Scrapbooking has been around for ages. There have been times when it has had fad status and times when it has fallen by the wayside, only to be picked up again by a later generation. In this age of technology, you can even scrapbook digitally, if you choose. Scrapbooking has taken on more meaning now; it has become more than just putting memorabilia into a book.

Saving Memories

As the population ages, many people are becoming more concerned about the ravages of such things as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. These conditions that affect memory leave a terrible hole in the lives of all concerned, as memories fade away. Scrapbooking is one way to attempt to keep the memories alive. Creating a “memory book,” with pictures of the person’s past, friends and family can have a calming effect while at the same time preserving precious memories.

Taking the book out and talking about the events surrounding the pictures can be entertaining, as well as reassuring. It can provide a bridge to the past, as long-ago events are chronicled in pictures. For some people, it also is a source of self-esteem, as they look back on their achievements. For patients with memory problems, having such a book can help them feel more comfortable when they have to change their environments, such as going to the hospital or another care center. The memory book can provide a sense of security.

Organizing Memories

There are as many ways to organize the memories in a scrapbook as there are memories to organize. The good news is you don’t have to settle on just one way of doing things. You could have books that cover ranges of time, such as childhood, adolescence or college years, or you can go with other themes, such as travel, marriage, kids, etc. You get to choose how you want to organize your memories.

Be sure to put captions and identifiers with the pictures, so you know who the people are. It’s hard to believe that 10 or 15 years from now, you may not remember all the faces in those pictures or all the names that go with the faces. Stories about surrounding events are helpful and informative, as well. You’ll probably want to share your scrapbook with others, so having some background information with the pictures will be very helpful.

Scrapbooking Isn’t Just about the Pictures

You can put all types of things in a scrapbook. So what if it gets a little thick and bulky; pile in things such as dried flowers and ticket stubs from concerts, the playbill from the musical you flew to New York to see; the boarding pass from your first trip to Europe. It is your scrapbook, housing your memories of times gone by. There are a wide variety of items that can go into your scrapbook, to make it your own. If you are making one for someone else, the same suggestions apply. You may even want to print off a few of those spicy emails and add them. There may come a time when we don’t communicate by email anymore and having an example of what it was like “in the olden days of email” might be nice to have.

Scrapbooking provides entertainment and fun in the creation of the book and in looking at it through later years. It’s practical, also, as a document of a person’s life. Be a planner and outline how you want the book to progress, or you can be a pantser and fly by the seat of your pants; put in whatever makes you smile. When you organize your memories with scrapbooking, you’ll have a cherished history of your life to share with generations to come.

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