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Organizing just about anything is a "hot topic" these days, from Marie Kondo to The Home Edit (both available on Netflix) and I'm a huge fan of both for different reasons. But fair warning, after bing watching you just might have the urge to organize everything in sight in pretty rainbows or decorative boxes. Now doesn't that spark joy!
photo credit // The Home Edit
I've been paper crafting for 15+ years now, and often find myself editing supplies, and searching for new storage solutions that work for me within the spaces I have. I often see this question posted in online craft communities, so I thought I would share how I'm currently organizing stamps & kits I've collected specifically from Ali Edwards.
photo credit // Ali Edwards. Design Inc.
I'm a huge fan of Ali's design style and her kits. I have subscribed pretty much since the beginning and over the years (and a few house moves) I have had to come up with evolving solutions to not only store these kits, but also storage solutions that work for me to help me to easily find & actually use these items in my projects and albums. Anyone with me on this? If you're new to memory keeping, keep reading, I have tips for you too.
ORGANIZING TIP: before we dive into what it took me years to discover, let me say this, there is no one size fits all in organization. Some people need to "see" all things or they forget they have them. Others, don't need to see things open in sight, but still need to find them easily. Some items are consumable. Others are not. Editing your stuff, and categorizing it is key! Both can be hard. And you may find yourself taking a couple passes at this until you get comfortable with how much you have, and what groups work for you best. Then consider if you need to "see" it or you can "hide" it. The best organization system is a functional system that is consistently edited.
What's my organizing style? Honestly, I don't know, but I find myself using a "mix" of I need to see it, and I can hide it. And if I see it...it surely needs to be pretty! Or pretty functional, or pretty organized.
In this post I'll be showing how I currently store my Story Stamps.
Let's start with the STORY STAMPS.
These are my tips:
1. Stamps are not consumable. Meaning that you will never "use them up" rather you would use them "over and over" again.
2. Stamps need easy access to get used.
3. Stamps need to be labeled to find easily.
Years ago I found this white shelf unit from HomeGoods, and it's been with me ever since. At first it was like a candy store for craft supplies, but now it's evolved into a more functional space to store smaller items, and my stamps. The shelf was set up with 3 little pull out drawers at the bottom. Well, they mostly pulled out, but not all the way. That right there made it tricky to store items inside the drawers, so for years they sat empty or filled with things I forgot I had. (obviously not a good organizing spot for me)
In my space I also have a collection of the "white modular craft storage cubes" that have been well loved, and re-configured over the years. And a mix of Ikea Kalax Cubes & Alex drawers. At first, my kits, and stamps all lived happily together in one (or two) of the cubed drawers, separated with dividers. And I kept all the kits & stamps together, some I never even opened the plastic. Protecting them like gold, saving them in pristine condition. But...and it's a big BUT, I wasn't using them. I couldn't see them. Yes, they were organized, but it was just storage - not function.
I feel like organization is evolution, a process of learning what works, and making a series of small changes along the way. It was completely by accident that I discovered that these little drawers were the perfect 4x6 size to fit my stamps. And in that moment I made the decision to separate the stamps from the matching paper kit. Gasp! she did what?
I chose to keep the stamp with the story sparks card they come with, and add a tab at the top of the card with the stamp/kit name. I loved this and here's why: I could see them. They were in a good location with easy access, and they were still organized. And I had three drawers so I could "grow into" my storage. Until...it's full. This is where I'm at now. And the reason for this post. My cute little drawers are full. I've hit a crossroad; do I keep this system and find something else for more Ali stamps? do I say goodbye to the little drawers for stamps? Before I took this leap, I assessed what is or isn't working with how this is organized, and what I'd like to change or not change.
Looking at what storage I was already using, could that be expanded to "grow" my stamp storage, because I'm not sure I can ever stop my Ali stamp subscription!
Rewind to a few years back now, in a quest to find the perfect storage solution for stamps, I came across this video by Jennifer McQuire. Dream Craft room goals right there! I was sucked in. I ordered the pockets, and went on the hunt for the perfect storage container. When I found it, I bought three!
But I was using only one of them, since Ali's stamps had their own system.
I liked how that was working for me.
I asked myself this: could my stamps live together, and still be organized in two different systems?
ORGANIZING TIP: Real estate is valuable!
Location is key. I had to assess what I wasn't using, or could be moved to a closed storage location. My die cut machine & block dies are something I hardly use. Why were they taking up such valuable space? I've decided they need to find a new home, which can most certainly be in some type of closed storage, like a cabinet.
ORGANIZING TIP: add a bookend help your supplies stand up until your bin is fuller. All three bins fit perfectly on the shelf of my Ikea island in sight, labeled with easy access. They are "pretty" meaning that the storage containers "match". Yet the organization in each is set up slightly different. In time, I may choose to switch to the pocket storage system, or I may leave it. In the end I want what works best for me. If you've read this entire post, my hope is that this information helped you in some way, and you organize your supplies in what works best for you!
Did you crush your stamp organization? Tag me @ kh_papercrush, I'd love to see!
Up next: how I store my Story Kits.
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