Re-visiting The Category Drawers

Re-visiting The Category Drawers

A big part of the Library of Memories system that Stacy Julian pioneered are the category drawers. (Not necessarily drawers. Mine are photo storage boxes.)

The purpose of category drawers is to organically find and source stories that are deeper and more insightful through the juxtaposition of photos that you wouldn’t normally find together. You can do this in a digital catalog by using keywords and metadata, but with physical photos, you need category drawers. Typically there’s a drawer for people you love, things you do, places you go, and one all about yourself and your immediate family. Within each drawer you add tabbed cards with related topics. For instance, in my category drawer “things we do,” there are sub-headings for reading, art, playtime, etc.

Last week I dug out a random drawer, and poked through what was already in there that could spark a story. The first thing that popped out at me ware a few pictures of my boys when they were younger, and getting along really well. Which made me think, “When did getting along become the exception rather than the rule?”

With that in mind I pulled a few pictures from the category drawer, and then poked through the more recent pictures I do have printed to find a similar, more current one.

when || noexcusescrapbooking.com

Everything on the layout came from a kit put together last spring. It was a kit making frenzy around here for awhile. It’s going to take some time to use them all up, but it’s so handy to be able to pull out a kit and limit yourself to that, and the bins I have on the desk. (Currently on my desk: scraps bin, small jar of embellishments mostly intended for Project Life, and bin full of journaling cards and labels.)

This layout makes me happy, because it reminds me that my kids do like each other, underneath all the petty bickering and button pushing. Plus it’s a slice of real life, because it seems like the silly arguments are all they do right now.

Anyone else have some category drawer inspired pages they’d like to share? Anyone else want to create their own category drawers so they can find stories like this that are just waiting to be told?

What do you think?