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Thursday, August 27, 2009


I need to organize, when my workspace is cluttered my brain stumbles on that clutter and it blocks my creativity. And now that I have recently joined the ranks of crafters who are addicted to Spellbinders , Quickcutz and Cuttlebug, I have a more pressing desire to organize my scraps. You don't need to waste a whole sheet of paper to cut with any of these dies or folders, so they are very economical in the sense that you can use up all those small scraps. That's what I told my DH, I need the dies so I can save money by using up all my scraps. That is if I can find them.

Speaking of economical, stop by the DCRU store Claudia has some great prices on Quickutz, and Spellbinders dies, she has the new Pendant collection too! And you have to see the new Cuttlebug folders there too.

So I have decided to tackle the job of organizing my scraps. I currently keep my scraps in a very large shoe box on top of my worktable and another couple of shoe boxes on the shelf in the closet. Not a very desirable way to keep them, so I do more collecting of scraps then using them. Help came from my design sisters. Carole, summed it up well, " I keep even the smallest of papers and I have 3 trays. They are untidy, spill over and yell at me constantly to use them." I couldn't have said it any better Carole! (Mine are beginning to whine.)
Margie admits "OK this is embarrassing, but this is what is happening to all of my scraps! It's all just getting stuffed on my keyboard shelf under my desk! I was hoping to use that shelf for "things I'm currently working on", but it turned into this, LOL! I need help! I hear you Margie, trust me, my mess is worse than yours. I've been saving mine since 2001!
Sammye Jo, who we now know is the queen of organization, has this to share. "Well this isn't really a system, but it works for me. I have clear drawers next to my scrap desk. I use 3 of them for scraps. One has patterned paper scraps, one has card stock larger scrap, and one card stock smaller scraps. I also have a basket by these drawers and when I have Cricut negatives, leftovers from punches, etc that I need to trim, they go in the basket until I have a Clean Up The Scrap Night. No scraps that are not ready for use go into the drawers until they are trimmed and ready to be used. I find that I use more of my scraps if they are ready to grab and use, than if I have to trim them. With the smaller ones, I sometimes just sit down with a one inch punch and punch away 1 inch circles until I can't anymore. Then they go into my 1 inch circle container." Sure sounds like a great system to me Sammye Jo!

Cara said "OK be nice!! I'm attaching my scrap bin. hee hee So you don't think I waste lots of paper, my SU demo has graciously shared bags of scraps with me, and 1/3 of the tote is instructional material I've collected in my 11 years of scrapping/stamping. What can I say , it works for me. It looks pretty organized to me, and it looks like you are actually using your scraps!
I did some research and I found a few basic ways to organize your scraps. Some suggest to use an accordion file, and file by color, placing similar shades in the same section. This is good if you do crops, but I am more of a visual person, and I could fill 4 accordion folders!

ehow.com had an interesting 10 step program that ultimately ends with using a Cropper Hopper vertical paper holder. But I have to say I found step 3 to be somewhat amusing. "When deciding what to save, you might also consider factors like (a) is this an unusual color? or (b) do I have a lot more of this color or is this my last sheet? or (c) is this a color group that I use a lot? have a lot more of this color or is this my last sheet? and (4) is this a color group I use a lot of? I tend to save smaller sized scraps of unusual colors and expensive paper. I also tend to save smaller scraps if they go along with a larger scrap of the exact same color (like keeping a skinny strip that matches a larger rectangle of the same paper)"
Whew! Obviously I don't put that much thought into what I save, which is probably why I am buried in 4 boxes of it? ( I don't know, maybe I need to call my sponsor on it!)

The best idea for me came from a
5/15/07 post by Korie, we will always have paris. I liked this the best because it was more visual, and although much neater than mine will probably be, it's a great place to start. She has suggested the Cropper Hopper, along with color sorting, and she even made fancy labeled rimmed circle tags for them. (I'll skip the fancy tags.) I like the idea that it is simple, visual and they don't look like they take that much effort to keep up. Here is a picture from her site.
I also like Sammye Jo's idea of cutting and punching so you will have it ready to assemble. Both Carole and Cara also cut their scraps up ahead for embellishments. I have some thin scraps that I was thinking about punching some border edges onto, so they will be ready to go.

I save my paper scraps because I love the color, texture, pattern and feel of all the card stock and papers that I have. So what do you do with your paper scraps? Do you have an organizational tip you can share? Or do you just plop them in a box like me? I'd love to hear your comments. ~Diane


CelticWoman said...

what a great Thursday Tip, I am always in some sort of organizational frenzy. But scraps are my nemesis, I know in my heart purging is the answer but my heart says NEVER, lol. Thanks for these great tips. Sandi

Crayola58 said...

Sandi said it all....frenzy is the best description of paper, be it full size sheets, paper scraps, snippets. I cannot dispose of even the smallest ... This is a great post, Diane. Some wonderful ideas.
Carole DCRU DT

jeni@pnkgeeni said...

Yesterday I tried to tidy up my craft desk. It didn't go that well, I have so much paper and cardstock that gets hidden, and end up cutting into a new sheet!

Thanks for the great post.

Gwen said...

I really like the way you focused on visualization. That has always been my issue...out of sight out of mind. The cropper hopper idea looks like a good one, thanks for sharing that, Diane. I really like the idea that,Sammye Jo shared of punching what is usable too. I tend to pull off the straglers and keep the larger areas. It isn't very pretty but it comes in handy with my die cutting. Such a good topic that we can all relate to. Thanks again, Diane!


Amanda Profumo said...

First let me say that I am an organizing-aholic. I love everything to have a place. Secondly, I save all my scraps- big, long scraps go in a separate section in my scrap tote and all the little ones go in drawers on a bookcase. Lastly, I thought punches were made for people who saved their scraps?! He-he! Happy Thursday, thanks for the great article!

Yvette said...

What a great post! Just the other day I had to re-organize my organizer... Love fresh ideas! TFS

Cara said...

Super post, Diane!! You've inspired me to tidy up a bit :o)

Amber said...

You girls need to visit my house and help me organize:) My entire house is spotless, but it looks like a bomb went off in my scrap room! I adore my scraps of paper, they are perfect for cardmaking and using with your Cricut!

- - Sheryl - - said...

I also was accumulating two piles of cuttings and last month I ended filing them by color - in each their own pendaflex folder into an office storage box. nowwhen I need a color .. I peruse the folder for a shade or size I need. When I am done with my project I go back to my box and refile the scraps - or toss any too small. Love it when I can toss them.

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