Monday, 4 April 2011

Organising stamp sets ...

For those of you who don't know, my home may be small on space but it's big on personality and warmth! But a small home also has its challenges. Everything must have a spot to be put away or that calm, warm feeling turns into chaos. Having a "put-away" spot for everything is a task easier said than done! Thank goodness I am an organised person by nature, so when it comes to my Stampin' Up! supplies that organisation comes naturally, except when working on a project, but that's another thing altogether ...

It seems the trend these days is to show off your "stampin' room" however, I don't have the luxury of a dedicated "stampin' room" - how i envy all those who have an all dancing all singing dedicated stampin room where everything's on show to delight and bedazzle even the most organised of crafters (and I've seen some particularly spectacular ones I can gell you ...)

I do most of my stampin' in my kitchen where I've taken over a small but not insubstantial area which has a fine view over our lovely garden and, of course, where tea/coffee & the odd biccy is always close to hand! So, though space is limited, I'll take you on a quick tour ...

Here is a picture of my crafting area when everything's put away and the only way you'd guess it doubles as a workspace would be my laptop!

So let's have a sneek peek into my cupboard I use to store some of my Stampin' Up! cardstock, DP, ribbons, inkpads and other bits & pieces. You must agree, just one look inside shows how organised I am - after all, no-one wants to look at a mess! I've got all my business files at the top of the cupboard (again, all neatly filed in alphabetical order). However, all my stamp sets/punches etc are stored in a separate cupboard and that's what I'm going to share with you today - how I set up my stamp set filing system!

I'm always looking for ways to better organise myself in my craft space. While I've seen some really super products and great systems alike, the key to any great system is that it works for you. My way of organising may not be your way, but finding what works for you should definitely be intuitive and, of course, it's always nice if it's inexpensive at the same time!

There are many stores dedicated to nothing but helping you better organise your life in general and your craft space in specific. There's buckets, baskets, bins, etc but because of my limited space, I needed to invest some time in actually categorising and organising, so I created my own stamp inventory for all my stamps.

This system isn't revolutionary, but it works for me and just maybe it may work for you. I've seen several people share their way of organising their stamps on their blogs, and while my idea isn't anything new, I think that my take on it may ultimately help you.

The good news is that once you spend time getting this task done, it's easy to maintain and to grow as your collection grows, and you can easily find what you need.

1: Gather your supplies

In this case I have my stamps, my Stampin' Up! catalogue and some round stickers.

2: Set up your inventory system

My system is very simple: I use an A4 binder which I've already organised alphabetically and decorated using some of the new Botanical Gazette DP. (Doesn't that look lovely?) My motto is that if it has to be on show, then it has to look good!

Now, if you don't have a spare catalogue or you'd rather not pull out pages from it, then you can copy the page and use that. Or, if you have any sets that have yet to be mounted, you can scan/copy the page of labels and use that. Of course, making a scan or a copy of the actual stamp works too.

By the way, other than organising them alphabetically, there was no rhyme or reason to my madness. As you grow your collection, you could organise the pages by year or by the categories in the Stampin' Up! catalogue. You decide.

3: Organise your stamps - your way

In my case I already had a couple of plastic containers. You may not keep your stamps in containers and just stack them on shelves. If that's the case, you can skip this step )or just assign a different colour sticker for every stamp set you have.) But keeping them in plastic containers just maks it easy for me to get my hands on the ones I want when I want. However, I had no big decision to make as to which stamp sets went into which container; I simply fit in as many as I could!

4: Assign your stickers

This is where you start to number your collection to correspond with your index folder.

5: Match up your assigned sticker to the location of the stamp set in your personal catalogue

Here's a page from my Index showing the Baroque stamp set. I keep the stamp set in Box No 1 and using one of my stickers, have given it the number 4. So while I can always just go into my containers and peruse my stamp collection, it will be much easier to go through my inventory, figure out which set I want then grab the corresponding container.

I hope this gives you the incentive to get your stamp sets organised. Of course, if you have the clear mounts all you need to do is line them up alphabetically, but you can still set up a reference binder to aid you when you are designing your projects.

If you've got any hints and tips that make your life easier, then I'd love to hear from you. I'm giving away a FREE stamp set to the best entry. Just email: before the end of April, and I'll post the winning entry at the beginning of May!

Happy stampin!



  1. Thank you so much Linda for sharing these brillant idea's on stamp storage, and fun to see where you stamp and create, May x x

  2. It's lovely to see where you make your wonderful creations Linda. You are fabulously organised!

  3. This is so much better than the system I have - and so beautiful too. I am going to have to do some reorganising at the weekend! Thank you for sharing. Gill x

  4. I love your system - mine is a litte similar but I have stamped my images on to copy paper, indexed them by where they are in the catalogue, numbered them and then laminated them. A corresponding number goes on to the set itself. I then stick a coloured sticker on them if they are retired and then I have made a kind of flip file for them. this sits on my desk where i can flip through it and decide which set I want to use. i am now thinking I must make a cover for it - just like yours! - Jacqueline xx.