Inside: what happened when I decided to organize my craft paper stash and how I did it


I went into my craft room all inspired to start working on a new project.  A new scrapbook page idea was rolling in my head and I wanted to finally make it. It was just a matter of finding the right 12x12 cardstock to start my page. I started going through my piles of paper looking for that one specific page I knew I had...

20 minutes later... I couldn't find it! The entire idea was based on that paper and once I couldn't find it I lost my inspiration and ended up never making that scrapbook page. Sure.. I could have come up with another idea for that page but I just lost my crafty feeling...

So what happened?





What happened was I couldn't craft because I wasn't organized!

We all have lots of craft supplies that we want to use but if they are not organized we can't find what we're looking for and spend more time searching than actually crafting!

We tend to think that we don't have time to craft but the truth is we don't have time not because we are busy but because we waste the time we do have on the wrong thing -  search instead of craft. Our paper stash is not too big... it's just not organized correctly!




I decided enough is enough! I had to do something with all these papers or I'll be trapped in the same loop forever...

If I can keep my other papers organized and find my household bills or my accident claim when I need it, why can't I do it with my craft papers?!




The first thing I did was to go over my ENTIRE craft paper stash and decide what I want to keep and what I wanted to get rid of. It wasn't an easy process because I had to come to terms with a few truths about my crafting:

  • My boys are all grown up and I don't need baby theme papers 🙁
  • I'm a vintage, steampunk, shabby chic girl so all the girly, flowery papers needed to go.
  • I'll never use 5 year old paper no matter how much I convince myself I will use them some day...
  • It's OK to get rid of papers that were giver to me but I don't like them. No one has to know and no one will be offended.
  • It's also OK to get rid of papers I bought when I was a beginner and I was dazzled by all the papers in the craft store.

Once I allowed myself to see the actual truth I was able to start sorting through my papers.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Go through ALL your papers one by one and decide what to keep and what not
  2. Answer these questions:
    • Am I REALLY going to use this paper in the near future?
    • Does this paper hold significant value to me, or have I just been holding onto it for no reason?
    • Do I have a specific page plan to use it on?
    • Am I excited about this paper?

If the answer is NO the paper goes!





The next step is to think about how you want to store your papers. You can store papers in two ways: horizontally or vertically. I recommend the vertical way because:

  • It allows you to fit more papers in a specific space.
  • It takes up less shelf space.
  • I find it easier to go through my papers when they are vertical, it's like going through a Rolodex.
  • It's easier to take out papers when there is no weight on them from other papers stored on top.

There are many vertical boxes that you can purchase to store your papers, but you can also make boxes yourself.

Here's how:

  • Take an empty shoe box preferably large size shoe box. The large boxes will fit a 12x12 paper very comfortably.
  • Attach the lid to the box with tape.
  • Stand the box on it's larger side and cut the opposite side.
  • Cover the box with paper.




Get the paper stash breakdown free list to help your craft paper stash organization go smooth from start to finish!



There are a few ways you can sort your craft paper:



Organizing craft paper according to color is great for solid color papers it won't work for pattern papers.

  • Start with the colors of the rainbow and go from there.
  • Sort the first 7 basic colors and then add the shades of each color.



Sort your papers according to order of the events of the year like holidays, special events etc.



Organize your craft paper according to themes and sentiments. For example: boys, vintage, floral, patterns or sports.

The best way to organize craft paper is to combine all three sorting systems. Go through your papers and make a sorting list with all the sections you need.





Even though your papers are sorted it doesn't mean that finding the right paper is easy. In order for you to find the paper you're looking for you need to complete the organization process with some labels or tabs.

  • Take some one color dividers and write your sorting list on. Use one divider for each theme or pile.
  • Put the dividers in the box and start going through your papers one by one.
  • Drop the papers into the relevant label section.

If you come a cross a paper that doesn't fit any section add a new section. I have a miscellaneous section for pages that just don't fit anywhere.

