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Last month I wrote about my “Quest for Quality” in my life. A lot of focus has been on my children, being a stay at home Mum who has mainly worked either school hour jobs, or worked from home. Recently we did a major overhaul of my daughter’s bedroom. Gone are all the young girl trimmings, the horrendous purple feature paint job I did above the picture rail. Now she has a beautiful teenage girl’s room, newly painted white walls, new charcoal grey carpet, a new wardrobe to replace the old wonky one that came with the house when we bought it, and new bed linen. She even has a reading chair and new desk to replace the one we got second hand from a neighbour. So she is in heaven. My son repainted his room last year and did a fabulous job and his room looks brand new with a lovely grey shade on the walls and a stand up desk as he hates sitting for long periods of time.

Now, the focus is on my room – it’s time to get my stuff together and organised. It’s become a huge mess with all my crafting supplies, and photo albums that are in need of completing and filling. Yes – I’m talking about traditional albums that need to be finished! They have been neglected for quite some time, and I have quite a few that need attention. Since digital came out I became more focussed on current projects – which is fabulous, as I love working on the most recent memories – but it’s time to get back to those older albums. I need that sense of achievement and satisfaction of finishing these albums off. I don’t want them “looking at me” any more with the guilt I feel about the gaps within their covers.

First though – I needed to organise and declutter. You know how that goes – a box for recycle, a box for keep, and a box for donate, and then the box for rubbish. That system works so well. It can be hard to start when it seems so insurmountable, so hard to commit to doing it when so many other things seem more important. But once I commit to something, schedule the time and get into the swing of it, I find I can be efficient and quite ruthless. I had quite a lot of old Creative Memories products that I had kept from way back when I was a consultant – most of those went into a donate pile. You know the type of things that you keep for a “special” page because it’s just so precious, but you never end up using it. Half opened kits that I kept the rest of because I couldn’t bear to throw good things out that I knew I’d never use. I’ve even got rid of most of my shape makers that were so precious to me! All of these things I gave away. I know the person I gave them to will make good use of them, and what she doesn’t want she is giving to a person who loves to scrapbook, but can’t afford to buy quality products. That makes me feel so good, and it was such a weight lifted as I no longer felt like those items were “owning me” any more, it’s a wonderful feeling to let go. I did keep a few special items, knowing that I would definitely use them – and if not, I would donate those too at the end of my process.

The recycle pile was huge! I filled the recycling bin with old Scrapbooking Magazines (so many it is embarrassing to think how much I had spent on them), handouts and a lot of my notes and worksheets that I had created and supplied to my customers for years. I have another box full to put in the recycle bin when it gets emptied – there was just that much stuff!  I was guilty of keeping all the cardboard that the 12×12 paper packs came with – time for those to go!!!

The rubbish pile is a bit of a challenge though. In that pile is a heap of photos. Two whole large photo organising boxes worth!!! Over the years I was an unofficial photographer for school events. A friend used to process the photos at her lab and do multiple copies of everything! I would then be able to give out printed photos to friends, classmates, relatives, teachers and so on. Problem was, not all of them were needed to be distributed, and I never threw any of them out! Now it’s time to shred them!

While I was sorting through all the photos I did find some that need to be scrapped to fill the holes in those traditional albums. I have 4 crop boxes (now labelled), Family, Christmas, Daniel & Lauren – and while I was sorting I had them opened and could easily throw in the treasures I found to be sorted and scrapped later. I also have a crop box just for photo enlargements – so I can do those special pages. Eventually these crop boxes will disappear as I scrap what’s in them, and then I’ll just keep one and use it as needed. The two big photo organising boxes are now home to all of my negatives. I’ve just removed all the little sorting boxes from inside them and put all my film negatives in.

