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Old 03-06-2019, 09:18 AM   #1
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Default Organizing my stamps...WHEW!!!

Since I retired, it's been my mission to get organized, hopefully in all areas of my life, and I've been focusing on my craft room lately. I kept putting off organizing my stamps, because I think I had an inkling of how much work it would be. Well, I started yesterday, and spent the entire day finishing taking the stamps that I'd removed from their wood blocks, and converting them to cling stamps. Then, I went through all of my stamps, sorted them into categories, and put them into the DVD cases that I'd bought for storing them. I have 28 cases, and thought that I'd have to end up buying more, but miracle of miracles, they actually fit into the boxes I already have, and a few of them even have a little empty space. But boy, I had no idea it would take that long to do!

Now, I'm in the process of making index sheets, so that I'll be able to find what I'm looking for without having to go through each box. I'm enjoying this part in a way, because I haven't even used all of the stamps I have, and this forces me to pick up each one, and stamp it, so I'm finally seeing exactly what each one looks like. I have a zillion tree stamps. Literally, a zillion. I counted. And I need each and every one. I LOVE them! But I also have a nice assortment of other stamps that should be more than enough to make any card I'd like. My very serious plan is to buy no more stamps. I have this one small plastic tub full of them, and I really need to keep them consolidated to that much space and no more!

So that's what I'm doing today, taking each and every stamp, and stamping it. The part I'm really not looking forward to is the sentiments.OMG!!! I've got three boxes full of those. Maybe I'll save the sentiments for tomorrow. It does feel good to have this much done, and I have newfound respect for those of you with really large collections, who have them organized. Personally, I can't imagine how you could manage otherwise. A lot of stamps are really tiny, and trying to find them without having some kind of system would just be CRAZEEEEEE! OK, back to work for me.
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:07 AM   #2
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I did this 2 years ago and while it was time consuming, I’m so glad I did. I had no idea what stamps I had. It really reignited my love for stamping. It also made me start organizing other aspects of my craft room.
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Old 03-06-2019, 02:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Sleepymom33 View Post
I did this 2 years ago and while it was time consuming, I’m so glad I did. I had no idea what stamps I had. It really reignited my love for stamping. It also made me start organizing other aspects of my craft room.
So true! I saw stamps I had totally forgotten I even had. I did about half of the indexing today and hopefully I can finish tomorrow. It's really satisfying to get things in order. And now that each stamp has a specific home, it should be so much easier to keep things organized. Other than my personal paperwork, my crafting supplies have been the biggest challenge to get under control. Oh...and there's the basement...and the garage. LOL I certainly have my work cut out for me!
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Old 03-07-2019, 04:30 AM   #4
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Congrats, Blue! Every step ahead in the organizing game is a win!!

I'm in the process of organizing mine, as well. I tried using Evernote but that system just doesn't work for me, but I sure wish it did.

I have them arranged by brand and I'm making index sheets by brand and subject. Ex: a Tim Holtz halloween set will go on both a Tim Holtz index and a halloween index. I'm doing it in Word and pasting in images from the internet instead of stamping them. My plan is, once its done, to keep them grouped by brand but use the indexes by subject so if I want a halloween stamp, I can looked at that index, pick out the image I want to use and go to the box with that brand in it. Its a lot of work but so far its coming along well. I found duplicates which will go to friends, weeded out stamps I have no idea why I would've bought in the first place, and discovered stamps I didn't remember I had. I'm hoping eventually to be able to 'shop my stash' and stop buying so much!
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:55 AM   #5
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Congrats, Blue! Every step ahead in the organizing game is a win!!

I'm in the process of organizing mine, as well. I tried using Evernote but that system just doesn't work for me, but I sure wish it did.


I have them arranged by brand and I'm making index sheets by brand and subject. Ex: a Tim Holtz halloween set will go on both a Tim Holtz index and a halloween index. I'm doing it in Word and pasting in images from the internet instead of stamping them. My plan is, once its done, to keep them grouped by brand but use the indexes by subject so if I want a halloween stamp, I can looked at that index, pick out the image I want to use and go to the box with that brand in it. Its a lot of work but so far its coming along well. I found duplicates which will go to friends, weeded out stamps I have no idea why I would've bought in the first place, and discovered stamps I didn't remember I had. I'm hoping eventually to be able to 'shop my stash' and stop buying so much!
fifi, that sounds like a great system you've got there much more sophisticated than mine. I don't consider myself a huge stamper by any means. I don't make things to sell, just to send to friends and family. That being said, I was amazed at the amount of stamps I have. So I'm in awe of people that have really big collections, and manage to have them all organized. As I mentioned, it would be practically impossible to find things if you didn't! And I can easily see how you would end up buying duplicates, because you didn't know or couldn't find a particular stamp.


