The (Patterned) Paper Flow

by | Scrapbooking Supplies | 2 comments

Let’s say I’ve just come home from my local scrapbook store, or maybe a box has arrived on my door step from my kit club or latest online purchase. New patterned paper, how exciting! I admire the colors, the patterns, even the smell. Now…how can I store it, use it, and stay inspired by it for many months to come?

I’ve developed a 4-step process, and each new phase helps me think about my patterned paper in a different way. This process keeps me excited and energized about using my stash. I’m excited to share it with you!

1. Brand New Patterned Paper (1-3 months)

This is what has just arrived. It is organized by manufacturer and stored in a clear plastic container. I keep anywhere from 3-5 collections from a variety of companies and pick whatever line fits the colors and mood of my photos. This is the first place I turn to when choosing product for my latest layout.

2. Newer Patterned Paper (3-6 months)

When I have used a collection for a bit, or want to make room for brand new patterned paper, the slightly used line moves to a file folder system. But before I make this change, I create a few starting points, or page bases. This allows me to simply create with the paper apart from any photos, and keeps me using my stash. Now, if I want to make a quick page, I can just pull one of these starting point page bases. They remain in this phase until they are used up, or until I move them to my donate pile.

3. Older Patterned Paper (6 months – 1 year)

If I have any full sheets of patterned paper left at this point, it is now sorted by color and moved to my color files. These are organized according to the color wheel, or ROYGBIV. This is where I go if I’m working on a layout and think, “Hmm, I need some red here…” Sometimes I will go to my color files, pull together a kit of mixed manufacturers and scrap with that for a bit.

4. Old Patterned Paper (about every 6 months)

Finally, I go through my color files semi-annually and anything that I just don’t care for anymore goes into my purge bin. This bin is very loosely organized, with the oldest papers at the bottom. This is the last stop for my patterned paper stash before it is donated to a worthy cause. I have been known to go through this pile and rescue a piece of paper, but not very often.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that I do not keep patterned paper that is much older than a year. That is just my preference. I figure if I haven’t used it in 12 months, it needs a new home.

I’ve also recently developed a few corollaries to my system. I’ve added several clear plastic containers of product organized by theme, and one container for my monthly kit club. The themes I use regularly are Christmas, Summer, and Fall.

There you have it. I hope you’ve found this helpful. Perhaps I’ve sparked a few ideas for organizing, using, and loving your stash of patterned paper. I’d love to hear about your system.

Leave a comment sharing your system for organizing patterned paper.

Next year, we’ll begin hosting semi-annual Stash Bash events designed to help you use-up, declutter and organize your scrapbook supplies. Premium Members will be invited to attend for free, so make sure you take advantage of our membership sale before it ends.

Did you find this post helpful?

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  1. Christine N

    I keep all kits together in a kit bag. I keep collections together in Cropper Hopper containers in my IKEA Expedit, with cardboard dividers between each collection. I sort loose papers not in a collection by color and that’s in a container by itself. So far it works.

  2. Gina

    Where have you found to donate scrapping supplies? I have some I’ve boxed up and some I need to box up.


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