DFW Metroplex, Photo Organization, Photo Organization Coach, Photography, Scrapbooking

Confessions of a Paper Hoarder

MEMORY KEEPING 101 – ORGANIZING YOUR PAPER ONCE YOU HAVE IT

Being a Paper Addict Has It’s Challenges!

Costing about 79 cents to $1 per 12X12 page, your paper is a valuable asset in your scrapbooking supplies. For that reason you need to find a way to protect it once you have it. While Creative Memories has awesome storage tools, it’s not the only game in town. Buy what you want, where you want to for your supply organization or even incorporate things you already have around the house, but don’t just leave the paper sitting around unprotected. And perhaps you’ll be smarter than me and not become a paper addict, so you won’t even need all this advice.

To protect my paper, I use various CM organizers I have bought over the years, but I also use a variety of boxes, envelopes and such I’ve repurposed for my scrapbooking supplies. For this reason, my studio is pretty low rent in comparison to those of other scrapbookers. They have special shelving to hold the cardstock and it looks just like what you see in the craft stores. Then they have another kind of shelving built to hold themed papers in their original packaging. They line it all up alphabetically and chat with one another about it like they are talking about old friends, instead of packages of paper.

Do not be intimidated by these scrappers. Your scrapbooks do not come out looking better just because you have fancy storage systems. You also shouldn’t buy up more paper than you will need in a reasonable length of time, unless like me, you just like paper. You do need some kind of system, so you’ll know where your stuff is and it won’t get damaged, but that’s the only criteria. As I’ve said before, it helps you get your scrapbooking done if you can designate a space in your house as your scrapbooking corner, but even that is not a requirement. It just helps.

My System

So, I have 10X12 papers I bought in the nineties, 12X12 cardstock and printed papers I’ve bought since then, and a whole lot of everything else. Any newly opened CM paper I have sits in a CM organizer, divided into plain cardstock, shimmer cardstock and printed paper and then sorted by color. I know the CM organizers will protect the paper because they are made with the same photo safe requirements. The primary reason I segregate my CM paper is because I do, from time to time, sell something to someone. You don’t need to be so fussy.

I also have my new papers from other sources stored in CM organizers. Many vendors sell their pages in a themed book, but I take them out and sort the paper. A smaller organizer holds papers from a ginormous book which would destroy the top edge of the sheet. I keep them separated, because I know they will not fully cover a 12X12 page and they are also not strong enough to be wallpaper. These are organized primarily by color, because there are no real themes. The rest of the non-CM papers I keep in a larger CM organizer, organized by theme.

All these steps just make me organized, but the sheer volume of my stash is a little ridiculous. It’s the rest of it that makes me a hoarder, but it also makes me very practical. I keep my scraps – all of them. Sure, if you’ve merely cut a circle out of one corner of a page that cost $1.25 almost anybody would store that page until they found a way to use the rest of it, but if it’s bigger than an inch, then I’m probably going to save it, too.

The pictures above are a sampling of my organized scraps, which I file by shape, size and color. On the left are the strips. In the middle are my small odd-shaped scraps. At that point, I am not as worried about archival issues. I challenge myself to use these rather than cut into a new piece of paper. It’s sort of a game with me. Cut new paper and I lose points.

Then on the right, behind my sticker organizer is a black CM organizer where I keep those sheet-sized scraps. This is not so much to protect them archivally as it is to keep them from getting wrinkled.

Do It Your Way

I have told you how I store my paper, not because it’s the right way to do it, but to give you some of my ideas, which might help you develop your own system. You may never see a piece of paper smaller than 12X12. You may always buy CM paper or you might never buy it from them. You may only have a few packs at any given time or you could become a full blown paper addict, like me. You be you.

These are the basics of paper handling and this is where you can stop buying tools and supplies, if you’d like. It’s all you’ll ever need to make beautiful albums. However, it just scratches the surface of what’s available out there if the scrapbooking bug bites you as hard as it has me.

Next week I’ll chat with you about the steps I take to build a page, which will by necessity introduce you to some of those other tools and embellishments you don’t need, but which will beg you to buy them.

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