Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Organising paper pad storage

Warning - this is picture heavy!!

Sigh, searching through my paper pads when crafting was driving me totally crackers here. I had them piled in shallow drawers like one half side of this trolley (really wasteful on space at the side of the drawer):
 and the Christmas ones were in a deep  A4 sized box (again wasteful on space):
In a 'neat freak' mood I did a little bit of research and found a solution which I think, time will tell though, will work for me. First step was to order some CD storage boxes like these:
 Product Details
They came in packs of four, the lids - which I didn't intend to use - are ready assembled and the bases can be assembled in no time. Yup, I chose pink - now there's a surprise :) I know that Ikea also sell them, or something very similar, but no way was I trolling off to Ikea in a canoe at the minute. They're just a smidgen over 6" wide - perfect!

So, now I had the boxes, the next step was to empty a book shelf in the craft room and begin to play. The books are all destined for the local Hospice shop and, as part of my purge, more will follow - but this was at least one cleared shelf to play with.

I then went through drawers and boxes, pulling out every 6" and 8" square paper pad/pack. The first issue was that I wanted the pads to be stored upright instead of flat as they had been before, so I can flip through them easily. I didn't want them to be stored in poly bags (partly due to the limiting width of the boxes not having much to spare), but I do have a habit of just popping leftover snippets inside the front covers and of course they would just drop out - sigh. But, more online searching came up with a solution which I adapted to suit. This is it:
Little pockets to hold the snippets inside the back cover of each paper pad. I used 5.5" wide envelopes, sealed them and then chopped them in half to get two pockets per envelope. I did consider cellophane bags chopped down so I could see through them but they were going to be too flimsy.
So here's a paper pad with some snippets - I confess that with this system I had to chop a little bit off any pieces that would be too wide, or even right on the paper pad height, so they would fit. But, after the whole exercise I'd lost very little paper in fact.
And here are the pieces tucked into the little pocket - which I just stuck onto the inside of the back cover using a tape runner.
Here's one of the boxes, all loaded with Christmas papers - and room for even more to come if I decide to spend, spend, spend :) Oh, and A5 paper pads sit really nicely at the back of the boxes too - yay, I hadn't bargained on that.
I did the same with my 8" paper pads, this time using 7.25" square envelopes sealed and then chopped in half to make the pockets and they sit happily upright and sideways on in one of the boxes.
And here are the four boxes, all loaded and sitting cosily on the shelf. Still need to do the labels for the fronts of the boxes and also just a few dividers as I did categorise the pads a little bit into types but not much, things like vintage, male, contemporary, gingham, flowers and so on.

Some little tricks I used are - some pads had the front, and sometimes the back, covers loose. I just flipped a couple of pieces of sellotape over the pad spine to keep the covers in place. Some paper packs came totally without a glued spine, so I did the same thing as whole loose sheets within the same pad/pack should be fine. I don't plan on digging about in there like a dog looking for a bone folks!

I also sealed and cut a few spare envelope 'pockets' for future use 'cos those snippets sure do breed and I only added pockets to those where there were snippets to be stored. Some papers may never have snippets, such as full sheet ones in the vintage ranges.

It's just food for thought, you might probably all have your own super efficient filing systems. Including sorting out the books for the charity shop this little exercise took me less than half a day.

Just ordered some more boxes and I think the embossing folders will be next for 'the treatment', then those chunky Tim Holtz dies and perhaps the DVD sized boxes containing unmounted SU stamps - watch this space.

And why are you peeking to see what books are left on those other shelves in the photo huh? :) Little 'sticky beak'!



Cathy said...

Sprung!! Yes I was looking at the titles still on the shelf LOL! Fantastic idea Di. I have drawers similar to yours and spend ages sifting through them. Definitely food for thought TFS, Cathy x

Sue said...

Great idea Di!! Hubster put up another shelf for me not sure why I think he just likes to feel useful lmaooooooooooo bless huggles Sue xxx

Carol L said...

Great idea Di! I store mine in photoboxes which fit them perfectly - they're a couple dollars at local craft stores. I put rubber bands around my individual pads to hold the snippets in place, but I like your envelope idea too!

Glennis F said...

I love your idea Di, so neat and tidy now

Mrs A. said...

This is so unfair. Iv'e only got me one drawer of papers!! You dun wanner leave that medical book lying around other wise his nibs will be thinking he has caught everything under the sun! Not getting rid of your birdie book aurely.You needs that for hi dentifcation purposes. Hugs Mrs A.

Mrs A. said...

I borrowed Dan Brown but I puts him back cos I already read im !

jimlynn said...

Oh wow Di! I'm going to check out those boxes and do this!!! I've been going through the same type struggle with my paper pads. Not pretty at all! I love the way you did this!!! Thanks for showing.

Shaz in Oz.CalligraphyCards said...

ah Di what a super idea.. and yes struggling at mo with my storage want to really go through it all again.. but thinking hard on that to link to snippets. love Shaz in Oz.x

Vicky Hayes said...

My own system is messy and doesn't work Di so I love this idea which I can adapt to my 12 x 12s using C4 envelopes. Thank you for the tip! Vicky x

Annie said...

Oh yessss I love your latest really floats the boat of someone living out of boxes at the mo and with the degree of OCD that I have lol.
Annie x

Annie said...

I really like this storage idea Di - my 6 by 6 paper pads are in a tower wedged in the small gap left by my plastic storage drawers - not accessable at all unless you lift the pads down to find the one you want. Love your idea but can't bear to part with books.
Ann xxx

Kathyk said...

So much tidier and better use of space than those drawers ..... but what are those drawers doing now?


Sammy said...

Such a fabulous idea! I may need a couple more boxes though! lol.

