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Old 12-02-2007, 07:48 AM   #1
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Default ? for those who "purge" their stamps

Okay, I totally understand how demos could get rid of sets that aren't current--it's business. But what about those of you who AREN'T demos and get rid of older stamps.

I am trying to simplify my life with fewer "things" and have stamps (SU and others) that I really don't need. Problem is, every time I try to purge, I think, gee, I haven't tried this or that with this stamp, or oh, there was a cool card with this stamp in Take Ten....

Guess I'm having a problem letting go. But I really want to. Feeling very split personality at the moment, LOL! Fact is, I've got well over a thousand images, craft all the time, and couldn't possibly use all these older stamps AND the new ones I'm constantly adding.

So what thought process do you go through to get rid of stamps? Please share!
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:01 AM   #2
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I have the same trouble you do in getting rid of stamping stuff. The criteria I finally came up with (that works reasonably well) is the old clothes-closet standby: if I haven't worn (used) it in two years, I don't really need it. I pull all of those stamps that fit the criteria, and if some inspire me immediately I give myself a week to use them. Those that don't inspire me go on the BST pile right away. Unfortunately, I have a LOT more stamps than I do clothes!
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:27 AM   #3
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Susan, I know just how you feel! I'm just a hobby demo, so I can keep all my stamps, and generally do. I have about 2,000 stamps (I think!) and have a hard time parting with any of them! And I keep buying more! It gets to be overwhelming sometimes. But, I've had stamps I haven't used for 5 years, then find a new technique and use them again. So I figure, if I have the room, they stay. Last spring, I challenged myself to make at least 2 cards with each new stamp set that hasn't been used. It justified my greed, a little. LOL! But it did make me feel better about my acquisitions. Eventually, all my stamps DO get used. It just might be a few years!

I suppose if you really want to cut back, and someday you don't have that one stamp you need, you can always request an image RAK from someone here. There's an IRAK thread in the announcement forum, but I haven't really figured it out yet!

Hm, I guess I wasn't very helpful, was I?
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:00 AM   #4
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I am a demo, but simply a hobby demo (I don't do classes or workshops), and have found it really great to purge my sets if I don't use them. If I don't use it within a month or so (even if I just got it!) I probably won't get my money's worth out of it, so I'll trade it (or sell if it's retired). I hang onto those sets that I really love, but make myself use them, otherwise they go so I can replace them with ones that will get loved a lot!
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:03 AM   #5
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I am a demo and there are some stamp sets that I will never get rid of. I used to not get rid of any but then I found them sitting there for over a year without being used. If I want to keep them I do but I put them in a separate retired area in my stamp collection. If when the next retired list comes out (or 1 year) and I haven't used them - then many times I don't fell the need to keep them anymore. I find it much easier to let go after the shock of the retirement goes away.
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by LateBlossomView Post
So what thought process do you go through to get rid of stamps? Please share!
I recently went through a massive purge and here's my process.

1. Put stamps into categories: birthday, special occasions, masculine, holiday, floral, backgrounds, nature, animals, graphic/geometric, yadda yadda.

2. From each category, pull those I use often and/or absolutely could never, ever part with. Set aside.

3. Go through remaining sets in each category.
  • Which sets have only 1 or 2 stamps I like? Set those aside.
  • Which ones have I not used in 1 year or more (not including holiday sets)? Put those in the sell or donate pile.
  • Which sets am I ambivalent about? It's the tough love approach but get rid of those, too. If I don't love it, it belongs in the hands of someone that will.
  • Go through holiday sets and purge any that I don't want or use.
4. Now go through all of the sets that have 1 or 2 stamps I like. Pull those stamps and put the rest in the sell or donate pile. It's absolutely OK to break up sets!

5. The next step is to go through all of my single stamps. Purge the ones I no longer like, don't use.

6. The last step is to go through all of the keepers. Are there some that are similar to each other? (I had a thing for swirly flourishes and poppies recently...) Pick the best one(s), that are most useful or unique. Sell/donate the rest.

