One of my 30 Before 30 Project items that has been nagging me since I wrote the list has been Number 8. Organize my memory box and create scrapbooks for the last several years. I knew the state of affairs in my hope chest was a disaster and I was not looking forward to cleaning it out. Well last weekend I finally did. Check it out!
You may remember a project I did a while back where I DIYed a cover for the hope chest my grandparents made me when I was a kid. I have had this beautiful memory box for probably 15 years. I have moved it from city to city without a second thought. It’s been a constant in my life and a lovely place to store all of my pack-rat scraps.
As I’ve gotten older and moved multiple times I’m really trying to be more judicious about every little keepsake I save. Unfortunately sometimes that means throwing it all into the box and forgetting about it. Case in point:
Despite being disorganized, it holds all of my treasured memories and prized possessions.
It also holds quite a few flashbacks too.
And some random, but awesome, junk:
Exhibit A: Ben Folds Five signed my shoe at a concert in 1997 and I have not been able to bring myself to throw it out.
Exhibit B: Every ticket stub from when I saw the Lord of The Rings movies in theaters. That’s 11 times for 3 movies if you can’t count. Whoa, nerd alert!
I have kept a scrapbook throughout the years but I have overstuffed it for far too long. It was time to buy some more and get to organizing!
First things first, buy new scrapbooks. I bought three huge scrapbooks from AC Moore for $15. Such a good deal! I can’t find them on the web but they run great sales like that all the time. Second priority, have the right gear – in addition to scrapbooks I relied heavily on double sided tape I bought at Target, some cute washi tape I got in Portland, scissors, and a few colored Sharpies. Third, organize the mess!
To organize the whole mess I sorted everything into piles. I made one pile for concert ticket stubs (more on that in a minute) and then organized everything else by year. The items I organized by year were all kinds of things – pictures, cards, scraps from adventures, job offer letters, wedding invitations, stickers, letters, etc. I had a pile for each year from 2007 to 2012. I started with my overflowing scrapbook, reorganized the last few pages of that to keep things in chronological order, and then continued my new scrapbooks on from there.
I organized my concert tickets and wristbands in a pile of their own because I keep those in an entirely separate scrapbook. My concert scrapbook catalogs stubs, tickets, and wristbands for every concert I’ve ever been to starting in 1995 through the present. I love this scrapbook because not only does it hold all the ticket stubs, I also used to collage pictures of the bands I saw and make up a page for each band/show. I haven’t done that in a while but it’s so cool to look back through those labors of love. This scrapbook is one of my prized possessions, if I ever lost it I would be devastated.
As a point of reference, I went to 158 shows from 2000-2010 (that I can find ticket stubs and wristbands for, I’m sure it’s well over 175 actually). Which is kind of awesome because if you do the math I went to 1 or more shows per month for 11 straight years. Pretty amazing.
It took me about two hours but now my old scrapbook, new scrapbooks, and concert scrapbooks are all up to date! Such a productive project and good feeling afterwards!
Are you a pack-rat? Do you scrapbook? How do you catalog the memories of your life?
I am procrastinating on this very task in the worst way. Every time I consider doing it, I get totally overwhelmed or find that I’m missing some vital thing like tape or scissors and bail because it’s too hard, but maybe this will inspire me to get my butt in gear. The other thing I’m procrastinating on? Printing photos from Flickr. I have digital photos going back ten years and I’ll never look at them if they’re all online. Equally overwhelming. Why don’t we just do these things as they come up? Why do I have to wait until it’s a total disaster and it takes forever to organize?
I have the same problem too. What I find helps is to start on a day when I have no other plans because once I start I usually get really into it and if I’m stressing that I have a limited time to complete a huge project like that in, I won’t even start. You know?
What a tremendous accomplishment! I love the ticket stub scrapbook. My husband has every stub from all of his shows too. Also loving the chest and the DIY cover. I’m really enjoying your blog, chica!
Aww, thank you so much!
I love putting ticket stubs in photo albums too – it’s fun to look at them years later and see the dates on there.
Exactly! I can’t believe how huge my collection is!