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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Stampin' Organization 101 - Stamp Storage

Today's topic - Storing various forms of stamps.

I have a smallish room, about 9' x 10', to keep my stamp and computer stuff in, and after almost 10 years of collecting stamping stuff, I'm afraid I've maxed out my space and then some. I've resorted to storing TAC and Stampin' Up! sets stacked in their cases by category on a bookshelf in the basement, and the Holiday/Special Occasion in totes.

I'm grateful that I have a room of my own to work in - sometimes I can't finish projects in the time I have available and need to leave stuff scattered everywhere. That said, if you have kids at home, and no decent workspace, treasure what you've got - children really are a blessing from the Lord and replacing your valuable time with them with too much stamping would be a poor substitute. Every parent I've ever met has said the time they are young goes by so quickly.

Okay - I got to thinking that I better throw in the typical disclaimer right away. The following is how I store my assorted stamps, not necessarily the "perfect" way!! LOL

And just so you don't worry that I'm too neat, here's proof:

This pile has been here since I attended a used stamp sale about three weeks ago. I have run out of stamp storage room, don't like to unmount wood-mounted and have absolutely no idea what to do with them at the moment... And of course after I use a stamp that's kind of hard to put away, I throw it on this pile!

I'll start with how I store my unmounted stamps.

The system I use for stamping with them is acrylic blocks with Tack n' Peel applied. So I don't have anything on the backs of 98% of my um's - they are just plain rubber. I keep them in Manilla file folders, stacked in drawers as shown:

I label each folder on the tabs with the company whose stamps are inside, and I only keep one company in each folder, no matter how few stamps I have from them. I keep some folders of Unknowns for when I get used stamps that aren't marked with a company name.

Here's the actual folder for some of my Eureka! unmounted stamps, as an example. After I stamp each stamp into my image index binders (see previous post) under the image category, I stamp them all on the front of the folder as shown above. Or if it's a full sheet of rubber that came with the images preprinted on an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper, I will just adhere that to the front of the folder instead of stamping each image.

Then I apply Scotch double-stick permanant tape to the inside of the folder in the corresponding area to the cover image, and stick the rubber to it. I've moved the pumpkin square so you can see that you definitely don't have to cover the whole area to get the rubber to stick. And my folders lay flat so they don't see a lot of shaking up, or anything that would cause the rubber to become loose.

The companies I design for are a little different set-up. I wanted to keep them totally seperate and had run out of drawer space for folders so I put them into binders as shown, slipping the original artwork sheet in a sheet protector, and then a piece of posterboard with the same taped-on rubber as above. They have all stayed stuck on which amazes me!

My mounted stamps I like to keep in categories, but honestly, I store them however I can these days! I have this ugly but efficient tall drawered cabinet that works the best because even tho the stamps are one layer high, the drawers are long, front to back:

And then I keep some in those cheap acrylic photo frames which I can stack on shelves and label:

And one of the ways that tickles me the most and is actually pretty user-friendly, is this coated wire pantry rack the hangs along the length on the back of the door:

I love it because I can stack background stamps four deep and the shelves are far enough apart to easily lift a stamp out without removing the rest.

I have some Hero Arts boxes stacked higher up, and it holds the large boxes perfectly front to back.

Stampin' Up! background stamps just get lined up on a nearby shelf on end, and then stacked on LOL where I can reach them easily.

I bought a TON of See-D's when they were clearanced at a big discount store, and just stack them in alphabetical order as shown:

I don't have so many clear stamps and oddballs that I have to worry about how to store them yet, so they are just kind of stacked in a falling down mess on one shelf, which I'm guessing you'd rather not see LOL My Judi-kins, etc. cubes are stored in a plastic frame tray on a shelf.
So that's it - hope you were able to get a good idea for yourself somewhere in there :o)


Digital said...

Nancy--It's so nice to see your room again. It's been so long since we've been there. It reminds me of some of the time we spent there together. LOL, Mom

Evelyn in Oregon said...

Looks pretty neat to me....even the pile of new/old stamps! The problem with my room is that there is no longer any room on the floor, either. lol


Manna said...

Owww, I'm so jealous of your stamp collection! Thanks for sharing some of the more creative ways to store your unmounted's. Love the manilla folders one. Cheaper solution than most!

leenda said...

Thanks for sharing your room w/us. I wish mine were that organized. You've given me lots to consider.

Anonymous said...

holy catnip, that's some organizationed stamping space!

Mel M. M. M. said...

You are SO organized! I wish I was half as tidy! :0) Mel

Anonymous said...

WOW! WOW! WOW! Nancy this is so totally smart of you....I am green, green, green (jealous) - wishing I'd started like this!
If you lived'd feel sorry for me and come right over! lol I'd make soup! and cookies! or maybe fruit would be better....hehe

Kathy said...

I saw a stamp with a tree with leaves blowing off of it. What is the stamp? What is the company?