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Friday, January 22, 2010

Clean Out Your Papers!!!

   So many of us tend to collect papers and then we get over run with them.  A friend of mine is in the process of organizing her room and has a major paper problem so I thought I would post a solution.  For this task, you will need to purchase a few boxes of Hefty 2.5 gallon ziploc bags to use for papers as well as some wire racks for sheet pans or some other way of storing the bags once you get everything sorted.  For any papers that are packaged together as a set, you should leave these as a set.  You may wish to label them with the name of the paper line and a theme.  Note:  This is for patterned paper only.  For cardstocks, you may wish to sort them with the themes shown here but I prefer to keep them seperated by color and I only use one brand of cardstock.  I store mine in Crop in Style paper takers so that I can easily take them with me to crops.  Two of them hold all 60 colors of CTMH cardstocks. 

First:  Sort through your lose papers, arranging into 2 piles.  One pile is keep, the other is get rid of.  You are going to get rid of any papers that you do not like.  If you are unsure, put them in the keep pile.  We will sort through again several times.

Second:  Now take the pile that you are keeping and sort through again.  This time we are getting rid of papers that we do not like and ones that we don't think we will use.  To decide if you will use it, think about specific ideas for that paper.  Is it kinda vacationy?  Boyish?  Birthdayish?  If you can think of a use for it, keep it.  If you cannot, get rid of it.

Third:  We are going to sort through our papers again.  This time we are going to use the zippy bags and sort the papers into themes.  For each paper, consider where it would work best.  Make a bag for each holiday that you celebrate, a bag for boys, girls, birthdays, etc.  Put your papers into these bags.  For striped or other non-catagoried papers, match them with other papers from the same brand and decide which bag the set should go into.  Be sure to label each bag.  As you sort through the papers, if you can't think of a theme that you would like to use that paper with, then get rid of it.  As you do this, you may find that many of the papers you decided to keep are actually not going to fit into your catagories and you won't be able to decide on a catagory for it.  If this happens, get rid of it.   

Fourth:  Now that you have all of your papers sorted, put the bags into the wire racks or other storage method you came up with.  I keep only 3 of the wire racks that are sold for $6 each at Wal-Mart.  If these racks are getting full, I know that I need to scrapbook more so that I can use the papers.  I got rid of TONS of papers to get down to this amount and I have yet to complete any project that I didn't have the papers that I needed for it.  Keeping my papers in these racks keeps them out and visable to me at all times.  I have had my papers stored in this manner for about 8 months and it has helped drastically.  I don't actually keep the bags in any order on the wire racks, I just keep one rack for my kit of the months; one for my other papers and one for my CTMH papers.  In the photos shown, you see all three racks lined up in a row.  The are now seperated but both ways work great.  I actually wish that I currently had space to line them all back up, I liked it better that way. 


   Remember, once you have gotten your papers organized, you have to keep them that way.  When you purchase new papers, put them into one of the bags.  If you purchase a new set, put it in a bag and add it to the racks.  I try to use up one set of paper, for each new set that I purchase.  You can also sort through your die cuts and add to the themed bags if you want, but we will get to that later.  I hope that this was helpful to you.  Keep checking back for more on organization.  I will be helping a friend to organize her scraproom over the next few months so you will probably see lots of organizational posts.  I have gotten a good bit of artwork completed over the last few weeks so I will be posting those soon as well.  Happy Scrappin!!!