Friday, February 20, 2015

Organizing Paper Scraps, Punches and Diecuts

I have finally found a way to organize my paper scraps, punches, and other embellishments so that I'll use them instead of just adding to them.

The Ever Expanding Scrap Pile

Initially I was putting my scraps into a basket that I kept on a shelf near my work area. When that overflowed, I started using another one, but never touched the scraps I was saving. I couldn't seem to find scraps in the colors I needed, so I'd cut into yet another full sheet and, once again, add to my overflowing scrap bins.

I'm not alone here, right? There were small scraps, 1/4 sheets of paper, 1/2 sheets of paper, punched pieces, strips, you name it, it was in there. I had to find something to control this growing chaos!

An Inkling Of A Plan

I knew I wanted to separate my scraps by color. I also wanted to keep my smaller scraps separate from the larger pieces. Once I got them divvied up, I realized this was actually doable. Woohoo, now I was getting somewhere! 

Kind of ;) Are you a scrap saver? If you've tried to organize them, you know what I'm talking about, right? I had piles of color and size separated scraps, but now what? I've bought baskets, boxes, and accordion files in numerous sizes, and they haven't really helped in my quest to get organized.

I was determined not to spend one more penny on this botched organizing plan. It wasn't going to be all matchy matchy, but I was determined to figure something out if it killed me! (Yes, I have a flair for the dramatic, but this mess was driving me CRAZY!!)

A Eureka Moment

Well, maybe not Eureka, but it sounds good, right? (Better than palm to the head, "thwack," moment LOL!) I had an idea and went with it :)

I could still use my baskets, boxes and accordion files and make these piles workable. The only other supply I needed? Envelopes. Why did I not think of this before?!

  • Starting with the small scraps: each color went into a separate envelope. If it didn't fit into the envelope, then I either cut it down or moved it to the "big scrap" pile. The really small pieces fit into a small envelope that I cut in half and attached to the front.
  • Moving on to the punches: I separated them by shape, regardless of color. Each shape now has it's own envelope, and one of the shapes is glued to the front.

  • Big scrap pieces were next: they can now be found in an accordion file, separated by color.
The envelopes fit perfectly into my basket and box, and line up neatly. I can just pull out the appropriate envelope and know at a glance if I have a scrap that will work :)

I am also using an accordion style coupon organizer for stickers, and another for flat embellishments that I could never seem to find when they fell to the bottom of a larger bin.

In order to keep the chaos in check, I am forcing myself to look through my scrap organizers before hacking up a new sheet of paper :) I'm happy to report that when I do cut into a new sheet, I now have somewhere, other than a scrap heap, to put it.'s sometimes the little things that bring sanity joy :)

So, that's it. My quick fix for the scrap bin blues. If you find yourself in a similar quandary, I hope this helps :) For larger scrap collections, manila envelopes would probably work to.

Have you had any "Eureka," craft room organizing moments? Anything you're working on? I'm nowhere near organized, but I'm always looking for ideas.

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  1. I use a similar system for my die cuts but never thought to do it with paper scraps. Genius! My one "eureka" moment was using toilet paper tubes arranged in a shoe box to store all of my colored markers and pens upright (upside down). Thanks for linking up your post at the This Is How We Roll Thursday party. I hope you continue to join us and link up your ideas.

    1. That's a great idea! It keeps them corralled, but you can still see what you have, and you don't have to spend a fortune doing it. I like to see my options without making a bigger mess in the process. Something that I'm still working on ;)