OK... basic colors and theme are easy but what do you do with special papers like vellum, double sided papers or paper pads?

Here are a few ideas:

Specialty papers: put the glitter, vellum, cork and other papers in a section of their own or try to fit them to one of your sections.

Paper pads: stand them up between the boxes. If they fit a section like a paper pad with a summer theme then add them to the relevant section. The same with paper collections.

Double sided paper: choose the side you like better and sort according to that.


If you want to organize your craft papers I can help! Check out the triple paper organizing system - with this system you can organize ALL your craft papers in just 3 easy steps! Click over to start today!





Wow!... the change was incredible and even unexpected:

  • I could find the paper I needed in seconds so I don't need to waste time looking for it.
  • Finding the paper I need quickly freed a lot of my time for crafting. So now I craft a lot more!
  • I found papers I forgot I had. Sorting through my craft paper stash revealed forgotten treasures!
  • My craft room is now a happy and inspiring place. Having such a messy paper stash weighed heavily on me without me even realizing it. Once I organized it a huge weight was lifted and now I enjoy being in my craft room!

Oho... I did find that one paper which started this thing...


If you need some more organizing tips and ideas check out my new The Ultimate Guide to Organize Your Craft Space eBook! You can get your craft space organized in 3 steps!


Sharing is caring - SAVE it for later: PIN IT!



have fun creating!


  • What a great article! Can you show a photo of the shoe box made into a storage container though? It’s hard for me to visualize with just the written description. Thanks!

  • Sarah Mckenzie says:

    I like the idea of vertical storage too but what if there are not enough papers to fill a container? Don’t the papers bend?

    • Einat Kessler says:

      It depends on the thickness of the papers. You can also fill the empty space with some chipboard pieces or plastic bags filled with paper scraps. You can also put in sticker sheets, stencils etc.

  • I’ve been wanting to get my craft room organized but I have been overwhelmed with with everything. I had no idea where to start! I met a gal who is a great organizer and she offered to help me. I feel so much better. I liked your tips and can hopefully work them into my organizing. I’m so excited and feel like it’s really going to happen! Thank you!

  • I really enjoyed this organization tip, I’m a “beginner ” crafter so I’m always looking for tips and tricks to organize my craft room. I like your idea of the shoe box organizer but I wish there was a step by step video or pictures, like I said I’m a beginner

  • Vickie Berryhill says:

    Great advice!! Thanks!! I saved the pin on Pinterest!! I have a large basket container I’ll use. I just need to make my dividers. As of now, I don’t have a huge amount of large paper so the job should be fast and easy. My biggest job will be organizing my scraps. I think I’ll cut some into A2 size papers for readymade card fronts. I like making smaller cards.

  • Great article. I lived in a 6 bedroom home with a bonus room off the family room. When we bought the house and the 5 kids were choosing bedrooms I took this 15’x15’ room for my craft room. I am an obsessive organizer. 5 years ago, with the kids all grown with families of their own it was time to downsize. And boy did we downsize. We moved into a senior, mobile home park. That meant I was down to 3 bedrooms and no bonus rooms. I took the larger of the 2 smaller rooms which is 12×12. During my moving prep, I knew I was going to have to break up my love affair with a LOT of stuff in my amazing craft room. Paper. OMWord… I had more paper than any craft store ever held. I actually worked for a paper store for 7 years. My project to sort my 12×12’s took me a solid week. When I was done sorting out what I keeping, I was left with 4 piles, of 500 sheets of printed scrapbook papers. The pile I kept was a quarter of that. I wrapped each of the 4 piles in clear plastic wrap and sold them to my stamp club friends. I still have more paper than I’m ever going to use, and quite a collection of 12×12 pads. But if I run out of allowable space, I just go through it all and sell it.

    It’s pretty freeing to unburden yourself. And it does make paper crafting a lot easier.

