Monday, January 19, 2015

5 Days To An Organized Craft Stash–Day One: Stamps


Hi, everyone, seems like everyone is wanting to organize in January and what better time to do it!? The holiday rush is over, if you’re in cold climates you’re liable to be stuck inside, and the new year just seems like a good time to get the nest clean and tidy.

MFT to the rescue!! Welcome to a 5-day blitz from the MFT Design Team with loads of tips, tricks, and methods for organizing your crafty stash! Check out the MFT Blog to see what designers are participating and how you can win this prize package—there’s a different one every day so don’t miss a single chance to win some MFT goodness!


We’re starting the week off with stamp organization--I have a LOT of photos for you, so get a cuppa and settle back :) Before I show you what I have in place NOW, I want you to see what I had BEFORE. Just so you can see that, yes, even YOU can gain control of your landslide of stamps!



Pathetic, am I right? I had a basic idea what drawer a certain line was in, but I had to shuffle through every.single.set to find what I was looking for. A time waster, for sure, and a piece of tape as a label? Ugh.

We can do SO much better and here’s what it looks like now:


Awesome, right? Now I’ll tell you how I got from point “A” to point “B”. I was totally inspired by Jennifer McGuire’s system and used that as a guide. I’m using THIS InterDesign Storage Bin to contain my stamps.

My dividers are made from these Pendaflex heavy weight file guides that I purchased at Office Max. I thought about using card stock but I knew whatever I chose would see lots of use so I went with something sturdier, although a little pricy.  


Each stamp set is in a storage pocket—these are the ones MFT carries and I’m only using the larger ones for my stamps. Smaller sets, like Pure Innocence, I’m putting two to a pocket. I’m thinking that will save space in my tray.

So, they are on a shelf, in the trays, but the ones in the back look hard to access, don’t they? They would be except my handy dandy hubby installed an additional shelf on drawer rails so I can pull the shelf out and see each set perfectly!


Here is the shelf pulled out so I can easily flip through and remove what I want.


I have them arranged alphabetically, according to stamp line, however Laina Lamb Designs is overflowing into the next row and I’m not sure if I like the aesthetics of that, so I’ll live with it a while and decide whether to change it up a bit or not. Stamp sets within a line are also arranged alphabetically, making them a BREEZE to find! No more shuffling!!!!


Now on to some specifics. I cut inexpensive card stock (Georgia Pacific) to fit inside the pocket before inserting the stamp set. It looks more finished and adds a little “body” to the otherwise very soft pockets.

Many full size stamp sets fit perfectly in the larger pocket, however some do not.


To make them fit I had to do some alterations ;-) I’m doing what Jennifer McGuire suggested and it works perfectly if you don’t have access to mounting sheets. I take a large pocket and trim 1/4” off all four sides so I have two pieces of plastic sheeting on which to mount my stamps. MFT’s pockets are a super value so I don’t feel wasteful cutting them up.


Here is the same set, removed from the original backing and put on one cut side of a pocket. I cover it with the other piece and it fits in a pocket perfectly!


If a stamp set has a coordinating Die-namics I put it in the back of the pocket—that way they are both together when I pull a set out—saving even more time.


This technique even works with the few oversized sets hat MFT carries—I just put half on each side of the pocket and include the dies as usual.



My cling rubber backgrounds are also stored in the same kind of tray. They won’t quite fit front to back so I’m storing them side to side, in order of release date. When I pull the shelf out, they are easy to flip through and access so I think they’ll work fine this way


I had started on this system several months ago and used my label maker—it’s an older model but does the job just fine so I saw no need to upgrade. It uses THIS tape. HOWEVER, MFT has a downloadable file that you can print on your printer using stock labels for every MFT stamp set, Die-namics, and stencil available. How awesome is that!! You can bet I’d have used that if I had it before I got started—the time saving factor is enormous! You can find them HERE in the resources section at the MFT Blog.


