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Old 05-01-2010, 12:46 PM   #1
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Question Organizing stamps - by kind? alphabetical?

Hi everyone,

I was wondering how people organize their stamp sets. I thought about putting all my flower stamps together, sentiments together etc. but I don't want to break up sets and there are often a mixture of different stamps in a set. I've also though of organizing them according to the SU categories but how do you determine if the set should be considered elements, nature or occasions, etc. When it's an SU stamp I can follow the catalogue but I still don't know why certain sets are in certain categories. When I have a stamp made by a different company, I have a hard time figuring out what category to use.

Any ideas? How do you organize your stamps/sets?

thanks!
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:48 PM   #2
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i have a database in excel,
I only have unmounted and clear stamp.
i do organize by category, floewrs, people, sentiments, works perfect for me.
I have a database where I have the description of the image, company where its from, and where its located at.
I've had it this way for about 6 months now and love it.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:49 PM   #3
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I tried that system too, (categories) and it didn't work for me because it didn't maximize my use of space. I have a TINY room.

My boxed stamp sets are on bookshelves, so it's much more efficient to arrange them in stacks of identical sized boxes. Within those stacks they are in alphabetical order.

It keeps me on my toes remembering the names of the stamp sets, but also, it's very easy for me to remember whether it's a small, medium or large set I'm looking for, so I can go to those stacks and start looking at names.

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Old 05-01-2010, 02:57 PM   #4
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MIne are in their clamshells grouped by : seasonal (christmas, st pats, 4th of July, so forth), nature, general, snowmen, house mouse, high hopes, ect. I have one of the double DVD cabinets that they sit in with lots of small spaces. Sets that are only sentiments are together, all boxes are labeled with a white label so names show clearly. It works for me and that is what you want to go with, what works for you.
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Old 05-01-2010, 08:02 PM   #5
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I have mine on shelves, by catagories. (first had them alphabetical but then you have large clamshells on small clamshells didn't work for me) I have 2 - 5 shelf book cases. My catagores are pretty general. 1. Flowers 2. sayings, words, alphabets 3. Outdoors, sports, kids 4.holidays (x-mas, easter, halloween,valentines day) 5. backgrounds 6.borders 7. misc 8. Color Ins (stamps you have to use chalks or markers or colored pencils to fill in)

Each set also has a sheet in my binder (each stamp set is stamped on this paper with the name) It also has a number assigned to it. I use circle stickers. the clamshell will have this same number on it.

Each catagory starts with #1.......that way you can easily add to each catagory.

Now instead of messing up my shelves trying to find a set i want to work with, I just flip thru my binder and find a set, I find the catagory shelf and then the number of the stamp set.... seems to work for me fine.

hope i explained this so you can understand it.
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Old 05-02-2010, 02:20 AM   #6
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I recently revamped my stamp organization system, and it's a "three parter":
  1. All of my rubber stamps (unmounted) are in the new SU DVD cases, alphabetical by company and alphabetical within that company (loosely - all of the"A"s together, etc.), with multiple sets in each case. Each case is numbered (PB01 for Penny Black, SU01 for Stampin'Up! for example). All of the cases are on DVD racks. I also have all of my clear stamps on these racks, standing upright and also alphabetical (but not numbered) in small open boxes.
  2. One of two binders has a pic of each stamp set - rubber or clear - and which case it's in. For the clear stamps, I just know which shelf they're on.
  3. The other binder has each individual stamp stamped within categories - hearts, for example - with a note as to which company and set it's from. I also have appropriately-themed punches, embossing folders, stencils, etc. included on these sheets. I've attached a pic of the heart sheets so you can see what I mean.
This method allows me to look up stamps several ways. If I need a heart, for example, I can flip through that binder to look at all the heart options available. If I just want to look through the other binder for inspiration or to admire my collection, I can do that!

