I have a confession to make, I am drowning in paper scraps. I am afraid to throw anything away so I keep just about every single scrap. Frankly the managing of the scraps is taking a toll. For a long time I kept my scraps together with my full sheets because I wanted to make sure I was using them. When I first started paper crafting I had bins of scraps separated by color family. I found I wasn’t using them like I should because it was a pain to dig through the bin to find all the scraps I needed…so they began to pile up and become a huge burden. So, I changed my process and began filing them with the full sheets. I did use the scraps more often and that is great….but…now the problem was my full sheets of card stock were getting hard to find and the whole shelf just looked messy. I was getting annoyed every time I opened the doors to my cabinet.
The last straw was when I needed a pack of Pool Party. I couldn’t find any full sheets of Pool Party and I couldn’t really find any scraps. So I ordered a pack. After the order was placed I decided I couldn’t take it anymore and started organizing my paper again. Guess what? I found a whole pack of Pool Party! Ugh! Have you even been in this situation before? It’s so frustrating, right?!.
When you’re organized things are easier to find which helps you get to the fun stuff, creating. For me nothing kills my creativity faster than wasting my time looking for stuff and feeling unorganized.
I got started by first pulling all my scraps out of my paper holders and made sure they are where organized. I organized my card stock by color family. Choose a method that works for you.
I had some plastic wood mount boxes left and made the plan in my head to use those to help me organize my scraps. I would use one box per color, except white…that may take another solution. Whatever scraps didn’t fit would get recycled, I just had to make a rule to keep them under control. What I found was that the wood mount cases were a perfect size, aside from just a few colors, most all my scraps fit in their individual boxes. I recycled pieces that were crumpled, already stamped on one side (yeah I know…I saved those too if you can believe it) and there were several I am not sure why I saved them because they were so small I couldn’t’ use them anyway. The mayor of crazy town has nothing on me.
I cut a 1″ x 7″ strip of each color and taped it to the spine under the plastic cover so I could see clearly what the color was in the case. You could even write the name on the strip of card stock or use a label maker to label each case making it even easier to identify each color. They stack nicely in my cabinet now and I love it. I did run out of cases so I will have to finish the rest of the colors later. Stampin’ Up! doesn’t sell the wood mount cases anymore. You could use the standard cases if you have less scraps…which is very likely. Or you can grab some off amazon like I did. Here is the link to the ones I bought.
This brings me to some new scrappy habits that I would like to share with you. When I cut paper down, I try, if I can, cut the sheet in half to create two card bases first. Then I use one half for my project whether it be die cutting, stamping, or whatever. The other half is folded in half into a card base and placed into a basket with other card bases. This keeps my scrap count down and now I have a card base ready for the next time I want to make a card. I have discovered that this is pretty handy. I have several colors ready to go and it saves me having to dig around for a card base. The remaining pieces are then put in the scrap case to be used next time.
The next habit is to make sure you always reach for your scraps or your card base first before you grab a full sheet of card stock. This will not only keep your paper storage looking nice, it will save you money too! One key tip I learned many years ago was if you want to be organized you have to make staying organized easy.
Do you have some scrappy habits you would like to share? Please feel free to share them in the comments below.