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Unread 12-29-2016, 07:07 AM   #1
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Default For those of you with lots of dies...




I make a white cardstock sample of every die I own. This is so helpful to me to be able to play with the sizes and to come up with ways to combine them.




So... now I have to reorganize my diecut samples. I've been putting them in 3 ring binders that are organized by theme. But it has become too confusing, and there are overlapping themes. ie - do you put a cupcake sample in food, or in birthdays, or in celebrations. I want to rework this system. I'm wondering if it would be better to simply number a bunch of binders, and have a master index divided by alphabet. I'd write in cupcake under the "c" and it would say, Binder 1. Would I put in dividers to subdivide? Does anyone do this and can share other ideas or tips? Thank you.
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Unread 12-29-2016, 07:08 AM   #2
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The biggest problem with this, I think, is that it would be so many steps. Look in master index, then look at numbered binder to see sample. Then go and find die. And if you are finding multiple things, it'd be a case of having binders laying all around!
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Unread 12-29-2016, 07:50 AM   #3
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I put my die cut example in clear Mylar sheets (bought at Office Depot) and in a ring binder. My categories were: Shapes, Images, Words, Swirls and Holidays. I tried to keep it simple. So "cupcake" would go in Images.
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Unread 12-29-2016, 07:54 AM   #4
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I have a lot more categories. I guess I really have a lot of dies.
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Unread 12-29-2016, 11:54 AM   #5
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How are the dies themselves stored? Just make the index mirror that system, with a note or two with other cross-reference-type info if needed...
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Unread 12-29-2016, 12:04 PM   #6
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Unless it's for a specific holiday and could not be for any other, I don't file stuff with holiday events. For examples: I put snowflakes and snowmen with winter, not with Christmas. I put all my "trees" in flowers and nature, but within that group I tend to have seasons, so all my evergreens and bare branch trees would be together.

Presents, streamers and party hats, I might put in a celebration or party category.

For the cupcake, how about a category for food? Then all your cakes and cupcakes, icecreams, etc. would be there.

I can't be bothered to keep an index. Currently, my dies are all over (not that I have mountains). I plan to put them in the same size baggies with white cardstock in them and then file them in bins or baskets with dividers - similar to Jennifer McGuire's system. The divider will serve as my "index". If you wanted, could could put your cut out sample piece behind the cardstock in the baggie. When I want a shape, I can usually think of a general category of shape that I want and then I don't mind flipping through the identified category.

If you have dies that could be under more than one place, you could just put a baggie with the die cut out as a placeholder in the additional places with a reference to the category with the actual die on the cardstock.

For example:
Would I put gingerbread men with food? Or with Christmas? Or with people? Probably Christmas. I've used them as people icons for non-Christmas before, but when I think gingerbread, I think Christmas. So, I would put the die there, but I could put a placeholder in Food and one in People that tells me the die is with Christmas.

For nesting shapes and frames, I'm putting them in Stampin' Up! DVD cases with dollar tree magnet sheet inside. I slide the original packaging into the outside sleeve of the case. Again, these are going in a basket so I can flip through.
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Unread 12-29-2016, 05:25 PM   #7
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I went through the time and expense of creating a sample catalog with an index of my dies and I never use it. With the way I store my dies there is no need. I promised myself I would use it but it's a PITA to keep up. I store my dies by categories and if there is die from a set that is stored in a different category I use a white gel pen and write on the mag sheet "See... (Food, birthday, etc.).
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Unread 12-30-2016, 02:38 AM   #8
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Thank you for the help ladies, I really appreciate it. There are so many levels of organization and I found someone on FB whose mind thinks similarly to how mine already works, which is kind of crazy. I have tons of dies, and all kids, from tiny QK to Big Shot Pro and everything in between. I keep my dies organized by manufacturer by size. So all Sizzix originals go together, all Sizzix Bigz go together, all QK 2x2 go together, all QK 4x4 go together, all Avery Elle dies stored together, and so on. It's critical that I keep an index, but where I think I'm going is to go back and number my cutouts and number the dies within whatever storage category they are in. I have all of my cutouts labeled with the name and manufacturer, but adding a number would be so much better to help me then find the dies. I still haven't decided if I should go with what I'm calling an Index Flow (have one binder with A-Z tab dividers, and put Snowglobe under the S, with the number of the die so I can find it) OR by Theme Flow (Snowglobe would go in... hmmm, winter, scenes, nature, miscel?) If I do a Index, that'd eliminate me having to make multiple cutouts to put in the various themes, like the Gingerbread example above. I'm still thinking about it.
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Unread 12-30-2016, 05:24 AM   #9
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Sue, if I remember correctly, don't you label your dies with the manufacturer name, but using a code of some sort? Might you share that?Now I'm trying to decide on my coding. Do I want to just number - 1 would be Sizzix, 2 would be Quickutz, and so on.
Or, do I want a code that reflects the manufacturer. Sz would be Sizzix, QK would be Quickutz, etc.
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Unread 12-30-2016, 06:30 AM   #10
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I don't really label my dies (probably should, but the collection hasn't become outrageous yet), but my stamps were coded with an acronym for the manufacturer and the number of the binder they were in. For example, The Cat's Pajamas was TCP, so the images would have TCP1 or TCP12 or whatever. I've revamped my whole system (again), so it's different now, but that system may work for you. I would do A-Z just so I wouldn't have to remember categories...
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Unread 12-30-2016, 06:45 AM   #11
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Ok, I guess it was your stamps that I was thinking of, but that is the system I remember. I'd have to go with numbers, since I already have more than 26 manufacturers of dies. :0) I'd need to post it on a wall or something, to make it easy to figure out what is what.

