How Much is Too Much?

Lately there has been much talk about having too many scrapbook pages. This problem of prolific scrapping has been a topic on both the Paperclipping Roundtable and The Scrap Gals podcasts. As someone who has an abundance of completed layouts and albums, I was interested to hear the discussions regarding this issue.

I started scrapping way back in 2001 just before we adopted our first child. I needed something to do while waiting through the adoption process, and I just happened to wander into a newly-opened scrapbook store one day. I could not believe my eyes! There were rows and rows of pretty patterned paper and cute stickers everywhere. That day I bought a Winnie-the-Pooh-themed album, papers, and embellishments to make a book for my future son.

I have been hooked on this hobby ever since.

Right now, I probably have thirty albums and twenty mini-albums. Luckily, space is not an issue for me. I have a set of bookcases in my dining area that house most of my albums. I scrap 12×2 so my albums are large—I do sympathize with those scrappers for whom space is at a premium. Those albums are big!

After listening to both podcasts, I came to a number of conclusions about my own prolific scrapping.

  1. I could never, ever throw away any of my pages—even the ones I first made that make me cringe a little when I look at them. Many of those pages were made when I was a new mother and I love not only the photos of my little ones, but the perspective I had when I journaled on them.
  2. I hear so many people say they get tired of scrapping the same events over and over again. In a way, I understand this position. I have a daughter who rides horses, so I have hundreds of photos of her riding. I could never scrap all of them. But I do scrap a great number of them, because each photo I choose is different in some way. For example, one layout I created is of my daughter with her first pony, Jazz. But this layout is different in that it depicts the last time my daughter rode Jazz before we had to retire her. So even though this photo looks very much like many other photos, this page tells a very poignant story.
  3. Also, now that my children are getting older (they are 16, 14, and 13 now), I treasure those early pages even when it seemed I was documenting the same event over and over. I have dozens of pictures of the kids coloring Easter eggs. But then one year, my oldest son was not in the pictures—he was not interested in coloring Easter eggs anymore. So I really do not mind seeing what seems like repetitive pages in my albums, nor do I mind scrapping them.
  4. For me, scrapbooking is a creative outlet. I love photography, paper, and writing—putting all three of these things together is wonderful! So I do not really concern myself with what will happen to my albums one day. I am hopeful that my children will want some of them eventually, but even if they do not, that is OK with me. However, I think they will appreciate them as they get older, just as I like looking back over photos of me when I was young.
  5. Sometimes the photo is the story. I took a photojournalism class many years ago, and I remember the instructor telling the class that a good photo needs no words. So I have pages that contain very little journaling—the photos speak for themselves. At times I think that scrapbookers feel as if they need to write a deep-felt heart-wrenching story on every page, and that is just not true. I believe that every approach to scrapbooking, whether photo-driven, story-based or something else, is valid.

Whew—these two podcasts really gave me a lot to think about! If you would like to listen to the podcasts for yourself, The Paperclipping Roundtable is episode #262, The Problems with Albums and The Scrap Gals is episode #86, Scrapbook Overload. Do you think there is such a thing as too much scrapbooking?

2 thoughts on “How Much is Too Much?

  1. I didnt put any of my layouts into albums from the time I started right up to this summer. Now I have 28 albums more than full and another pile of layouts – probably three or four albums – waiting to be filed. That’s a lot of layouts and a lot of albums. But even though I’m not as prolific as before (in my hey day I would probably scrap 200 layouts a year) I haven’t deliberately slowed down – I wouldn’t want to create just to save space. I do give this some thought and had the same pondering when I listened to PRT. I think that as more albums get created and take up space, then other stuff will have to go. A forced decluttering of sorts. I do have a pile of layouts to chuck though!

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