It took a while to do but I got rid of a lot of stuff that was just collecting dust "just in case". I don't miss any of the stamps I got rid of.

The coolest thing is that it got me to look at my stamping habits a little more closely. That's really affected how I buy now. I'm more conscious of the styles and designs I chose because I had so many similar sets from different companies. I'm also buying less on impulse and thinking more in terms of how (and how often) I can use a stamp. It's been really good for me.

Yikes, this is a long post.
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:22 AM   #7
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sorry i am of NO help...

my thought process is... HOARD THEM ALL!

i never purge!

good luck deciding
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:22 AM   #8
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When I know that I need to sell or trade a set because I'm not using it, sometimes I'll stamp a couple of images and file it away.. just in case I need it one day.
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:30 AM   #9
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Purge? What does that word mean? I started getting worried because I was running out of room for my stamps in my craft room. My husband is taking care of that problem by having someone build storage in the wall in my craft room that butts up to the space under our stairs. I figure I can store about 100 stamp sets there. After that I guess I will just have to knock out a wall and expand my craft room.
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:31 AM   #10
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Just this past summer, I went through my sets for the first time (I never had enough to need to do this before!). Anything I hadn't used in over a year went out the door. The only exceptions were the first set I ever bought (just can't part with it, even though it seldom sees ink) and Christmas sets. My thought was that if I hadn't used it in over a year, I didn't really need it. I haven't missed them, and they are better off being inked up in someone else's hands than taking up space I don't have and collecting dust.
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:32 AM   #11
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When I know that I need to sell or trade a set because I'm not using it, sometimes I'll stamp a couple of images and file it away.. just in case I need it one day.
Jen, that's a fabulous idea! There are a couple stamps sets that I purchased because I wanted to make a special card, and only used it once. I think I'll go through my sets to see which ones I can really part with without crying, and stamp a few images. I should really re-sell some of my old stamp sets that I don't use to make a few extra bucks to purchase some that I want from the new catty.
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:33 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by momis mamaView Post
sorry i am of NO help...

my thought process is... HOARD THEM ALL!

i never purge!

good luck deciding
OMG, you're so funny!

I can only "purge" when I'm angry or stressed, seriously. I do my best cleaning when I'm in a bad mood.

To be honest though, stamps are rarely something I get rid of. If I do it's to pass it on to a close friend who might love it. I'm sure I bought those stamps for a reason and someday I'll remember what that reason is.
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:53 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by MadameCraftyPantsView Post
The coolest thing is that it got me to look at my stamping habits a little more closely. That's really affected how I buy now. I'm more conscious of the styles and designs I chose because I had so many similar sets from different companies. I'm also buying less on impulse and thinking more in terms of how (and how often) I can use a stamp. It's been really good for me.
I'm totally identifying with this! It's like all these stamps are holding me back or pushing me down or just in the way, distracting me from the ones that I really, truly love and want to use. The new ones I'm buying make so much more sense to me given my style and what I want to stamp.

Thanks for the long post, BTW. Exactly what I was looking for!
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jessrose21View Post
Susan, I know just how you feel! I'm just a hobby demo, so I can keep all my stamps, and generally do. I have about 2,000 stamps (I think!) and have a hard time parting with any of them! And I keep buying more! It gets to be overwhelming sometimes. But, I've had stamps I haven't used for 5 years, then find a new technique and use them again. So I figure, if I have the room, they stay. Last spring, I challenged myself to make at least 2 cards with each new stamp set that hasn't been used. It justified my greed, a little. LOL! But it did make me feel better about my acquisitions. Eventually, all my stamps DO get used. It just might be a few years!

I suppose if you really want to cut back, and someday you don't have that one stamp you need, you can always request an image RAK from someone here. There's an IRAK thread in the announcement forum, but I haven't really figured it out yet!

Hm, I guess I wasn't very helpful, was I?
Very helpful, actually! Real space isn't my problem, either; for me it's more about mental clutter, KWIM?

