Lessons learned while organising my photo albums

Recently I put an item on my to-do list which was to sort out my photo album drawer.

I honestly thought it would take about 30 minutes but it took forever, because photos! memories! Project Life! scrapbooks!

oh my word, what was I thinking? it always gets worse before it gets better

Granny and Kendra loved looking at the photo albums but how did all of that come out of just two drawers?!

 

This was part of the before. So not bad but I wanted full photo albums in one place and current ones in another space.

After – the complete photo albums

remember these?

After – the current albums and my “speciality” albums (my 40th, pics of friends, etc.)

Both drawers open …

So here’s the thing:

I thought I had excellent photo boundaries. I only print 4 photos per kid per month. And for Project Life, I print about 6 – 8 photos a month, which is really very little. You can read more about my process here.

Still…these children are 8 and my drawers are nearly full. And there’s a whole year – 15 months that is just missing. This is not a very big deal to me since that was actually our life at the time. I have very few pics once I went back to work after my maternity leave and then the pics pick up again later.

I’m now considering the number of photos I print and what I want to do going forward.

Something that I’m thinking of for next year is to just print the 52 project photosΒ of the kids together – that doesn’t cut down on the number but once I have ONE a week, I’m good.

But I will admit it is getting harder to get 4 decent pics of the kids every month. Maybe now is the time to get just one or two a month instead?

I haven’t finalised my thinking on this but I do know I need to cut down.

What do you do? Do you have any ideas for me?

PS I am not a fan of photobooks because of the expense, the time it takes to make them (when you’re not talented with graphic design) and the fact that you have to wait til the year is done to compile it. This way, I can keep up with my printing every 2 – 3 months, and it’s a 10-minute task to put the photos into the albums vs this big task I’ll be dreading every year. I do have photobooks from some old photoshoots.

7 ways to use project life cards aside from project life journalling

If you don’t have project life cards, you could quite easily cut cardstock to size (4 X 6) and use these same tips.

1.Labelling craft kits

I have, occasionally, put together some beading kits and once, an easy craft for kids. I bought wooden letters and packs of buttons from a craft store, added a jar of craft glue, and gifted that to some of my kids’ friends.

The project life card is the perfect size for a label on the one side, and one or two sentences on the reverse.

2. Gift tags

They are particularly lovely to use as gift tags on presents.

3. Conversation notes

This might confirm that either I’m super weird or very intentional. Let’s go with the latter, okay?

I sometimes use PL cards to keep notes of things I want to remember to chat to friends about so when we meet for tea/ lunch, I have a visual prompt.

I’ve also twice had meetings with teachers and I use a project life card to write down my thoughts so I don’t get sidetracked in the meeting. I hope I look organised and invested in the meeting πŸ™‚

4. Speech preparation

My kids have started to do little speeches at school.

They’re allowed to use a card with keywords, so they use a Project Life card.

5. Scriptures/ affirmations

One of my kids was quite fearful about going to bed for a month or two, so Dion wrote out a scripture to be kept next to the bed.

If I want to be reminded about something, like “I can only do what I can do; I can’t control other people’s work”, then I write these not-so-little things on a PL card.

6. Labelling shelves

I change things in my house all the time. Not furniture, but the way things are organised. For instance, when the kids were at pre-school, we had a lot more space dedicated to casual clothes, because that’s all they wore.

These days we have a shelf each for school clothes because of the uniforms. And they only wear casual clothes for 3.5 hours every afternoon, and on weekends.

PL cards are easy to use, change labels and just stick on the shelf with Prestik.

7 . Love notes

Kendra just piped up from the lounge that we also use them to write love messages for each other πŸ™‚

How do you use Project Life cards for non-Project Life purposes?

PS I really like this lady’s idea for a running list!

Project Life 2 – what I’m doing this year

See this post for what I used to do

Last week I told you about the huge cost of shipping to South Africa, which was always there, but has now become exorbitant due to the exchange rate.

Project Life 2 |www.OrganisingQueen.com

this is the pen I use for my memory-keeping. It is not a permanent marker but I do love the tip πŸ™‚

Project Life 2 |www.OrganisingQueen.com Project Life 2 |www.OrganisingQueen.com

So I decided to use standard photo albums (I buy mine from CNA), the same ones I use for all our memory-keeping and use those for this year’s Project Life.

The albums take 4 photos to a page and store 200 photos overall.

My plan is to use my landscape photos (I mostly take landscape photos) and the 10 X 15 cards from the Project Life kits, of which I have 4 – 5.

Project Life 2 |www.OrganisingQueen.com

There isn’t necessarily a Project Life card per “layout”. I do Project Life with very loose boundaries, so some months I have 9 photos and some I have 15, and it’s all good.

So there is plenty to mix and match, and also if I get bored, I can buy just the filler or journalling cards from one or more of the digital kits. These filler or journalling cards cost $3,99 a set which is about R70.

Project Life 2 |www.OrganisingQueen.com

what it’s teaching me

At first I thought I was settling but now I realise there are so many pros to the situation:

  1. I’m not limited to those 80 photos for the year πŸ™‚
  2. the small matter of lovely limitations as The Nester calls it has sparked a bit of creativity to think differently with the layouts

If you haven’t yet thought of memory keeping by alternative means, I urge you to grab a bog-standard photo album and just start somewhere. It’s really much easier (and cheaper) than you think it needs to be.

What sparks your creativity?

Project Life 2 |www.OrganisingQueen.com

My Project Life evolution – how I used to do it

Project Life | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Rain mini-album with Seafoam cards

Let’s start at the beginning.

When I discovered Project Life, I saw all these complicated systemsΒ  online (weekly spreads, a book for each child, this kind of thing) and immediately decided that was not for me.

I was interested in documenting on a regular basis, but not too much.

So I settled on monthly documenting, in a mini album that had to last the entire year.

Each mini album can take 80 10 X 15 photos, and the 3 X 4 ones fit in on the sides. So you’re looking at 6 – 8 photos every month, which I feel is more than doable.

There’s a thing to be said for boundaries (I love them!).

Project Life | www.OrganisingQueen.com

Seafoam cards

I bought 3 mini albums and they lasted me 3 years – 2013 – 2015.

3 things I loved about the mini album:

  1. clear boundaries – if I overstepped my 6 – 8 photo a month rule, I’d run out of space
  2. suited my photo-taking style – about 98% of my photos are landscape
  3. really compact – a whole year documented was about 1.5 cm thick

The only reason I’ve stopped using the mini album is the expense of shipping to South Africa.

In fact, I ordered and had 3 albums shipped to a friend, and when she told me the cheapest price of shipping the albums to me, I nearly fainted.

It was very, very expensive (VERY!) and felt like just too much money, so my friend kindly returned the stuff to Amazon and I made another plan, which I will tell you about next week πŸ™‚

Do you do Project Life? Which format do you prefer? Digital/ physical/ app? What size album do you like, and why?

Organising project life supplies

So I’m on the Project Life bandwagon.

Confession – I have much bigger plans for all those gorgeous cards than just using them to record memories.

I know if you read this blog there are many more of you who are paper addicts like I am πŸ™‚ so you’ll understand.

But when I opened that box and saw those 500 cards I knew it was going to be a problem for me.

I went to Pep Stores and bought a small cutlery tray for R14,99 to arrange my cards.

They fit perfectly and best of all, I can see everything at a glance.

What do you think? How are you organising your Project Life cards?

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