Why I’m Simplifying My Memory Keeping Process in 2017

Just the other day, I came across a blog post by Becky Higgins, founder of Project Life, where she talked about simplifying her memory keeping process. She covered quite a bit in her post but what struck a chord with me was her emphasis on taking less pictures and focusing more on living in the moment and telling robust stories. To see her post, click HERE. It’s worth a read.

Needless to say, Becky and I are on the same page!


Toward the end of 2016, I began thinking about my current scrapbooking process. I am the queen of picture taking…I feel like I need to take ALL THE PHOTOS. Seriously, I have a ton of duplicates floating around on iCloud. I also have a lot of finished layouts just hanging around; some under my desk in a tray, others on top of my closet in my studio…very few are making it into my scrapbook albums these days.

Then there is my stash. To be honest, I just finished purging the very last of my unwanted items – old die cuts, sticker sheets, an 8×8 album that I never used…all of it donated to Goodwill. But what remains is a very delicious assortment of goodies that I need to dig my hands into. You would think that I have my stuff all perfectly organized, arranged in kits, ready to go.

Not really…I’ve been lazy.

Oh, let me not forget one very important nugget: I don’t think I want to do yearly albums about my kid anymore.


Yep, I said it. In fact, I have yet to finish her baby album, 1, 5 and 6-year old albums. My goal was to finish each album before her next birthday. Yeah, not gonna happen! Yet, I started thinking about all of the albums that I will eventually leave to her…she is an only child so there will be no one else. She will either have to keep them or face the fact that I will haunt her for life if she throws them away! FOR LIFE! (She might need therapy). But seriously, at the rate I’m going with all of my “project plans”, my girlie will have a ton of albums to inherit…hundreds of layouts all devoted to her.


She who stands to inherit a million layouts…all about her!

At this point, I began to consider how I scrapbook my family’s stories. Sure I have a lot of layouts that were just made for the pure enjoyment of being creative. But those layouts are just that…the richness of storytelling is absent. And that’s just not my style. I want to tell more robust stories, to paint a picture of our lives that is authentic and truthful.


Only stories that matter.

So, with all of that being said, I decided that I need to reevaluate my scrapbooking intentions. Simplifying sounds refreshing! Here’s what I plan to do:

I am going to take less pictures. I have too many pictures just hanging out on my phone, my iPad, my iMac, on the Cloud. It’s just simply overwhelming. Plus, I want to focus more on being in the moment – to really pay attention to my daughter as she attempts to do a handstand for the 100th time and to enjoy a relaxing nature walk versus taking pictures of every pretty flower, bird, or tree. I want to enjoy a good meal without feeling compelled to take a photo of my plate (which I am sure annoys the hell out of my spouse). I am going to limit my picture taking and live in the present.

Speaking of photos…I am going to purge, edit, print, and delete my photos on a weekly basis. My plan is to only keep the photos that I absolutely love – all the rest will be deleted. Period. I already have too many photos to organize and print! I want to create a manageable photo processing system that is easy to maintain and keep up with. I can’t deal with complicated processes…keep things simple I say!

I am going to make more scrapbooking kits. I love kits and I need to get back into the habit of making them on a frequent basis. I truly believe that scrapbooking kits help to save time on product selection and make the scrapbooking process more efficient! Additionally, creating kits is a great way to use up my stash.

I am going to deconstruct and throw away unwanted layouts. Yep, you read that right – I am going to throw away layouts that I don’t like and only keep the layouts that I love. I don’t see the point of hanging on to layouts just for the sake of it, especially if there are layouts that I don’t care to keep anymore. Good riddance! So brutal!! 

I am going to focus less on doing yearly albums and more on creating continual albums. In the past, I have created albums based on year. I set an expectation to finish each yearly album before the year was complete. I have come to find that this is very stressful. What happens when I don’t complete a year? Oh the mayhem (in my mind only)! The truth is…there are some years when I have a ton of stories to tell and there are other years when I don’t. So, to take the pressure off myself, I am going to create continual albums based on the progression of my family, not our yearly activities. I will add to these albums as I see fit based on the stories I want to tell. And there is no pressure to finish as I will continue to add to the album month after month, year after year. It will never be finished. And when I fill one album, I will just start another…it’s that simple.

Additionally, all layouts about my daughter will go into this one continual album as well. I cannot manage separate yearly albums with multiple themes – it’s becoming too cumbersome. I will however continue to make mini albums for special projects like vacations, December Daily, and so forth. Now, ask me in a year how this system is working…I promise to be honest!

So, there you have it…my plan to simplify my memory keeping process, take control of my incessant picture taking, and minimize my family albums. I am going to give this a shot for a year and see how I do. And guess what? If it doesn’t work, I’ll just tweak my process and move on.

Scrapbooking is truly an evolution.

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