If one good thing came from Hurricane Irene, it was, of all things, photo organization….
On Saturday morning, while we were moving things in the basement to protect them from any possible flooding (just in case!), my mom and I came across tons of old albums: an autograph book she had as a child, a scrapbook her best friend in high school made for her, her wedding album, my baby book, some travel albums.
We ended up spending the next hour or so paging through these albums. There were dozens and dozens of treasures from the past. I read a beautiful handwritten note
that my grandfather, who I never met, had written to my mom in her autograph book. There were silly little details I learned about myself in the baby book. (Apparently I thought it was really funny to ask people “Do you have a belly button?” when I was a toddler, lol)
Finding these old albums truly reminded me about why I scrapbook… it’s more than just the things I usually write about on here, like the design elements or the fun papers and products. It’s about the photos and the stories they tell, which are precious.
Someday, I’ll look back at my albums and be glad that the stories that I’m living right now were recorded on paper. Hopefully one day my kids (and maybe even grandkids) will learn something about me, the people I love, and the world I live in.
It also reminded me that in this digital age when we can so easily store photos online… they can’t just stay on the computer. Who will ever see them in the future if they’re sitting on my hard drive? I was so inspired by all these wonderful photos and stories that we found, that I decided my “hurricane project” (basically, a project I could complete without electricity in case the power went out) would be to get my photos in order!
I have an entire photo filing system on my computer, so converting from digital to print was pretty easy. Before the storm came, I was able to get 400+ photos printed in just a few hours for around $50 (thank you, Snapfish and Walgreens!). I picked up a few white photo boxes from Michaels (they were only $3 each).
I made the divider tabs using extra-thick 130lb. white cardstock and a Stampin’ Up! tab punch. I wrote the details with an American Crafts archival journaling pen (their pen set is the BEST! so easy to write with). I had pearl brads leftover from an invitation order and used them (and a little bit of glue) to attach the tabs to the cards. I marked the date and other little details – like the place, a two- to three-word description, and the people in the photos.
In no time at all I had three years of photos organized in one place. I can’t wait to get more photos printed and put in these boxes. I’m determined to keep this filing system. It’s a
great first step before starting an album. Now if I want to scrapbook, I can just open the box, flip to an event and start scrapping. And if I never scrapbook some of the photos in the boxes… that’s ok too. At least they’re printed! And in the case of the albums we found, it didn’t matter to me how they were presented. I just appreciated the photos themselves, the glimpse they provided into other moments in time.