scrapbook organization: collection boxes

Feb 22

i absolutely love scrapbooking! i’m not a fancy scrapper with lots of tools and gadgets, but i do enjoy putting together pretty books with sweet photos and memories. like everyone else, i’m a sentimental mommy. sure, there are certain phases we want to forget. but the majority of the time we are trying to figure out how exactly to bottle them up just the way they are. they simply grow and change much too quickly.
for me, scrapbooking is a way to preserve those precious, fleeting memories.
i love to preserve not only photos and artwork, but also enjoy writing down funny things our children do and say. and i love keeping track of milestones, growth, and more. but if you’re not organized or don’t have a system in place, it’s hard to keep track of the those memories. more importantly, when you do find the time to assemble a book, you won’t be able to find those photos/memories if you aren’t organized!
today, i’m sharing with you my personal scrapbook organization idea – collection boxes.
we live and learn as we try to figure out the best organizational solutions that work with our personal lifestyle. this solution has worked like a charm for me. it only took me a few years to figure it out. it was “scrapbooking hit and miss” the first few years when we only had 1 child. but once this system popped into mind, i found it to be incredible for keeping me on track. so, i hope this idea will either get you fired up again to tackle your scrapbook list – or maybe inspire a new hobby for those of you that are interested in scrapbooking.
collection boxes are the perfect way to keep your memories organized and safe until you are ready to create that special book. and the boxes don’t have to be fancy. proof?…

i found this box on sale at the container store…

it’s oversized, has a lid to keep dust away, and it’s cute. again, it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive!

the box above holds our daughter’s paper memories from birth through present.

i also have a photo box that holds all of her 1st year photos…

together, these 2 boxes create a collection.
meaning – the photo box and the paper memories box
= the contents of her first year scrapbook.

now, when i am ready to put together that special book, all of her photos and paper memories are in an easy to locate place!

what is inside each of those boxes?

we’ll start with the photo box. i love the simple white photo boxes from michael’s. the brand is recollections (they are on sale this week for $1.66 each!)…

i label my photo boxes with a post-it note. that way i can re-use the box time and again.

inside the box i have each month/event broken down with a small piece of scrap paper or an envelope cut in half. our daughter was born in january 2010, so this box begins with her birth at the hospital and continues through her 1st birthday….

now, let’s talk about the paper memory box. whenever i have an item to put away for a future scrapbook, i simply open the box and place it inside. i place the item on the top of the stack and that creates a natural order of keeping everything sorted by date/month/event = oldest memories are on the bottom…newest memories are on the top. i’m a busy mommy and this system has totally worked for me. (this system may not work if you are collecting a full year of your child’s school work.)

what do i keep inside the memory box?…her birth announcement (created by my very talented friend amber)…

special cards she received…christening…

first holidays…

and artwork gifts created by her cousins…

i also have her growth chart, 1st year milestone calendar, 1st disneyland ticket, and much more.

here are all of the contents of her first year scrapbook…ready to be booked…

the paper memories are in the front and broken down by month/event…

and the box of photos is sitting right behind…

that is it! that is how i create a collection box!

guess what? i’m ready to get started on that long-awaited 1st year scrapbook! here is the collection box, the scrapbook, and my scrapbook sticker organizer waiting for me on my project table in the office closet

the only thing left to do is find that hard to locate free time. πŸ™‚
not done yet! have a few more scrapbooking organization tips to share…
i love my project table. it’s hidden away in the office closet. being hidden away helps with scrapbooking because once you get all of your items out and sorted for booking, the last thing you want to do is put it all away. i find i am more productive with my books if everything is out and ready to get started on right from where i left off. if you have a place where you can hide your project, i highly recommend trying that! it is so helpful to leave off and start up again without all of the hassle of getting out the supplies.
another way to stay on track with scrapbooking is to keep everything you need close at hand. while sitting at the project table, this little shelf behind me holds other needed items…

there are page holders, cutting utensils, a big bin of letter stickers, my paper organizer and a large envelope of card stock papers. here is a better look at the paper organizer…

it’s from michael’s and keeps all of my paper clean and dust-free…

and a closer look at the card stock envelope…

i find if i have everything close at hand, the less likely i am to walk away and lose my train of thought. i suffer from a bad case of mommy brain. πŸ™‚

that’s it! i hope this collection box idea will help you along your road to getting your scrapbooks completed – or even just getting the contents organized and ready for booking. i can’t wait to get started on our daughter’s book and will be sure to share all of the photos right here as soon as its completed!

(for those wondering – i don’t create scrapbooks for each year of each child’s life. i would love to do that, but the reality is my time is limited. so to cut down on added mommy pressure, i only create scrapbooks for extra special memories. i do the same thing for each child – they each have 1 book for my pregnancy with them and 1 book for their first year. there are a few other special events that i like to scrapbook, but they cover a broad subject. for example, our 7 year old is athletic. i have all of his sports photos in 1 scrapbook. our 2 favorite holidays are halloween and Christmas – i have 1 book for each of those holidays and i simply add to the holiday book each year. the rest of our yearly photos are placed in a general annual photo album.Β i showed our annual photo albums off here.)

comments +

  1. Claire says:

    I don't have any children but I certainly like the organizational idea of saving all of your treasures in one place until you have the opportunity to create your scrapbook. I wish we had The Container Store in Canada!

    • hi claire! thank you and i'm so glad you like this idea. it has been so helpful to me! i wish you had a container store in canada too – they are like a candy store to me! πŸ™‚

  2. I love all of these ideas, I can definitively do something like this for all of the things that I have collected for my kids. Thanks for sharing

  3. Colleen says:

    Adorable blog! I have been looking around and am following you now. Love your tips and of course I'm a sucker for the organizing posts. You have such a beautiful home. Looking forward to reading more.

    • hi colleen!

      thank you so much for the sweet compliments! i appreciate it so much but appreciate you visiting and looking around here more!

      thank you again!

      samantha πŸ™‚

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