It's working very well for me so far...
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:01 AM   #7
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I store my stamps in their original sets but I keep a Rolodex of each stamp by category so I can easily find "that flower" I am looking for (for example). I have a VERY detailed post with lots of pictures here that you may find helpful. Blessings.
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:07 AM   #8
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I used to sort them alphabetically, but then that wasn't specific enough. I decided on the following system (for me), and it's been awesome:

Sentiments (all ABCs and word-only stamp sets)
Boy/Male Stamps (I have two boys, no girls, so I reach for these ones a lot)
Holiday (Christmas, Valentine's Day, Birthday, etc.)
Other (it's a big category, and they're alphabetized, but just having the other three stacks stripped away helps A LOT)

This has been PERFECT for my purposes.
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:09 AM   #9
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Oh, and those are for my SU stamp sets only - I have anywhere from 80 to 100 (I sell off and buy a lot).

For my other stamp sets (unmounted, mostly Unity), I keep them in clear scrap-o-nizers. I haven't the perfect system for these yet, but I don't have so many that it's overwhelming. I hope to create an Excel database one day, but I'm not in a hurry.
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:18 AM   #10
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I don't buy sets so all of mine are individuals. I store them in a blueprint drawer unit. I do them by categories: people, botanical, holidays, sentiments, etc. I'm in the process of indexing them now.

What I did was categorize them first. Then, I stamp each image on a plain ole piece of copy paper, as many as will fit on the page without making it too hard to see them. Each one is assigned a number like P-1, P-2 etc. This indicates that it's in the People category and then each is numbered. Using an ultrafine Sharpie, I mark that same number on the back of the stamp. I mark the category or categories on the drawer (People and Botanical take a whole drawer each, but others are smaller and 2 or 3 will fit in a drawer). Inside, I arrange them in roughly numerical order.

When the pages are full, I slip them into page protectors, one facing each way, and then into a binder. Each category is tabbed. Then, when I'm looking for a specific stamp, I browse through the category till I find it, then open the appropriate drawer and look for the number.

A couple of advantages for me for this is that I can actually see the image, I can take the binder with me to conventions or at the computer for online ordering, and hopefully not have any more duplicates! As I get new stamps, I can always add more pages.
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Old 05-02-2010, 12:31 PM   #11
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Well, mine are in several different styles. I have a system that was discontinued, cd cases of clear stamps and purchased unmounted, original on wood in original clam shell, binder for studio g with the baseball card holders, and in Iris carts. Oh, and plastic shoe boxes for background stamps and purple trays that are also discontinued.

I did make an excel sheet by company and each stamp is listed and where it is stored. And an excel of the acrylic stamps and where they are stored.

I have three binders of images that I stamped, one for the discontinued system, one for the cd storage system, and one for the Iris Carts of stamps on wood that haven't been unmounted and probably won't be at this point.

I have the stamps pretty much by theme as if I do Christmas, it is easier to take out a drawer or two of just Christmas or to grab some cd's of just Christmas. If I want to cross over and use images that aren't just Christmas, I have the lists/binders for reference.

Each stamp in the Iris drawer has the drawer number on it so I can put the stamp back where it lives.

Truthfully, once for me with too many stamps, it is hard to find a system that works short of purging.
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:49 PM   #12
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What wonderful suggestions! I'm relatively new to stamping but have gotten to the point where I have more images than I can remember. I was really interested in the categories peoplle used aside from alphabetical.

So for now, I'm starting a binder of images based on the sets and then creating a second binder based on categories of images - all flowers, sentiments, etc.

Thanks everyone! SCS is such a helpful community
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:40 PM   #13
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Unmounted are in categories: Fantasy, flowers, animals, music, etc...

Mounted are in a small box so I already know what is in there. I don't need to really organize them.

My SU stamps are in a different box since I don't have a lot of sets.

