Time to scrapbook. That’s usually something we have to “find” and not something we already have.
I have struggled with this since I made my first scrapbook 16 years ago. I have tried all kinds of suggestions for finding the time to make scrapbooks. The obstacles change daily, but the underlying reason is usually that something else seems more urgent or more important or both.
How I Make Scrapbooking Time
When I make custom scrapbooks for others, I always finish ahead of time. So why aren’t all of my own scrapbooks completed? Because they aren’t my first priority like my “job” making scrapbooks for someone who is paying me. If I want to get photo albums completed, they have to be more important than some of the other things in my life.
- I do what I can when I can.– I used to feel that if I didn’t finish a layout, I had failed. Now I know that any time spent toward my goal of completing scrapbooks is time well spent. I use those spare moments anywhere I can find them.
- Let the to-do list go for a day.– “You have to finish your work before you can play.” Since I LOVE scrapbooking and DO NOT love housework, I tend to feel guilty scrapbooking if there is anything left undone. The fact is, scrapbooks will last far longer than the other things on my to-do list will stay done. It’s hard to put it into perspective sometimes, but our scrapbooks are as important to our family as a clean house or a non-hot-dog supper. And you can clone out the mess in your pictures so everyone will remember the house as clean anyway!
- Get away.– I am much more productive away from my home. When I attend a crop at someone else’s house or a scrapbooking retreat, I never feel tempted to clean their kitchen. When I am in my own home, I get up to put the dishes away when the dishwasher stops, run down to flip the laundry when the dryer buzzes, stop to take my kids to an activity, etc. Crops and workshops make it easy for me to find scrapping time because they are dedicated to setting aside the time I need.
Sometimes Plans Don’t Work Out
I remember a particularly difficult day I had several years ago when I really wanted to make progress on my scrapbooking projects. (WARNING: Parts of this story are not pleasant. Please skip this if you have a weak stomach.) My plan was simple: Finish my to-do list quickly, get the kids in bed early, and have plenty of extra time for myself and my scrapbooks.
I worked hard all afternoon to make sure the house was spic & span. I prepared a one-dish supper that took very little clean-up afterward. I fed the kids and was ready to put them into the bathtub a full hour earlier than usual. I was smiling and mentally patting myself on the back.
My 6-year-old daughter hopped into the bathtub while I helped my 1-year-old daughter in. My 2-year-old son was (is) always in a hurry and didn’t want to be the last one into the splish-splash party so he ran toward the bathtub, slipped, and hit his mouth on the side of the tub. His lip made contact with his teeth and the bathtub. The pain and bleeding were immediate. I told big sister to make sure little sister didn’t fall and wrapped naked 2-year-old in a towel and ran to the kitchen for ice. My ever curious boy stopped crying the moment he realized he was bleeding. He was fascinated and wanted to touch it. I had to make a straight-jacket from the towel in order to clean his lip without his octopus-like arms in the way. He also kept asking questions about the blood and it was hard to clean a moving target gently. I was just opening a popsicle for him when big sister walked into the kitchen to tell me that her tummy hurt and she thought she was going to be sick.
I yelled (yes, yelled) at her to get to the bathroom. Usually when that kid said her tummy hurt she wasn’t kidding. We were going through extensive testing at the time which resulted in the diagnosis of a food intolerance that was causing all of the tummy issues. I set down naked, bleeding, popsicle-eating brother, to go into the half-bath to check on sick sister. She sat in front of the toilet and told me that her tummy hurt because baby sister had pooped in the tub and it was disgusting.
I sprinted up the steps to find the baby happily picking up floating treasures from the bathwater and stacking them neatly on the faucet. She had quite a pile built up. And a great big grin on her face. I filled the bathtub in my bathroom and scrubbed the kids until I was sure they were clean. Then I put them to bed and proceeded to bleach their entire bathroom. I fell into bed too exhausted to even think about scrapbooking.
Don’t Get Caught Up
I actually like that I have lots of photos left to scrap. I will never be caught up as long as I am still taking more pictures. And that’s a good thing because it means I am living a life worth photographing.
I will share some tips in future posts about ways I have found to make the most of the time I have available. And it doesn’t include cleaning the bath tub.
I would love to hear your thoughts about making time to scrap! Please comment below.