Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tame that Paper Pile!

Is there an Ugly Beast in your workspace?

Are there unruly stacks and disorganized piles? Tame that paper pile!

My personal paper organization system started when I had TONS of paper both in printed and
cardstock. A few years ago, I had the equivalent of 3 FULL sized file drawers of 8.5x11
pattern, 1 file drawer of cardstock and about 9 inches of 12x12 paper in an accordion file.
Since then I have simplified and used a lot of paper but that is where I started organizing originally. I suggest you bring all your paper into the same room. Put it where you will USE it most. If you have a scrapping workspace, keep all your paper there until it is sorted.

Most of us can sort by color for paper organization. You can also decide to sort by manufacturer if you are a consultant or enter a lot of contests or design/work for a paper manufacturer.
See more info here

Once your paper stash is in the same place, use file folders or a wire rack system and sort it by rainbow order of colors for the cardstocks. I also use rainbow order for the patterns that are NOT themed. I used to use files folders in the past, but now I use wire racks. Both work great! The rainbow order is apparent what is what color but here is the order to place the files. Within each color family put the paper from lightest to darkest hues.

Many papers now may have patterns --but not themes! Neutral patterns have no theme and you can use them on any kind of layout.

What is a Neutral Pattern?
Neutral patterns are:

basically geometric
faux texture (like fake marble or speckled or burlap)
mulberrys, and
most florals.

I don't mind if paper looks heritage-y or looks mod or looks something in between. I sort by color. If it is neutral in theme, it gets stored by color. Most pattern papers now days are not really themed in an obvious way unless they are for birthday, baby, or holidays..

This is the ROYGBIV system but you can add white, black and vellum at
one end or the other. I store neutral patterns and solid cardstock together because they are both 'generic'
and if they are the right color can be used almost interchangabley. Neutral patterns will
ALL get sorted by color family of the dominant color....and get stored by color right alongside their solid
counterparts in ROYGBIV order.
Red and pink
Yellow and golds

I file metallics and corrugateds in with the color that they are supposed to be
(example reddish metallic goes in reds) so I will be more likely to use
them when looking for something that color scheme.

Multi Color Prints: What to do?
If you can't figure out a dominant color in a multi color pattern paper, step back
15 to 20 feet and squint. What color do you see?
That's the dominant color! Or ask a kid. They can usually tell!
:) I don't suppose it is scietific but it works for me!
Now at different ages, your kids pages will take on diferent 'looks'. I scrapped a LOT
more by theme when my kids were smaller. Now I tell the theme of the page much more with accents
rather than background papers. I occasionally look for papers by theme
if needed. But mostly-- now that my kids are older-- I scrap and look for
my background papers by color.
It all depends on ages of your kids, how you think when you pull
papers together to scrap, and if you prefer themed accents --or themed papers-- to
help tell your story.....

Pattern paper with obvious themes is also organizable by placing in wire racks
or file folders.
I file them by definite theme. Roughly using my page additions
categories as my guide from this article

Theme Paper categories are:
ABC's (letter stickers)
Bible and faith
Geometrics: plaids, stripes, circles, dots etc.
Halloween and fall
Kids (non party)
Party (includes birthday)
Retro 1940's and 50's
Victorian and Heritage
water including lake and beach
Winter including Christmas/Snow

You can also expand the catagories to include a catagory for retro paper groups like "1940-50 style" or activity groups like "Hiking and Nature." Feel free to create
a catagory if you have more than 20 sheets of paper for it. Just be sure to label
well the theme sections and remind yourself to LOOK for it there. You can
make more paper categories if you have more than 20 items in a
subcatagory. For example you LOVE dogs and have 45 different dog papers
in the Animals theme section, you can certainly make a new paper category just for dogs.

Do what ever works for you but be CONSISTENT in how you file. Keep themes
alphabetical so you can find that theme again when searching.
Take all those themey papers and file them where they go. If a
pattern paper has no definite theme, then file them by color in with the
neutral patterns with the rainbow order solid/pattern papers talked about above.

Filing in this manner helped save me sooooo much time when doing pages and pulling for page kits. I knew what I had and where it might be located.

Remember the key to organization is RETRIEVAL!!!!!!

As you sort, get rid of any papers you don't love. It will save you a
lot of storage worries and angst in the long run. It will take you a few
days to sort if you have a lot, but it is so worth it later.

Instructions for making your own 12x12 folders from standard sized
hanging folders and how to use the wire cube racks are in the FILES
section of our home page under Organizational Tools and Tubs.

Once you get it all sorted, it will be a JOY to 'shop' at home for your
papers from your stash! No more Ugly Paper Beast!
What a good feeling!

Good luck!


Kris said...

I use yarn/fibers in both my scrapbooking and card crafting. I have used it in my scrapbooking to create the look of water, clouds, trees, just about anything and it gives such dimension. On my cards, it gives that added touch, that embellishment that says you care.

AMDA said...

Hi. I am looking for the file on making 12x12 folders and using wire racks.. I don't seem to see it; is it still avail?