Sunday, February 6, 2011

"Get It Together": Organizing with Style Week 4

Hello Everyone!  Welcome to Week #4 of the LBH "Get it Together"  in 2011 Organizing with Style feature!  I want to thank you for staying committed and I hope you will continue to be inspired and motivated to transform your own personal scrap space and get organized.  This week we are going to dive into those piles of paper that we all have!! 

Most of us can get easily overwhelmed by paper because it’s what we have so much of! If it isn't filed in a user-friendly manner, then we end up forgetting or ignoring what we have or just simply can't find what we know we have. It can be very frustrating. I'm going to share with you today 4 different Organizational Systems that I think work best when it comes to PAPER:

#1 - By Color:
A common way to sort cardstock and printed papers is by color. When I am sorting by color, I use the Rainbow system. You probably remember this from Science class (ROY G BIV) = red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. I  sort whites/creams in front of my rainbow and browns/grays/blacks at the back of my rainbow.  You can also sort your patterned paper using this method by simply filing your patterned paper into whichever color is the most dominant in each sheet of paper. This method works best for non-themed, geometric, or generic papers.

#2 - By Theme: 
Separating out all of your themed papers and seasonal papers is a great time saver. This way you can find them more searching and sifting through paper after paper. Sorting by theme is a perfect solution for all of your specific papers for Holidays, Seasons, and specific events (such as baseball,dance, school) or specific destinations (such as Disney, camping) and specific people (such as baby/pets).

#3 - By Manufacturer:
Some of you have become quite familiar with specific lines and manufacturers. If you are one of these people, then this may be a good option for you. If you tend to buy papers by collection, you will be challenged to separate them by color or theme because an entire line of paper might not fit into a certain theme or category... and it might have a variety of colors so they don't tend to fit into one logical place. This is why I generally store by Manufacturer until I have used the majority of the collection, then I would transfer the remaining papers into my "general population" which would be sorted by color or theme.  

#4 - By Project:
This is an option that most people don't think of ...but I'm finding that it works well for me. Sometimes, I purchase several sheets of paper together with a specific project in mind. I have found if I keep those items together and label it with the specific project that I have in mind, I actually get the project done!  how many times have you come across a stack of paper that you know you bought for a specific purpose but for the life of you can't remember now what it was?!?!  You will want to store these in a specific place and label them clearly with your project ideas.

Now, here is the interesting part...I think most of us struggle with our paper because we want to use one system. I have tried just about everything and what works best for me is not 1 but all 4 of the systems I mentioned above.  But no matter how YOU decide to organize your scrapbook paper, it is important to figure out what works best for you and consider how you create. Then, choose the organizational systems that work best and plan how and where you will put them in your Scrap Space.

Scrappy Do #1 for this week: 
Before organizing into a working organizational system, first you will need to do some sorting.  Separate and stack ALL of your paper into the following groups: (Keep your blessing box close by to donate papers you will not use in the future)

     1.    12x12 solids / cardstock
2.    12x12 general prints
3.     themed/seasonal prints
4.     specific collections
5.     specific projects
6.     scraps / solid
7.     scraps / printed
8.     specialty papers (glitter papers, vellum, mulberry,etc.)

Once you have separated and created your stacks, then you will begin to sort each stack.  Start with stacks that you want to colorize. Here is a handy dandy Color Guide to assist you.
LBH Color Guide
·       White-all shades including creams or off-whites
·       Red- all shades of red including pinks
·       Orange-all shades including those with hints of rust
·       Yellow-all shades including golds
·       Green- all shades
·       Blue-all shades including teals and aqua
·       Purple-all shades including violets
·       Brown- all shades including tans
·       Black-all shades including grays

Next, sort through your remaining stacks in your desired theme, by manufacturer, by project, etc.

Scrappy - Do #2:  LABEL & STORE
Now that you've gone through all the hard work of separating and sorting, I cannot stress how important this next step is! All the organizing systems in the world will not help you if you don't LABEL, LABEL, LABEL
This is key...this is how you will be able to find the papers you want easily and efficiently. It is really personal preference as to how or where you store your paper, but if things aren't labeled clearly, you will be searching through stack after stack, constantly in search mode.

Here are some great ideas on what to store your paper in:
Paper racks & Paper trays

12x12 vertical paper organizers

Vertical Paper Organizers and File Folder drawers are my personal favorites! 

 Hanging Files
Flex-file Holders

All of these items can generally be found at your larger Craft Stores, such as Michaels, JoAnn, Hobby Lobby and you can also find them at places like the Container Store and Ikea. Watch for sales and stock up then!
Whew! I feel like I've thrown a lot of information at you today so I will let you absorb this and then on Wednesday. I will post a mini-segment about how to organize and utilize your SCRAPS. So just set those aside for now and we will tackle them a little later this week.