My 5×5 Expedit is now looking pretty good with my craft supplies and photo albums in better order. My bookshelf that I had stuffed so many things into anywhere they would fit, now looks organised, I no longer cringe when I walk past it. Now I have my supplies in order, labelled and easy to get at, I don’t find the task of getting those albums finished so overwhelming. I’m looking forward to playing with some paper, getting 12×12 page prints printed, and finishing off those all important gaps in our memories. I am ready to delve into Historian and finish off my planning with the Albums that I have created in Historian, so that I can just grab a few photos at a time, work on those pages and then put them into the albums. A much more achievable task now that I’ve cleaned up my act!  The added bonus – my room smells a whole heap better – so much dust is gone, everything is clean, and I’m ready to schedule in some scrapping “me” time!


Designer Digitals: Photo Clusters No. 16, Watchet Scrapbook Kit (includes Alpha Set), Watchet 3×4 Journal Cards (chevron arrows cut from a card).
Font: Caviar Dreams

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12 Responses to Blog: Cleaning Up

  1. Melissa Sullivan says:

    I just finished up the last of paper scrapbooks this past August and also got rid of most of my paper supplies that I hoarded but know I won’t use. It is so liberating!

    • Janice says:

      That’s fabulous Melissa! I haven’t quite got rid of all my paper – I do love it so – but I have at least organised it all, kept what I really know I’ll use, and that is a wonderful feeling!

  2. Liz Propst says:

    Janice….I just read your blog and I am so with you. This week I am going to get that traditional scrap area cared for!! I’m adding totes for a daughter in law and a grandaughter….surely they will appreciate some of the stuff!!

    • Janice says:

      Good on you Liz! This has been a long process for me, sometimes the first clear out is not as ruthless, but this time around I definitely had my focus on getting rid of anything I really hadn’t used! I’m sure your daughter-in-law and grandaughter will love their goodies!

  3. LindaIOSMe says:

    Janice, you are so brave to recycle and re-home so much! I still in the “pack-rat” phase, and I can’t get rid of (useful) things. Probably in 2-3 years, when we’re moving to our retirement home, I will have to do a major sort out. In the meantime, I just need to use it all…. So, I’m curious, are you doing “hybrid” albums – of both “traditional” and “digital” pages? And if so, where are you getting new pages? What has replaced the “sleeves” that we used to get from CM? Or are you just putting the digital page prints directly on to the regular album page? I end up with lots of mixed/hybrid albums, but I’m gradually eating down my stock of old CM stuff… Thanks, Linda!

    • Janice says:

      Thanks Lyndal – it definitely is a process and one you have to make up your mind that you are ready to do. Once that decision is made, be clinical – go through everything fairly ruthlessly and get rid of stuff you know you are never going to use again. You are correct – my traditional albums that need completing are a mix of paper, hybrid, and purely digital pages now. As for refills for the old CM Albums, I ordered enough to cover everything off before Creative Memories closed a couple of years ago – so I’m all set to go! I still have unwrapped packets of CM Cardstock though – they will be my next decision as to whether or not I need to keep all of them – it definitely is an ongoing process.

  4. Lindie says:

    Oh Janice! I have not done much traditional scrapbooking for quite a while either. I did reorganize my work area, but now really need to do it again. I have a lot of cricut cartridges that I don’t use much. So proud of you. I guess I need to update my scrapping goals, but will wait until after this weekend when I am going to a scrap retreat. Enjoy your cleaned space.

    • Janice says:

      I have a spot in my 5×5 Expedit for my Cricut Cartridges – but I don’t have too many of them. I am about to buy another though – does that mean I should get rid of one that I have? hmmmmmmmmmm.

  5. Sandy says:

    Your room look terrific. I am in the process of shoveling my house too. I have had to put my blinders on while going through some of the stuff because the memories make me want to rethink “keep, donate or toss”. I would like to suggest looking for a scout troop or school to donate your cardboard to. They can always use them for craft projects. My troops used all of my cardboard to make small memory books that they sold to help pay for their travel opportunities.

  6. Deanna Emmert says:

    Nicely, nicely done, Janice! WOW! We moved last October and I am now in an ongoing project to decide what we really need to keep and what we don’t. It’s a huge project, but it will be great when we complete it…in about a year or two. LOL! It’s very freeing to pare down!

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