Something about the warmer weather, the sunshine, and the blue skies instills an urge to better our surroundings. The transitional time has us digging out of winter’s tumbleweeds while also setting up new systems to make it through the spring and summer.
Fortunately, spring cleaning doesn’t have to be complicated or exhausting. Some targeted-but-holistic attention to your memory keeping projects and processes will set you up for less anxiety as we move into the warmer months.
Here’s a checklist to make the process simple and easy:
☐ Take a 10,000 foot view. Set a timer for 10 minutes and examine where you’re at in scrapbooking. Look at your body of work, projects that may be unfinished, and piles that need tending to. Escape from the tunnel vision of today and look broadly at your hobby. How’s it going for you? What is one small thing that needs to change?
☐ Clear the slate. When you stay caught up with photo processing, you’ll feel more settled and in control overall. Clear the photos from your camera cards and devices so you can start fresh. Move them into your photo library, but don’t worry about doing more right now.
☐ Create a memorabilia inbox. The ephemera of life is often what makes you feel the most “behind” in memory keeping, especially when you find it in small piles all over the house. Establish a centralized inbox for the stuff of life so you know where it goes.
☐ Double-check your spending habits. Buying supplies at a rate that far outpaces your usage is one of the toughest challenges that scrapbookers face. Tally up your expenditures this year so far to see if you’re on track or out of control. Then, make adjustments accordingly.
☐ Reset your workspace. Whether you create on the computer, in the corner of the dining room, or in a dedicated space, spend 30 minutes to do a swift, focused clean-up. Concentrate on putting things away and clearing space to work, not intensive projects that require lots of decision-making.
☐ Consider where you need help. Everyone can benefit from improving their existing skills or learning new ones. Think about what’s easy for you and where you struggle, then keep an eye out for opportunities to grow in that area.
☐ Create a 3-item list. Broad-based thinking sets the context, but moving forward requires taking it step by step. Complete your spring clean with a list of three specific tasks that you can complete within three weeks. Include the creative and administrative activities that feel the most rewarding right now.
Possible Pitfalls in Spring Cleaning
Your spring clean should feel like the uplift you so needed. So if the list above sounds like a fun challenge that you’re game to tackle, feel free to stop reading here. However, if it feels daunting I have some advice to relieve the perceived heaviness of these tasks.
If…the 10,000 foot view makes you sad. Turn that frown around honeybun. No matter how much is unfinished and undocumented, you have already captured more than 99% of the population. Be proud that you are a memory keeper.
If…you aren’t sure how to clear the slate. If moving photos around is intimidating, try watching video tutorials on YouTube until you get more comfortable. You can even ask a tech-savvy friend to help you out and write down a list of steps. You can do this.
If…there’s too much memorabilia for an inbox. Your inbox should be designed to store what comes into your home next. Make a fresh start. If you have ephemera in various places, centralize into a box or clear plastic tub until you are ready to sort through it. Make sure to add a label for the date range.
If…your spending habits are too scary to look at. This is a “rip the bandaid off” situation where the anticipation feels much worse than the reality. If you know you’re overspending, the numbers won’t be too much of a stock. But in order to make informed decisions, you need to start with the facts. It will be OK.
If…a workspace reset feels overwhelming. A reset isn’t necessarily a complete overhaul; it’s a fast clean-up so you feel better and can get back to creating. You have permission to ignore the clutter until you can set aside dedicated time to focus on it.
If…you aren’t sure where help is needed. It’s OK to be unclear or uncertain about what’s not quite working. The best place to start is by putting on your “observation glasses”. Simply staying aware of your behaviors and feelings related to scrapbooking will help you begin to identify where tools or support could improve your experience.
If…narrowing down your list to three is impossible. Excluding something from today’s list doesn’t mean you’ll never tackle it or it’s not important. Quite the contrary, in fact. Shorter, specific lists are less intimidating, helping you to make more progress and get to those next items sooner.