My House Mouse stamps have their own box.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:08 AM   #14
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People actually organize their stamps? Huh, who would have thought?
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:06 PM   #15
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:47 AM   #16
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I keep my SU stamps stored in cubicles stacked from floor to ceiling. My categories are
"Word Sets" "Whimsical" "Artsy" "Seasonal" and then I keep the same categories for
"Retired Word Sets", etc. I also add a small blue dot sticker to retired sets so it's easier to re-file them. It's just easier for me since I'm a demo to keep retired sets separated.
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:21 AM   #17
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All of mine are unmounted. I keep them in a 3 ring binder. They are divided into categories. In page protectors I put file folders to give it some strength. On each file folder is stamped the image so I know where to return the stamp. The stamps have ATIOAO and stick to the outside of the page protector. In the front of the binder is an index which has all the images stamped to match the file folder. I also have an index card box for a quick reference. It has worked for me. Oh, some of the dollar clear stamps kept falling out of the binder so I use the same system but stick them to acetate and slide that into the page protector.
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:46 AM   #18
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Okay, here is how i do it. For my retired SU stamps, I have them sorted by category, I take them out of the clamshells and put them in trays. Here is an old photo from my gallery of the trays stacked up. And here is a sample of what a tray will contain. http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/ga...6&thumbsonly=0
I put all the flowers on one, birthday images and saying on another, and so on and so on....That way when I am looking for a particular size flower, I can just pull out the tray and there they all are. I keep the clamshells packed away in the basement for when I may sell the sets, I do write with a fine point sharpie on each block what set it is from to help with identification.

This really helps with storage and with locating things. I do have a binder system as well, but really needs to be updated!

PS, looking back at the beginnings of my gallery is scary!
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:01 AM   #19
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I have all my clear stamps in cd cases and a three ring binder. All my SU stamps are sorted by flower,words,ect. The ones I use the most I don't even bother putting away.
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wendykins View Post

PS, looking back at the beginnings of my gallery is scary!
Think of it as looking back at your grade school artwork...
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:10 AM   #21
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Oh, some of the dollar clear stamps kept falling out of the binder so I use the same system but stick them to acetate and slide that into the page protector.
That is exactly how I store my dollar stamps - all stuck to a clear sheet and slid into a page protector and filed in a binder. Forgot to mention that in my original post above... It's the only way I've been able to consistently find those li'l suckers! I do have them indexed along with my other stamps, though.
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:21 AM   #22
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Thumbs up organizing stamps

I have mine by category..winter/christmas..hearts/valentines.. nature..animals..flowers (takes up two spaces).. alphabet.. words/sentiments.. baby/kids.. girlfriends.. birthday. beach/summer.. fall/Halloween/T-giving.. vintage.. and more. I was going to alphabetize, but I realized that if I'm making a card or scrapping or even a 3D project.. SUBJECT is what I think of first.. and my customers too. I have the white wire cubes you can get at Target for my stamps.. I bought an extra set and split each cube into two vertical sections using tie-wraps to secure.. perfect width for stamp sets! I printed little labels to hang at the top of each section to make it easy for my customers to find. I AM thinking of taking all of the words/greetings out of the sets and storing them together. Hope this helps. Cindy
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:36 AM   #23
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I have finally broken my sets up, I just couldn't until I saw my friends. I used $1 clear shoe boxes by category, it is fantastic, if I want to make a birthday card just go to birthday labeled boxes, or baby, etc....... so much better.
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:55 AM   #24
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I've tried a couple different ways and finally found a way that works well for me. The bulk of my stamps are Stampin Up. I keep a list of all my stamps in Excel then did a mail merge to create a header for each page that contains the set name and where it came from - ex: Pocket Silhouettes, Catalog, 2009. I print them out on white cardstock from Staples. Underneath each header, I stamp all the stamps from that set onto the page. Each of the pages then goes into a page protector in the binder. They are organized with sentiments first (alphabetically), then by all others (alphabetically).

I have two large drawers that are built into my closet and within those drawers, the sets are organized by size, then alphabetically (because it looks neater). So the smallest and second smallest clamshell boxes are in the top drawer and then the two larger sizes are in the bottom drawer.

I flip through the binder and can quickly pick out any images that would work for my project. I usually have an idea of how big a set it is, so I know I have to look at the bigger set drawer or the smaller set drawer and since they are in alphabetical order, it only takes a moment to find.

