Saturday, June 14, 2008

My System of Stamp Organization!

Hello there! I disappeared again!! It is so easy for time to slip away and not find time to add some blogging to my daily routine. I will keep trying for daily posts, but it may be hit or miss sometimes when this busy life gets in the way!
It is a beautiful Saturday morning here in Florida and I hope to get to spend some time outside this weekend and maybe even catch some rays! If you saw my skin you would think I still lived in Michigan... I am so white!! LOL!
Tom and I had a really nice time at Chad and Tiffani's house last night! They made us a wonderful dinner of steamed shrimp and crab stuffed Tilapia. Yummy! And it was even on my diet too! Unfortunately the evening got interrupted with a call for me to go in to work, but any time we get to spend with them is worth it!
It is nice to hang out with Tiffani, not only because she is my best friend, but also because she is dieting with me and we try to be good to keep each other on our diets and not tempt each other. We both are doing pretty well, I have now lost a total of 7.5 pounds since I started. My goal is to lose 11 more before the 4th of July! I think I can, I think I can... I know I can!! I have been a little stronger this week and not had as many urges to really cheat like I did last week!

Tonight I get to hang out with my sister Michelle, and her new boyfriend Claude. We are hopefully going to go the restaurant that Tom thinks we should have our reception in! I am excited about that! Then we are going to listen to my mom and the band that she plays Folk music with at a local hang out. It should be a great night!

Tomorrow is Father's Day and unfortunately I won't get to see my dad because he is still in some pain from a bulging disk in his back! He got his cortisone shot this week, but it still looks like surgery might have to be in his future! :-( I hope he gets his card in the mail by today!

So I promised you a look at how I have chosen to organize my stamps! It isn't anything fancy, just what works for me! Many of you may even think that it is a silly way to do it, but I believe that the important thing about organizing your things is so that it makes the most sense for you and lets you work efficiently.

I started collecting SU stamps probably about 4-6 months ago and admit that I went a little crazy on EBay! I am a little obsessive that way, but had just fallen in love with all the beautiful stamped cards I was seeing on my favorite blogs and I wanted to make sure that I could have a variety of stamps to be able to choose from for my creations too!

So as all these stamps started flooding in, along with my monthly orders from Monica, I knew I had to come up with a system of organization! With all my other scrapbooking supplies, I organize by color, but obviously this wasn't possible with stamps!

So here is how I store mine! This is a picture of all my wood mounted stamps (on the top) and the CD cases below hold all of my unmounted stamps and clear acrylic stamps. They are all organized by theme!

Here is a closeup of one of the shelves.

I decided that made the most sense to me, because let's say I wanted to make a birthday card for someone, instead of looking through all of my cases of stamps, I just have to locate the ones titled Birthday and search through them! Here is a closeup of how I label my bins! (Sorry it is blurry!)

Many of the stamp sets from SU! come in collections that have varied themes in them. For example, my recently purchased Artfully Asian collection has three flower or plant images and two sentiments: "Thank you", and the phrase "Each day provides its own gift". So when I first get my stamps, I take a picture of the labels before I put them on the stamp blocks (or I stamp each of the sets images onto a piece of paper) and store it in a binder so that I can have a master list of all my stamps and know which stamps are together in a set.

Then I separate them into the categories I believe they fit in. In this case, the three flower and plant images go into my Flowers bin, the Thank you stamp goes into my Thank You bin, and the other sentiment I have placed in my Encouragement bin. I know that some of you are probably gasping at the fact that I separate my sets from each other and not use the cute little container that SU sent with them. But for me this works! I do save all my SU clear boxes in case I would change my organize style in the future or want to sell the set!

My binder is still a work in progress. I have all my stamp sets either stamped or copied onto a piece of paper, but I haven't organized the binder yet. Eventually I will have all of the papers organized into themes also. I will copy any pages that fit into multiple categories and place a copy into each category the stamp set fits into. On the bottom of each page I have stated who the stamps are from, the name of the set and how many pieces are in the collection and then also which bin it is categorized into.

So now, when I want to make a Thank You card, I can pull out my binder and scan through all of my collections that have the Thank you theme. Each set will say which bin it is contained in if there are more than one of those bins. Currently I am on my third bin of Flower stamps. So I would mark on a certain stamp set page Flower 1, Flower 2 or Flower 3 to help me find it faster. It is so much easier to peruse pages to find what I want then to look into each bin that is in a stack of six tall on my shelves!

My next phase of organization will be to take a full bin of a certain theme and stamp each image onto a sheet of paper that will be kept in the bottom of the bin so that I will always know how the stamps fit into the bin. That is going to be a big job, but that will be necessary! Once I figure out the best way to fit all the stamps into each bin, I want to make sure that they continue to fit well. It is kind of like putting a puzzle together and I like doing that part actually!

In a similar fashion, I do my unmounted and acrylic stamps the same way except instead of keeping them in bins, they are in CD cases!

This shows a closeup of the CD case labels...

In case you are wondering, the cases I use for my stamps are purchased from JoAnn's and they are made by Darice. They are a hard plastic case that is clear and doesn't have any dividers in it. I love the way they look on my shelf, but I have been disappointed in the way that many of the hinges in the back have broken off with little or no stress placed on the joints! They still stay closed and stack just fine so I am keeping them, but I probably wouldn't recommend these bins if that would bother you. My friend Jenn uses a similar bin that is made from more durable plastic, is less see-through and is slightly more expensive. I lost the link to JoAnn's where it is from. If you want it let me know and I will see if she can give it to me again! I paid between $4.99 and $5.99 per bin at JoAnn's initially. Then I found them online for only $3.99. However, I can't share that link with you because they have discontinued that item. (Probably because they keep breaking LOL!)

So anyway, now you have gotten a little taste as to how my mind of organization works! It may not be the best system, but it works for me and I love the way that they look on display on my shelves. Oh and by the way, the shelving unit is from IKEA! I love IKEA!!

Enjoy your weekend and if you have a daddy around, whether it be your own, your children's or a special friend, be sure to send him some love tomorrow!

Kelly :-)


Jenn said...

Hi Kelly, my organization methods are similar to yours, except I have tried not to break up my sets - I just put them in the binder where they belong along with the CD case #. Here's the boxes I use for UM at Joann's

Kelly said...

Thanks Jenn! I appreciate you sharing the link to bins again with me! I am sure some people were interested in checking it out!

Kelly :-)

Jill said...

...and you started stamping WHEN?!?!?! LOL! Give you an idea and you take it and run at MACH II. Everything you do amazes me- you are truly talented. I enjoy your work.

Sue S. said...

WOW are YOU ever organized! Phew, where's the challenge in that??? ROFL My DH made me a stamp cabinet and I did the same thing as you did with your stamps..put them in catagories! He made this cabinet about 3 years ago and it was such a great blessin---as is he!

Karen B in sW Oklahoma said...

Just a thought ... use an old catalog from SU to help save having to stamp your sets. I bet your SU demo (considering as good a customer as you seem to be) would have old copies of catalogs or extra ones when they come out and you could use that picture ... that is what I did. i did try breaking up my sets and then put them back but who knows someday I may reverse the process again. (PS I have 4 bookshelves full of SU sets sorted by theme) LOL are we not terrible to our addictions.