How to Organize and Preserve Childhood Memories

The Photo Book

One of the things I enjoy about going home is looking at old pictures. Not only do I get to lament on pounds that have been gained since high school, but it’s fun to reminisce on all the experiences that I’ve had, both good and bad.
But for the most part, these pictures are arranged in albums with no dates, no locations, and no event data (“who is this person sitting next to me in this picture?”).
The school year’s out and the years of accumulating awards, pictures, and photos are starting to overwhelm your space. A great way to preserve and organize these mementos is by creating a photo book.

This is a project that the entire family can get involved in. Your kids will love it appreciate the books as they become adults. It’s also a great way to see how much they’ve grown and developed.

Why a Photo Book?

You could purchase plastic containers to store these memories. But a photo book is way cooler and takes up less space. Now that we are in the digital age, it is a lot easier to capture memories and store them on your computer. By creating photo books, you can jazz up the pages, adding backgrounds, and text that can capture the feeling of the moment or describe what was going on in the picture.

Decide on the Structure

The first thing you’ll want to decide on is how you want to structure the photo books. If you have more than one child, does each get his/her own book? Or do you want to do a family photo album? Do you want to organize your photo album by school year or calendar year? Depending on when you actually create the photo book, that may determine how your structure. For instance, if you create it during winter break, it makes sense for the photo book to be organized by calendar year; if it’s created in the summer, a school-year structure makes better sense.

Convert Photo Album Contents into Digital Format

Not everything that will go into the photo book will be a picture taken on a camera. There may be trophies, awards, certificates, arts and crafts, etc., that you want to add to the photo book. Scan those items or take pictures of those items that you want to add to the photo book.
In subsequent years, you can take pictures as the event happens (a picture with your daughter holding her cheerleading trophy), rather than doing everything at one time. This practice of taking pictures of mementos that you may want to add to your photo book at the time of the event rather than when you’re about to create the book will save a lot of time, and increase the likelihood of you completing the project.
Now that you have identified the items to go into your photo book, next comes the time to create it. Here are three options.

Binder and Sheet Protectors

This first option really isn’t a photo book, but is a great solution that can be completed quickly. The idea here is to put the items inside of a sheet protector and store these pages in a 3-ring binder. The main advantage of this option is that it is quick and easy and you can also easily add content (i.e., more pages) to a binder. The disadvantage is that it is messier. One edge of the sheet protector (typically the top) is open so items could end up falling out of the sheet protector.

Photo Book (Do-it-Yourself)

Services such as Snapfish, Shutterfly, and any photo processing store have software that allows you to create a photo book. You can customize the book anyway you want. Pictures can be moved, resized, and text can be added anywhere. You can really exert your creative juices to make a really cool-lookingphoto book.
One of the downsides of this option is that it can be labor-intensive. You can easily spend hours looking for the perfect background and embellishments for your photos. This can definitely be fun and a great bonding experience with your children (if they are into this type of thing), so just be aware of how much time you want to spend on this project.

Photo Book (Do-it-for-Me)

For those who love the idea of photo books, but have no desire to spend the time designing them, you can utilize a service that will take your photos and create a beautiful photo book for you.

Final Words

Have fun with this project. You can create photo books for any occasion or reason: your wedding, family vacations, birthday celebrations, you name it.
So tell me, what is one of your most memorable moments from childhood? Enter your memory in the comments section below. I can't wait to read what you have to say!