Some additional benefits I've found... I can take the binder with me so when I'm away from home I can plan. It is easily updated as I buy new sets. For a while I'd print out ideas I wanted to case for certain sets and stick those in the page protector with the header page. (I've since created a separate binder for that.) In the back of the binder, I keep pages for sets that my friends and my mom have - they can also use the binder to see what I have - if I know my friend has a set I'll borrow hers and vice versa. Finally, I have punch templates (great tip from my Demo!). I've punched each punch and then laminated it in 3" squares. For example the 1 3/8" circle punch - I punched it and then cut a square around the hole. I can then hold that over top of a stamped image to see if the image will fit inside the punch.

This is a great thread - I seem to spend as much time organizing my room as I do creating in it, but it makes me happy.
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:06 AM   #25
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Smile Stamp Storage

When I get my new stamp sets, before I put the labels on I scan the entire image. Then I put them into a folder on my desktop. That way when I'm looking for a particular stamp I can look through my folder (which is categorized) to find what I need.
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:29 AM   #26
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Like most of these stampers, I have sorted all loose/single stamps according to precise subject matter and placed then in clear plastic shoe boxes (all 21 of them!) from Walmart. They are arranged somewhat alphabetically on the four shelves of an old china cabinet which has had its doors removed and sits on the floor with no cabinet base underneath. Each box has a large clear label for easy viewing. Clear stamps that do not fit into these categories are stored according to manufacturer in small three tiered plastic storage units (2). SU sets are arranged alphabetically in the drawers of two large tower units, with a drawer reserved for the large background stamps. All Xmas/winter stamps, paper, ideas, accessories are stored in their own large tower unit which is rolled out of my craft room for 8 months at a time and hidden away in a closet.
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Old 05-05-2010, 06:59 AM   #27
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There are so may ways to organize. I have way to many stamps to do a binder or stamp each one. I started one day and after 4 hours I hadn't even made a dent.
SO I organized my SU sets according to MY categories. I kept them in the sets...You really do tend to remember what stamps are in sets. If not, it's a surprise when you find a stamp you forgot. I have mine in a pantry type cabinet standing up on their sides. I had them stacked and a couple of the boxes collapsed and ruined the cushion. To get extra space, I made new shelves using some old paneling and the shelf push in things you can buy. It doubled my space. I have mine by greetings, trees& leaves, DD, Floral, Christmas (I hide in a box under the guest bed for most of the year) other holidays, animals, backgrounds etc. I still have to look once in a while but then it reminds you what you have. My UM are in a stamp credenza I made by categories.
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:22 AM   #28
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Default organizing stamps

I have created a catalogue of sorts for my stamps. When I get a new stamp set or a loose stamp, before putting it away, I stamp the entire set onto a piece of cardstock labeled with the name of the set. For loose ones, I stamp them on a piece of categorized cardstock, such as hearts, flowers, winter, halloween, etc. and mark the image with it's set name or miscellaneous box (where I keep my loose stamps...Michael's dollar spot or whatever). Then I break up the sets and stamp the individual images on the specific page that fits the category. When I need a tree, sentiment, person, etc., all I have to do is find that category in my index, then pull it out of the stamp set it came in or out of my miscellaneous box. Works well for me so far.
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:26 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creatingisfun View Post
i have a database in excel,
I only have unmounted and clear stamp.
i do organize by category, floewrs, people, sentiments, works perfect for me.
I have a database where I have the description of the image, company where its from, and where its located at.
I've had it this way for about 6 months now and love it.
It sounds like you have a wonderful organziation system in place. May I ask, if you have a stamp set of flowers that also has sentiments in it, do you break up the set or keep that set altogether?
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:43 AM   #30
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Default My organization!

