I finally (after being a stamper for 10 plus years) have organized my stamps!!
This is monumental! LOL
I don't know how exactly I came up with the method for organizing my stamps. I am sure that over the years I heard suggestions from other consultants or people on the web--even before there was Pinterest. So I'm not trying to take credit for this method. I'm sure someone else thought of it first!
I based this organization method on how I wanted to use and access my stamps. I wanted to be able to see the stamp images all in one place and then be able to quickly locate that stamp set. My "before" method involved just flipping through ALL my stamps to find one. Talk about time consuming. PLUS I could never have remembered all the sentiments and words I have or which set they were on.
First off let's see what the "before" looked like.
Before I was using the CD/DVD storage boxes from Sterlite. In reality I usually peeled the labels off. I took this picture so you could see exactly what the product was. At the time I bought them from Wal-Mart for $1. I thought it was a great deal--and they served me well for a time. The drawbacks were: they weren't very portable, the holes on the side wrecked havoc on sliding stamp sets in and out, and they were not stackable.
Oh and here is how they usually looked....
I used to attempt to store them by catagory/color, but some stamps didn't really fit into a catagory or CTMH would change their catagory/color system and they ended up being really hard to search through. I would constantly be saying "Now was that one yellow or pink??"
Okay. So first I decided that the best way to have images of all my stamps was to use my scanner/printer/copier. (After I asked my husband how to use it of course.) I scanned two stamps (that I felt were similar) per page. Note: D sized stamps overlapped a tiny bit so I tried to scan two different sized stamps together when I could. I actually was using the copy function on my printer, so the images aren't stored in my computer. I didn't feel like I needed them stored on my computer and the whole process went much faster.
Next I used a three ring punch and added them to a binder. I used categories of my own making to divide the images. (Alphabets, Family/Theme/Special Interests, Backgrounds/Borders, Nature/Flowers, Sentiments/Shapes, Calendar/Birthday, and All Holidays.) Now some of the stamps you might say could go in two different categories. And while that is true I didn't feel the need to cross-reference any stamp. It could be because I don't have much patience or because I'm too lazy. I'll let you decide. :)
Okay so now that I've found an image I want in the binder, how do I find the stamp set?? I decided all my stamps would be organized in alpha-numerical order. Meaning A100-A999 then B100-B999, then C100-C999, etc. (Those are just sample numbers.) Beside each picture you'll notice I hand wrote the stamp's number for quick reference. Many times the number is on the image, but sometimes they are tiny and hard to see.
And top the whole thing off I chose to store the stamps in Close To My Heart's lovely Large Organizer (Z1834). It holds A LOT of stamps, it's portable and stackable! (The catalog says it holds 40 sets, but I have about 48 in each of mine SHHH!) One of the best things about Close To My Heart stamps is that they are SO compact.
Another thing I did was to create an Excel document that lists all my stamps sets in order and with title and a note of if I own more than one copy. I added this list to my binder also. That way if I want to see if I have a set by title I can look it up quickly too.
It took the better part of the weekend to get this all done, but it makes my hobby life SO much easier!
If you have any organizing tips I'd love to hear them!
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