Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Organizing Your Stamps

Do you have a lot of stamps? I read how Stampin' UP Demonstrator Brenda Tapp organizers her stamps and I thought I would share it with you!

I have a fantastic plan...numerical order! Simply copy, number and file. Here is how it is done...

When I get a new stamp ...

* I photocopy the new stamp set, give it a number, and write that # on the photocopy. The copy goes in a page protector in a 3-ring binder in numerical order.
* I write the same # on the stamp set's box, and on the side of the stamps within the box. That way, I know which stamp goes back into which stamp box.

The stamp sets get filed in Sterilite file boxes (Wal-Mart, etc.) in roughly numerical order. I write the number 'range' on the front of each drawer. (I have 3 files and each file has 3 drawers which hold over 70 stamp sets total (each file is approximately 24" tall x 9" wide. Each drawer can hold anywhere from 8-10 stamp sets.

When I am ready to stamp, I simply browse through my 3-ring binder, write down the stamp set #s that interest me for my project, then go directly to the appropriate # on the drawer. I pull those sets I wish to use. Once I have completed my project, it is EZ to put the stamps back into the correct stamp box set, and right back into the file drawer.

RETIRING SETS. When a set retires, I write an 'R' on it (if I keep it), and have a separate 3-ring binder and area for retired sets. That # on the newly retired set will be given to a new current stamp set in my original 3-ring binder.

I've been doing this for 4 years and it is SO EASY to use this system and then to transition stamps throughout the year. I never have to reshuffle sets, like I would if they were in ABC order, and I never have to read the tiny label. I just look for the # which I have written on each box (written on ALL FOUR SIDES, so it is never a problem to see the # right away). And I never have to buy more storage. Stamp sets migrate in and out due to retirement and/or new sets.

NOTE: I do NOT give hostess sets or promo sets or background stamps a #, and I do NOT file these sets in the storage boxes with the current stamps. I do, however, photocopy both the hostess sets and promo sets and I do file these copies in the same 3-ring binder as current sets, but under a separate tab, as I do want to be sure to USE them. Promo sets and hostess sets and background sets are stored in a separate container.

BIG TIP - I USE A WET ERASE PEN – called Vis-à-vis, used for overhead projectors to write on my boxes, and use a damp paper towel to remove numbers on the stamp set's box, if I want to sell them later when they retire. A dry-erase marker will rub off. Of course, I cannot get these #s off the stamp itself, but the # on the stamp does not affect the integrity of the stamp itself.
I hope that you find this information helpful! Elaine

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