Btw, you revamped your whole system? I don't believe it. Not you! (giggle). We are all the same!!! It's so much fun!
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Unread 12-30-2016, 11:42 AM   #12
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I've gone with a numbered system, and it's working really well for me. It's not totally complete yet - I'm always tinkering with it. But the OCD part of me likes consistency, so I'm slowly getting everything organized the same way.

My stamp sets are all in plastic sleeves (like Jennifer McGuire) and numbered - just 1 to 104 (at the moment, I think). My dies are also in plastic sleeves, they're numbered, too, but with a "D" in front - D1 - D65 (or whatever). My embossing folders all have an "E" in front - same system. Even my stencils, with an "ST" in front of the number.

My index binders for everything are slowing being converted to 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" "samples", which are stored in baseball card sleeves. If it fits in more than one category, I just make more than one sample card. On the front of each card, I stamp the image... or attach a die-cut... or emboss the entire piece... etc. On the back, I write the number of the sleeve it's in, the name, the manufacturer, and sometimes other notes.

Obviously, some of my stamps/dies/stencils/etc. are bigger than 2-1/2" x 3-1/2". However, for all but a very few, I'm discovering that a smaller sample is all I need for a reference. I'll write on the back of the card something like "5" x 7" stencil", or "6" square background stamp", etc. If it absolutely can't be recognized on a small card, then I use a letter-sized piece and just put it in a full-size page protector.

Some things I've learned (the hard way, LOL): by only using those smaller cards for samples, I can fit quite a few in a binder. I do have multiple binders, but I don't think it's going to get too out of hand. Because my stuff is numbered, putting everything away is a breeze. However, because it's numbered, it is difficult to find something without knowing the number - but I do actually use my indexes, for nearly every card. I love flipping through them, not just to find something in particular, but to get ideas and inspiration. Also, categories help, but not if I have too many. Because I have so many animal stamps, I have broken those up, but they have their own binder. If I'm looking for a cat image, I just pull out the cat binder, and flip to the cat section.

Also, by using those cards, I can easily move them, or make more, if my categories ever change - without actually moving the stamps or dies. It does take a while to set up, but I've been pretty good about keeping it up.

FYI: for my wood-mounted stamps, and my old, larger, Sizzix dies, I don't currently have too many, but I'm slowly setting them up in the index binders the same way... but instead of numbering them, I just list them as "wood", or "Classic Sizzix", or "Sizzlets", etc, which is enough for now to help me find them. But if need be, I could always stick a tiny number on them and just give them a new letter... W1 for a wood stamp, CS1 for Classic Sizzix...

(Sorry for the long-winded post!)
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Unread 12-30-2016, 02:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenBinPa View Post
Ok, I guess it was your stamps that I was thinking of, but that is the system I remember. I'd have to go with numbers, since I already have more than 26 manufacturers of dies. :0) I'd need to post it on a wall or something, to make it easy to figure out what is what.

Btw, you revamped your whole system? I don't believe it. Not you! (giggle). We are all the same!!! It's so much fun!
Are you mocking me, young lady? Oh, and Pot - have you met Kettle?...

Edited to add: I knew you were just poking fun - me, too...
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Last edited by gregzgurl; 12-30-2016 at 09:07 PM..
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Unread 12-31-2016, 01:53 PM   #14
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I think I would photocopy the cupcake dies (as an example) on their storage sheet where you keep them and then put the photocopy as a visual cross-reference in any other category you might use them. Just make a note on that sheet where the actual dies are kept.
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Unread 12-31-2016, 08:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzgurl View Post
Are you mocking me, young lady? Oh, and Pot - have you met Kettle?...

Edited to add: I knew you were just poking fun - me, too...
Sue and Karen , you two made me literally laugh out loud!


Sue, have you done a blog post on your new system? If so, would you post a link to it?
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Unread 01-01-2017, 10:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJP111 View Post
Sue and Karen , you two made me literally laugh out loud!


Sue, have you done a blog post on your new system? If so, would you post a link to it?
Sadly, my blog is as neglected as my craft room... I've set myself a goal to change both of those things this year. If/when I get around to a post, I'll come back to this forum and post an alert...
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Unread 01-01-2017, 10:57 PM   #17
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I keep all my Dies in alphabetical order, in a rectangle container and just flip through them. 95% of mine are all Stampin' Up! and in their original plastic sleeves, the non SU ones I bought SU DVD cases for.

I have a copy of all of them on Evernote, that is where you can tag (or describe) them under more than category.

Most of the time I will check out the Evernote program, find the name of the die set I want to use.
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Unread 01-02-2017, 05:13 AM   #18
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You guys are awesome. Wanted to pop in real quick to let you know I'm still watching and paying attention. I have to turn my organizing attempts into focusing on homeschooling for a couple of days. I'm still around and very grateful for the help.K
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Unread 01-13-2017, 11:07 PM   #19
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I have no dies.....
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Unread 01-13-2017, 11:59 PM   #20
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I have no dies.....
Uh huh. And Imelda Marcos doesn't have shoes.
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Unread 01-14-2017, 02:40 AM   #21
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I'm with you Amber. This is all in theory of course!

Hmmm, with that, how do YOU organize your stuff so you can find it all?
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Unread 01-20-2017, 05:36 PM   #22
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I sorta store my dies like JM - however, I use ziplock baggies so if I drop a bag they don't fall out.I use grey cardstock to make a front piece, then cut out the die in a different colour (mainly black) so I can 'see' the die (size/shape/font/word etc), write on the cardstock, the name of die/brand/how many dies in the set/matching stamps etc. All the dies are stored on magnets (some magnets are old fridge magnets, and some are magnetic sheets I have cut down)
They are all stored in a box which I just flick through.


My only tweaking I will do for this system is to pull out the sets that are dies and stamps and store them together.


This system works for me
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