I am going to a 3 day crop in 5 days, and I have started getting organised. I do this so I can spend more time creating pages, and less time trying to figure out what photos and papers and embellishments to use. I get so much more done! Here are the steps I take , and you can watch my video here to see these steps in action.

1. Open my photo storage/organisation software, select a date range to work with (as usually I know which time period I need to catch up on) and select the photos I wish to make pages about. I then save them to a folder on my desktop.

2. Open my photo editing software, and create a 4×6 template (multiple pages). I then import the photos I have chosen, and begin to create photos to my desired size. For example I may do a 4×4, or two 3×4, or even six 2×2 photos on each 4×6 template.

3. I then save these as JPEG files to my desktop, and print on my Canon Selphy.

4. I write a list of all layouts I plan to do (this will vary depending how long the crop is) and write the date of the pictures beside them. This means I can keep this list with my crop gear, and don’t need to try and find the dates as I go, or when I get back.

5. I subscribe to kit clubs, and keep all my kits together in folders. I usually don’t finish a whole kit before starting a new one, so I picked the Feb, Mar & Apr 2104 kits to try and use these up as I wanted to make room for upcoming kits, and I prefer to not have anything sitting around unused longer than a year. I went through the photos and picked a few that would go with each kit (knowing the theme, embellishments, and colours of each kit).

6. In the video I use the February 2014 Scraptastic Club ‘Feel Again’ Kit & Add On. I had 4 photos to use with this kit, and I laid each one on a 12×12 piece of white cardstock. I then go through all of the embellishments and papers in the kit and group what I want to use with each photo. I don’t overthink this. Usually I take a colour theme from an embellishment or paper I really want to use. I grab everything that might go with the layout (I can edit out my choices when I come to make the layout).

7. I then lay all the piles on top of each other (separated by the cardstock) into an iris container.

8. I usually only take to the crop the iris container with the layouts ready to be put together, a small container of essential tools, my basket of Thickers, my 2 embellishment containers, my trimmer, and a small box with stamps and punches.

9. All done! You don’t need to do this all one day, you can spread this out over whatever timeframe you need. I will be going through the rest of my photos over the next few days to add to the pile in the iris container.

Hopefully you’ve picked up some tips. I can’t wait to get to the crop and start creating, knowing I don’t have to spend most of the time thinking about what to do, and just get to do it instead!