Friday, July 10, 2009

Paper sorting

I'm no expert on organization or storage but I have found certain things that have worked for me over the past twelve years. Today I'm going to show you how I sort my paper. I have about six crates of papers because I've been collecting for so many years and also because I just can't resist paper! I like to just lay it out and look at it sometimes which I know is strange but I do it anyway. Since I have so much paper I am dealing with one crate at a time. This particular crate is my Close to my Heart paper. Being a consultant, it's important for me to keep that paper together and visible so it's easy to find for my business.

I found that it's best to keep the majority of my scraps of paper with the actual paper set they go with or I will never use them. I used to divide them all up and put them in baggies in a big box but they just sat there. When I keep them with the paper I'm more inclined to reach for them. My CTMH papers were definitely in a disarray, they were flowing over to a second box and the scraps were very disorganized. I laid them all out on the floor first. I like to work on the floor when sorting, throw in Dirty Dancing into the dvd player and work while I watch Patrick Swayze do his thing.

I can't say enough about baggies, small and large, they come in handy for so many things in my scrapbooking. I bought a bunch of new ones just to sort my paper.

A couple of years back I bought a ton of these crates. I think they were four or five dollars a piece and they have been a lifesaver. They fit 12 x 12 paper perfectly, even in a baggie.

Here's a set of Back Country paper for my first example. This wasn't in bad shape because I've been using it on the projects for this blog so I'd really used up a lot of scraps. One nice thing about Close to my Heart paper packs is that they already come in their own ziploc bags so I didn't have to buy baggies for this paper. I first go through the paper and pull out all the 12 x 12 that's still intact. I like to divide it up by pattern and cardstock color just so I don't have to search for the piece I need.

Those 12 x 12 pieces go in the front of the bag. I also make sure to put the label of the paper in front so I know what paper kit it is.

Next I deal with the scraps. If it's small enough to fit into a quart-size baggie, in it goes.

If it doesn't fit into that baggie I put it in the back of the 12 x 12 paper in the large bag.

Here's some Silhouette paper that is in worse shape than the Back Country. I had a lot of it due to a party in which we made full layouts. The pack of paper was very thick and taking up a lot of room in the crate causing the overflow into the other crate. I took out the full 12 x 12 sheets first and put it in the large CTMH bag it came in.

I then sorted all the scraps into piles by pattern and color. The small ones went in the quart-sized baggie, the large went in the back of the 12 x 12 paper in the large bag.

I took out the cardstock scraps and did not put them back in the large CTMH bag.

Here's the much thinner bag of Silhouette paper ready to be put into the crate.

Once I'd gone through all the paper packs and taken out any cardstock scraps (only) that made the packages too full or thick I divided all the scraps by color. I had a couple of packs of 12 x 12 cardstock that I'd bought separately from the paper packs. I divided it all up by color then went through the packs and added extra cardstock to any paper pack that needed it. Once finished with that I took all the leftover cardstock, both 12 x 12 and the scraps that went with it and put each color in it's only separate 2 gallon baggie.

Here they are divided up. I have not decided where I will put these yet but I will be labeling them on the front in big thick marker so I can reach for the color I need. These will probably go into their own separate crate but I don't have enough of them yet to actually stand up by themselves in a crate. My thought is that as I use my paper packs I will run low on paper scraps for them and transfer these back. At the very least, if they are labeled I'll know where they are when I need them.

I then took all the completed paper packs (Abundance through Whoops a Daisy!!) and put them back in the crate in alphabetical order. They all fit this time!! Now to do the other five boxes of paper!!


  1. I do my paper organization pretty much the same way you do. I also don't use my scraps if they are seperated from the original paper pack

  2. It's fun seeing how everyone organizes their scraps.