  • I am so glad to read this post. I too have way too much and have started the task of purging and organizing. Your ideas give me some clarity where i was a bit vague. Plus hearing it is ok to just get rid of some of it. Thank you. I plan to see what other nifty tricks you have written about.

  • I thought my sister was crazy when she bought scrapbook paper! Guess what? I have now been taken into that trap too. So many papers are soooo pretty and I just might be able to someday use it! Thank you for your tips. Some day mine too will get organized!

  • Lianne Rutty says:

    Oh man! I wish I saw this last month!! I have a problem with paper. Guess when I get home from my weekend crop I will
    Have to get to work sorting the stuff I didn’t use into a more organized way. (Although I do have my solids organized – it’s the fancy prints that are kind of a jumble)

  • You just inspired me to organize my paper stash!!!
    I re-pinned your Pinterest pin too!!
    Thank you for taking the time to write this post. I blog about DIY projects so I know how much work knows into a blog post as detailed as this one.
    Thanks again!
    Lynnette Stephens

  • I have my papers stored on a store rack (which I bought when they went out of business). I have them sorted into color groups and then within the groups by pattern: geometrics; floral and graphics; scenes and themes; words and collage and finally texture and background. I also have slots for multi – papers without a defining color; grid – papers with ledgers, lines, graphs etc.; and a few slots for papers that are meant to be cut into strips, blocks, tags etc.
    When I’m ready to scrap I go to a shelf on the rack that meets my needs. Blue floral with green geometric. Easy peasy.

  • II have organized mine by colour group. My Religious papers, Nature, Beach and different themes are separated if I need to find a beach paper for one of my holidays it is easy to find. Everyone has to decode how they want to sort their paper. I love your ideas and may use a few of them. My problem is that I have so much paper it took me 3 days to sort out just the paper. I think it is time to donate some of the papers to a school where the kids can use it.
    Thank You for your ideas.

  • Dianne Griffiths says:

    Thank you for this. Sometimes I seem ro spend more time buying supplies, organising and searching, rather than crafting.

  • I moved a year ago and I still am not fully organized. It is frustrating to not be able to find things. I’ve gone through my craft things and organized 3 times. Each time downsizing things. Less things make it more fun to craft.

  • thanks for your detailed thoughts and ideas. Part of my problem beyond organizing is taking the time to file and put away! Seems like I always have a pile to file. while I don’t do scrapbooking I do use a gel plate for printing and use my old or unused scrapbook papers for printing purposes I have hanging file folders in a tote for filing and it’s easy to carry to another place. Lots of hours spent organizing but found many treasures and an easy way to find colors. also organized by topics I use frequently…geometric shapes, hearts, flowers and leaves, etc. That really has helped me. thanks again.

  • Hilda Burton says:

    Great ideas. I have covered cereal boxes to make paper holders. They are sturdy and work great. My papers are organized in much the way you suggest. You have given me inspiration about getting rid of some of my papers I know I will never use. I needed the nudge. Thanks, Einat. Enjoy your day!

    • Vicky Mezera says:

      Hi Hilda, I was wondering if you had pictures of your cereal box paper holders. With my grandkids here, we go thru alot of cereal and this would be a great way to repurpose the boxes. Thanks!

  • Good advice and direction on how to evaluate what stays on the studio. Thanks for idea on how to make a box to store 12×12.

  • Thank you so much for this post. I can’t wait to get my paper organized. I have read a lot of ideas but this one seems to fit me :).

  • Just Stewart says:

    Thank you for this. I have recently moved and now is the time to organize it. I have not been able to find a way to organize my stash so that is is easy to find. Must give this a try.


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Einat Kessler


Hello crafty friends!
I'm Einat: creative professional,mixed media artist, scrapbook and paper designer, altering enthusiast and class instructor.
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The designs, pictures and instructions listed on this blog are provided here for personal use only and may not be sold, reproduced or used for commercial or submission purposes in any form without my written permission.