Sunday, December 16, 2007

How I organize my scraps

I have nothing new to post tonight. Not because I didn't stamp. I stamped quite a bit actually. But all of my stamping projects are a secret because their recipients just might read this blog and I do not want them to see the cards here before they get them in their mailbox. SO I had to come up with another topic and I thought scrap organization might fit the bill.

By now everyone knows that I am the queen of scraps. The thought of throwing away perfectly good strips or other pieces of card stock is absolutely shocking. But I know organizing scraps can be a challenge, especially when you're as big of a scrap hoarder as I am, so I thought I would share my "system".

I keep all of my scraps in two of the larger SU boxes. Each box holds 2 permanent color families plus either whisper white, very vanilla and basic black or the in colors and all other neutrals. This is what ti all looks like. I know it doesn't seem organized, but there is a method to the madness.

Colors are grouped together in these legal size accordion files. I have 1 file for each of the permanent color families, 1 file for the in colors, 1 file each for basic black, whisper white and very vanilla (as you can imagine I have quite a few scrap pieces of those) and 1 for all other neutrals. The file in the picture is my Rich Regals file.

Within each accordion color family file, each color gets its own 8.5x11 page protector. In this photo you can see the page protector for rose red. When I'm looking for a piece of a particular color I just go to the appropriate accordion file and pull out the page protector and bring the whole thing to my stamp table. Then I can look through the scraps to see if I have what I'm looking for. If I don;t have the exact size but I have a piece that can be cut down tot he right size, I go ahead and cut it down. If the leftover pieces are still usable I put them back into the page protector. If they're too small I toss them.

Since the most commonly used neutrals each have a file of their own, within that file I organize them according to approximate size. Strips with strips, squares with squares, rectangles with rectangles, etc. This is really helpful when I' working on swaps or workshop cards. Chances are I will never have to cut whisper white or very vanilla strips for any card out of full sheets of card stock, since I always seem to have these strips left over from other projects.

The great thing about this system is the portability. I can take the page protectors filled with all the colors I'm used on a card to my stamp table without disturbing anything else in the room. It makes it so much easier to experiment with color combinations and to find just the right mat or piece of card stock without having to cut into a full piece.

So what about you Are you a scrap fanatic like me and, if so, would you like to share how you organize your scraps? Post a comment and let us know!


dd2njoy said...

Oh my you are organized and TFS that with us.I do keep my scraps but don't have that many yet,cause I haven't been card making for too long.But I like your idea,right now
I just shove everything in a bin with no organization at all. I'm gonna have to get organized but I would never throw anything out either.

Gail K. said...

Diane - we think alike! I have my scraps organized similarly - except I use the large cello bags we sell in the catalogue.
Any scrap wider than 6" goes back in the hanging file for that colour - or gets cut down to fit.
I have also started adding bags for each of the Designer Papers as I get them (Designer Series Prints are classed with their colour).
I've had this system now for almost two year. I like the smaller size of mine 'cos it's easy to take to scrapbook crops elsewhere - and I always have some of every paper!

Haylie said...

What an awesome idea. I love it..thanks for sharing!!!!

Sue F. said...

Diane - I love your ideas on storing scraps. I keep the plastic wrap on the paper when I receive it, and just slide the scraps of the same colors to the front of the package. I even do this on the DSP. It keeps everything together and I don't have to look in more than one place for smaller pieces.

Joyce Traub said...

Diane - nifty idea for storing your scraps. I've been storing mine by color family in 8-1/2 x 11 boxes that are about 1 inch deep. It works pretty good right now because I don't have very many scraps but I like your idea of sorting by individual color. TFS.

Joyce Traub

Adrian said...

I'm a big scrap user too. I used to just keep them all in a big bag, but that got too tiresome to pick out the different colors.

So instead, I moved to a more simple method. I keep all of the greens in one folder, all the blues in another, etc. That's quick and easy enough for me and I find I get a lot more use out of my scraps that way. I just don't have the patience to sit and sort them all out down to the specific color and color family.

Joan B said...

Well, I used to organize my scraps. Lately, I find them everywhere and I box them up, forget about them and 6 months later give them away! Bad stamper.

Jennie Skaggs said...

I am like you...I hate throwing anything away. :) I don't use a lot of SU paper....however, I organize everything by color. If it is red it goes in one...doesn't matter if it pattern or not. LOL So I have a hole file box full, in seperate file folders. It works pretty good. And I use up a lot more scrap paper than ever. Love your idea too....Jennie