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Organizing Paper Embellishments:

There are many methods for organizing your scrapbook supplies.  The important thing is to find what works best for you!  The following article by DaLynn McCoy explores some ideas for organizing your paper embellishments from ordinary office supplies to products made especially for scrapbooking to items not often thought of for organizing your scrapbooking supplies.

Organizing Paper Embellishments

by DaLynn McCoy

Do you have a lot of stickers? Die cuts? Homemade embellishments? Need help organizing them?? Read on!!!
Scrappers are always trying to figure out how to organize their supplies in the most effective way possible. If you're like me, you re-organize
every couple of months!! So what's the best method? It completely depends on your style of scrapping, how often you use any given type
of embellishment, and how portable you need those items to be. Here are several ways I've found effective for organizing my flat, paper
embellishments. Hope they can help some of you out of a pickle!!
I have my paper embellishments filed in expanding file folders. First, I organized them by THEME. Everyone's common themes will differ, but
a good place to start is with each season, each major holiday, birthdays, children if relevant (maybe by gender and age if needed), possibly a
general "family" theme, and any other event or time which you scrap about often. I then divided each theme into type of embellishment: stickers, journal or poem boxes, die cuts, tags, squares, etc. I picked 1-3 types of embellishments and labelled a manilla folder for them, and there are three manilla folders inside each expanding folder. I keep the files in a long plastic file storing box. This works well for me! If I go to a crop, I choose which photos I want to scrap, trying to stay within one or two themes, and just grab those files. I have a separate file for alphabets (sorted by size), and one for general, plain tags (sorted by shape and paper type), and those two files go with me always.
Divided Page Protectors:
You've probably heard of a Personal Sticker Binder organizer (PSB), or have heard of people who use baseball card pages to organize their
stickers and other flat embellishments. This works well, especially if you don't have just TONS of any particular type of embellishment, or of any
particular theme. Again a good idea is to divide the embellishments first by theme, and then by type. Clearly label with tabs each theme so that
you can thumb through the pages easily to find what you're looking for; if you have a full sheet of something such as stickers, you can always
insert a "regular" page protector instead of the divided kind into the binder! This works especially well if you have a lot of "single" or leftover
type items.
I know of some people that have a small enough amount of each type of embellishment or particular theme, that they keep all of one category
in either a plastic photo box type storage, or even in a small shoe box or other type box. I don't recommend this if you have a large amount of
something, but if you only  have a very few "baby" items and don't need to carry them with you usually, a smaller all-in-one carrier may be a
better choice for you. You may not use tags very often, but have enough that they don't fit in your regular storage system (or they fit but are
just in the way), and if so then a separate container may be the answer here. Another idea similar to this is to use a jar for these items!
Divided Plastic Containers:
There are several of these on the market, including some which are specifically craft-storage and some which are more geared towards fishing
tackle or hardware uses. The craft-specific ones are generally more expensive, so weigh your options and decide which box will work best for
you. Don't forget the makeup isle! (Remember the "caboodles" from the 80's?? There are also divided makeup bags as well!) The idea here is a
lot the same as the sticker binder or divided page protectors, but is useful if you have a large amount of any ONE TYPE or theme embellishments.
You would divide your items in the same manner as previously mentioned, except in a divided container you  have more space for each category
than you do in a divided page protector. I recommend that if this storage method is used, you try to store the items vertically inside the small
compartments, to avoid having to pull the entire category out each time you are looking for one specific embellishment. Containers come with a
wide variety of sizes of compartments, and you can also find many which have a mixture of several sizes in a single container. Some of them even
have dividers which allow you to choose the size of each compartment, making it very easy to get every piece of paper inside of it that you can!
Inventive Ideas:
In a recent publication of a scrapbooking magazine I subscribe to, they recommend altering a Rolodex roll to store diecuts and other small paper
embellishments. It is mentioned that the single baseball card holders can have holes punched in them and easily fit into the Rolodex container,
and they like the idea of storing your flat diecuts in them as well (such as Quickutz), organizing alphabetically or by font. I dont' quite understand
how the die cuts would stay inside the card holders when they are on the bottom of the ring, but the picture implies that they do! :-)
I found one site which sells "drawers" for your 12x12 paper trays. They are divided drawers, designed to be used with the lipless, stackable
paper trays, and come 4 drawers to a pack. The dividers are included - so it seems you can decide where to put them, customizing sizes, and also
each drawer comes with a lid. How handy does that sound?
There are many ideas and methods of organizing; you just have to find which one works best for YOU! Maybe, if you travel to crops and other
get-togethers often, it would be easier to store a medium or small amount of your embellishments inside of a made-for-croppin' storage box on
rollers, such as the Cropper Hopper (this name just comes to mind). But if you're looking for a more permanent solution, my best suggestion is
to just try SOMETHING, and if it doesn't work, CHANGE IT! It's always good to try something in small amounts to save money on purchasing expensive storage containers, but a little of everything will be easy to obtain at a low cost and will help you discover which ones you DO like, and which ones you definately DON't like! Scour a spouse's workshop for an unused tackle box. Get out those unused files from the filing cabinet, and designate one drawer as "yours". Purchase a single pack of baseball card holders (for less than $3 at Wal-Mart), and place them in an unused school binder. Try them out, and whichever few you like best, work on a little at a time until you decide which method is best for you.
Happy scrappin, and best wishes for an organized space!!
About Author:
DaLynn McCoy is a wife and mother to three young boys. She has been a stay at home mother and wife, and has recently started working from home as a scrapbooking consultant.  To learn more, please visit: 
She is also a Design Team member at a Christian scrapbooking resource site.

Recommended for Organizing your Scrapbooking Supplies:

  • Scrapbook Cart -features 6 transparent, removable, snap top lid drawers
  • Iris Scrapbook Case -organizer with 3 cases
  • Fiskars Paper Organizer -12-Section accordion file organizes 12 x 12 sheets of paper
  • Paper Packer -holds up to 500 sheets of paper, hangs on wall
  • Crop In Style Craf-T Caddy -Holds paper, books, and 12'' x 12'' album. Clear pocket to hold most portable 12'' paper trimmers.
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