Scrapbook project planning question from Kim K.

Scrapbook project planning can be a great solution for keeping yourself productive and organized, or it can lead to feeling guilty and overwhelmed. Last week I received the following email from Kim K., a participant in the current GOC. I’m certain that Kim is not alone in her scrapbook project planning challenge, so she agreed to let me post and answer her email here.

The question:

Good morning, I have a question, that is too lengthy to communicate during the live presentation. This trips me up EVERY challenge… and therefore stalls me out.

What do I do with my “unfinished or in progress projects?” I have about 10 Iris containers, each one loaded with a different scrapbooking project. Within those containers, I have, for example, the pics, memorabilia, the couple of colors of 12×12 card stock I’m using, and the themed stickers…etc…

At what point do I take these apart and put my card stock back where it belongs, or my stickers back in the ScrapRack?

Obviously, these supplies aren’t being seen/available/used for any other projects (which sometimes results in duplicate purchases). Do I resolve myself that when/if I get back to these albums…I regather whatever I can find…and hope it’s available?

Part of the problem is I only scrap a couple times per year when I go to a retreat…but my goal is to have my space in order and continue to scrap at home.

I feel the word DONE, or COMPLETE aren’t in my vocabulary… and the stress, guilt is overwhelming me.

As I clear off shelves, I find that I organize my pretty new organization supplies…empty… (I know, it’s crazy, RIGHT?). I have fab files, project keepers, buddy bags…all empty…waiting for the “right” thing to put in them…

Suggestions appreciated! I’m excited it’s time for a new round of GOC.

Thanks! Kim K.

The response:

Hi Kim –

Thanks so much for taking the time to write and describe your challenge. I’m sure you’re not alone with this issue.

First – DON’T torture yourself with guilt and frustration. The fact that you have your projects organized is GREAT.

Second – Think about moving forward rather than going back. You’ve described a system that you know doesn’t work for you, so your first step is to stop adding to that system.

You asked about taking these project boxes apart and returning things to your ScrapRack, I wouldn’t advise that. Instead of taking the time to do that, use that time to create the scrapbook pages.

I’m not sure what type of scrapbooker you are, but keep in mind that every page doesn’t have to be a magazine quality layout. Getting a few pages completed and in your albums will do more to motivate and inspire you than anything else. Keep it simple and get it done. This will also alleviate the overwhelming feeling of guilt you’re experiencing.

One of the major downfalls to google/social media, etc., is that we get paralyzed by information and ideas. We compare ourselves to others and the work they are doing – or supposedly doing. Try to remind yourself that if you’re just getting your pictures into an album you’re doing more than about 60% of the population, and if you’re creating even very basic scrapbook pages (which is what I do by the way) you’re doing more than about 99% of the population.

Third – You’re on the right track by keeping things together you use together, photos, mementos, memorabilia, etc.. But you can stop right there. Avoid adding actual scrapbooking supplies to each project. As you mentioned above, when you pull supplies out and store them with your projects, you may miss using them on something else and/or buying duplicates of them.

You mentioned you have Project Planners – use these for future projects instead of the big bulky iris boxes. Group your photos/mementos together and then store them in a labeled binder, in chronological order. When you’re ready to work on that project you can pull the Project Planner out of the binder and add it to your ScrapRack for the duration of the project.

Lastly – There’s a good chance that your “pretty new organizers” are adding to your sense of guilt. Why did you buy them? What was your intended use? Write a list of what you have that’s currently empty and what you intended to put in them. Once the list is done, choose the smallest, easiest organizer to fill and fill it as you had intended. Then fill the next smallest/easiest, etc.

The amazing thing about the human brain is that it doesn’t take much to get it going. One small success will lead you to the next success and so on. In the process, you’ll be alleviating the guilt/overwhelm. It’s one great big circle of inspiration.

Thanks again for writing to share your challenges with all of us.

So glad to have you as part of the GOC group!!

7 Responses to Scrapbook project planning question from Kim K.

  1. I have made a list of my projects and UFOs, which are either in one big tote (bulkier Projects) or in Totally Tiffany Paper Storage Boxes on top of a shelf. I plan to allow myself some scrapping, but give a timeline for a project to be finished as well. That way, I’m getting scrapping done and some projects throughout the year.

  2. Oh my gosh, this could have been me writing the email to Tiffany. I have just never put it into words so THANK YOU! Tiffany, you are so encouraging and make it sound so easy. One step at time right? Again, thank you!

  3. Some ideas – Cross reference the projects into Ref Binder or the 4SS Four section system if applicable – if a page/project re: travel a note or post-it in the travel section. So you can get gently nudged by yourself. Have a UFO section in front of your Themes and 4SS is also a possiblility. Maybe set aside one day a week to have a “Anti-Procrastination Project” session even if just 15 minutes. See FlyLady site for her ideas on that. So making progress if still relevant and can still do other newer projects/pages. You will feel motivated and happy to do projects that aren’t always old UFO’s that might have memories or guilt with them. “Why didn’t I do this” “I’ll never finish this so why bother doing any crafting” etc.
    There is a flip side to this approach which is very very different very different – and it’s like how the KonMari approach is.You will need to search that. That philosophy is based sort of on how that project gives you certain emotions now and recognizing how it had a role in your past and who you are now and how the project/stuff may or may not be relevant to your life now and if its worth pursuing. (My interpretation only of the KonMari method – you will need to read her book etc to be exact so you may interpret otherwise). Quite different.
    Also, TT has lots of great resources books especially re: motivation and procrastination she has mentioned in the GoC classes and handouts. Some are available as Kindle and with the new Libby app you might be able to get free as an audiobook through the Libby app. Or podcasts such as motivation ones on The Art of Manliness podcast series.
    Hope helps. We all have similar stuff and situations. – Kt

  4. Great question and answer!! I have the same issue and I’m retired so there’s no excuse for my procrastination! (OK, enough with the exclamation marks!) Anyhoo, I have a table that stares at me (and visa versa :P) when I’m sitting at my desk; on that table I have MOST of my ongoing or started projects. (I also have a table behind my desk that has mostly the current scrapbook I’m working on. What’s on my desk, you ask??? There are other things that need a “house” – more of organizational items. Oh boy! I also have a removable table that currently has a BUNCH of photos sorted, sort of. They just need to be sorted by dates.

    Back to my table of ongoing projects: The most pressing question is how to work those into the rest of the projects I have. Again, I’m retired and still can’t find the time (or be motivated) to work on those projects. Help!

  5. Also, just getting the layout of the page done (photos mated, where the title and journaling will go, and where embellishments will go) can get you further along on those projects.

  6. Am on your videos and now am on your blog to tell you how much I appreciate your organization! I ordered on NSD instead of scrapping and have been organizing all my photos and memorabilia so as to get things put away and other tools and such ready for when their bags arrive! Can’t wait for weekends because I have more concentrated time to do this! Am in your challenges!

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