On Organizing and my Travel Journals

I went over to my friend’s house yesterday and was once again totally jealous of how organized and clutter free her house is.  After some word vomit on my part about how I couldn’t possible organize my pantry because it’s full of crap that has no other place to go (like Raptor’s art supplies) she suggested I start in the art room.  And I am! January is the month I will tackle the art room. In February, I’ll pick a different room. (Hopefully. There’s a strong possibility that I’ll throw in the towel tomorrow on the whole thing. lol.)

Some background.  We have an extra bedroom that we call the art room.  Half of it is RaptorDad’s art supplies and half of it is my scrapbooking/ general crafting supplies.  About 6 years ago, we went to Ikea and put butcher block countertops along 3 of the walls.  The fourth wall has the closet and the door.  We also bought some organization stuff and it worked really well for the way I scrapped 6 years ago.  Now, my 6 year old supplies that I never use are still pretty well organized.  My 3 year old supplies are pilled on top of every surface.  And my current supplies are in a rolling cart in our bedroom since that’s where I actually scrapbook.  ::sigh::  I’ve been scrapbooking since 1999 and I’ve basically never thrown away a thing. In addition, this room is pretty much our dumping ground for everything.

The plan?  Purge purge purge!  I’m setting aside of box of stuff for Raptor to play with, and then the rest is going in the trash.  I filled up a whole trash bag yesterday and it was so freeing!  Among my realizations were that, while I love to hoard memorabilia, I never ever use it on my pages.  Even if by some chance I do go back and scrap that weekend in Dallas 6 years ago, I’m not going to put the hotel brochure on the page!  This times a thousand. Programs, concert tickets, brochures, all gone! I can’t quite bring myself to start throwing away the post cards yet, but I’m close.

My ultimate goals for the room are:
1. All of my supplies purged/ organized.
2. Move all of the crafting crap out of our bedroom.
3. Put ongoing projects (December Daily, knitting, etc.) in some kind of cases or boxes so I can pull them out and work on them in the bedroom.
4. Create a space for Raptor to craft with me in the art room.
5. Get Raptor’s art supplies out of my pantry/ kitchen cabinets.
6. Wish list: Improve the lighting so I can photograph layouts on my table.

In the past 2 days, I’ve worked on my half of the closet and have started on my drawer system of embellishments. In the bottom of one drawer, I came across my in-progress travel journals. What are travel journals? Let me tell you. :) I’ve done these 3 different times with varying degrees of success. The first was a 2 week trip while I was studying abroad. I basically bought a small sketch book and packed it with a glue stick and a pen. The idea was that every night, I would sit down and glue in any ephemera I had picked up and journal about the day.  Of course, I’m a bit long winded (imagine that!) so I ended up finishing 2 or 3 days of the 2 weeks and then just collecting a bunch of stuff to glue in later.  It was a lot of fun reading back over those 2 days, but I had to be honest with myself that I was never going to finish this project.  I had no idea what any of the papers were anymore (it was 13 years ago) so I kept the finished bit and threw all of the other crap away!

The second time I tried this was a 3 week trip to South America with one of my best friends (7 1/2 years ago).  I did better this time, and I had a ton of fun working on the project in the evenings in our hostels or sitting at cafes etc.  Still, I was soooooo far behind.  I think I had finished a week by the time we came home.  I was good though about keeping everything sorted by day and writing notes of what I wanted to write about.  After we got back, RaptorDad and I would go hang out at coffee shops on the regular.  He would bring his sketchbook and I would bring this project.  I *almost* finished it, but then Raptor came into our lives and I’ve been scrapping her ever since.  Imagine my delight when I pulled out the final volume (I think I ended up using 4 notebooks?) and realized that I only had 1 day left to finish, our travel day.  I sat my butt down and made myself finish it!  And it feels great!  Talk about checking off a long time unfinished project!

The third time was when RaptorDad and I went to Europe 5 1/2 years ago.  I’ll be honest, I don’t think much of this book is done at all.  I’ll take a look at it tomorrow, but I imagine it’ll go the way of the Italy one- in the trash aside from the 1 or 2 days that happen to be done.  And you know what?  I don’t feel bad about it!

Would I do this again if we went on another trip?  Absolutely!  I love the one that I finished and it was fun to take a look at the few days from the others.  I took a few pics of the South America one so you could get a better idea of what I’m talking about.


One of my favorite things to include is post cards!  At the time, I was a terrible photographer, but I love pictures.  This also helped me to remember what all of the pictures were when I came home.

TravelJournal-2More postcards.  The one on the right is folded over because I wanted to be able to see both sides.

TravelJournal-4I also love to include receipts!  I think it’s fun to look back and see how much stuff cost, especially in different currencies.  Ignore the craziness, I was too lazy to pull it into photoshop to blur my name so I used the spot tool in lightroom.  😉  I also included my boarding pass.

TravelJournal-3Sometimes I put in really random stuff.  This was inside a kinder egg.  I fell in love with kinder eggs when I was studying abroad, but you can’t really buy them in the US.  I was so excited to find them in South America!  If you don’t know, they’re thin hollow chocolate eggs with a toy inside.  :)





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One Response to On Organizing and my Travel Journals

  1. Fleur Smith says:

    I need to get organized too, love the travel journal :)

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