Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Whether you're prepping for a weekend scrapbooking retreat, or just trying to make the most of your scrapbooking time at home, organizing is helpful ... and it's easy!

Where to start?  PHOTOS!
I start with my big box of photographs (usually after a sale on prints from Costco) and my layout folders OR XL zipper bags.  I get my zipper bags from Dollarama and they are 13 inches by 15.6" (33 cm x 39.6 cm) and you get 6 bags for $1.25.

Then I sit down and sort my photos by themes or the layouts I want to do.  I try not to worry about how many photos are set aside for each layout -- I just get them sorted.  Then I put the photos in the zipper bags -- one bag per theme or layout.

Don't forget the MEMORABILIA!
Next, I go hunting for and pull out any memorabilia I've saved from trips and events.  If you're like me, memorabilia is stuff I usually save, then put in a so-called "safe" place, only to forget where that safe place is.  Don't worry -- I usually find it ... AFTER my layout is done.  So I've started keeping a box with just memorabilia in it (a safe place I can find) and remembering to pull out the ticket stubs, brochures, admittance bracelets, postcards and more when I organize my layouts.

Once you've found your stuff, put them in the zipper bags with the corresponding photos.

PAPER is next.
Once I have the photos and memorabilia organized, I go through and pull out the paper I want to use for that layout.  Sometimes I have a specific Close to my Heart paper pack purchased just for that layout.  Other times, I pull out my bin of paper and just see what works.  I don't always know what will work best, or what will inspire me more, so I may pull out more than 1 option.  Then I select cardstock to match.  Don't forget neutral cardstock for your layout bases!  Put all your paper into your bag with your photos.

Bring on the BLING baby!
The next thing to add to your zipper bags is embellishments!  Again, sometimes these have been specifically purchased, like soccer ball brads or Las Vegas stickers, or sometimes they are just what works, like sparkles or cork lettering.  I also pull out any MyAcrylix™ stamps I want to use.  The more you can pull together, the better chance you'll USE what you HAVE in your stash.

Choose your LAYOUT!
Last, I will go through my Close to my Heart how-to books, like Cherish or Make It from your Heart, or scrapbooking magazines and select layouts that I like.  I will either write down the layout name and page number, or, in the case of magazines, even pull the page right out.  Pop it goes into the zipper bag too.

Now, take a look at what I have in my zipper bag: 
  • Photos
  • Memorabilia
  • Paper and cardstock
  • Embellishments
  • Layout ideas
All I need to do now is pack my zipper bags in a bucket, grab my tools and I am ready to scrap.

This process may take you a few afternoons or evenings, but many of the steps can be done in front of the TV.  And when you’re ready to be creative, your layouts are ready for you.  It takes a lot of the thinking out of the equation and lets you focus on the creativity.  For many of us, this thinking or planning is a roadblock to our precious scrapbooking time, so by planning ahead, you make the most of your opportunities.

And if you’re traveling to a crop or a retreat, it helps you to pack lighter, so you don’t have to take ALL your paper, ALL your embellishments, and ALL of your stuff.

I recently created over 40 layout kits, ready for my weekends away this April.  I am looking forward to some very productive and creative scrap time!

Give it a try!  Just put together 5 layout kits and see how much easier it is to scrapbook, either at home or away.


  1. I may just use this to help get myself organized for a crop I am going to in early May. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. This is great Sheri! I've done something similar but not with the embellishments and stamp sets too - I love the zipper bag idea!


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