Ah paper, a recycler’s worst nightmare and a scrapbooker’s friend. Scrapbookers and paper crafters alike use this stuff by the pound, it is not wonder that if you look at the average paper crafter’s room, you will see it everywhere, from tags, sheets of paper, papier-mâché’ boxes, die cuts, card blanks, and a whole host of other paper goods. They decorate bags for wrapping presents, sometimes the paper are the presents themselves, as well as the card that goes inside the present. If you are a recycler, this item can be a hit or miss for you. Paper crafting is not for the faint at heart.
One of the biggest problems, at least for me, is clutter control. Paper to most people, even at its beauty is considered trash to them, but paper can be contained, and no one can tell that you have paper around.
1) Find all of your paper. If you are in the process of a project, the paper is not in its raw state, which is the paper itself, leave it alone. If it is already neat, get it anyway.
2) Purge the paper. I am not talking throwing it away, but decide what pieces you are going to use. Do not think in terms of what project you have planned or were going to use the paper for at this point, and do not say things in your head such as, “This would make a great layout background.” If it has not been used, and the original project has left the memory, ask yourself, “Will I use it in a future project?” If the answer is yes, put it in the “keep” pile. Do not return it to the original container yet. If the answer is, no, then put it in the “giveaway” pile. It no longer has sentimental value to you.
3) Once you have done that to all of your paper, place the “keep” paper in an area so you can sort it into a system. You need a system in order to contain it. We will get back to this a little later. Let’s tackle the “giveaway” paper.
4) At this point, you do not have the time to go down memory lane with the giveaway paper. It is now out of sight and out of mind when you plan your future projects. Do not second guess your decision. What you can do for it is to decide where to send it. Let me give you some hints:
a. Your child’s school. Funding may not be what it used to be when you were in school. Many programs have been cut, and teachers have to fend for themselves with the salary they are given. Often times, it may mean buying their own supplies, including art supplies. It would be a great help if your craft supplies go towards the school. Call ahead or ask your child’s teacher exactly what is needed.
b. Nursing homes. Even seniors need art to stay active, and that is often with art supplies to keep their mind’s going, even if their bodies no longer function like they used to. Nursing homes and adult day care centers are under that same tax area that the government often uses to cut funding at, and donating supplies do help the burden. Again ahead to see what is needed.
c. Rehab centers. This is for either people who have been injured or someone who has a disability, and they are learning to be a functional citizen again. Call to see if these places mind having a supply donation or does it have to be monetary.
5) Sometimes products are too old or out of date to be donated. For those, just toss in the trash. Same with anything that is beyond repair.
6) Next move to the paper you decided to keep.
a. First inspect each piece of paper. Not the size and shape of the paper and put lie pieces together. At this point, you are not worried if the color is the same. Put small with small pieces of paper, die cuts with die cuts, and so on.
b. Next, work with each pile, and put into color families. Think ROY G. BIV or what I like to call ROY G. BIVN (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, and neutral). So in an example, you would have a Small paper ROY G. BIVN, a Medium sized paper ROY G. BIVN, and so forth.
c. Place into containers. You may have to go shopping at this point. If so, you will need 8 containers for each separate pile. If you do not have the budget for that, then just get 8 containers and put each same color piles in a container, but make sure it is a system that you can live with, and not feel overwhelm with it all.
d. If you are dealing with lots of patterned paper, try to find a common background with each paper, or separate by brand name.
7) Last, find a place in your new space where the paper should go. I am not going to tell you where to put it, as long as you are comfortable with setting, and that it is convenient for you.
Congratulations on organizing your sheets of paper. Do the same thing with your boxes, tags, and other paper-like supplies. Step 3 will be trying to organize Ribbons, laces, and other fabric type supplies. So get ready, and be blessed.