I'm a person who doesn't create well in chaos, so I thought I'd share some of my personal storage and organizing methods for anyone else wondering how to keep all that "stuff" contained and still user-friendly.
Today's topic - indexing the stamps!
Not a single stamp comes into my collection without getting logged into my image index. If I didn't have it I would completely lose track of what stamps I have. And it's invaluable for figuring out what images will work with others, size and style wise. Here are the binders:
Each stamped image on the spine insert is representitive of the topics contained in each binder (the last binder is for my inks - we'll go there later ;o). These are the current categories in the order shown on the binders:
Food * Flowers * Garden * Trees/Foliage * People * Landscape Buildings * Objects - Modern * Objects - Antique * Containers
Frames * Music * Design Elements * Faux Postage * Hearts/Love
Birds * Animals * Transportation * Cultural/Ethnic * Occasions
Children's Images * Handstamped by's/Envelope words/images
Holidays * Alphabets * Words/Phrases
I seperate the sections listed above using tabbed pages shown below:
Each category is broken down further wherever needed - for instance - People contains Men, Women, Children, Body Parts, Fanciful Creatures. I keep them organized by stamping each sub-category on a different page. I like to use Cougar Opaque 80 lb Smooth White cardstock - it's bright white and heavy enough that the punched holes don't need to be reinforced. The binders can get heavy using this cardstock, so I use more and they're lighter that way.
So here's what I do when I get a new stamp. If it's a mounted stamp, I just find the category, and sub-page if there is one, ink the stamp in Marvy black (it's easy to wash off and doesn't stain) and then try to find a place to put the actual stamp! LOL
Stampin' Up! and TAC stamps have their own binders, which are about 9" x 6" and subdivided into categories like the binders are for the single stamps. I stamp each set on a seperate half sheet of cardstock, and label the top of the page with the title and date of the set. When I get rid of a set I just rip the page out and toss it. I like to stamp all the SU words/phrases in the words section of my regular binder for easy reference and I label each with the title and date of the set it's from.
I keep a page at the back of each section for all unmounted images. I stamp the image under the right category, writing the company name under the image. I store all the unmounted stamps by company but I index them in my binders by image categories.
This is a sampling from the birds section:
I try to leave plenty of space in between images so I can easily find what I'm looking for. I add some smaller images in the open spaces as they come along.
If you've never indexed your stamps in this way, seriously consider doing it (in steps so your wrist doesn't cramp up!) - you will be so glad you did. I seriously use mine EVERY time I stamp!!
Up next? Storing Stamps!