Okay gals, I have faith in you and I know we can do this!  I'll be sorting right along with you...I promise! So let's stay committed and "Get it Together" this week! Watch out paper we come! Please share with us your favorite ways of organizing your papers and be entered into a chance to win some wonderful glitter paper from KI Memories!

Speaking of winners, the winner from Week #3 is:
Karen Ellis
Congrats Karen! Please contact the LBH to receive your goody bag from American Crafts!

Happy Sorting!
Miss Tracy :)


  1. Thanks for the ideas. I have been trying to organize my scraproom for a while now. Hopefully I will be motivated more to work in it now.
    stanner58 at yahoo dot com

  2. Wow... this sounds will be working on this... do you know a good place to get vertical storage for 12x12 sheets? the magazine box type deals? off I go to sort sort sort.. thanks Miss Tracy...

  3. I've been separating but now need to officially label and store! As DeeDee asked, where's a good place to get hanging 12 by 12 holder and files? I'm excited!

  4. So glad to read that not one system works for all your paper. I have solids sorted by color and stored in units I bought at the Container Store. I have a drawer for my "specialty" paper which includes vellum, glitter paper, wood sheets, leather looking paper, etc. I have a huge pile that doesn't for into my system so I will be sorting through it to see if I can organize it using your four recommended categories. I think it was a picture of me with that stack of unfiled paper and the word "procrastination". Lol. My job tomorrow...tackle that stack!

  5. I have a lady whose husband used to make wood horizontal storage racks for 12 x 12 - that is my favorite one!

  6. Thanks Tracy!
    I could use a few more 12x12 vertical file boxes. I wonder if they are on sale somewhere.

  7. I added one more item to your stack list...Specialty Papers. Thanks to Deb for the reminder. This would be items like vellum, acrylic sheets, overlays, glitter paper, etc.

    Also, I added some info to the post about where you can find some of the organizational stuff. I mainly use vertical storage for my papers. I can see everything better and it is easy to label them.

  8. I actually use all of the methods also. Miss Kelly got me a rack out of an old scrapbook store and that has been a lifesaver.

  9. i am a huge paper hoarder & i desperately need to go through my stacks & sort. haven't done it in months. and labeling would be good too. thanks for all the ideas &'re the best! hugs!

  10. I store mine in 12x12 plastic lidded boxes horizontally, cardstock sorted by color, patterned paper sorted by season.

  11. I am so glad I read this because I feel so much better. I have organized my paper in all four ways forever and thought there should be a better way, and guess what, there is not and it is ok to use all 4 ways, yea!!!! now to work on the scraps. I just bought veritcal files for my scraps yesterday and then read this today so excited I was one step ahead and ready to work on scraps, woo hoo

  12. Thanks for the visual ideas. I currently have mine sorted by color, however, my specialty papers are tougher to sort...Do you think it's best to separate paper stacks and sort them or keep them in their paper pad arrangement? Thanks! :)

  13. I would keep them in there paper pad assortment since they all are designed to coordinate.

  14. Thanks for the ideas....I will get busy and sort, sort, sort!!

  15. i use vertical paper files and sort by theme and also by groups that have embellishments that match. so i use 2 systems. that's what works for me.

  16. Okay gals...I fixed the oopsie on the post. Separate not seperate.

  17. Wonderful ideas, Tracy!!! This is how I've organized them in my mind---now just to do it with the actual paper!!LOL
    I put holidays and special days in their own box with embellishments and specialty ribbons that go with that holiday--ex.ribbons that have "Halloween" or "Smooch" written on them with that holiday. The boxes are those semi-clear ones that snap together and have a place for labels. Amy Click also gave me an idea to buy clear 3 drawer stack boxes from Hobby Lobby with a coupon. They are 12x12 or maybe a little larger and are great for housing ongoing projects!! You just take the drawer with you to a crop and you've got everything you need for that project!! Keep the ideas coming!! It's great to see ideas on everyone's posts,too!!

  18. That's pretty close to how I have my papers organized. Good to know someone else has several different systems for paper. If I buy a whole paper line I keep it all together with the embellishments that coordinate until I do some projects with it, then the leftovers get separated into the appropriate place. I have drawers for all the themes that I use the most, all the Holidays, Birthdays, travel, heritage, recipes/cooking, Disney, dogs, Barbie etc. And then cardstock is organized by color.

  19. Hmmm... I usually have head height stacks of paper around the room which creates a maze and I wander around till something falls on me! No, seriously, I really appreciate the tips... paper organization is very hard for me because I want it all at my fingertips but I need to declare a working system and stick to it. I'll be dragging my sister, Queen of Organization over to help!

  20. I separate all my Stamping UP paper by collection, all specialty paper by manufacturer and also by holidays and themes with embellishments included

  21. I also use all 4 methods. I do exactly the same thing you do. I keep my new manufacturer papers together until most of it is used and then they go to my seasonal or color files. I have hanging files for those. The project files are actually clear envelopes in a milk crate type tote.


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