Organizing…it’s an entirely separate hobby

Card making is made up of three separate hobbies:

  • collecting stamps, papers, inks and accessories
  • using stamps, papers, inks and accessories
  • organizing stamps, papers, inks and accessories

On any given day, I split my crafting time between these three activities. While the first two hobbies are relatively self-explanatory to even the most novice of crafters, organizing is a mystery to some. Over the years, I have stored my paper and stamps in cardboard boxes, in clear bins, in drawers, on shelves or even in a pile in a closet. I have enjoyed re-organizing my craft supplies almost as much as I have enjoyed collecting them or creating with them. I have finally settled on a paper organizing system that works brilliantly for me, and I want to share it with you.

I bought a rolling file cart from Office Depot for around $50.


Because the cart has wheels, I can easily move my entire paper supply around the room with me.  Win!  I can file away all my papers in the top of the cart, and I’ve attached a storage tin from IKEA on the front of the cart, giving me quick access to my Blender Pens, paint brushes, ink pens and adhesives.  I store heavy, infrequently used supplies on the tray beneath the cart and hang my Clear Block Storage Caddy off the right side of the cart.

I’m very happy with the way my papers are organized.  One hanging file and one manilla folder per color.  I printed the labels for each color, adhered the labels to the manilla folder and organized the folders in alphabetical order by color family.  With my 1/4″ square punch, I punched out small squares from scraps of my card stocks and adhered them to the appropriate label with my multipurpose liquid glue. This gives me easy access to my papers without searching.  The color names and colors are prominent and easy to identify.


Within each hanging file, I store my unused card stock (in the front) and my manilla folder with scraps (in the back).  If, for example, I need a scrap of Daffodil Delight, I pull out the folder and grab a scrap from there.  Easy peasy.


My unopened packs of paper and stored on a shelf in the closet.  I enjoyed organizing my paper stock, and I hope you can use some of my pointers to help you organize your own paper.


  1. This is how I organize my paper, too – but in milk crate type storage. I don’t use a little square of paper like that though to indicate the color inside the folder. Good idea!

    Welcome to the blogging world.

  2. This how I organize my paper too, except I use milk crate type storage. Love the idea of using a square piece showing you what color is inside. Clever!

    Welcome to the blogging world!

  3. Oh my gosh, Brian! You are so super organized! I love the “paper cart”! Congrats on your new blog endeavor!

  4. Okay, I think I’ve finally met someone who is as OCD as I am! This is great Brian. Very similar to my system but I use two filing cabinets – one for the Neutrals and specialty Papers and one for the In Colors and other Color Collections. My scraps are in the FRONT of the folder. I do like the idea of a mobile cart and may transition t that and also like the square color sample. In my craft room I am creating 6 clear plastic box frames – four 9×12 and two 5×7. The 5×7 frames will hold the two In Color collections in the form of double stacked daisies fom the Flower Daisies #2 die (retired, so sad) and the 9×12’s will contain the other four Color Collections. This way they are in plain view for my students to see AND they are so decorative! LOL

    Good job!

  5. Sigh………..organizing is definitely a never ending saga! Your system looks great………..I did that once…………now I have two rolling files in the attic because I have moved on to another way to store my paper…….not sure if I like this new way yet…….but I AM sure a new idea will hit me in another week or so and I will reorganize again 🙂 And Mike – great idea on how to show off the colors!

  6. LOVE this idea and the clean look of your new blog. Be sure to share this on Stampin’ Connection. It will be a big hit!

  7. Amazing!!! Did your Mother teach you organizational skills? She is so crafty.

  8. I can relate to your comment about enjoying re-organizing craft supplies almost as much as collecting them or creating with them. I would guess, that some of your ideas come via a dream, as do some of mine. I recently transferred my infrequently used ribbon to a low large plastic-covered box and pushed it under a bed; this freed up space on my Craft Room cubby shelves for the, more “often-used”, Stampin’ Up supplies. Love it. Thanks for your mobile cart suggestion, a perfect way to gain extra supply space.

  9. Brian, I love that you explained “our” stamping hobby so perfectly in three catagories. So true! I love to shop and organize almost as much as I love to stamp. I finally have a great place for all my stamp stuff too. So good to have someone like you to follow. Great ideas!

  10. Pingback: Organizing my Craft Room: Part 1 |

  11. Pingback: Organizing my Craft Room: Part 4 |

  12. I’m not sure how commenting will work especially on way previous posts – hoping you’ll see it 🙂 I found your blog when Mary Fish was raving about your wonderful DSP swatch books and have really enjoyed it everyday since! I’ve been going through your organization posts and love them- the daubers and sponges are exactly what I do except the handy dandy handle- I see another project in my very near future. I have a quick question on paper (and ink for that matter) I’ve kept the collections grouped together but am contemplating moving to a ROYGBIV type system so all shades of blues will be together etc… Wondering about your thoughts pro/con on this type of filing system…

    Thank you again for your daily inspiration and smiles~
    Dawne DeRemer

    • Your question about color sorting is, in my opinion, based on your preference. I know other people who have sorted their ink pads, markers and papers by color family. It seems to work for them, but it doesn’t work for me. It all depends on your familiarity with Stampin’ Up!’s colors – I think. If I am trying to incorporate a color into a project, I just know what color I want to reach for so I want to be able to quickly grab it. I won’t typically say “I need a green” and then flip through all my greens to find Gumball Green. I’ll just say, “I need Gumball Green” and then grab it. It makes it easier for me to have them in a particular order so that I can easily reference the one I want. Does that make sense?

  13. Brian, I love your paper organization idea especially for keeping the scraps. I, too, use the color attached with the name.

  14. Organizing is half the fun!

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