When One Project Begets Many

Have you ever avoided a project because you knew the end result would be a lot more projects?

I had that experience a few days ago. The task “Organize photo shelves” has been on my list since the pandemic began.

All my life, I have put my photos in albums. I used loose-leaf binders, which fit very nicely on my bookcase. When I became a parent, however, I became a scrapbooker to better document my daughter’s life. I switched to 12″ by 12″ albums, which were too big for the bookcase. So I purchased a narrow but deep bookcase that I used just for the scrapbooks, photos, and the larger supplies that scrapbooking requires. The bookcase lives in my bedroom.

Thirty-seven scrapbooks in the living room!

Eventually the number of scrapbooks outgrew that bookcase and I relocated all of them into my living room, which was nice because they are very attractive, and it’s handy when I want to show someone a photo. The photo bookcase continued to hold photos and supplies, but also became a dumping ground for anything memorabilia-related, including documents I took from my parents’ home after they passed away.

Four years ago, I stopped scrapbooking and started using online software to create my albums. (See my post The Last Scrapbook). No more physical photos! In recent years, I started thinking that my bedroom would look better if that bookcase weren’t there. But I knew that clearing it off would be a big job that would require a lot of decisions, so I put it off.

Finishing up an album

Last weekend, I tackled those shelves. After I went through everything on the bookcase, I made a list of all of the things I need to do to be able to get rid of that bookcase. I ended up with a list of 8 additional projects!

Three of those projects involve finishing up some special albums that I started years ago. I tackled two of them over the weekend, and I hope to make some progress on the third one this weekend. Eventually I plan to sell or donate most of my unused scrapbooking supplies.

I know that I have more work and decision-making ahead of me before I can achieve my goal of getting rid of that bookcase. But I feel good that unfinished projects are getting done and that progress is being made towards getting unneeded things out of the house.

Photos and memorabilia are so important to us, and getting them into an accessible and enjoyable format is worth the time and energy put into it. Otherwise, they are just clutter.

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