Over the years I’ve created hundreds of digital and paper layouts as well as many smaller albums. One of the questions I get asked more than any other is how I keep it all organized.

Until recently I didn’t have one single home for my scrapbook albums. Some were in my closet, others in my bedroom, and still others on a bookshelf.

I am so excited that my albums have been reunited under one roof! In this post I’ll share an inventory of my entire album library as well as thoughts on where I’m going from here.

How to Organize Scrapbook Albums from Simple Scrapper

I will preface this inventory by saying my library of albums is a work in progress. There is a lot of unfinished work and imperfection here. A couple of the albums you see here are even empty.

Top row, starting from the left…

  1. 5.5×8.5, yellow – pregnancy & birth album, hybrid
  2. 8×8, brown – Library of Memories albums for digital layouts
  3. 8×8, yellow – Week in the Life layouts & photo collages
  4. 8×8, aqua – empty
  5. basket – assorted mini albums, including December Daily
  6. gray Handbook – 2014 One Little Word project
  7. brown PL mini album – focuses on our dog
  8. cream PL mini album – December 2014
  9. black photo album – photos of me and my husband
  10. black photo book – our wedding, created via iPhoto
  11. black photo book – trip to Europe, created via iPhoto

Bottom row, starting from the left…

  1. 12×12 purple – holds Project Life page protectors
  2. 12×12 purple – my daughter 2011 to 2012
  3. 12×12 aqua – my life 1980 to 2011
  4. 12×12 aqua – my life 2012 to present
  5. 12×12 cream – our family 2008 to 2012
  6. 12×12 cream – our family 2013
  7. 12×12 cream – our family 2014
  8. 12×12 cream – empty
  9. 8.5×11 blue – our vacations to Michigan
  10. 8.5×11 yellow – all about me / day in the life

Unless otherwise indicated, all of my albums are We R Memory Keepers brand. I will most often purchase my albums from Joann or Scrapbooking Warehouse.

The projects in bold are ones that are a higher priority for me right now. I am always working on the current year, but try to limit the number of projects of previous years that are on deck.

Thoughts, Plans & Operating Rules

I absolutely love the WRMK albums, especially their color selection. Most obviously, I need to re-do my spine labels as so many albums are missing them. The original labels are 3cm x 6cm and I plan on using the Proxima Nova font.

I had originally organized my albums by a purely Library of Memories (i.e. categorical) approach but ended up not loving it. I love Stacy’s concept, as shared in Photo Freedom and her classes, and use it to tag my photos and create sections within albums. However I personally like the albums themselves to be focused more on specific periods of time.

That said, I have a deliberate mix of chronological and non-chronological structure to my album library. I do have people- and place-specific divisions, which are represented by the different colored albums on the second row. The intent is for each color to be chronological from left to right.

I scrapbook about my daughter and myself a disproportionate amount compared with my husband, stepsons, friends, and other family members. Most of my layouts are going (and will go) into the cream family albums, but it made sense to keep some of my work that focuses on just her (purple) or just me (aqua) in separate albums.

My current plan is to move a selection of the best (i.e. most meaningful) 8×8 digital layouts into the 12×12 albums. A lot of my early digital scrapbooking was not story-focused and some layouts didn’t even have journaling. Many of the photos were of extended rather than immediate family. I will likely keep one 8×8 album just for those less interesting pages.

As I indicated above, my 2014 projects are at the top of my priority list as well as finishing up some pocket pages from the past few years. My initial approach to pocket pages, i.e.  Project Life + Library of Memories, has been so helpful but also imperfect in a few ways.

The biggest change for me in 2014 is how I’m approaching pocket pages in my family albums. After two years of following one approach, I’m testing a small tweak to the system this year. That’s really a conversation by itself, so look for a post soon!

How are your scrapbook albums organized?