I finished the indexing this morning, except for the sentiments. I'm dreading that, because some of them are just one word, and very tiny, so it will be extra time consuming. There are three boxes of those alone, not counting the Christmas sentiments, which I've already done. But I really want to finish before the weather warms up and I can get outside to work in the yard. It's only 25 degrees today, so I guess I have a little time left. Wish me luck!
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:03 PM   #6
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It is crazy how fast stamps mount up in number!

How the perception changes...when we are buying a set, people think there are "only 15 in the set" (with sentiments) wanting value, but when you are organizing them you are thinking you have to do 15. 10 sets and you are at 150....

Good on you to do this. I bet you get better use of them and it seems to have helped you solidify the buying urge-at least for now.
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:50 AM   #7
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It took me months to get all my stamps organized, stamped and scanned into Evernote, and then stored by category in a system of plastic boxes - but it was completely worth it... especially "at my age" when I can't remember what I have anymore! My OCD loves seeing things in categories, too... and knowing that I have 147 bunny stamps, dies, or stencils...!
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:48 AM   #8
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Congrats, bluerambler, on your progress! Good luck with the sentiments - those definitely take time!

I admire those who have the patience for Evernote - too much scanning and tagging and all for me! I do definitely see the benefit of it, though...
I am tweaking my system - yet again! I recently did the trading card/coin pages in regular-size binders and decided they were too unwieldy, but the 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" pages I had prior to that were a nuisance to have to pull out a whole page to get to the one stamp I wanted, so I sewed the page protectors in half (for larger stamps) and in quarters (for the rest) and cut the laminated cardstock to fit. Seems to be the right compromise for me, but I've thought I was done multiple times before... I need to pick up a few more of the 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" binders, though - I'm bursting at the seams!

One nice advantage to this size of binder (besides fitting more on the shelves) is that they pack up nicely in file storage boxes for easy relocating. I'm pretty sure ALL of them will fit in two boxes, with space left over...
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:44 PM   #9
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Confession: my rule was that stamps had to fit into two 6x4x14.5 InterDesign frig bins.

Now I have three.

I feel better now. Thank you.

Beth
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluerambler View Post
Since I retired, it's been my mission to get organized, hopefully in all areas of my life, and I've been focusing on my craft room lately. I kept putting off organizing my stamps, because I think I had an inkling of how much work it would be. Well, I started yesterday, and spent the entire day finishing taking the stamps that I'd removed from their wood blocks, and converting them to cling stamps. Then, I went through all of my stamps, sorted them into categories, and put them into the DVD cases that I'd bought for storing them. I have 28 cases, and thought that I'd have to end up buying more, but miracle of miracles, they actually fit into the boxes I already have, and a few of them even have a little empty space. But boy, I had no idea it would take that long to do!

Now, I'm in the process of making index sheets, so that I'll be able to find what I'm looking for without having to go through each box. I'm enjoying this part in a way, because I haven't even used all of the stamps I have, and this forces me to pick up each one, and stamp it, so I'm finally seeing exactly what each one looks like. I have a zillion tree stamps. Literally, a zillion. I counted. And I need each and every one. I LOVE them! But I also have a nice assortment of other stamps that should be more than enough to make any card I'd like. My very serious plan is to buy no more stamps. I have this one small plastic tub full of them, and I really need to keep them consolidated to that much space and no more!

So that's what I'm doing today, taking each and every stamp, and stamping it. The part I'm really not looking forward to is the sentiments.OMG!!! I've got three boxes full of those. Maybe I'll save the sentiments for tomorrow. It does feel good to have this much done, and I have newfound respect for those of you with really large collections, who have them organized. Personally, I can't imagine how you could manage otherwise. A lot of stamps are really tiny, and trying to find them without having some kind of system would just be CRAZEEEEEE! OK, back to work for me.
Congratuations! How are you indexing? Stamping every single stamp onto category sheets? For example, if one of your literally zillion tree sets includes a heart or something else non-tree-like, you’d stamp the heart on a shapes or heart sheet and the tree on the tree sheet?

