Feeling Cornered by Chronology?

Do you suffer from acute chronological scrapbook syndrome? You’re not alone.

Thousands like you have been printing photos and storing them away in shoeboxes for decades, assuring themselves that one day they’ll feel more motivated to scrapbook everything in the perfect order.

Full of good intentions, but dreading the task of organizing every photo, victims of this syndrome often find their passion tainted by a nagging voice that tells them they must start at the beginning (wherever that is) or not start at all.

It’s time to silence that voice and get back to doing what we love!

It may seem revolutionary, but scrapbooks don’t have to be done in chronological order. Remember that these memories are your stories, so you get to tell them however you wish. The only way you’re doing it “wrong” is if the method you’ve chosen feels like a task rather than a delight.

Free yourself and your creativity by trying these organizational methods of scrapbooking instead:

Life Milestones
Milestones happen at every stage of life. Create an album that showcases a variety of milestones from the lives of each family member. Pick a certain milestone and focus on that, or gather a bunch onto one layout. You can include things like graduations, church ceremonies, losing teeth, getting married, the first day of a new job, or learning to walk. This is a fun way to show your family’s progress over time.

Love is You layout in album

Classic Family Memories
Have a favorite memory that everyone in the family loves to talk about? Get it on paper. When your family comes over for Sunday dinner and starts to reminisce, write down the extra details they add to your story. Better yet, ask them to write their own version of the family memory. Include everyone’s version of the story as journaling on your layout. Even if you have no idea where the photos of that specific memory are, just start taking the first steps. You’ll find the photos in that notorious shoebox soon enough.

Someone You Love
Pick a person who’s important to you and create an album that’s all about them. The photos can come from any time or event. The important part is simply that they get remembered. This album will become something they will cherish for always.

Color Schemes
This artsy method is more wild and crazy, but definitely a lot of fun—and excellent for a creative boost! Choose photos and papers based on the similarity of their color schemes and then put them all on one page. Find out how fun it can be to see a collection of unrelated memories on one layout!

Random Reminiscing
Reach into that pile of photos and pull out a few. Scrapbook them any way you wish, whether that’s together on one page or each on their own layout. As you finish each layout, simply place them in your album in any order at all. This method is a lot of fun to look through afterward because you’ll always be surprised by which memory pops up next.

Purposeful Prompts
Type a list of prompts (e.g. your favorite words, themes, questions you think your posterity will ask about you), trim them into strips, and place them in a jar. Draw a new one every time you sit down to scrapbook. Whatever kind of information that prompt inspires you to document, do it!

It’s the Little Things
In addition to the big events of life, be sure to also emphasize the daily things that make you and your family who you are. Stepping outside of big events will paint a more realistic picture of your life as well as add some variety to your albums.

Likes and Dislikes
Focus on a person’s likes or dislikes, not worrying about their age or location at the time you took the photos. An overarching theme like this really helps to reveal who a person is in just a layout or two.

Favorite Activities
What activity does your family love to do? Find pictures of yourselves doing that activity across any number of years and group them together. Say you like to vacation together; make a layout just for vacations. They don’t even have to be from the same trip—just get the theme put into one place.

Travel layout in album

How do you feel now? Empowered? Liberated? Excited? The only thing to make this moment sweeter would be for us to remind you that the albums you’ll need to keep your long-awaited layouts safe in are available at a great deal this month. Take advantage of the February deal on albums to get your gorgeous, non-chronological layouts archived and on display. You only have a few days left to take advantage of this promotion. Your memories have waited a long time for this; now let them shine!

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9 thoughts on “Feeling Cornered by Chronology?

  1. Love these layouts. My Seaside packet is on its way to me. I used to be hindered with the need to scrap in order, but nowadays I scrap all over the place and our 3-ring albums definitely help make that an easier task.

  2. My dilemma is I am already a prisoner of the chronological album! Have been doing my kids albums in order since they were born and can never stay on top of the current year! How does one break this cycle when its been “in process” now for 10+ years?!?!

    • Amanda,

      SO glad you asked that question, because a lot of people feel the same way!

      If you want to be free of the chronology bug, it’s time to let go. If you’re always trying to “stay on top of it,” it will always be a chore for you. That’s not the reason you love scrapbooking!

      We know it’s hard to break out of that shell because you’ve done it one way for so long, but we encourage you give it a try. Try scrapbooking a story or an event that you are EXCITED to scrapbook. Scrapbook what inspires you RIGHT NOW. You can still file the pages you make chronologically if you want to, but don’t feel as if you have to create them in that order. You can go back and scrapbook older stories that you’ve “gotten behind on” as you please.

      Remember that any story you tell is better than having no stories told at all. If you were to suddenly be unable to scrapbook ever again and you were four years “behind,” your loved ones wouldn’t have a glimpse into anything from the NOW. But if you scrapbook things as you feel inspired to do, you will have a smattering of pages across the years rather than a lot from a few years and none from the others.

      You can do this! ☺

      • Thanks so much for the encouragement…I think we sometimes just need “permission” to bounce around in our albums and projects…You’re so right that if I continue to chase my own tail, it will stop being enjoyable for me! Thanks for your response!

  3. I always encourage clients and friends to do something that you are passionate about, just 2 or 4 pages, like a WOTG and that will give them such a great emotional high and feeling of completion they will want to continue. Such fun. Thanks for the encouragement. Always, Alayne

  4. Yes, that is so true and to the point, easy to follow steps for someone starting scrapbooking or even as a refresher course. Many thanks Jeanette.

  5. These options are all fantastic ideas! Thank you! Ever since I gave up the thought of “going in order” I have been getting it DONE! I just choose my next favorites to work on while I keep adding to my current year. Next up is a fun family trip to Tennesssee from 2010! Can’t wait to relive the memories, even if there are others still waiting! 🙂

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