Scrapbooking Organization Tips A-Z

These tips will help you with scrapbooking organization.

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Adhesive - Go through your supplies and make sure you have a back up for each type of adhesive you regularly use. This will keep you from running out of adhesive at an inopportune time.

Camera - It seems obvious but many of us don't carry our camera all the time, you never know when you can get a great shot. How many times have you said you wished you had your camera with you at an unexpected time? They are not just for events anymore! You'll never miss a shot if you carry your battery with a fully charged battery - or a battery back-up.

Cardstock by color - Have you ever dug through your paper stash looking for a particular color of cardstock? Your best bet is to put your cardstock by color. I use only main colors - blue, green, yellow etc. Although I know some people will go even into shading - lt. blue or dk. green. Find something that works for the colors you work with most. You will find it easier to find your cardstock and save time in the process.

Chipboard - I find it easier to find a chipboard embellishment when I want one by storing them all together. I have a large ziplock bag so I can easily see what is inside. If you have a large selection you may want to put letters in one bag and shapes in another.

Coupons - Keep you coupons in your car or planner or purse (where ever you are sure to have them with you). Even if you don't think you'll be going to that store, sometimes plans change and then you wished you had it. Personally I keep all my coupons in my car so if I end up unexpectedly at a craft store I can make use of the coupons. Even just using a coupon to buy your adhesive will save you a lot over a year! Every little bit helps and you can't use them if you don't have them.

Crop Bag - This may seem obvious but every 4-6 mos clean out your crop bag. Restock supplies you always maintain, take stock of supplies you regularly use and note items that need to be replaced or purchased. Pull out items you wont use and set them aside to sell or donate. Take everything out and clean out any misc. items from the bottom. If you have a new favored supply or tool be sure you have it packed in your bag when you re-pack it.

Cutter Blade - How long has it been since you changed your cutter blade? If you don't remember (or carry a spare with you) it is best to change your blade now. You don't want to finally have a chance to crop only to find out your blade is dull. The Cutterbee is my personal favorite since most parts are replaceable. I find I only need to change my blade 1-2 times a year.

Digital Picture Storage - Every 3-4 months I save my photos onto CD to make more room on my hard drive. (ok - I also have an external hard drive copy just in case) I generally organize my photos in monthly photos by shooting date (since the camera downloads them that way). I get rid of "bad" photos and then save several months onto a CD. I make a backup CD which I store and I put the other copy in a CD holder glued to the back of my scrapbooks for the same time period. They sell self stick CD envelopes in many scrapbooking stores for this purpose.

Embellishments Part 1 - Gather all your embellishments and clean house. This may take a while but there is no sense keeping or toting around things you will never use. Partially used supplies can often be donated to local charities. Good items you no longer want can be swapped or sold at local scrapbooking tag sales. You can also put several unwanted items in a decorative basket and donate it for a charity auction.

Embellishments Part 2 - Now that you have gathered all your embellishments together and put aside items you no longer want or need, it is time to organize them. Depending on how much you have, there are several good totes on the market with small locking containers to store and organize them. If you have a local scrapbooking tag sale you can usually pick up storage containers at a good bargain if you arrive early. Take a critical look at your supplies. I find it best to put my embellishments in categories. ie. brads, eyelets, buttons etc. These are my "staple" embellishments I always carry to a crop.

Layout Ideas - We all have a stack of scrapbooking magazines somewhere - maybe even with some layouts marked but how often do we actually go back to them? I got a 2" binder (I prefer D ring style) and filled it with plastic page protectors. As I see a technique or layout I really like from a magazine I rip it out and insert it into my idea notebook. That way they are all easily within reach and in a format I can put in my crop bag and take to a crop.

Layout List - I get to crop once a month, so I try to make the most of my time. I always start preparing for a crop by looking at my pictures and making a list of the layouts I want to accomplish. You can even make a larger list of your backlog items to help you plan out what needs to be done. It's a simple task but very effective.

Letter Stickers - If you are like most scrapbookers you have many sheets of sticker alphabets with the letters you use most frequently missing. To use up the odds and ends you have left combine several alphabets for a more whimsical look or you can even mount the letters to paper to create a variety of new looks. This will breathe new life into your supplies and allow you to use more from your stash.

Must Do Layouts - If you work on your scrapbooks in non-chronological order as most people do, it is important to put together a list of layouts you want to do. You can also add to this list, layouts you want to do in the future. I call this my "must do" layout list and when I am not sure where to start at a crop this is where I look. I am able to pull a project I feel like working on while I accomplish a layout I need to do.

Ordering Photos - With digital photography we all seem to take more pictures than we are used to. To save time and money download your pictures to your computer - I back up to an external hard drive for security. Once you have them there look at the photos critically and select only the ones you will use for your layouts and save them to a separate folder. You can either burn the whole folder to a CD which saves time at the store since you can select all or upload to an on-line photo service which is often less expensive.

Page Maps - In addition to the layouts I keep in a notebook I have a separate are for page layout sketches. A huge selection is available on check out the monthly archives. That way they are all easily within reach and in a format I can put in my crop bag and take to a crop.

Paper - Ok - Lets face it - we all buy paper we think is pretty, or "in" to be used at a later date and then we don't use it for whatever reason. Go through your paper and set aside patterned paper you know you wont use. Cardstock you can always use so it is good to save that. Maybe you don't need wedding paper or baby paper anymore, maybe you no longer like plaid or polka dots - whatever the reason there is no sense in cluttering your supply up with things you'll never use. I recommend selling it in coordinated packs at a local scrapbooking tag sale or using ebay. Either way you'll get some cash to buy paper or other supplies you will use.

Tool caddy - Get a tool caddy the come in lots of cool color choices. The one I use is by All My Memories and is called the Tote-ally Cool tote and is pink and brown. I have had it for several years now and it is a real time saver. They have more expensive ones out now with a spinning base but the people I know who have one said it wasn't worth the extra money since they rarely spin them anyway. If you already use a tool caddy good for you! Take a few minutes and clean it out putting things in easy to find places.

Patterned Paper - When organizing your patterned paper each person will have their own twist. I like to organize mine by themes (holidays, beach, zoo, girl theme etc). I do break out a few of my favorite paper lines so I can easily find them. I love Crate paper, Kaleidoscope and Basic Grey. I use a 12x12 paper filing cabinet with hanging folders - Oriental Trading now has a 12x12 paper storage cube which will hold hanging files for your 12x12 paper.

Pens - Do a quick test of your pens to make sure they are all in good working order. Dispose of any that wont write or don't work properly (or that you just don't like) and make note of any replacements pens you need.

Photo List - If you have an event coming up, especially something like a wedding or family reunion, make a list of must have photos. As the event occurs you can refer to it to be sure you have everything you wanted. There is nothing worse than wanting a full family pic only to find out you forgot to take it when you had the chance.

Ribbon - Organizing ribbon can be a challenge. You can put all your ribbon on small embroidery spools and they will fit into a small beading plastic organizer. (you may need several) Or you can take a small box and punch or cut holes all over it - you can feed the ribbons out through the holes for easy viewing and you can pull out and cut off pieces as you need it. There are several of these organizers out on the market if you don't want to make your own. Or you can take a small box and punch or cut holes all over it - you can feed the ribbons out through the holes for easy viewing and you can pull out and cut off pieces as you need it. There are several of these organizers out on the market if you don't want to make your own.
Shopping list - I keep a shopping list with my scrapbooking stuff so when I need an item I can add it to my list right away before I forget, that way my next trip to the local scrapbooking store will be productive.

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