost, we'd still have the digi copies. So, I create a bunch of layouts, then scan them all at once, then organize and add them to my albums.
Is anyone still reading?  Have my laptop on and working on these in front of the tv is resulting in some really long posts! If you're still reading - thanks for hanging in there!  Come back tomorrow to see the inspiration page for this week as well as my interpretation!

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