Week 1 – Paper

4 weeks of organization paper week 1 totally tiffany Rainbow section paper pile

Welcome to our first week of 4 weeks of organization.

This week we’re focused on getting your paper stashed sorted so you can decided on the best storage options.

Before we get started, though, if you’re unfamiliar with my 4 Section System for organizing craft supplies, you’ll want to take a little side trip  –  click here to learn more about the 4 Section System.  The beauty of the 4SS is that it works for nearly every type of craft you may do – Card Making, Scrapbooking, Mixed Media, Home Decor, Decoupage… Need more convincing – read, Why you need the 4 Section System.

Before you start

Create a list – Make and alphabetize a list of all the themes/events (camping, football, travel) and sentiments (birthday, congratulations, get well, thank you) you craft about.  The list should include both themes and sentiments in a single list – there’s lots of cross over between the two (e.g., birthday is an event, but also a sentiment).

Get some sticky notes – sticky notes are the easiest way to label stacks of paper as you sort.  Put the sticky note on the bottom sheet of paper in the stack, when you stack all of the piles together the sticky note will tell you where one theme/sentiment/holiday/color ends and the next begins.  This will also help you decide how many dividers you need.

Step 1 – Gather and Sort

Round up all of your paper and your scraps too.  This includes loose sheets as well as paper pads.

Sort the paper into the 4 Section System which is actually only 3 sections when we’re talking about paper because the 1st section Alphabets and Numbers doesn’t generally include paper.

Themes and sentiments pile of paper, Totally-Tiffany Holiday and seasons, calendar year pile of paper Totally-Tiffany The Rainbow section pile of paper

A HUGE part of organizing…

Purging is a huge part of organizing.  The process of purging has a difficulty factor of 0-10 depending on the type of person you are and the way you think about your supplies.  To be efficient and successful, you want to be somewhere in the 4-6 range.  0-1 you’re willing to just toss out everything and start again, 9-10, you want to keep EVERYTHING, “just in case…”  If purging is troublesome for you please take a few minutes and watch/read, Purge Patrol – it will give you some ideas and strategies for purging your supplies.

Back to paper…

Step 2 – How & Where will you store your paper?

Once you’ve sorted your paper, you’ll need to decide how and where to store it.

There are 3 ways to store paper –

  1. All paper together
  2. All paper stored with coordinating themes, sentiments, holidays and colors
  3. Some paper stored with paper, some paper stored by theme, sentiment…

The most common method is the 3rd.

This is best used by putting large quantities of paper in your paper storage system and keeping smaller quantities within a theme.

As an example; 5-6 sheets of St. Patrick’s Day paper are best stored with your other St. Pat’s supplies, most likely in a section of your ScrapRack.

100 sheets of Travel Paper would best be stored in your paper storage system (boxes, Paper Handlers, Fab Files…).

To learn more about these options, watch Choosing Paper Storage Solutions or read – Picking Perfect Paper Storage.

Where are you going to store your paper?

12x12 Paper in Expedit from IKEA, fits both Kallax and Expedit

Will you be using a shelving/cube style unit like this IKEA Kallax system or is your paper being stored in closet or on an open shelf?

Accessibility is always a plus when you’re crafting, so choosing an open shelf is ideal, but not always possible.

Measure your paper stack, organize paper Totally-Tiffany

Once your paper is purged, sorted and stacked by theme, sentiment, holiday or color – measure the stack(s).

This will help you decide how many paper organizers you need and where they will fit in your storage system.

Paper pads may not need to be placed inside your storage boxes. Often, the sturdy backboard of a paper pad will allow it to stand on it’s own next to the appropriate paper storage box.

Step 3 – Choose storage options

Choosing storage options

Different storage options will of course work better for different craft areas. If you always leave your boxes on the shelf, cardboard options are great. If you take your paper off the shelf, Paper Handlers might be ideal. If dust/damage is a concern – Fab Files could be the right choice for you.

12X12 Paper Organizers with Dimensions A32, XL31, A26

Scraps should also be stored either in your ScrapRack, within the theme/holiday/color section or they could be stored in your paper storage boxes using something like the ScrapMaster.  There are a few other options as well – learn more about them, Read  – 4 Easy Ways to Organize Scraps.

The ScrapMaster File Folder is perfect for 12x12 scrap storage and organization, Totally-Tiffany SMSO Scrapbooking paper scraps organize in ScrapRack pocket pages.

Step 4 – Add dividers

You may not need a divider for EVERY theme/event/holiday.  Once you see all your paper sorted, you’ll be able to better determine how you want to divide and label; using alphabets only A-D, E-H, etc., or if you prefer to use the theme/sentiment,  for the calendar section, do you prefer holidays or seasons – Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter or Winter, Spring… – for most crafters it will be a little of each.

Divider options include – Paper Storage box dividers, tabbed pockets, and tabbed organizers – like the ScrapMaster, Collection Keeper or Paper Pocket.

Step 5 – Prepare a shopping list

We’ve put together a shopping list for each week of this 4 week challenge.  The lists can be downloaded and printed for easy reference.  You’ll want to keep them handy for the Really Big Sale!(RBS!)!  If you’re not on our email list, please sign up now so you don’t miss out on the RBS! details.

Download the Paper Storage Shopping List.

Get more info!!!

Would you like more information and step by step details?  Please watch my full length Paper Organization Class – I’ll cover all of these details and more. Watch now.

Thanks for stopping by today to learn about organizing your paper.

I hope you’ll stop by each week for the next 4 weeks and join us for Embellishment, Die/Stamp/Embossing Folder, and Workspace Organization too!

T Totally-Tiffany Logo, Pink Block ini

6 Responses to Week 1 – Paper

  1. I have about 5 to 6 years following Tiffany and have loved her organizational techniques! I am re-organizing my little studio again and this time I do plan to complete the challenge, unlike my first attempt 5 years ago. Wish me luck!! Thank you, Tiffany and always best vibes on this new adventure with Crafter’s Companion!

  2. I have been making masks for friends and family. As I am close to being done, I am really ready to get back to organizing again. Thanks for doing this!

  3. Just in time! I should be getting my TT Paper Rack bundle and scrap masters this week. I’ve sorted by colors and themes and am just waiting for the delivery. So excited! Love this system and product line!

  4. Always to go through and purge more of my older papers. Have used a ton of my papers and am so glad!!

  5. I use a hanging file cart on wheels. Files are arranged alphabetically (by theme). Inside each hanging file, I place a small folder for all my scraps. Makes it so easy to find just the right paper when I need it. The cart is wheeled under my work table for storage. So easy, and it saves lots of time sorting through papers.

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