Mine are in pockets in bins, sorted by category, but the time has come, the walrus said, to talk of (and index) many stamps...
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Old 03-12-2019, 02:47 PM   #11
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Congrats, bluerambler, on your progress! Good luck with the sentiments - those definitely take time!

I admire those who have the patience for Evernote - too much scanning and tagging and all for me! I do definitely see the benefit of it, though...
I am tweaking my system - yet again! I recently did the trading card/coin pages in regular-size binders and decided they were too unwieldy, but the 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" pages I had prior to that were a nuisance to have to pull out a whole page to get to the one stamp I wanted, so I sewed the page protectors in half (for larger stamps) and in quarters (for the rest) and cut the laminated cardstock to fit. Seems to be the right compromise for me, but I've thought I was done multiple times before... I need to pick up a few more of the 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" binders, though - I'm bursting at the seams!

One nice advantage to this size of binder (besides fitting more on the shelves) is that they pack up nicely in file storage boxes for easy relocating. I'm pretty sure ALL of them will fit in two boxes, with space left over...

I'm really impressed at how organized so many of you are. I've done a lot of different crafts over the years, but I don't think I've done one with so many little pieces to keep track of. Your idea of sewing the page protectors to divide them into the sizes you needed is genius!
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Old 03-12-2019, 02:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjeans View Post
Confession: my rule was that stamps had to fit into two 6x4x14.5 InterDesign frig bins.

Now I have three.

I feel better now. Thank you.


Beth
You're a bad influence! LOL I need someone to tell me that it's really possible to stop buying stamps. I do actually have a little room in a couple of the CD boxes.....uh oh, that's opening the door, isn't it?
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Old 03-12-2019, 02:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by bluerambler View Post
You're a bad influence! LOL I need someone to tell me that it's really possible to stop buying stamps. I do actually have a little room in a couple of the CD boxes.....uh oh, that's opening the door, isn't it?

Just FYI, NO ONE ON THIS FORUM WILL EVER TELL YOU THAT! (No, I'm not yelling, just being emphatic) Actually, now that I think of it, Joan B might be the only voice that might dare to speak such heresy aloud...
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:08 PM   #14
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Congratuations! How are you indexing? Stamping every single stamp onto category sheets? For example, if one of your literally zillion tree sets includes a heart or something else non-tree-like, you’d stamp the heart on a shapes or heart sheet and the tree on the tree sheet?


Mine are in pockets in bins, sorted by category, but the time has come, the walrus said, to talk of (and index) many stamps...
Yes, I stamped each and every stamp onto the index sheets. And no, I don't keep sets together, except in a couple of instances when they worked better that way, like with the "Waterfront" stamps. My zillion tree stamps are somewhat sorted into types of trees, and then I have flowers, branches and twigs, birds, butterflies and other insects, Christmas themed items, etc. I'm planning to number the CD boxes according to the pages of the index, but I think I will also add a short description on the spines of the boxes, so that I'd be able to choose that way also, if I wasn't looking for a specific stamp, but just wanted to choose from a general category. I'm just so happy to have this much done. (attempting a cartwheel!) Good luck with yours!
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:33 PM   #15
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Yes, I stamped each and every stamp onto the index sheets. And no, I don't keep sets together, except in a couple of instances when they worked better that way, like with the "Waterfront" stamps. My zillion tree stamps are somewhat sorted into types of trees, and then I have flowers, branches and twigs, birds, butterflies and other insects, Christmas themed items, etc. I'm planning to number the CD boxes according to the pages of the index, but I think I will also add a short description on the spines of the boxes, so that I'd be able to choose that way also, if I wasn't looking for a specific stamp, but just wanted to choose from a general category. I'm just so happy to have this much done. (attempting a cartwheel!) Good luck with yours!

Careful!! (Cartwheel) You can Stamp with a sprained ankle but not hand. Well maybe with your other hand.

