Monday, September 20, 2010

Organization: Part Two

Question: What is the one thing that every stamper should start as soon as she buys her first stamp?

Answer: A stamp index!

Here is mine.  I started it last summer, after I had been stamping for about a year.  It took me a solid week of summer, but  I absolutely love it and can't imagine not having it (or starting it now!)  I have four binders: Stamps by Categories, Stamps by Company, Seasonal Stamps, and Embossing/Die Cuts.  My DH was nice enough to buy me pretty pink & brown binders at Office Depot for my project, too.  I use cheap cardstock for it, but heavy-duty page protectors (they were on clearance at the time so I stocked up).  Here are the categories I use: flowers, trees/leaves, butterflies/insects, birds, dogs, domesticated animals, wild animals/dinosaurs [there was no real need to break up domesicated and wild, but it makes me happy], people, things [I wish I would have made a separate food category], things that go, places/scenes, love, birthday, other events (baby/wedding/graduation), doodads, flourishes (two completely different things!), and backgrounds.  For the sentiments, I have an "all" category, then broken down into: love, birthday, thank you, friendship/miss you, congrats/wedding/baby, feel better/sympathy, and quotes.  I also have categories for each holiday.

For each new set, I pull out all the relevant categories and stamp. I also stamp the entire set on the company page.  Then I mark off the section and label it with company name and set number.  Learn from me: don't try to "squeeze" in different sets.  White space is your friend. Especially true for the sentiments-I started going across the page, but it is about 1000 times easier if they are all in a column like this.

This is one of my punch pages.  I punched the shape on the edge, then added the punched shape next to it.  Very handy to see if a sentiment will fit on a tag.

Which brings me to my next resource: my nestie pages!  I hate to brag, but these are awesome. I have these for each nestability set.  They are even color coded so all the circle sets are pink, squares green, etc.  To run them through the cuttlebug, I cut the paper in half (hint: cutting the paper in half at 5 1/2 instead of 4 1/4 makes it shift less).  Both sets of rectangles can fit on one sheet, as can the ovals, but circles & squares need two sheets if you're going to use both small and large.  Then I labeled them as S1, L1, S2, etc and with their measurement.  I don't keep them in a binder so I can just pull one out when I'm looking through my stamp index to see if what size will work.

Hating to throw anything away, I kept the cut portions together in a cd sleeve.  These are great to pull out to see how different sizes will fit in a layout.

And this is what I finally got around to doing last weekend-a stamp ink index.  My sister sent me a solid circle stamp that was perfect for the job.  I stamped all my inkpads on white, cream, and kraft.  And, guess what?  I chucked any pad that didn't work! I know, sounds crazy! Am I the only one that keeps throwing back dried-up old pads into the drawer (SU pigment pads, I'm looking in your direction)?

What are your favorite organizational tips or tricks?  I hope you found a few new ones here, or at least were inspired to do a little organizing with your own system!

ps-for real, start an index now.  The task will only get longer the more you put it off!


Emily Leiphart said...

Wow, Meg, what a great idea! I've never thought about making a stamp index and I think my husband will be the first to say that I should for those odd occasions when HE'S looking for something. LOL I love the pages with the punches and the way you use the negative shape to gauge whether it will work for an image or sentiment. Thanks for sharing your cleverness with us! :D

Emily Keaton said...

I am humbled by your awesome organizational skills. This is something else, Meg!! Your stamp index looks like lots of fun. WOW!! Thanks for sharing all of your tips and tricks :)

Angela said...

OK, the punch/nestie index is so super-smart! I kept a stamp index for the first couple years, but now, after 8 years...let's just say, going back to index is gonna take a leeeettle more effort than it would've if I'd kept it up! Maybe some day...
PS: your ink index reminds me of those "are you color-blind?" charts, but in a good way :)

Crafty Creations said...

This is awesome!! I finally got around to indexing 'most' of my clear stamps......I haven't done that to my PTI's since they come w. their own CD case. I love your Nesties and punch and TOTALLY love your INK THAT is something I've been telling myself to do!!
Great work :)

Jess said...

This is amaaaaaaazing and something, gosh, I wish I could put my mind to. Maybe next time I'm on holidays! :)

Thanks for the great nestie tips, I'm going to give that a go!

Charlene said...

I have a great idea! When it gets cold where you are, come down here where it's warm and YOU can organize MY stuff! I'd love it!!

Crafty Math Chick said...

These are TOTALLY AWESOME Meg!! Come over and help me with mine? LOL, what if I pay you?