Preparing for a Successful Crop is an important part of scrapbooking organization. Whether you crop at home, at a store or other location it helps to be prepared. A first step should be to set your goals for the crop and be realistic about it. If part of your cropping time is for socialization, and whose isnít, build that time into your goal. A layout or page completion goal is an easy way to track your progress. As you crop you can also note where you spend excess time Ė canít find something, forgot something etc. That will help you plan better the next time.
There are many strategies to prepare for a crop, but getting yourself organized is a great one. A few minutes spent now will save hours later on.
To really get organized for a crop you'll want to create an in process box for your paper, photos and embellishments. This is the best way I have found to save time and money at a crop. You can use a new pizza box if you find the correct size (should fit in your crop bag), they also sell plastic 13x13 boxes for this purpose in many chain craft stores. I recommend the plastic boxes that have locking hinges. Currently Jo-Ann Fabrics carries these.
1-2 weeks prior to the crop - select and print the photos you want to use. Also make a list of the layouts you want to accomplish. This is a key step in scrapbooking organization.
1 week prior to the crop - Choose your paper and cardstock. Create layers in the box with the paper and photos. I use cardboard dividers. If you are missing something, add that to your list. If you need to shop prior to the crop, now is the time.
1 week prior to the crop - Choose your embellishments; rub on letters, anything else you may want to use on a particular project. I place these in a separate box but you can add them to your paper and photos if they fit, you just want to be sure your paper will not get bent.
If you donít already have one a tool caddy is a great addition. It keeps your most used items handy at all times. Check your consumable products like glue, tape runner and Xyron refills. See our organizational tips for more ideas. Be sure you have a backup if you are running low. If you donít have pictures printed, print them ahead of time. I recommend Shutterfly.com you can save money on your printing costs.
Scrapbooking Organization Top 5
1) Make an in process box. If you arenít sure how to make one see Scrapbooking in 15 Minute Increments which includes detailed instruction on making one.
2) Try not to over pack. Always bring 1-2 more projects than you normally complete in case you get stuck on a current project, or if you complete your pages faster than you expected.
3) Make a list of tools you frequently use and pack them.
4) Look at the projects you will be working on Ė if you know you want to use a specific embellishment type and have some handy pack them as well.
5) We all have a stash of unused products Ė if you know youíll never use it then participate in a local scrapbooking tag sale, use eBay or donate them to charity.
I hope these suggestions get you more organized for your next crop.
Post crop clean up - We all come home from a crop with a few layouts that just need some simple completion work, printing out some journaling, finding that last photo or an embellishment. Make an in process box or place at home so you can complete these prior to your next crop. That way you can go into your next crop with a clean slate vs. some completion work you can easily complete in 15 min. at home. You'll get more completed pages and less stuff to drag to each crop! This is an important step in scrapbooking organization.