This is a guest post from Lain Ehmann of layoutaday.com – look for a giveaway opportunity at the end of this post.
This month, Iâ€™ve been working my way through the â€œ30 Days to an Organized Homeâ€ Â ebook, and one of the first assignments was to tackle the formal living room.
Now, our formal living room (A) isnâ€™t that formal, and (B) is the repository of all my scrabooks. There are shelves lined with 12×12 post-bound albums, 8.5×11 binder-style albums, and mini-albums of all shapes, sizes, and descriptions in baskets. Hey, Iâ€™ve been doing this a long time!
But none of that was an issue. What WAS an issue was the two-foot-high stack of finished, but unfiled, layouts. Yes, 24 inches of 100-plus layouts that had been completed but not placed in an album.
So thatâ€™s what I spent last Saturday afternoon doing. Sorting, protecting, and filling these layouts. And it took me a long time. But.
It was totally worth it. Not only are the shelves lovely to look at, I also experienced the gift of admiring and appreciating each of those layouts again. And in the process, I came to some pretty big discoveries:
I have never regretted the time Iâ€™ve spent scrapbooking.
Not once have I looked at a layout and said, â€œGeez, that 30 (or 40 or 50) minutes was a total waste of time.â€ Nope. I love each and every one of my layouts â€“ not because theyâ€™re all beautiful (theyâ€™re not!) or meaningful (ditto!) but because I have captured a little something with each one.
A story, a snippet of conversation, a look on my daughterâ€™s faceâ€¦ something that would otherwise not be noticed or recorded. Every layout Iâ€™ve created has meaning. And that means it was time well-spent. I wish I could say the same thing about the hours Iâ€™ve spent playing â€œWords with Friends.â€
The pages Iâ€™m less thrilled with are those that donâ€™t tell a story.
While I do appreciate each page Iâ€™ve made, there are some that are less meaningful or valuable to me. These are without exception the ones where no story is told. You know, like this:
I can look at the layout and enjoy it, but it doesnâ€™t SAY anything to me beyond cute pictures of a cute little girl. Thereâ€™s no perspective, no story, no meaning.
The value of my pages increases over time.
Unlike the stock market, the value of my scrapbook pages increases without fail, the more time that passes. The pages I made five or 10 years ago are worth more in terms of emotional value than they were when I made them, and I anticipate that this is one stock portfolio that will continue to grow at a steady rate.
I know in my gut which pages werenâ€™t â€œme.â€
There are layouts I created as a challenge, or for a design team, or as an assignment that are not a true reflection of my own style. They are perfectly adequate pages, and someone else might never notice the discrepancy, but to me, they ring a bit false. Hereâ€™s an example:
This is a cute layout. Thereâ€™s a bit of a story. But I would NEVER choose these products on my own. This layout was created as an assignment for a kit club, so I had to use the products assigned. Nothing wrong with them â€“ but not â€œme.â€ And I can feel it at a visceral level when I see it. Itâ€™s such a disconnect for me that it detracts me from enjoying it.
My layouts need to be accessible for people to enjoy them.
After making my way through the stacks and stacks, carefully placing them in page protectors, and filing them according to my loose interpretation of â€œLibrary of Memories,â€ I invited the family in to see the new look. They immediately began pulling scrapbooks off the shelves, leafing through them and reminiscing â€“ exactly how I want people to use them.
So to me, the big regret I have is not the clutter the unfiled layouts represented, but the idea that people werenâ€™t able to enjoy them while the pages were in boxes and stacked up like discarded newspapers. Now my family can interact with the memories, making them even more valuableAnd thatâ€™s a lesson (or five!) worth learning.
About the author: Author, teacher, and passionate scrapbooker Lain Ehmann believes that YOUR story matters. Through her ground-breaking online events and classes, books and blog posts, Lain will help you love your scrapbooking more. Visit her at layoutaday.com.Â
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