I store in cupboards in my craft area all the current SU stamps sets alphabetically, and the current word sets separately also alphabetically. I keep all retired word sets in a cupboard alphabetically. I keep all the retired baby, baptism, kids sets alphabetically, animal sets alphabetically, flowers alphabetically, friends sets alphabetically, and all the rest of the retired sets stored alphabetically. All of these are in the original clam boxes. ( I don't worry about size. Size isn't the issue. It's my finding a set fast. And I'm telling you, I can find anything REALLY fast) THEN, I keep all birthday sets separate and alphabetical, and I keep all Easter sets in a large plastic organizer clear box (since I only need these on occasion); I keep Angel sets in a clear box together. Then I have plastic drawer organizers in which I keep retired Religious (sympathy, and other), birds, bees, butterfly and bear sets in another drawer. Wedding sets in another drawer, Halloween in another drawer, border sets in another drawer. I keep background stamps out of the clam boxes on a shelf, like books, in a cupboard on end with the identifying label on the side, retired or not. My non SU stamps are in boxes, except for florals and nature. I put them in the cupboard with all the retired florals sets and made labels for each single stamp and alphabatized these. I also keep alphabet sets in a clear see through box with lid (I don't use these so much and don't buy any current sets of these. I keep using the same old favs if I need any.) Michael's has a new line of desk pieces in white. I bought the one that has three cloth drawers and two dowels on the side for ribbon. My husband made a shelf that sets on top and that is where I keep my bigshot. Inside the drawers I keep my bigz dies, Cuttlebug and SU embossing folder. My work station is a big U shape of formica with cupboard underneat. I keep all my 12 by 12 papers in the SU paper holders w dividers and labeled and alphabatized, except Christmas and Halloween papers. They go in a holder together. Well. I vote always for alphabetical, no matter what categories you use. It makes it VERY easy to find everything.

Last edited by montessorigrandma; 05-05-2010 at 09:03 AM..
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Old 05-05-2010, 08:49 AM   #31
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I know right!
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Old 05-05-2010, 12:44 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stampinstation View Post
I have mine by category..winter/christmas..hearts/valentines.. nature..animals..flowers (takes up two spaces).. alphabet.. words/sentiments.. baby/kids.. girlfriends.. birthday. beach/summer.. fall/Halloween/T-giving.. vintage.. and more. I was going to alphabetize, but I realized that if I'm making a card or scrapping or even a 3D project.. SUBJECT is what I think of first.. and my customers too. I have the white wire cubes you can get at Target for my stamps.. I bought an extra set and split each cube into two vertical sections using tie-wraps to secure.. perfect width for stamp sets! I printed little labels to hang at the top of each section to make it easy for my customers to find. I AM thinking of taking all of the words/greetings out of the sets and storing them together. Hope this helps. Cindy
I do categories similar to this as I, too, think of subject first. I use the clam shell containers that my SU stamps came in (I really like wood mounts), but they are reorganized from the original. I have shallow drawers that hold two deep. I do write the name of the stamp set on the wood block, however, so I can see what others here on SCS have done with the stamp(s) if I get stuck for an idea. That way I can find it quickly and don't have to stamp pages of them to see what I have. My sentiments are separated by category as well, so when I need some thing for a birthday, I go to those containers, and pick the one that fits both in size and in style for my needs. I am not a demonstrator and I never sell my stamps--when I'm done with them, need more space for something I use more, or find a newbie that needs some help getting started, I simply give them away.
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Old 05-05-2010, 04:08 PM   #33
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I took all of my mounted stamps (except SU stamps, because they seem to have some resale value) OFF of the wooden blocks. You just microwave the block for 20 seconds or so -- it's long enough to loosen the adhesive. I stuck them to mounting foam (which I bought from QuietFireDesigns.com), and stuck them in CD cases. The stamps are arranged by category, and I have stamped the images on white cardstock for the CD liner. I have written each company name under the stamp so that I can give credit where credit is due.

I freed up an amazing amount of space this way!
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:01 AM   #34
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As soon as I purchase a new set, I stamp all the images onto a sheet of blank paper, and label the top with the name and code number of the set. I also identify which major catagory the set belows to. I have a binder with all the images, tab divided by catagory. Each catagory has it's own plastic slide out drawer tub to hold all the sets. The catagories I use are: Floral (anything to do with nature), Christmas, Expressions (says and verses); Designs (geometic or other generic designs), and Other (whatever doesn't fit in the other four).

