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?
MY CRAFT PAPER STASH IS TOO BIG
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!
HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR CRAFT PAPERS
I decided enough is enough! I had to do something with all these papers or I'll be trapped in the same loop forever...
GET RID OF SOME PAPER
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:
- Go through ALL your papers one by one and decide what to keep and what not
- 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.
- 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.
HOW TO SORT CRAFT PAPER
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.
ORGANIZE YOUR CRAFT PAPER
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.
SO WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I ORGANIZED MY CRAFT PAPER STASH?
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...
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have fun creating!