Sure, there are thing to do and buy for back to school. But if you’re like most moms, as you are taking those adorable first day pictures, you are thinking just a little bit about the early baby books that are left undone. I’m going to let you off the hook, and give you and easy way to “complete” some simple baby books so you can move on to enjoying the new photos and keepsakes that will come with this school year.
This project should take you about a half an hour per kid.
Gather Keepsakes to Organize Your Simple Baby Book
You’ve probably got a good idea of where most of the baby’s keepsakes are, even if the “baby” is now 5, or maybe 15. Maybe they are mostly in a desk drawer or a pile on a bookshelf, next to but not actually in a baby book. Those things like baptism programs, early greeting cards, tickets to first events like baseball games and the circus, and precious first haircut clippings have been gathering for years.
You might even have a baby book that someone gave you at your shower. I have one for each kid. These are where we’re going to put all of those baby book keepsakes.
Let’s face it. Perfectionism has NO PLACE in this project. If your kid is going to back to school and you are desperate to start or finish their baby book, then we’re in “Git ‘Er Done” mode today.
It is most important that you do the next few steps so you can preserve the keepsakes. What you preserve them in is secondary to actually getting the project done (in about 30 minutes or less). Whether the keepsakes survive the next decade or more trumps whether they are perfectly placed in an award winning book today.
Gather Supplies to Organize Your Simple Baby Book
You probably already noticed that your baby book is mostly set up for flat paper items, and some of your keepsakes are 3-dimensional. In order to deal with this, you need some very specific supplies.
These aren’t expensive or hard to find supplies, all available on Amazon (my affiliate links are below) or your local office supply store.
- Avery CD Pages, Acid Free, Pack of 5 (75263)
- StoreSMART® – Plastic Pages – Memory (SD) Cards and Business Cards – with Flaps – for 3-Ring Binders – 10-Pack
- 20 (Twenty Pages) – BCW Pro 8 X 10 Photo Page (1 Pocket Page)
- 20 (Twenty Pages) – BCW Pro 2-Pocket Page (7-1/8″ x 5-1/2″ Cards, Postcards or Photos)
- And my favorite, special CD/DVD Sharpies: Sharpie CD/DVD Twin Tip Permanent Markers, 4 Black Markers (37035PP)
Now work your way through the pile, adding full-size photos into the 8×10 photo pocket pages. If your kids are under 10 years old, you probably don’t have many loose photos because they are mostly digital. The portraits we have taken at places like Sesame Place and pre-school portraits are the kind of thing that belong in this book. Be sure to use acid-free photo sleeves. You can also put award certificates and newspaper clippings in these large sleeves.
The smaller 2-pocket sleeves are great for the kind of things I mentioned above, like keepsake tickets and hair clippings. Dried flowers.
The 10-pocket sleeves are made for flash drives and camera cards, and you can certainly use them as such. But you might also have smaller keepsakes that would go great here. Your hospital bracelets. Locket sized pictures. Even baby teeth if you want to keep them. I’m not saying you should…I’m just saying you can put them here.
The CD pages and CD/DVD marking pens are great for…you guessed it, DVDs. You want to be sure to use special CD/DVD marking pens because they won’t eat through the disk layers like normal permanent markers will. The CD’s you bought of the newborn photo sessions, a copy of their first Christmas pageant, and the DVD that the preschool teacher handed you can all be safely stored here.
Can’t put your hands on all of these keepsakes today? No worries! If you have a binder and the supplies on hand, you can stash these keepsakes the next time you see them in a random drawer or under a bed. And then, when it comes time to make the graduation book, you’ll have all of the early years documented neatly and in an organized way.
Where to Store Your Organized Baby Books
Store these books, along with digital photo books that you’ve made, on a bookshelf in the main part of your house. Avoid storing them in basements, garages and attics, which are notoriously prone to water, mold, and critter infestations.
The best part is knowing that you are DONE. The second best part is throwing away all of the stuff that was taking up space but you don’t want to keep, like the extra pages from the baby book, the envelopes from photos and newspaper pages that didn’t have your kid in them, and other such things. Remember when something like that used napkin from the drive-thru where you stopped on the way to the delivery room seemed like an important keepsake? Now that a little time has passed, maybe some keepsakes aren’t as treasured as you thought they might be.
I know how it is. Really, I do. There are so many cute and inspiring ideas out on the internet, and you’ve always wanted to give your kid the best, so you want to make sure their baby book is done perfectly or not at all. Trust me. Take 30 minutes to organize a simple baby book for each kid, as outlined here. I promise you, it will feel awesome!
Happy back to school season.
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