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Scrapbooking: How to Get Caught Up

Updated on August 27, 2012
Photo: C Buckley, flickr
Photo: C Buckley, flickr
Photo: raesha, flickr
Photo: raesha, flickr

An Easy Three-Step Process


I remember back when I would anxiously await getting my photos back from the developer, all the while planning out the perfect scrapbook layouts in my head. As soon as I got the photos, I'd race home and scrap them immediately, to my utmost satisfaction. I would then eagerly wait until I filled up another roll of film or memory card to start the process all over again. This went on for several happy, undisturbed years.

Then I had a baby.

My world changed and although I was sure I'd be able to scrapbook my little darling's every move from Day One on into Eternity, reality set in. The luxury I once knew was gone with the wind and I soon realized just how far behind I had become with my scrapbooks.

I quickly became overwhelmed with the rate at which photos were being taken and the rate at which they were being scrapped-a million to one. Over a year flew by before I decided I was ready to jump in and tackle documenting my son's life, which is where I am today. It may seem too daunting a task to capture every monumental milestone that happens in a baby's first year, but I'm determined to accomplish it!

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Are you so far behind with your scrapbooks that you can't imagine having the time to embark upon such a colossal feat as getting them caught up? If so, I'd like to encourage you not to give up. It can be done and I will show you the process that I'm using to accomplish it.


Gather them together and put them in chronological order. If you don't know the exact date, just do your best. Weed out any photos you know you don't want to scrapbook or that are of poor quality. This will make the pile smaller so it's not as visually overwhelming.


This may sound like just more work; however it's the main way I focus on how much I want to get done. It's also very rewarding to cross off the pages on your to-do list that you've completed. You get a great sense of accomplishment by doing this, which helps to fuel your success. Your to-do list can be as simple or as detailed as you want it to be. It can be handwritten or typed on the computer.

For example, I use a simple Excel spreadsheet with the following headers:

  • Date--of the event in the photo
  • Topic
  • Number of Photos-which I have on this particular topic. I may weed some out as I work on my layout, but it's helpful to know what I have to work with.
  • Journaling--have I already written out a story to go along with this layout?
  • Notes-any additional information that would help me to complete the layout

You could also include:

  • Album--to document which of your albums you want to put the finished layout in.
  • Page Number- to determine what order you want it to be in your album.


After you've gone to the trouble of organizing your photos and making a to-do list of what you need or want to get done, make a goal for yourself of how many pages you want to complete in a week or a month. I have made a pact with myself to try to finish three layouts per week.

Make sure your goal is achievable. Consider your lifestyle and that of your family. I work on my layouts in the evenings, after I've put my son to bed. I have quiet time to myself and can focus on what I want to accomplish without interruptions.

Just remember, if you're used to creating elaborate layouts, you may want to try to simplify your pages. Not to say that you shouldn't put effort or beauty into your pages, but at this point, quantity may outweigh quality until you get caught up.

So far, this process has worked very well for me and I've been crossing off lines on my to-do list right and left! As an added inspiration, I'm also keeping a tally posted where I can easily see it, of how many layouts I've completed this year.

Don't let being behind on your scrapbooks hold you back from creating what will become a family heirloom!


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      Jester 2 years ago

      Have you ever thought about crtiaeng an e-book or guest authoring onother sites? I have a blog centered on the same information you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information.I know my subscribers would appreciate your work.If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e mail.