Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Some Cool Organizational Tips

For some great responses to my request for tips and tricks regarding purging, storage, organization, and managing our hoards, please read the comments on this post. Some readers sent me personal emails with responses, so I've added them below for your edification.

1. To create a flexible sentiment index, reader Darla uses a recipe box with dividers. She cross-references where to find each sentiment on the lined side of the card, while the images are stamped on the unlined side. This setup would be very easy to keep updated!

2. To keep track of sets, reader Patti has a word file with each name and its location in her hoard collection. She also has a photocopy of each set in 3-ring binders labeled with the location. Her sets are stored in plastic VHS boxes (along with coordinating dies) and stored in a giant DVD storage unit she found at Goodwill. She's currently indexing her sentiments in a spiral binder. Patti is extremely organized. And she has a LOT of stamp sets. But I promised I wouldn't say anything about that. Shhh!

3.  To keep your desk clean, try a "put it away" box like Darla uses.

Isn't that a gorgeous--and practical--solution for keeping things tidy?

4. Advice for purging from Patti: Stay strong. Once you put your supplies in the "purge box," don't look at them again!

5. Put card stock in a filing cabinet in hanging file folders like Patti does. I use the Cropper Hopper plastic storage for card stock, and even though it's out of direct sunlight, there is fading along the edges of some colors. Putting colored card stock in black-out conditions, as in a filing cabinet, will prevent this.

6. Indexing: Many readers recommend Evernote for indexing stamps. Electronic indexing makes a lot of sense. Tracey Jean pointed out that you can add pictures of matching dies to stamp-set entries, which would be an excellent way of remembering which sets' coordinating dies you have.

7. "Use-It Bin": I have a "use it" bin that all my new stamps go into. My rule is that I cannot put new stamps away in my stash until I've used them. Reader Laura has a little different take on the "use-it bin." Whenever she comes across supplies in her stash that she wants to use soon, she puts them into her use-it bin. That way, she doesn't forget her plans to use her hoard.

I hope these tips help you as they have helped me.

Now, after that post requesting general tips and tricks, I posted two very specific questions. Lots of you left suggestions in the comments for that post.

The first question was about organizing sentiment sets. Some people have broken up sets and combined their sentiments by theme (all "thank you" stamps together, all "thinking of you" stamps together, etc.). I'm not prepared to do that, even though it's a great idea. Here's what I ended up doing.

This CD storage bin sits on my desk,
just in reach, at all times.

Note there's a blank tab in the back, simply because I figured it would be a good idea in case I decide to break down the all-occasion sets somehow. So far, this is helping. A lot. And yes, I re-made the tab for All-Occasion sets because I realized, when looked at the photo on my computer screen, that I'd misspelled occasion. Yikes!

The second question I asked was whether to do a new index or not. As stated above, Evernote was the most highly recommended indexing software/app. The jury is still out for me on this one. If I ever do another index, I will likely choose Evernote--and ask my 16-year-old son to help me set it up on my iPad because he's an Apple geek. Other electronic options mentioned were Picasa and Pinterest (set up on a private board)...both great ideas.

Many, many thanks to all who contributed ideas in the comments of both posts and who emailed me with additional suggestions. Also, thanks for your patience in my getting this post out! I hope it's helpful to you in some small way.



  1. The "put-it-away" box is pure genius for the way I work! Thank you, Darla, for sharing that. I have something similar for my dies that I keep next to my Big Shot: an oblong metal container. I put some of those heavy-duty magnets on the bottom of the container, and then just drop my dies inside. I don't have to worry about them falling into the trash or getting stuck to something else. I tend to get in a creating frenzy, and end up stacking piles of things all over the place, to get them out of my way. So now, when I can't find something, it will be in either of 2 places: put away or to be put away.

    There may be hope for me yet!

  2. How do I get rid of stamps in the purge box? Thanks

  3. Great suggestions! I recently met a lady who keeps one of those smaller 3-drawer plastic units on her desk. She puts all the extras she pulls out and creates in it. Extras like when you die cut something but decide not to use it; you pull out 6 brads but only use 4; you cut a hunk of ribbon and don't use it; you stamp a greeting on a separate piece of paper and don't use that; and all those little scraps of papers you create as you make. She uses that container as her "go-to" container whenever she needs something or needs inspiration. I thought that sounded nice to keep the bits and the scraps to a minimum. Here's the kicker--she throws everything out from those drawers once a month. She either uses it or loses it. My gosh that sounded harsh as you might want those extra brads someday. She says it is so things don't stagnate or pile up on her.

  4. Does anyone have more details on how to use Evernote to organize? Sounds promising.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!