Paper can often be the most overwhelming part of our craft supply collection. Many paper crafters have thousands of sheets of paper.
I like to start with paper because it is the supply we use on almost every project. Which means, you’ll also get the most benefit, most of the time, from getting it organized.
What you need:
Vertical Paper Storage Boxes
Label Tabs/Sticky Notes – I prefer plastic, flexible notes over paper.
12×12 Paper Pockets, SuperSized Singles, Sideloader Singles or Collection Keepers
ScrapMasters, File Folders or Scrap Pockets
Themes & Sentiments list you created last week
Why Vertical Paper Storage Boxes –
Vertical simply takes up less space on your workspace while at the same time giving you easiest access during both organizing/sorting, and crafting.
Paper Pockets, SuperSized Singles, Sideloader Singles or Collection Keepers
You’ll use these to keep “collections”of paper together. All of these that listed are Totally-Tiffany brands, but there are other brands available, you just need something that is 12.5” x 12.5”.
The first step – labeling for sorting
Review your T&S list. Do you need to consolidate – sports, pets, travel?
How will you label your calendar year section? Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall – or month to month, or a combination?
Add labels to your dividers. Put sticky notes for each of the minor categories that will go behind that divider on the divider so they’re accessible when you’re sorting. I prefer plastic sticky notes like Shut Your Flap Tabs Large and Shut Your Flap Tabs Small. These will bend but not “fold” over. There are a variety of manufacturers that produce this type of sticky note.
The Rainbow – ROY G BIV and black, white, neutrals, metallics – I use permanent labels for this category from the beginning. I know these will always be the same. I recommend organizing light to dark and then placing printed or patterned paper behind the solid colors. (ROY G BIV – how to remember the rainbos – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) Begin Sorting
Start with a small stack of paper – no more the 6”. It’s better to start and finish 5 small tasks than it is to start and not finish 1.
Put all of the dividers into 1 Vertical Paper Storage box.
Begin sorting, working your way through the pile of paper – filing by theme, holiday or color.
As you come across “collections” of paper, put all of the sheets into a paper pocket/scrapmaster – add a label and file the collection behind the proper divider.
Divide and keep going…
When your vertical box gets too full to comfortably sort into, divide your sorted paper and dividers in half, but the second half into a second vertical paper box and keep sorting.
When you’ve completed your sorting – move your newly organized paper boxes into your “organized only” space.
Scraps should be stored with your full sheets of paper. Use ScrapMasters, file folders or paper pockets to sort and store scraps. When organizing scraps set a minimum scrap size – it might be 12×6, 6×6, or 2×2 – what are you most likely to use? Once you’ve established your minimum scrap size discard anything that doesn’t meet that minimum. Store scraps in you file folder, ScrapMaster, etc., with the smallest scraps in the front so you’ll have a peek at most of the scraps in your stash just be glancing at the ScrapMaster or file folder.
Store paper pads vertically with your individual sheets of paper. Add a Label/sticky note to them so you’ll be able to easily recognize them when you need them. Store scraps from your paper pads in a Paper Pocket, and slip the paper pocket into the back of the paper pad.
If this paper isn’t part of “collection,” if it wasn’t purchased for a specific reason – store it in the category where you’re most likely to use it, or in the rainbow section of the color that is dominant in the design. Remember you need a GOOD system, not a perfect system.
This week’s challenge checklist:
- Set a goal – how much paper will you sort, organize, and store this week?
- Use a label maker or marker to label your Sticky Notes/Label Tabs to match the categories from the themes & sentiments list you created last week.
- Create dividers for each category.
- Load a vertical paper storage box with all the labeled dividers.
- Start sorting paper a few inches at a time.
- Finish by adding scraps into each category.
- Add Paper pads and stacks – label them with sticky notes and store vertically with your sorted boxes of paper.
- Celebrate with your reward.
- Enter the weekly contest.
Grab a coffee and watch this week’s video!