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Old 06-04-2014, 09:05 PM   #1
Melinda29
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Does this sound reasonable?

I'm overthinking this! Please help me out here!

Right now, we have 4 kids and each child has a 12x12" 3-ring photo album where we put all their pictures, mementos, best artwork, cute things they have said, etc. Basically it is their photo album and memory box all in one. The photos just slide into sleeves, so it's not like I'm scrapbooking them all fancy. I try to be judicious about what to include, not just every random picture I have of that child, but just the best ones. But in spite of all that, my problem is twofold:
1) I REALLY struggle to keep up with them all. I have to order multiple copies of many pics, sort and organize them, put them away in the right order in the right album along with the mementos...
2) Each album has covered about 4-5 years, which means I will eventually have 12-16 albums here, in addtion to my own childhood albums, wedding album, yadda yadda...

I got completely overwhelmed today trying to get caught up from last fall. I HATE putting albums together. I have to lock myself in our computer room when I do this so the little ones won't come and destroy my piles and stuff. Meanwhile they destroyed the house. All I could think was, "I'm spending so much time and effort organizing our good memories when I could be spending it actually MAKING more memories with them!" Grrrr!

So here is what I'm thinking: I could make ONE 3-ring album for each child for their whole childhood age 0-18. It would include only the best of the best of artwork and mementos, their annual school picture, and 1 photo sleeve page (12 pictures) for each year of their life--just the very best pics.

Then for all the other pics, I could just have shutterfly.com make a big photobook for EVERYONE'S pictures, basically our family album. Hopefully we could cover 5+ years per book. The kids would still have their own mementos in their own album, but we wouldn't be drowning in them and hopefully I wouldn't get as overwhelmed just doing 12 pictures per child per year. The kids wouldn't have piles of albums and boxes of stuff to take to their own homes someday, only to get overwhelmed by it and toss it all . I could still enjoy and reminisce our fun times and all the pics would be together in a photobook instead of going through 12-16 different albums.

What do you think? My head hurts....

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Last edited by Melinda29; 06-04-2014 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:23 PM   #2
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Re: Does this sound reasonable?

My mother in law actually just did this. She took a ton of family pictures and made big photobooks for each of her kids. It's great, because we all have pics of the grandparents and stuff now, but it doesn't take up much space. I have 3 photo albums for DD, but I'm stopping when this last one is full and doing the photobook route. So much less work!
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:36 PM   #3
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I have done something similar. For my children I have a plastic tote where I keep Special keepsakes 1 bin per child, with limited space I don't get crazy with what I save and each child's bin has a different assortment of items to reflect their personality/life events.

I am also collecting the best of the best pictures/awards/drawings from each child so they can each have a keep sake album. I did this for my mom one year as a Mother's Day gift after we lost my younger brother unexpectedly. It is one of the most prized of our family treasures.
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Old 06-06-2014, 11:01 AM   #4
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Re: Does this sound reasonable?

I like your idea, I think it sounds good. I also wasn't sure what to do with photos, so I will be doing this for my kiddos, too. We also have 1 bin per child, and I have their first outfits in there, along with some drawings, but it will mostly be filled with photo books and things they really want to keep (like loveys and blankets when they have outgrown them). My husband has a chest with photo albums, his first outfit, a couple other outfits, lovey/blanket. He loves it and we all love looking through it. Our kids think it's totally cool, too.
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Old 06-13-2014, 08:06 PM   #5
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Re: Does this sound reasonable?

Do it! Think of it his way: these mementos will probably be passed along to your children at some point, yes? And they would probably prefer to have just one binder with all the best stuff than multiple ones. I know I would.

Ps my mother just came by and dropped off an envelope containing hair from one of my first haircuts, not a tiny little lock but a ponytails worth. Thanks mom!


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Old 06-17-2014, 10:08 PM   #6
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Re: Does this sound reasonable?

I have 1 scrapbook per child...one 2 page spread per year, preschool thru hs. 1 side is a page with a picture from thr beginning and end of the year. The other side is a pocket page with a handfull of memoribilia.

They each also have a baby book from birth to 3.

Everything that doesnt make the book, but I still want to keep gets stored on an external harddrive (I snap pictures of art projects or scan papers)

So we will have 2 books per child. Not too bad, imo.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:48 AM   #7
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Does this sound reasonable?

This is such a challenge for me too! I remember crying as a kid when I realized that my mom was throwing away my school projects. But I also wanted to cry when my mom passed away when I was 18 and I realized how much stuff she kept. It was so sweet of her but so difficult to go through all of that stuff and get rid of it and decide what to keep. I think one large box (like a big plastic tote box) seems really reasonable for each child... Along with limited photos and projects. That was a long while ago so there weren't online photo printing companies but I totally love the idea of simplifying and making albums that way! This thread has given me lots of good ideas.

ETA-- my son is already over the limit. I made 4 scrapbooks during his first 2 years of life along with a baby book... First children!! I have just now at 3 yrs old placed my DD's birth photos in an album. I have a bunch of empty albums on my shelf. I need to purge I know.

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