Go10 2, Get your Paper Organized

GO10-2: Craft Paper Organization – Class Presentation

Welcome to Go10, Class 2 – How to organize your crafting paper

(Scroll to the bottom for downloads, links and resources)

Things you’ll need:

  1. Paper Storage System of some type – we’ll talk about them during the presentation.
  2. Dividers
  3. Sticky Notes
  4. Your Themes and Sentiments List
  5. A Purge Box

Paper can be a major contributor to the Overwhelm factor in crafting. It seems harmless enough, just 2-3 sheets at the local SB Store, Just one paper pad from Hobby Lobby – “I didn’t have anything else to use my 40 off coupon on.” But soon enough, you find that you’re measuring how much paper you have in comparison to the height of your teenage children. If only you could assign each sheet of paper a cell phone and then it would be as easy to find as your children. Never fear, you need not buy stock in T-Mobile – you just need the 4 Section System, well, it’s actually just 3 sections with paper – because generally there is no alpha-numeric with paper. (If you missed out on the 4 Section System from GO10-1, click here to visit that page.)

Step 1 – Choose your system

Go10 2 ProductsSet yourself up for success by creating a sorting system. We recommend vertical storage, it takes up less space, it’s easy to add to, and you can sort lots of categories in a small area. If you don’t have vertical storage, you can purchase it on our website, and after July of this year you’ll be able to find it at Hobby Lobby too!

There are other products you can use for paper sorting and storage, file folders, big Zip lock type bags, flat racks, etc. Regardless of the storage tool you choose you’re going to sort your paper using the same basic system. I’ll go through vertical first and then tell you how to adjust for non-vertical systems.

Go10 2 Dividers with sticky notesTo begin the sorting process you’ll need your paper storage boxes, some dividers, a pen, your themes list and some sticky notes. Use a sticky not to label a divider for each major category. Follow along the Sentiments and Themes section, then the Calendar year and finally the Rainbow.

If you’re not using vertical storage, create some sorting guides. Use your Sentiments and Themes List to create the appropriate sorting guides for your supplies. Then create generic sorting guides for the other 3 Sections – Alpha-Numeric, Calendar Year and The Rainbow. A 12×18″ sheet of paper works best. Simply draw a line down the edge of the paper, write in the theme, season, etc. You’ll want to keep these after you’ve finished sorting paper because we’ll use them to sort other things as well.

Go10 3 2 Sorting TemplatesI’m going to sort my smaller themes into the Paper Storage Boxes, but I’ll pull them out, put them in SuperSized Single pockets and add them to my ScrapRack so I can keep those small themes together with the other items I have for those sections.

Step 2 – Start Sorting

Go10 2 Paper PileStart the sorting process by just grabbing a stack of paper and dropping sheet by sheet into the appropriate labeled section. If you come across a Sentiment or Theme that was not on your list, it’s easy to just add it in as you go. Just use a sticky note to label a new divider. Be sure to also add it to your Sentiments and Themes list, you’ll want to remember all of your categories consistently as you sort other products.

Step 3 – Storing your Paper

Ideally you want to be able to access your paper quickly and easily. This is another reason that vertical storage works so well. The cube style shelving system available at IKEA (EXPEDIT and KALLAX) are perfect for papercrafting storage and relatively inexpensive.

Even stores like Target and Walmart have cube style storage. Check the dimensions to be sure they will comfortably fit your crafting supplies (at least 13.5” x 13.5” x 13.5”).

Putting your paper storage boxes into the cube system maximizes the use of the cube, filling it from top to bottom, and allows you easy access. In the cube system you’ll most likely want to position your boxes on their backs. So paper can be pulled in and out easily. If you’re not using the cube system, Paper Storage Boxes can just as easily be used and accessible on a shelf.

If you are using “flat” storage, like a paper rack, stack your papers back in the rack according to the 4 Section System, with sticky note or divider labels poking out the front.

Challenges of Paper Sorting

Okay, basic themes and colors are pretty easy to sort, but what do you do with the not so basic stuff; specialty papers, vellum, glitter paper, paper pads, cork, vintage look papers, paper collection, multi-colored paper, two sided paper……Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! We’ll Dorothy take a deep breath, it’s easier than clicking your heals together to find a home for your paper.

Let’s start with specialty papers, vellum, cork, glitter, etc. These papers are actually quite simple to sort because they also belong in one of the 3 sections. If you’re concerned about protecting fragile papers or possibly glitter transfer, just use a SuperSized Single pocket.

Paper Pads – stand them up vertically between your Paper Storage Boxes, closest to the category they best represent. Use a sticky note to remind you of what’s inside the pad. Once they are stored vertically, you can “thumb” the corner and get a peek at what’s inside. You can also easily pull it off the shelf because it isn’t at the bottom of tower of paper pads.

Paper collections – keep them all together in a SuperSized Single, slide the SuperSingle right into the section with other papers in that category.

Double Sided-Paper, you’ve just simply got to choose the side you like the best or are most likely to use. You can also ask yourself, why did I buy this paper? The answer may give you the perfect category in which to store it. Remember your goal is to keep things together you would use together.

Multi-Colored paper, again choose the color you are most likely to coordinate.

Prints and Patterns – Store your prints and patterns in the rainbow section with the most dominate color. In my paper storage system I group papers together – floral, dots, stripes, etc. and then put them behind the solid colors they coordinate with.

DON’T OVER THINK IT – JUST GET IT DONE!! Make decisions quickly and move on. If you’re like most crafters, you have so much paper, a few sheets in the wrong category won’t make a bit of difference, but getting all of your paper sorted into general categories will make a HUGE difference.

Scraps – Toss them if you can! Otherwise, commit yourself to only keeping large scraps, 12”x6” or at the smallest 6”x 6” – again, if you’re the average crafter you’ve got more paper than you could use in a lifetime. Stopping looking for the perfect scrap and start using your beautiful paper before it’s out of date.

Step 4 – Watch for your next Go-10 Email!

Thanks for participating in Go-10. Remember is you want to connect with other Go-10 or Get Organized Challenge participants, you can join them on FaceBook by searching: 2011GetOrganizedChallenge Group – Or just click here.

Download a printable version of the class presentation – click here.

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