Sunday, December 19, 2010

Paper Storage - An Evolutionary Process

My paper storage has been just that, an evolutionary process.  Much like any kind of organization, it evolves, changes, and gets better (or sometimes worse).  Depending on our needs at the time, our storage and organization can take on many forms.  I am really happy with my paper storage in its present state of evolution.

I will take you through my paper storage journey.

My first way of storing paper was in a 24 cubby paper storage organizer. The kind you find at office supply stores.  Since I had all 48 SU colors plus the neutral colors, I had to double up the papers in each slot.  It worked, but I wanted something better.  Back then I didn't think to take photos of my storage - who does that sort of thing?

Then one day, my husband came home with two of these metal storage shelves from a friends office that was closing down.  The were free!

I now had enough room to put each color paper in its own slot.  Hurray!  I had more than enough room for this shelf in the closet of my craft room.  This was very early on in my crafting days, hence all the storage space, and it was important to me to keep my paper out of the light to reduce fading.  I used the second shelf to store my stamps.

Then we moved.

And I lost half of my closet space.

I had to find a new way to store my paper.  Or an old way.  I went back to the 24 cubby system, but ended up with two of them.  I still had to double up some of my paper, but it worked for the time being.

Then I decided to store my paper by color families in magazine holders.  This was a much better system for utilizing my space - something I was losing at an exponential rate.  (Crafting hoarders know what I mean!)

I layed the holders on their backs so I would have full access to pull the papers out, and it also lessened the space between my shelves in my closet.  Each color family had its own holder.  My 12x12 paper was stored in Cropper Hopper storage units in no particular order.

I haven't mentioned yet how I stored my scraps.  At first, I had a binder for each color family and a page protector for each color.  Boy, how I was organized!  But if I needed access to more than one binder, it became quite a mess pulling out scraps all over the place.  I decided to use a portable file box and used a hanging file folder for each color.  (Still sorted by SU color families).  This was a great method to keep all my scraps together, and I do use them.  I always look at my scraps first before cutting into a new sheet.  You know how I hate to waste my supplies!

This is my portable file box with all my scraps.
Then one day, my husband came home with a modular wall storage unit he got at a garage sale that he thought I could use in my craft room.  He is always looking out for me!  One of the units was a file cabinet, and perfect for all my 8 1/2 x 11 papers.

All of the SU colors fit in one drawer.

And the neutrals and other misc. papers fit in the other.

I still had to keep my scraps seperate because there wasn't enough room to combine them like I really wanted to.

Then my room got a make-over, and ScrapNcube had just what I needed.  I wanted to put my scraps with my full sheets, and their file drawers are much larger than the ones I was using, so I was able to put them all together.  That is one of the best decisions I have ever made.  No more going to two different places for the same thing.

I decided to abandon the color families and organized by ROYGBV.  That is the second best decision I have ever made.  I'm still trying to figure out why I didn't do that sooner.

The top file drawer has all the SU colors including the neutrals and In Colors.  Each color has its own hanging file folder.  I keep my paper in the plastic wrap (no, I don't know why) and the scraps live in front of the full sheets.  These drawers are huge - I have at least a full pack of each color plus scraps, and they all fit in one drawer.

The bottom drawer has misc 8 1/2 x 11 papers and all the retired papers that I now keep in the portable file box.  I just stuck the whole thing in the drawer.

Now for my patterned paper storage.  ScrapNcube's hanging file drawers are perfect for all my 12x12 papers.  I purged a lot of my patterned paper when I was putting my room back together so I would have room to store what I really wanted to keep.

The first drawer has all my SU patterned paper, and the second drawer has SU solid/textured 12x12 papers and misc patterned paper from other companies.  If I ever get back into scrapbooking, I'll use some of this paper.  I find it very challenging to use it on my CAS style cards.

I think I have finally found the perfect paper storage for me - file drawers with a file for each color, scraps together with full sheets, protected from the light, and very accessible.

If you're still with me, I hope you have found some inspiration for your paper storage needs.



Bonnie said...

I know you are enjoying having all your papers organized. How nice to be able to get to whatever you want without having to hunt. What is ROYGBV?

Susan Raihala said...

ITA about breaking up the color families to ROYGBV...wish I'd done it sooner, but when SU revamped the families, it suddenly became much easier for me to let go of the old system.