Thursday, February 10, 2011

My journey through paper organization...

I have been asked by a few people how I organize my stash, so I will take a few posts over the next couple of days to share that.  It has been a process for me and it is based on how I scrapbook, but maybe it will give you some ideas.

Today we are going to talk about paper.  I have a long history with struggling with paper storage.  I started off with one of these...

Yeah.  I quickly outgrew that.  Let's not dwell on it.  LOL  My next choice was this:
I really liked those (and still have them), but I just wasn't happy with it, so I tried these...
Which I love (and still use), but I still thought I could do better so I moved onto this:

Which very quickly demonstrated that it was not sturdy enough so I then was EXTREMELY blessed to stumble into this:
I really feel like the luckiest girl in the world.  I have other photos posted further down in my blog, but, basically,  a LSS went out of business and our being in the right place at the right time ended up with me owning 2 slat walls and tons of clear 12x12 trays and shelves for about $50.  I am extremely grateful.

Now, you may have stopped part way through this post and thought...those other storage options are great!  Why did she keep looking?

Here is what my goals were for my paper:
1.  Off the floor
2.  Lots of categories
3.  Labels!
4.  Displayed so I will use it

I finally have what is my ideal set up. 

Putting my paper into categories has changed as I have gotten better storage, but the core of how I do it has stayed the same.  My first exploration was how I scrapbook.  I always start with a color scheme.  Always.  So sorting by color works well for me.  I tried sorting EVERYTHING by color and soon realized that not all stacks/manufactuers can be put in that neat little box, so I started working on a secondary way to categorize my paper that can work with my color categories.

All of my cardstock (and many other of my supplies) are sorted by color in a specific order.  Here is the color order that I use for my ribbon, paper, embellishments, paints, inks...

Red     Pink     Purple     Blue     Green     Yellow     Orange     Black     Grey     White     Brown    Skintone

My loose patterned paper and the leftover paper from stacks/kits/paper pads get divided into that same palette.  I look at each piece and choose the predominant color for my categories.  If it is hard to put in category, then I do have a "multi" category for thos tricky papers with lots of colors.

All of my other patterned paper is divided into one of two categories:  either by theme (boy, school, Christmas, Halloween, Valentiens, Nature...) or by Manufacturer.  I have learned to NOT take apart my paper pads, unless it is necessary.  They had experts coordinate the paper and it is so much easier for my process if I keep the paper together and use it together.  I tend to buy paper from the same companies, so I do have some trays labeled for Basic Grey, Sassafrass, Cosmo Cricket...  Those are some of my go to papers and I like to have them handy.

Let's not forget about the ever present paper scraps.  I have my cardstock ones in a 12x12 accordian folder sorted by, you guessed it, color and the patterned paper scraps in a cropper hopper.  Those are my go to places when I want to use my cricut, punches or make a card.

Also, I have learned to only buy paper I LOVE.  When I first started scrapbooking, I would buy paper because it was on sale...or I liked a few sheets from a stack.  I found that I wasted alot of paper that way.  I have a few companies that I buy by the pad/kit, but other than that, I buy individual pieces.  And...are you ready for has helped me tremendously...When I buy single sheets of paper I also get the cardstock to match...sort of make my own mini kit right at the store.  That way I know I have things that match and that I will use instead of just a random sheet of paper.  Those 5 for a dollar sales are great, but half of that paper I never used.  Now I do.

If you have any other questions, please post them here and I will be happy to answer them.  Next up will be my stamps and inks so be on the lookout for that!