Saturday, April 17, 2010

Stamp Organization


With the release of the new Hero Artists Proofs the mailman has been finding his way to my home quite frequently. Today I was in my room cataloging my new stamps and I thought I would share my idea with you.
I have been stamping and collecting stamps for a long time and learned early on that I would need a way to keep up with stamps that I had purchased. If you have a large collection, you know that they can't all be out on display and sometimes out of site, out of mind. It was also frustrating for me to think I had a particular stamp but not be exactly sure where I might find that stamp. My first thought was to put particular themes of stamps together, such as flowers, leaves, butterflies, people. Now I organize them by stamp company and the most recent purchases are at the front of the book.
This is what my Hero Book looks like


And these are the new stamps I was cataloging today


Aren't they great? And yes I do have a whole book dedicated to Hero Arts and also one for PaperTrey Ink.
Not only do they have stamps in them, but in the back they also have tips and techniques from those companies and the artists that represent them.


So I have 5 different notebooks now. One Hero Arts, One Papertrey Ink, 2 with other favorite companies and 1 that has all the other stamps I have purchased. The notebooks are inexpensive binders I bought at Wal Mart and the card stock is inexpensive card stock bought in a pack of 500.


My printer is a 4 in 1 printer, copier, scanner, and a fax machine so when I buy clear stamps I just make a copy of them to put in the book. That is easier especially when it is a clear set that has a lot of small stamps.



And this is the last thing I have to share. Since the notebooks are too large for me to take when I leave home to go shopping, I have this planner where I have a section for each company and have written the name and item number of each stamp purchased.
So if you are fairly new to stamping, now is the time to get started with organization. I can tell you that if I hadn't done this all along it would be too overwhelming to try and do it now.
In other sections of this planner I have dye inks, pigment inks, punches, die cuts, markers, and most anything else I have that is stamping related.
Do you catalog your stamps? Would love to hear about any organization ideas that you have.
Happy organizing and have a great weekend! I will be working tomorrow.

24 comments:

  1. I so wish I was as organized as you! Love the system you have for keeping track of everything!

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  2. That is a wonderful system, Debbie! I think an easy way to get started would be to do at least the clear stamp sets; that's where I think I'll start. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas!

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  3. Debbie thanks for the plethora of ideas!

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  4. Super idea. I catalouge by stamping. Never thought of doing the scan thing with the clear sets.... I catalouge by type of stamp ie - Flowers, words, animals etc. My folder is only A5 size - about half of yours - but still too big to take with me. Like the idea of writing the numbers down in a planner... thanks for the tips

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  5. Great ideas, thanks so much for sharing your system. I love the idea of scanning the clear sets, that is definitely something I will start doing.

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  6. Wow, You are so smart, Debbie!
    This is an excellent idea!
    Thanks for sharing it! :)

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  7. You have done it soo neatly, I did this for my sentiment stamps depending on the type. guess i will do this for all my stamps. :-)

    Thanks for sharing!

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  8. I keep mine on an excel spreadsheet (name, stock number), stamp company, category. There's even a column for where I bought it and the price (that's scary!) I have thousands of wood mounted and twice as many unmounteds. PTI's are kept in the cd cases, UM's are in binders with an index page across from it. I wanted to keep just a binder with just indexes by category, but that hasn't happened yet..I want time to stamp first.

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  9. Congrats on being featured in Hero Arts Twitter! What great ideas and suystem you created, Debbie! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Thanks everyone for the comments and coming to visit! :)

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  11. This is absolutely ingenious, oh my gosh! You are so organized, I'm going to have to give it a try someday....all my HA stuff is so..everywhere! I tend to just try and remember what I have and go hunt for it...but your system looks perfect!

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  12. Thanks for sharing the way you inventory your stamps. I use a VERY LARGE D-ring binder (ode to Mark G from class) and have inventoried all of my stamps, inks, and punches there. I have divided the stamps into categories (flowers, Christmas, leaf and plant, etc) so I can find them. I stamp them in the inventory that way and store them in plastic drawer units with that category posted on the drawer. In the several years or so as I have been purchasing stamps in sets, I started to stamp the various components in the right category with a note where the stamp set is stored. I carry the bible when I am out on stamping purchases. I may not take it in the stamp store with me, but if I have a question about whether I need a re-inker or if I already have that one the answer is as close as the car. YES, I know that is a little OCD, but it has saved me from purchasing the same stamp or reinker more than once!

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  13. I wish I had started indexing my stamps when I started buying them...too late now to worry about that! I have maybe half or 2/3 of my stamps cataloged and all my punches and inks. Well, most of the inks. I keep the list of inks and punches on my computer, and I never remember to bring it with me when I go shopping. But it is handy when I shop online.