It seems like a lot of work to have a stamped image page of each set but many times I am looking for something very specific and it is really easy to page through a binder rather than pulling out all the stamp sets. Once I locate what I want to use, it is very easy to find the stamp set. In case you're wondering, I have hundreds of stamp sets and this is the only way I could get them organized to be functional.
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Old 05-06-2010, 03:54 PM   #35
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The first thing I do when I get a new set is stamp the images onto paper that's labeled with the name and catagory of the set...this goes into a binder that sits on my desk...then I print (in a LARGE font) a removable white file folder label, and tag the set...then the set gets stored alphabetically on its side in a cabinet that I had extra shelves made to fit inside. It holds 80 to 100 sets of stamps. So far this work for me.

I thought I had a photo of the inside of my cabinet...I'll keep looking and post if I find it.
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:30 AM   #36
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I recently put my stamps in baskets by category. I still keep the sets together. Before that I stored all the acrylic together, all the SU together and the individual ones never got used. Now I'm using everything more. My categories are: Holidays, Flowers, Backgrounds and Geometrics, Alphas, Punches (stamps that coordinate with punches), Nature, Other.
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Old 05-09-2010, 04:02 PM   #37
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I have a binder that I have stamped each and every single image that I own in it. Each stamp is stamped on the page with the category that it belongs to such as flowers, birthday, food, etc. Underneath each stamped image, I write a letter and a number corresponding to the location of the bin that it is in. That way if I want a certain flower stamp for example, say it is number A2. I go to the A bin and know that it is the second stamp in there. Its pretty detailed but it saves me so much time from digging through a massive amount of wood stamps!

I have also done with technique with my clear stamps and ribbon. The ribbon is just snipets of each type of ribbon I have on a sheet designated by color. That way if I want a green ribbon, I know what styles I have!

This is also a nice tool to take with me while shipping so I know what stamps and ribbons I already have!

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:26 PM   #38
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I cannot bear to think of breaking up my sets. My clutter solution: Scan each set and print out. Stamp sets are organized by the size of the case and each is give a letter and number-i.e:A1, A2, A3 etc which is writen with a sharpie on the side of the stamp case. A's being the largest sets followed by B's next smaller sets, C's the next smaller sets, D's -all the way to the smallest sets.(Once I have 26 large stamp sets, I guess I'll go to AA1, etc-but I'll probably be in divorce court by then!!! I have about 100 stamp sets and he thinks that is WAYYY too many already!) The name of the set is written on the print out along with it's assigned number and letter and the printouts are strored alpahbetically in a loose leaf binder. The stamp sets are stored flat on a bookshelf, one on top the other, with the Alphanumeric symbols visible. Then when I want something, I page through the binder, find what I want and pull the designated set off the shelf. It beats sorting through 100 sets of stamps to find what I want!
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:10 PM   #39
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Organization. Right.

I know I do things a bit different than some people because of my type of storage (see my gallery and my blog for some pictures). I have small drawers that all my unmounted sets are stored in. Sets are on cards and about 18-20 sets would fit in each drawer.

But, yes, I store my sets by theme. I don't break up sets. I don't have too much difficulty with most sets getting them into one theme or another. If I have multiple drawers of one theme, then the sort is done by style. Here's my scheme:
Floral 7 drawers
Nature collage
Garden
Occasions 4 drawers
Animals
Scenic
Borders & Tags
Trees & Leaves 2 drawers
Christmas 3 drawers
Babies & Kids 2 drawers
Elements 4 drawers (celtic, hearts, americana, southwest, ocean, food, etc)
Alphabets
Greetings 5 drawers
Shapes and frames
Backgrounds 2 drawers

This works really well for me. Some drawers are pretty full, others are not. Be aware that I have about 250 SU sets, about 50 sets of other companies, plus a BUNCH of singles. And they are all unmounted and on EZMount.

I would also have to say that I have very small images of each set on the front of its drawer so that I am aware of everything in that drawer.
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:16 PM   #40
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My clear sets are in envelopes and placed in canvas drawers. I sort them by general category - flowers, sentiments, christmas, etc. I don't break up sets, but decide which category the set would best fit in (sometimes they can fit in more than one category, you just have to go with what you can remember best).
My UM rubber will eventually get put into the envelope system. My mounted stamps have yet to be sorted out.....
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