Feeling Overwhelmed with your scrapbooking?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

So you haven’t scrapped in a while.  You’re feeling guilty but every time you sit down to do it you have this overwhelming feeling come over you.  Sound familiar?   This has been me last few weeks in trying to get a few albums done so thought I'd share my plan.  This will of course be multiple postings and I will most likely expand on and share as I go.
So we started the year 2011 with the best intentions!  Made our goals list, worked hard at beginning them.  And then?  
I hear ya sister!  I find myself there and know it’s time to take a step back and get real.
Supply Chaos
How many items are in your download folder waiting to be sorted, tagged and put away?  No, I’m not telling you how many I have!  But I will tell you I would be embarrassed at times if I did. 
One Solution:  Spend 15 minutes a day or every few days unzipping, sorting and tagging your supplies until you get that folder cleaned out.  When you commit to do this in small spurts, it’s easier to handle and you will get it under control.
Recommendation:  Forgo downloading freebies while you whittle away at this list.  Do you really want them all anyways?   
Long term solution:  Commit to spending time each week to do this task so you never end up there again.  
Your current stash:  Again, spend 15 minute time slots to get it organized and tagged if you do that.  I admit, I no longer tag after switching to a Mac, I just use Finder and the little spot light search.  
NOTE:  I do add a search word to file names to make the item searchable now.  
And as a designer, I am trying now to name my files logically for this too.
Think about how you scrap, how you search for something.  Write it down to help you visualize!  Do you scrap by the kit?  Do you shop your stash?  Do you look for something by a Style or Designer?  If you’re not sure, take notes the next time you scrap a page.  Was very enlightening for me to do this.
There is no right or wrong answer as we all scrap differently.
What you need is to organize that stash by how your mind works.
Mine works mostly by designer and kits so I have all my products in folders like that.  Also makes it easy to see if I already have a kit from a designer so I don’t buy two.
My second step is by type for all my misc. mini kits.  I have folders called Brushes, Stitches, Fasteners, frames etc.  Within some of  these folders I have sub-folders by types and or styles.
  My brushes folder (which is HUGE), has sub-folders named:  Floral, Trees, watercolor, animals, ink splots, fabric texture, grunge texture, doodles, alpha, Postage, holiday... and some have even a sub of a sub folder.  Holiday has Christmas, Easter, Halloween.   

As you go through all your products, decide if there are ones you don’t want, are out dated and you’ll never use in this lifetime and trash them.  I know when I started digi scrapping, I downloaded everything from anywhere.  Think it’s the quilter’s code in me of “The one who dies with the most pieces wins.”  But... not really!  Bet I trashed a few Gigabytes when I switched from my PC to Mac and made the commitment to go through my stash and organize.  Some of those I looked at after 8 years of having them and thought “What was I thinking?!”  Some are just very very poor quality and not worth my hard drive space.  Looked good on the screen in the preview, but upon closer inspection, or after I printed in my earlier days, it was very poor.  Not all freebies are good.  BE PICKY!  Even today, I will see a freebie, from a designer I know does high quality, and I ask myself that big question... would I every use this?  Is it me?  If I answer no, I do not download it!  No offense to the designer, it’s just not my style.
Follow a plan, bite off little pieces bit by bit, and you will overcome supply chaos!
So what’s your system?  Do you have more ideas or solutions that work for you?
Share them here or link us up so we can all learn from each other.  I’m always willing to learn and/or adapt to new ideas that help me. This is an ever evolving hobby and change is not bad when it helps me have more time to enjoy it.


  1. kimB said...:

    Wonderful suggestions, Cilenia! I used to use ACDSee to catalog my digi items and photos, but when I got a new laptop last fall, was unableto successfully transfer my files from my desktop to the laptop.

    I currently keep my files organized by digital shop/designer. For a site that has both scrapbook supplies and classes, I organize by kits or individual elements (ie: brushes) or by specific class.

    Thanks for your inspiration today :)

    -- kimB from Alaska

  1. CraftCrave said...:

    Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [11 Apr 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  1. dialyn said...:

    I love your suggestions. My biggest frustration is when I open a zip file and I cannot figure out who the designer is because they (a) didn't identify their file in any way and (b) they didn't include a text file identifying themselves. Now that this has happened to me several times (okay, many times), I know I need to create my own list that includes the item, the designer, and where I purchased the item. My lack of a system has resulted in me purchasing the same item multiple times because I simply can't remember everything. Your ideas are very good. I just need to commit the time to straightening out my computer, which now greatly resembles a button drawer (lots of loose pieces in no order at all).

  1. Anonymous said...:

    This is a timely post for me Cilenia. I feel like I've been swallowed up by my download folder! Lol. I've been devoting time this week to getting it all put away.

    I love your line about "the one with the most pieces win", I totally know that attitude and am trying to reverse it. For me now, it's more about quality vs quantity.


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