I've been making a lot of changes in my craft room that I thought I would post here in case it can help someone else out. It may take a few posts to show everything...there's lots to show.
I'm the kind of person that if it's out of sight, it's out of mind. I really need to see what I have or at least have a list of what I have. Otherwise, I'll either not use it or go buy something I already have...am I the only one who does this? :-)
The first big change I made was categorizing my individual stamp images on a rolodex. This is an idea I found on an awesome blog here: www.triplethescraps.blogspot.com. Her name is Patter Cross and she does lots of great organizational tips on Fridays. The link for the rolodex tip can be found here.
Using Patter's tips, this is what I came up with for mine:
The blue cards are the dividers that came with the rolodex with the alphabet on them. I used these and put categories on them written on a little punch out and glued to it with a glue dot. (I tried to different color/pattern paper for each category that kind of went with it for a quick visual...not sure if it helps, but figured I'd try it out.) In the bottom picture you can see some of the categories. I used similar ones that Patter used with some changes. The categories you need all depend of your collection of stamps. I still have more stamps to do and I can easily change the categories if I want to.
Each stamp is stamped onto one of the cards by itself. For large stamps I fit what I could on top and put the remainder on the back (you can see the back on one of them in the bottom picture). You don't really need to see the entire image, just a reference of what you have. Then note the type of mount on the top left, the stamp company on the bottom left, and stamp set it is from on the bottom right. In this one for "Thank You", it's UM-unmounted, SU-Stampin' Up, and from the set "Warmest Regards". I use the top right to note anything else noteworthy, for example, if there was a punch that goes with it or the Bible verse it contained or anything else you want to note.
As Patter suggested I put 2 or 3 stamp images on the same card if they were the same cateory and from the same set. You can see this in the bottom picture if you look closely.
So now when I need an image I just check under the category for images and see what I have. It's saving me a lot of time now not having to search through all my stamp sets. The great thing is it's all at my fingertips!
Things at my fingertips are VERY important to me. I try my best not to get out of my chair if I don't have to. I'm not lazy, I just don't have much room to get out of my chair and I'm always banging my knees. You see the distance between my desk and the counter behind me is 22" and my chair is about 19" and not on wheels. You can kind of see it in the next picture.
I'm lucky to have a spot to do my crafts and a nice desk, but it sure would be nice to have a few more inches to move about. :-)
I've also unmounted a lot of my stamps and put them in CD cases. I finally did some nice labels for them and have them in drawers in alphabetical order. Here are some pictures of what I've done.
This is a 4 drawer cube I got at Michaels which fits the cd cases nicly. I have lots more room to expand and can always buy another cube. I'll probably put the stamps in the new Stampin' Up cases in regular cd cases also. They take up a lot of space and are usually nowhere near full. I also don't like the way the cases don't stay flat when opened. I will definitely saved the orignal cases though.
Here are some more pictures close up.
The labels I used were just a list of the stamps and companies done on an Excel spreadsheet (after totally fumbling my way in Excel). Then I printed the list out on white adhesive sheets I got from Papertrey Ink and cut them down to fit on the cd case using a paper trimmer. I also printed out the list on regular paper so I have a list of what I have and keep this in a binder I'm starting listing things I have for supplies.
Here's a picture of the list.
Some day I'll figure out how to get rid of the extra lines on top...when I have time!
I also did a list of the categories on my rolodex you can see here.
Well that's all I have for today. I hope this helps you if you were looking for ideas on organization. I love to be organized and I have lots of other tips I'll post soon. Also, definitely check out Patter's blog. She has some awesome ideas.