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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Sorry for my long absence...December was a very busy month! But I'm back now...ready for a New Year! Here's to a happy and healthy 2011!

Besides trying to lose weight, one of my New Year's Resolutions is to help you become more organized with your stamping supplies! I want you to know what you have and be able to use it!

Ready? Start reading...

Forget those big, impossible-to-keep resolutions! A better way to ring in the new year (conveniently, 1-1-11) is with one small thing you can do each day this month (or really, any time this year). Follow the calendar of tips and ideas on the next pages to make this year easier, more fulfilling and a whole lot of fun.

-Woman’s Day magazine, January 2011, page 13

I thought this was a good quote to introduce some organizing tips I want to share with you. The article in Woman’s Day had 31 ideas - 1 for each day in the month of January. They had some excellent ideas, and if you have access to the magazine, I would recommend reading it. But we’re talking about stamping, so I’m going to help you organize your stamping supplies!

Number 1 is, of course, stamps!

I must say I LOVE the new clear mount stamps! Having them in DVD cases that are all the same size is so helpful! And they’re so slim- I can fit two cases in the space one wood mount set would take up. But not all stamp sets are available as clear mount and you probably aren’t going to un-mount your wood mount stamps, so how do you organize them? This is what I do:

Sydne helping to show how I store my stamps

All of my current stamp sets are in drawers of carts I found at Sam’s Club. The carts have three large drawers on the bottom and four small drawers on the top. My stamps are in the large drawers, and I have them separated into categories: Holidays/Hostess/Mini Catalog, Alphabets & Greetings, Flowers/Nature/Animals, All Occasions, and Past Mini Catalogs/Misc. Sometimes one drawer will have too many for a category, so I end up moving them to another, but this is generally what I use. The stamp sets are standing on their edge so I can read them (clear mount sets) or pull them up to see what they are. I may have to move a set in the front to get to one in the back, but they are all easy to get to:

stamps in their drawers

Discontinued stamps are another story…they are stacked in a cabinet so they are out of the way, but still fairly easy to get to if I need them. I have to really like a discontinued stamp set to keep it, otherwise I sell them because I don’t like to demonstrate with something my customers can’t order. So I don’t have that many sets in the cabinet. They are stacked by size and labeled on the ends so I can see what they are without pulling them all out. This also lets me know they are discontinued and need to go back in the cabinet when I’m done with them:

discontinued stamp sets

So I know what sets I have, I stamp every stamp from each set on a piece of white cardstock that is 5 ½ x 8 ½ and keep them in a small binder. I like the smaller size, but you could use a full size binder as well. I have all the pages in the same order as they are in the catalog- then similar stamps are together. You could also keep them alphabetically. When I’m looking for a particular stamp, or want to see what would fit in a certain layout, I can page through the book rather than going through all of my stamps:

 a page from my stamp book

I also have an Excel Spreadsheet on my computer that lists each stamp set, item number, and retail price. The sets are arranged alphabetically in categories of current, mini catalogs, and discontinued. This is another way of knowing exactly what I have (if I keep it up to date!) and it’s a way of showing what I have spent in case I need it for insurance purposes.

This is what works for me, and by no means is perfect for everyone! Use what is available to you! Here are some other storage ideas that I have heard of: open shelves, under-bed storage containers, a dresser, tool box, baskets. Whatever you use, try to make it as organized as possible so you know what you have and are able to use your stamps! And make sure you put things back so you can find them again next time.

I hope this helps you to get your stamps organized! I will be highlighting a different stamping supply each month this year. Next month: ink pads!

* Feel free to add comments/tips/ideas about how you store your stamps!

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