I don’t break up sets but think my index sheets will include a copy of each set (mostly copying on my printer), and then stamping every stamp on a category sheet that is coded to the set. (The sets are in clear pockets in categories. Except for the last 25 or so sets. Or 40.) That will just take me until 2023 or so.
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Old 03-13-2019, 02:53 AM   #16
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I've been telling myself for the past 3 or 4 years that I have to get control of my stamp sets. It's a daunting task - sort of like cleaning out closets after months and months of ignoring them. I, too, find stamps or stamp sets I had forgotten I had or wondered why I bought in the first place. This thread is an inspiration for me to get moving and inventory my stamps. No doubt inventorying my stamps will also involve weeding some of them out! That would be a happy by-product.
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Old 03-13-2019, 02:56 AM   #17
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I have organized from the beginning 6 years ago simply because I couldn't remember what I had if I didn't. I have over stamps 900 sets, 150 embossing folders, and 65 all purpose dies sets(not bragging, confessing). Most are cling and photopolymer or have been converted from wood to cling. I kept the large SU background stamps on wood.
All cling and clear stamp sets and dies sets are in DVD cases I picked up at thrift stores, Sleeve City or Office Supply online.I have just sentiment stamp sets alphabetically organized in spinning 5' DVD racks and 18" CD racks on shelves which takes up less space. The image sets are also alphabetical in racks. Some of my Christmas sets are in a door mounted Olfa rack unit with the balance in a wall mounted 5' DVD shelf. I have photocopied the sets and put them alphabetically in 7 regular ring binders. I keep all matching dies with the stamp set and color the spine with lime green marker; pink if there is a matching punch. Let's me see at a glance what I may need. My embossing folders are labeled and YES alphabetically in 2 plastic containers from Walmart. I took a large Rolodex and embossed the address cards so I could "audition" the folders. 12x12 cardstock and DSP on 2 shelves, with all 8 1/2 x 11 in 2 filing cabinets (YOU GUESSED IT) alphabetically. 6x6 on a wall mounted DVD shelving unit. I like to make multiples and create card kits to be completed later and bought Iris holders with boxes inside. I put the kits in cheap plastic sandwich bags in the large box and use the inner small boxes for embellishments labeled and stored in a 15 slot shoe shelf, each shelf hold 3 of these boxes. Punches stored on wall mount DVD shelving unit. Ink, markers and refills in Stamp n Storage units..love them. Ribbon in lazy susan slotted spinners from ebay.

My room is not large possibly 8x8 . Wow confession is good for the soul! and YES I am purging at least 1/2 the stamp sets. Let me know if you are looking for anything. And thanks to Splitcoast for listing all the Stampin Up sets really helped me keep track.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:56 AM   #18
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I also organized my stamps/dies when I retired 7 yrs. ago. I needed a system, so I could find them and so I would not duplicate purchases (which had happened).
I use 5x7 notebooks, each stamp, die, stencil, embossing folder, embossing powder, ink pad, marker brands/colors are all sampled, scanned, or stamped and divided into categories. Really OCD for sure, but once I got the system started, I have stuck with it. Anything new that comes into the craft room gets cataloged first. Dies go into CD cases by category, usually each with name label on top so I can flip through and find what I want. Stamps go into plastic sleeves with labels, so I can flip and find. My older wooden stamps are stamped and if I sell or donate them, I cross them off in the book. My goal is to reduce the wooden ones, which I have done lately and I have converted a few . I do lots of mixed media so I have a ton of stencils; small ones goes into 8x8 photo album sleeves, with the design sponged onto the page so they go back into the sleeve when cleaned...yes, I clean my stencils. Larger ones go into a 12 x12 scrapbook the same. I teach art journaling classes each fall and need a way to be sure all the supplies are usable by a group of people. This works good for the classes and for me in my craft room. When I want to make a card, I flip through my cataloged 5x7 notebooks and get ideas....then go pull the items from the shelf. I keep them all in baskets with tags tied to them...listing the categories for that basket on the tag. This might sound crazy...it was lots of work, but worth it for me to feel comfortable about finding, using, and creating. I just finished organizing my daughter's dies and stamps in similar way for her. No notebook catalog but in plastic sleeves, labeled and divided by set...all floral together , kids, background, etc. I must admit it took me about a week, working on her's off and on but now she can use them...that was her goal and she works full time so I took on the project. She knows I like to organize as much as I like to create. Confession , it makes me more creative and enjoyable if it is all organized.
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Old 03-13-2019, 04:47 AM   #19
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I keep a file in Excel; one tab is stamps, one dies, one stencils, etc. The items are listed by the sets title, next column the generic title, next it's vendor item number, and so on: how many stamps are in it, a check mark if there's a dieset to go with it, a check mark if it's rubber or clear, vendor, price, and I continue with columns listing what the individual stamps are .. if a long sentiment I'll put the first 4 or 5 words. This system allows me to search by 'sort' and has worked so far. I keep the actual sets by vendor alphabetically and/or numerical. I don't have too many no-name items. The die sheet works similar but has a picture of each set. It is not as efficient, I'm looking for a better way.