The IRAK idea is great!
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:17 AM   #15
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I keep em all and am always looking for more.
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:47 AM   #16
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...every time I try to purge, I think, gee, I haven't tried this or that with this stamp, or oh, there was a cool card with this stamp in Take Ten....
I run into this problem too when I am purging stuff. I get into purging mode when I feel too much like a museum curator of all the stuff I ever thought was neat or awesome. The most effective mindset I've found so I can actually make decisions that get stuff outta my home is, "Yes, I could do this or that neat thing I saw one time done with this same product, but do I actually like this stamp set that much more than the Fancy Pants stamp sets I have had on my wishlist for forever? Do I like it more than this thing I just got and am so excited about right now? How much more meaningful is this product/stamp/set to me than the other things I can part with, want to keep, or have on my wishlist?"

I used to be a MAJOR packrat, but now I've purged a lot (even Christmas decorations, which are like the crack cocaine of "Things I gotta have and keep forever and ever because owning them makes me happy" items. ).
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:58 AM   #17
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I've kept them all! I sold off stamp sets one time and now I really want one of the sets back and can't find it anywhere! So i don't sell them, I have started unmounting my SU sets for easier storage, I know someday I will probably have to sell some.
I do trade sets with my sister, we trade back and forth when it's a set I really want/need and she has it I barrow or trade her for it and if I tradded for it occasionaly it will wind up being traded back to her, this way we both have access to the sets if we really need them.
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Old 12-02-2007, 12:18 PM   #18
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I generally don't like getting rid of stamp sets. I love to hoard. But I sat and thought about the sets I have - and there are a few that haven't seen the light of day since I bought them. I've tried using them in cards, but they're not my style. So I started playing around on the PIF threads. I'm getting ready to send 2 sets out to people who are thrilled to get them and I didn't really use them anyway. Besides, if I need images of those sets, I know who to ask now. And with the PIF thread, you choose a set that you think you'll use, then list your stuff, so you're not quite purging - more like refining what you have.
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Old 12-02-2007, 01:07 PM   #19
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I sold a few of my sets to a stamping friend,thinking I needed too downsize. I actually kind of missed them and told her so... But she told me that I had visitation rights and could borrow them anytime.I haven't sold any sets since. I still have my very 1st set I bought 12 yrs ago. I keep all my newer sets on shelves above my stamp table and my older sets on another shelf in my craft room. When I totally run out of room, I'll have too think of something else. But for now I'm keeping them all.
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Old 12-02-2007, 01:48 PM   #20
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All I can say is I sure wish I would have been on the receiving end when all of you purged your stamps. lol
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Old 12-02-2007, 04:47 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by MahloumelView Post
I get into purging mode when I feel too much like a museum curator of all the stuff I ever thought was neat or awesome. ).
That is a brilliant simile! Thanks, Mel!
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Old 12-02-2007, 04:54 PM   #22
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Can't do it...Know hubby wishes I could though!
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Old 12-02-2007, 05:36 PM   #23
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I don't have a "system" for adding or subtracting sets from my collection. Recently, I "needed" Toile Blossoms, even though it's been retired. I just buy what I like. I pretty much rely on impulse when shopping! Crazy, I know :-}

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Old 12-02-2007, 05:43 PM   #24
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I only purge the wood blocks... everything not current is unmounted.
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Old 12-02-2007, 06:17 PM   #25
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I purge, I purge all the time, at least twice a year. I don't like to see stamps go unused, and also I have a problem where when something is hot I have to have it. So I make myself feel better by purging and then I can buy more.


But I'm not a demo, my purging has nothing to do with what's current. I really understand why busy workshop having demos would want to do that, but for me I don't care.
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Old 12-02-2007, 06:21 PM   #26
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I can honestly say I have never thrown up a stamp. sick.gif Yucky!

But, I do go through my stamps frequently....I have a stack that I have to get rid of...just too lazy to list them i guess.