    For my punches, I put a sticker on each punch with a number and I put a punchie with that number on it into a notebook. The notebook has think cardstock pages and I just glue each new punchie on it, in numerical order. On the computer I keep the list of punches, including mfgr., size, type and the ID number I assigned. Unfortunately, my punches are stored all over the place, so I need to add to the computer catalog where the punch is stored. Some are with stamps of the same theme, some are on shelves on the wall. But that job seems ovewhelming, so I haven't done it yet.

    For my stamps, I have the unmounteds in notebooks, both those on EZ Mount and the clear ones. They are stored by subject matter (butterflies, flowers, etc.) But the notebooks are kind of clunky to use, and heavy, so I am trying to move all the pages to rectangular storage bins, with stamps just on one side, so I can see them more easily.This system was inspired by the Little Monkeys 'Store More Stamps' system, but I use the EZ Mount notebook-size pages. This is a work in progress...

    To catalog my stamps, I wanted to have a way to see all my mounted and unmounted stamps at the same time. So I started stamping them on cheap cardstock,cutting them out and putting them into notebooks by subject. I use the sticky pages used to hold photos (with stripes of sticky on the paper, and a plastic sheet to cover it), so it is easy to add new stamps wherever I want to put them. But I don't always remember to put my stamps in there, so I sometimes do buy stamps twice. And I don't have room in my craft room for the notebooks, so they are now in the kitchen, where I never look at them!

    And then there is the question of how to store the mounted stamps themselves. How do you store them? I have some in trays, some in drawers and some in shoe boxes, separated by subject. Except I have a lot of Hero Arts stamps in a tray by themselves. Not sure why...

    hope this wasn't too long. I'd love to hear your ideas for storing wood mount and unmounted stamps so it is easy to use them both. thanks!

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  14. Karen and Nancy thanks for sharing your ideas. Some of the earliest mounted stamps I bought are stored by theme and if I don't have a lot of that company's stamps I still store them that way. But I try to keep my Hero stamps together. I have some clear folders that I bought at Archivers that I store cling and clear stamps in will take some photos and post them in the next couple of days. Thanks for coming to visit and sharing.

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  15. Debbie: Great catalogues, but how do you store the actual stamps?

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  16. You are so well organized! Amazing! I am always searching.... :( Thanks for your great ideas!!!!

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  17. Well, I guess I am as obsessive as any of you and maybe more so. I do pretty much the same as you Debbie and Karen D and I've been doing it for 20 years (you can imagine how much that is!). I also keep mine in a huge D ring binder which lowers my shoulder when I tote it to the stamp store. I am known far and wide as the stamp bible lady, ha-ha. I also keep the same information in my computer - if anything happens to my book I can recreate it instantly. Keeping it in the computer makes it a snap to find what I have very quickly and zero in on where it is. As one of the girls said above, it is strongly suggested you start this as soon as possible because the task becomes daunting the farther down the road you go. I especially like the book because I can skim through it for ideas on what I want or need to stamp. It is great inspiration. I plan to get one of those 12 inch computers one of these days and just transfer the book onto it for easy carting to the stamp store.

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  18. Debbie, you have a great cataloging system. thanks for sharing your organizing system. I organize my stamps in a similar manner. My stamps are stored in binders and I also have a detailed computerized inventory of every stamp that I own. I also have a picture inventory of my stamps which serves as a cross-reference.

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  19. Debbie, great ideas, thanks. I've been stamping forever, well, about 30+ years--and has the stamping industry ever improved! But my craft room organization has not improved and grown with the industry. It's time for me to again cull my stamps and this will be a great time to rearrange and start the "company" notebooks.
    Again, thanks.

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  20. PS Many of my earliest stamps are from Hero Arts. I love that company. HA stamps do have many of their own drawers in my stamp cabinet...and are getting more. Don't you just love the new stamps?! As well as the older ones. :-)

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  21. I started out recording every stamp, but couldn't keep it up. However, now that I'm getting the clear stamp sets, I will use your trick of putting it in the copy machine--great time saver, so I should actually do it!

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  22. Has anyone thought of having an organizing party with friends? I was thinking of finding a few friends who also need to get organized--or who love telling other people how to organize!--and having them over for snacks and a day of cataloging my stamps. On another day, we could all go to the next person's house and help them organize. What do you think?

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  23. Nancy, I think that sounds like great fun!!

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  24. Hi, Debbie! Congratulations on your mention on the Hero Arts site! Wooo-hooo! :-)

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So happy you stopped by and thanks for sharing your thoughts!