Sue - said...

What a great idea Di. I just need to find the shelves to put the boxes on!

Anne said...

Great ideas Di! Must be somthing in the air ( apart from rain) I spent yesterday having a good old sort out of my sugarcraft stash and yarn stash. Trying to make it all more accessible! I also have far to many books but can't bear topart with any more. Anne x

mamapez5 said...

A lovely bit of organisation Di. I do like my stash to be organised. I have my pads similarly stored in plastic shoe boxes, but unfortunately they are in a cupboard and I often forget to use them, but there is no shelf space lest, nor space to put more shelves, and of course, I try to store things out of the rather destructive sunlight all summer. But well done you for a good job done! Kate x

KandA said...

Brilliant idea and guess what I'll be doing later xx

Jenny L said...

Hi Di,
what a fab idea. love these ideas, and thank you for sharing them with us.
Lots of crafty love. Jenny L.

Sarn said...

Super ideas here Di . . . my papers are stored the way yours WERE. They are all thrown in drawers here 'n' there randomly! No room to do what you've done though. * Sigh *

How did you know I was chuckling at the "get fit for your hols" book, huh?

Hugs, Sarn xxx

Viv said...

Might have to share some pics of my storage (once I tidy up...)
I have my papers in boxes like these too Di - got my boxes in Ikea. Am on a self imposed NO BUY PAPER cos otherwise there won't be any room for ME in the craft room - that said I have just spent a very happy few hours having a little spendie on dies!!!!! (Well they don't take up as much room do they?????? LOL) My embossing folders are in a couple (well 4 actually) of Crafts-Too storage folders - like these as once you unzip all the folders can be seen through the clear plastic storage compartments! AND you can put them on a shelf next to your books (didn't see any of the titles HONEST.... but 'Get Fit for your Holidays???? REALLY??? - LOL) xx

Carol Willis said...

Brilliant idea Di, off to check out Amazon. TFS.
Caz x

Hettie said...

I was finking the same as KathyK, more drawers to fill with stuff! I obviously need to get more paper, but I am on a paper ban like Viv!
Now I know how you always know which paper pack they come from. Once I have cut them, they go in my bottom drawer all higgeldy piggeldy!
Wont be changing that for a while, unless you are volunteering??

Princess Judy Palmer said...

Of course we had to check out what books you have on your shelf! Inquiring minds want to know! I like your solution and I think it will work great for you. I can concur that having the paper pads lie flat with more piled on top is NOT the way to go. That's all the more I can say on that.

Sandra H said...

They look great on your shelf Di and what a lot they hold too! l'm going to check these out l keep mine in plastic containers but some are too wide looks like l could be spending again!! thanks for the tip x

Anonymous said...

Ooh you have been busy beavering away, with brilliant results too. Maybe I should do a bit of poking around, I had a half hearted clean up and shut the door! Thanks for the stamp id from the other week, can't recall if I've thanked you yet, or not! So much has fallen by the wayside in recent weeks!


Kathleen said...

Well you have been a busy bee and what a great idea and I hope that lifting those heavy boxes hasn't done any injury to your back.
I have to admit that mine are stored the way yours were and just randomly but the other day I did find a spare
draw where I just put in pads for boys and girls.

Enjoy the rest of the week.

Kath x

Jean said...

Your new storage looks great Di and I like your envelope pocket idea as well.I keep my paper snippets in their matching pads too and they nearly always fall out when I pick the pad up, so thanks for sharing that.
Jean x

Karen said...

Now that is very clever and very crafty! Do you have any 12" square papers I would love to know if they fit into the CD boxes, lengthways of course! I love the idea of getting them for my new and old sizzix dies too - so fabulous of you to share with us xx

Brenda said...

I love this idea Di! I will have to check into these nice boxes and do the same thing! I need to be more organized big time! lol Thanks for these fabulous tips about the left over snippets, love that idea too! Your genius!

scrappymo! said...

Wonderful idea! They look pretty, they are well organized and they fit your shelf so well! have all those drawers that you emptied that you can now organize something else into!!!

Greta said...

Looks like you came up with a great solution! I need to do something different, but haven't been able to make myself tackle organizing---again!!

Elizabeth said...

Very organised, neat, tidy and accessible too. Sigh, I simply do not have the shelf space in my craft room for those fab boxes ... now wondering what I could move around to accommodate them :) Oh, and yes, I just had to peek more closely at the books you considered too good to give to charity :) Hugs, Elizabeth xx

Twinks Stamping said...

Wow, wish I could be this organised!Must make your choosing of papers so much easier xx Jan

Darnell said...

As an organizing OCD person, you made my heart pitter-patter with this post, Di! I love how pretty your new pink boxes are all lined up on your shelves. That system is super! I've also seen boxes where the paper pads are put in upside down to make flipping through a piece of cake. Well done!!

(And thanks for all the time you spent photoing and typing your post! I know they don't take long to read, but they can take hours to prep for publishing.) Hugs, Darnell

Annie said...

Di don't throw the lids away - if you stand the box in them it makes it stronger which with the weight of the paper can't be a bad thing.
Ann xxx

Heidi MyLittleStampingBlog said...

Great tips! Yes, the envelopes look like a great idea! And I have the same issue with the spines of some of my pads. I need to see if I can find my packing tape to fix them. I like to be able to flip through mine too. TFS!

Di said...

Glad you came to check it out Heidi! I'm three years down the line and the system still works perfectly for me!


Di xx

Faith A at Daffodil Cards said...

Well! how clever are you? and so organised! What a SUPER idea, when I get a pad out next I will do this, I'll try and be more organised. Fingers crossed! Thanks so much.
Faith x