Several years ago I'd copied pictures of all the stamps and the die sets and kept them in a special e-folder. The file had their name and item number, vendor and something to search for. It worked great until I dropped the computer and the backup contraption. It was too much work to start over
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:42 AM   #20
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Gee, I feel wimpy by whining about my organization struggles. Most of you have SO MANY more stamps than I do! And die sets. I don't have any of those. Don't you find that it's so much easier to be creative when you can put your hands on exactly what you're looking for? I also confess to re-purchasing items I already had because I couldn't find them. Here's to being more organized and more creative!
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:49 AM   #21
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and here I was feeling proud I just organized my clear and cling stamp sets into categories as by manufacturer wasn't working for me. LOL. Now I'm thinking I need to have a system to know what I actually own. I own HUNDREDS of just Unity stamps alone. EEEEEeeeKKKkk.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:00 AM   #22
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Oh this is a HOT topic!!!

I did organize ALL my stamp a few years ago and it was the BEST thing I ever did! I unmounted all my wood stamps from SU and elsewhere, and put them in the clear envelops, and then put Evernote basic the free on on my PC and went to town... at first I wasn't sure about Evernote because it didn't work like my PC file cabinet... but after I fingered out how to use it I went to town. Now I have ALL my stamps in less than half the space, all together.

I did the index sheets and stamps each stamp for years... but Evernote does all that and then some, and no space and less time...
What ever way you go to keep track of your stamps it's worth the effort.. You have to do what works for you.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:04 AM   #23
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I don't break up sets. All of my SU wooden block stamps are filed alphabetically after I put labels on the ends of the cases. These are on shelves in a cupboard. The newer SU sets are also filed alphabetically on the back of my stamping table. Other individual stamps are in drawers labeled as trees, Easter, flowers, etc. Christmas, Halloween and nautical stamps are in totes I can pull out as needed. Dies are in cases with labels. I still have somewhat of a mess due to lack of room, but it works for me.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:44 AM   #24
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[QUOTE=ejluyk;21795012]I also organized my stamps/dies when I retired 7 yrs. ago. I needed a system, so I could find them and so I would not duplicate purchases (which had .yes, I clean my stencils. Larger ones go into a 12 x12 scrapbook the same. I teach art journaling classes each fall and need a way to be sure all the supplies are usable by a group of people. This works good for the classes and for me in my craft room. When I want to make a card, I flip through my cataloged 5x7 notebooks and get ideas....then go pull the items from the shelf. I keep them all in baskets with tags tied to them

I clean my stencils too! What do you do with stencils that are larger than 12 x 12 ?

I love your idea of cataloging in 5x7 notebooks. That would be easier to look through than 3x5 index cards which I had thought about using. I've only just begun putting stamps in plastic sleeve,not organized yet, and have found 4 duplicates (what a waste of money....... I could have had different stsmps 🙁).
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:51 AM   #25
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I'm in the process of organizing my unmounted stamps right now - I'm setting all the sentiments to one side and working on images right now. I'm doing it by subject (not by brand) - using the Avery Elle and Simon Says Stamp clear pockets, and making labels for the top corners so that they'll be easy to file - eg. flowers, holly, dogs, etc. So far I'm loving using the ones that are done! Can't wait till the sentiments are done!
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:04 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by bluerambler View Post
You're a bad influence! LOL I need someone to tell me that it's really possible to stop buying stamps. I do actually have a little room in a couple of the CD boxes.....uh oh, that's opening the door, isn't it?



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Old 03-14-2019, 12:22 PM   #27
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Dina, can you post a list of your categories for stamps? that is where I get hung up. Flowers with words....mostly words? I get myself in a tinsel tangle trying to work it out. Stamps for Christmas but good sentiments for other times...etc. etc. etc. Any help appreciated.
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Old 03-16-2019, 07:17 PM   #28
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I break up sets of stamps into categories/themes. Mine are all wood mounted---even those I buy unmounted or carve myself get mounted on wood blocks. The name of the set goes on the end of every block in that set so no matter in what sections they are housed, I know what set it came from. Since all the blocks have an index and all like stamps are stored together in clear boxes, when I want a particular stamp, I go to the drawer(s) that contain that type of stamp and find what I need. I stamp by theme (each card for the month is made with the same theme, or even the same stamp), so this really makes sense for me. I don't keep any paper record, as it is just as easy to go to the place where those stamps are and look through the actual stamps than to look through a binder or a document file first to be directed to where I already know they are. I admit, stamping is my first hobby and organizing is my next.
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