Okay, don't anyone have a stroke. I am NOT changing my stamp storage! LOL! I LOVE how I store my stamps. If you missed my post on the Univenture binders I use and how I store my stamps, please see my post here. And I physically do not break apart my stamp sets; however, for this category reference system you will see below, I do break these "stamped cards" apart and do not keep the sets together in my reference system. Now, once you reference my storage post linked above, get a cup of coffee, a large sweet tea, or whatever your fancy because today's post is long!
What I want to share today is how I sort and find my stamps. When you get a large collection of stamps, it is very easy to forget what you have. Then not only do you forget about them, you certainly then cannot find what you are looking for. If you looked at my post referenced above, you saw my Excel file that I use in sorting, categorizing, and finding my stamps. Well, as much as I love my Excel file, sometimes it is not the fastest way to find what I am looking for. So, several weeks before my "room move," I decided to start stamping every new stamp I received onto Rolodex cards before putting them away. And, as I have time, I am going back and stamping the stamps I already have in binders. Now, I am going to use my Rolodex to categorize ALL of my stamps (clear, unmounted rubber, and wood mounted stamps) so I can easily find what I want to use. Let's look at what I am doing.
First, here is a photo of my Rolodex. Isn't it cute? Of course, it HAD to be pink. Not my favorite shade of pink but it will do! :)
If you want this particular Rolodex, you can find it here at Office Depot. They also make one in yellow, white, black, and mahogany. Click on the color name to see it at the Office Depot site. I much prefer the rotary Rolodex because it makes flipping though the cards very easy!
As of February 2015, I now have three Rolodex files and these are the categories I have:
- Christian Images
- Handmade Stamps
- Mixed Media
- Photo Corners
- PL Stamps
- Planner Stamps
- Scripture (one whole Rolodex full sorted by the books of the Bible)
- Sentiment Christian
- Sentiment General
- Sentiment Single Word
- Sewing and Crafts
- Tickets and Tags
- Wheel Stamps
Now, just a note about the categories. First, some stamps can fit into several different categories. For instance, a "Happy Birthday" stamp could be put into 'Sentiments--General' but I feel it more appropriately fits into the 'Birthday' category so that is where I put that particular stamp. I have categories that make sense to me and where I know I can find things. You will want to adjust your categories as you see fit and that will work for you!
Also, for scripture stamps in the 'Scripture' category, I file all of the scripture verses in order of the books of the Bible. It makes it VERY easy to find a scripture within that category. Now I can easily find if I have a stamp with a certain verse.
You may also be wondering why I have separate 'Bird' and 'Animal' categories. I have a lot of bird and parrot stamps so I personally wanted to break them out from the 'Animal' category. That's just my personal preference. :)
I will add more categories as I complete this project. I will try to keep this post up-to-date with my category list so that you can reference it if you would like. Just remember to bookmark this post or come back and check it periodically. :)
Creating My Category Dividers
To create my cute cagetory divider cards, I just cut 2x4 pieces of kraft cardstock. I then punched 1 1/4" inch circles out of the same cardstock. Then I stamped a cute decorative piece (the LOC Touch of Elegance set) onto each circle and added ribbon and the category name and attached it to the card.
I do keep a stash of pre-cut ribbons, cards, and circles in a baggie. I also have a note to myself on how I made them so I can quickly make more when I run out. It's easy to make these in mass production!
Individual Card Notations Okay, so what are the notations on each individual card? What do they mean, and how does it help me find a stamp?
Well, in the upper left corner I write either UM, WM, or CL. That tells me if it is an umounted rubber stamp, a wood-mounted stamp, or a clear stamp. My wood-mounted stamps are not kept in my binders (see below). I have drawers for them, and I will label my cards with drawer numbers once I get to those stamps. I haven't tackled them yet. :)
In the upper right corner, I write which Univenture binder contains the stamps. For instance, PL-1 means "Plaid 1." All of my clear stamps are kept in the "plaid tagged" binders. So, the particular stamp above, "LOC Joyful Noise," can be found in the first plaid box of my clear stamp binders. I also have boxes with the prefix 'H' for houndstooth (the boxes with the houndstooth tags), and 'BG' for the boxes with the tags made out of Basic Grey papers. Here are a few of my houndstooth boxes and my Basic Grey boxes are shown below the first photo.
The bottom left corner is the name of the stamp manufacturer, and the bottom right corner is the name of the individual stamp or the stamp set name (whichever applies).
So, what do you do if your stamp is larger than 2x4? Well, I either stamp it sideways (which isn't my favorite way to do it) or I just stamp what fits. The portion that shows on my card will remind me of the complete image. That's all I need anyway. I don't worry about it if the entire image does not fit. :) Here are a couple of examples of larger stamps: And Finally
This system is very easy to keep up wtih if you get in the habit of stamping and categorizing your stamps as soon as you purchase them! After that, put them away. Easy fast, and now you have a great reference that is quick and easy to use as you create. You will also find you use more of your stamps and can find them super easy!
I hope this has helped. Please feel free to ask questions in the comment box. Just be sure to check back for my responses there also. :) Have a blessed weekend ahead, and Happy Organizing!