To keep it real, I have to say that this system did not happen overnight and I’m still not *quite* done. Every set is in a pocket but I’m not done labeling yet. I have a personal rule that if I take a stamp set out to use, it has to be labeled RIGHT THEN if it’s not already, and any new sets get labeled before I use them. I do a few every day and soon they will all be done! And I can say I am SUPER glad I got started on it and am really happy with how it’s working out. I hope my ideas and photos will help inspire you to get your stamps corralled—now go forth and organize!

Thanks so much for stopping by today—see you back tomorrow for another organizing session!

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  1. What a fabulous organization system you have. Looks like you have an amazing collection of stamps too. Being able to find what you need is definitely important.

  2. love all the tips from the MFT gang - I started on Saturday, but then yesterday I couldn't resist making cards so all the organizing went by the wayside - must do better today!!

  3. Your new organisation looks perfect, I think doing a few at a time also means you don't get overwhelmed by the task at hand. I sorted mine in the summer and although I was surprised how many sets I owned I'm so glad I did it, I know what I have and can grab a set easily. Can't wait to see tomorrow's system. Hugs, Amanda x

  4. Yes I did this same thing this past year.... and found it on Jennifer McGuire’s site too. Mine are finished and LOVE it!!!! I even finished removing ALL my SU and any other wood block stamps I had and placed them on sheets..... Now ALL my stamps are soreted and EASY to find!!!

  5. Barbara, this looks fantastic. Thanks for the specifics on fitting the bigger sets. Wow, you are one lucky lady to have a handy and willing hubby to fix that shelving. Thanks for all your tips.

  6. I had a p-touch machine as a Christmas gift, I must be organise as you are.

  7. love it! love your dividers. what a great idea!

  8. Awesome system for organizing your stamps! Great idea on using the file guides to make your dividers. I have a bunch of these that aren't being, I have a use for them!! YAY!! I wish I had a hubby that could install drawers...LOL!!! Thanks for the inspiration. :)

  9. WOW---love the tips--I must get started on my own stamps

  10. Great organization tips from all the DT. Now I have got to get busy organizing mine.

  11. Bins and Pockets, Pockets and Bins. This was a great tutorial for organizing. Your instructions and your pictures were the BEST instructions I've seen in a very long time. I admire how much you've done so far. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Love you, girlie! Thanks so much for keep in' it real! Sending you a hug! Your stalker from Louisville, KY!

  13. Barb, this is great! I've started this storage system, but I don't have the labeling done, so I think the labels MFT has just provided have come just in time! Also, I have put any PIs into the bags yet -- or Flopseys. They're still hung up on my hanging system. I'm going to look into this rolling shelf, I didn't think it was possible as an add on, so I'm happy to hear your DH added one for you. TFS!

  14. Thanks for the tips. This is the system I'm going for.

  15. Thank you for sharing all of the detail of your storage method. I really like the pull out shelves.

  16. I'm using the same system and absolutely LOVE it! Thanks for mentioning the tip about cutting the storage pockets when you need to store larger sets!

  17. I use this system as well. However instead of using my label maker (it was getting expensive to buy the tape)' I just print put the name of the stamp set and company onto address labels. It's much more cost efficient and faster IMHO. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Looks amazing and love all your great tips!! I wish mine looked that good!

  19. sure upgraded your storage solution!! Looks wonderful!!! Thanks for the tip on how to down-size the larger MFT stamp sets!

  20. Jennifer sure did help us with all of our stamps, I was fighting them all until she came out with her storage ideas. I love the idea of how to store larger stamp set. WeRM are coming out with a tool for scrap pages and I think this would help in making different size pockets.

  21. Thanks for all your photos and hard work to share your organizational system with us. I am so happy that MFT is doing this series!!!

  22. Great ideas, thanks Bar!

  23. I saw this system in Jennifer McGuire's video as well, and bought all I needed to organize my stamps. I hate to say, I haven't done it yet, but seeing how organized yours are, maybe I'll set aside time tomorrow afternoon to get started!


Thank you for your kind comments--they make my day and I appreciate every one!


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