Tripping Down Memory Lane

workingonfamilypics 5-9-2010 12-54-30 AM
( current view of my dining room table)

The past few months I have taken on the arduous task of organizing photos of my family when I was growing up. Most of the pictures were organized by year in multiple sticky paged albums. Most, if not all had the date and subject written on the back. The rest were in boxes with carefully labeled envelopes. My goal was to get them into binders, organized by year, so that my siblings could see them and enjoy them. Sounds like an overwhelming project, but I really took it one book at a time, and it has been really fun.

I have always enjoyed looking at old pictures, even better when it is my family. Not only are they adorable, funny, and special-almost every single picture was taken and labeled by my mother. She had the kind of perfect penmanship that people kill for and she made sure that each picture had the dates and who was in it. I bet if she were still around she would have been an avid scrapbooker. I can tell that she loved her family and so wanted us to have a record of our lives growing up. It’s a little sad when I come across a certain picture and wonder about the story behind it. I so wish that she were here to tell me about them.

But, enough of the sentimental, I wanted to show you how I am approaching this project and a few funny favorites. I hope this might help you if you are considering doing something similar. Feel free to post any questions you might have, and I can respond to you!

step #1: I removed all the photos from each magnetic photo album and divded them by year and filed them. I used a couple of those file folders people use to hold coupons. Found them in the dollar section of Target (fancy, I know). Now, not all the pictures made it out of the albums alive. For anyone who doesn't know, those old time magnetic albums have tons of acid and chemicals that are death to pictures. If you do nothing else but take your old photos out of those books and put them in a box-do it! You will be so glad you did. I wish I had taken a picture of what some of the pictures looked like, they were so faded and brittle and some of them were STUCK to the page and were thrown out with the empty books.

step #2: I bought a couple of 12 x 12 binders from American Crafts that hold LOTS of pages. I kept a few of the larger clear plastic inserts in them to hold large pictures or other stuff, but mostly I filled the binders with refills that hold 4x6 photos and 3 1/2 x 5 photos. The latter were for the older pictures which were those awesome square pictures from WAY back (like, when I was a baby-100 years ago). I tried putting them in the 4x6 sleeves, which are cheaper and easier to get, but they would just fall out. While humorous at first, got real frustrating real fast. The extra expense and effort is worth it to know they will stay secured and protected.

step#3: I starting filing them into the binders in order, seperating each year with a post-it note, which were fast and if I need to move them around I can. I am still in the process of adding pictures, but when I am done, I will go to.....

step #4: I am going to add a placecard for each year so it is easier to navigate. The are just going to be cards sized like the photos with the year stamped on. May a funny comment about the year (like: the year David jumped out the window, or the year Grandma's roof blew off-both true.)
Here's what the first binder looks like at this point:
workingonfamilypics 5-9-2010 1-01-41 AM

Once I am done, I hope my sibs will each take turns keeping them and going through them, maybe pull out some for their own use. They are not just mine, even if I did organize them together. I am trying to finish what Mom started a long time ago. I think it is going to be great. Just last weekend My brother Chris and I looked at one of the binders, telling storied and laughing at ourselves-and our family. Good times.

The caveat: a project like this makes me want to scrapbook a BUNCH of these photos. Looking at them brought back so many good memories I want to tell other people. Like these:
Jan1976 5-26-2010 3-43-23 PM

I am going to be VERY busy!

Have you ever done something like this? Do you scrapbook your own childhood photos? If so, I would love to see them!!

I put a link over in the sidebar for the binder and page protectors. Just click on them to see more info. The 3 1/2 x 5 pocket pages I couldn't find online, look here , and you can buy them at Hobby Lobby .
Have a good one!