Any stamp that has not seen ink in 6 months goes---not enough space to keep them all...
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Old 12-02-2007, 06:28 PM   #27
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yea, you'd think I'd be skinnier with all my purging...
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:08 PM   #28
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I am a demo, so I purge with each retirement... but if I wasn't a demo I'd actually purge more stamps more often! lol! I have what I refer to as SADD-- Stamper's Attention Deficit Disorder. It is a sickness. I use a set a couple times, and I'm ready to move on to the next "newest and greatest" thing. I am always excited to see the retired list and find out how many sets I can finally "get rid" of.
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Old 12-03-2007, 03:46 AM   #29
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So I started playing around on the PIF threads.
PIF? That's new to me...
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Old 12-03-2007, 04:01 AM   #30
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I was a collector BEFORE I became a demo, and still am a stamp collector.... lol.... If you look at my stamp shelves (16 of them) the majority of stamps are retired. Some I had to search high and low for and refuse to sell (Sunny Season's Greetings; Snowglobe; Wild, Wild West; Courage and Honor to name a few). Basically I rarely ever sell a set....

Lately I have been on the hunt for a 2002-2003 set called PEACE. Keep losing it on ebay... sigh.. but I won't give up the hunt and I won't spend a bloody fortune either... lol...
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Old 12-03-2007, 04:17 AM   #31
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PIF? That's new to me...
PIF threads = Pay It Forward. They're in the Announcements. People list the sets they're willing to give away - ship to whomever free of charge - and if you're interested, you ask for one of the sets on the current list. Then it's your turn to put up a list of the sets you're willing to give away. Someone chooses from you, they put up a list, etc.

You're not exactly purging stamps though, you're replacing stamps you don't really want with something you think you'll use.
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Old 12-03-2007, 04:24 AM   #32
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PIF threads = Pay It Forward. They're in the Announcements. People list the sets they're willing to give away - ship to whomever free of charge - and if you're interested, you ask for one of the sets on the current list. Then it's your turn to put up a list of the sets you're willing to give away. Someone chooses from you, they put up a list, etc.

You're not exactly purging stamps though, you're replacing stamps you don't really want with something you think you'll use.
Oooo, thanks! I'll check that out!
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Old 12-03-2007, 06:41 AM   #33
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one thing i do is i put them in a box first ( into the closet) and i leave them there for a while a month or two. if i don't open that box then i know for sure i don't really need to keep those stamps. ( the hard part is some of them were gifts you know people know you stamp and they buy you something that is not your style...)
So, i have hung on to those ( in the closet ) because it seems like it would be kinda rude to sell them but the ones i paid money for if i no longer use them or I've out grown them then i do purge them.
And i do break up sets also.

hth,
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Old 12-03-2007, 06:57 AM   #34
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I've been thinking of purging. I have a bunch of stamps sets that I haven't used in the past year, some even longer. I really need to sort through them.
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Old 12-03-2007, 07:03 AM   #35
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But it's a good one! Very logical, orderly approach -- TFS!!

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Yikes, this is a long post.
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Old 12-03-2007, 07:17 AM   #36
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When I no longer am in use for a stamp set I will trade it for something else. that way I get rid of something I no longer have any use for and gain a new stamp I need.
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Old 12-03-2007, 12:45 PM   #37
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Thanks, everyone! I'm feeling much more confident about getting rid of stuff and have an initial "purge" ready to go. Whew!
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Old 12-03-2007, 12:52 PM   #38
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I really don't have very many stamps, so I don't feel like I have to purge. However, I do get rid of sets that just don't do it for me. For example, I had to have Dotted when it first came out. I used it maybe 5 times and didn't like anything I did with it. It got traded. I have about 5 sets that are retired that I am trying to sell, but I have about 10 retired sets that I cannot part with. I only part with what I can't (or don't) use.
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Old 12-03-2007, 12:57 PM   #39
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Purge my stamps???

You must NOT be talking to me!!!
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:02 PM   #40
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I love that pay it forward idea. This site rocks. You are such great women. I'm going to go look for things I have and don't use.

How does one get involved in the RAKs, etc. It'd be so fun to know you're making someone's day and it'd be super great to get an unexpected treat when you're feeling down. I'm have one of the latter days today, making me all the more happy to make someone else's day bright!
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