Rubber Stamp Organizing {clear & unmounted}

 Again?!? (OK I can hear the collective groan) Yes, I have another craft organization project LOL! I think I enjoy organizing my crafting supplies as much as I like creating with them! This week I decided to take the plunge and re organize my clear and unmounted stamps.

 

Prior to this endeavor I had my stamps stored my manufacturer. I have been regularly submitting my artwork to magazines for the last seven years so I figured if I stored my stamps this way I could keep track of them better since magazines need to know who made the products I’m using. That was fine in the beginning when all the stamps I had were made by a handful of companies but as my obsession…er, hobby grew I realized it was impractical to continue to store my stamps this way. To compound the insanity I had some stamps in binders, some in CD cases and newer sets tucked hither and yon waiting to be used. Ack!  So I got brave and hauled all of my stamps out, sorted them into categories that made sense to me (every stamper would make different categories and that’s OK) and put them back in a much better system. I did this over the course of 3 days working 2-3 hours at a time. Here is my journey ;)

So, are YOU ready to tame your stash of stamps? Here are my tips for corralling your clutter:

  1. Buy matching 3″-4″ sturdy 3 ring binders. Unless you already have a bunch of binders, in that case use what you have. I wish I had bigger binders but I did not want to waste what I had, it would be nice if they all matched but I bought new binders as my collection grew. Sometimes Staples has a 100% rebate on binders so that is a great time to get them cuz free is GOOD!
  2. Pick up a large package of heavy duty page protectors and slip cardstock in them. Each will hold 4 of the 4″x8″ stamp sets (the kind from Inkadinkado and TPC) or 2 of the larger sets. Also grab a pack of baseball card holders and 4″x6″ divided page protectors for the smaller sets.
  3. Don’t be afraid to break up the sets! That was my biggest fear. I did not know what to do if a set had a frame, a border, a background and a robot. Unless the stamp set is really meant to be used together go ahead and break it up. I decided whether or not to break up a set on a case by case basis. I needed a lot of counseling from other stampers to get to this point so don’t be afraid if the thought of breaking up a set gives you a panic attack :D
  4. Do it in small sessions. After 3 hours of sorting stamps I was questioning my sanity. “Why did I start this?” I took a break and came back the next day, I got my categories in binders but I was not sure I was better off so I quit for the day. The third day I went through my binders and got ruthless about breaking apart sets and really organizing it right! There is no way I would have been able to break apart sets on day one LOL!
  5. If you need to know the stamp manufacturer you can write it on the page protector the set is stored in or you can write the name on the back of the UM stamp with a ball point pen. Best of both worlds I’m telling you!

Thanks for sticking with me though a long post and video. If you have any questions about my stamp storage please leave a comment and I will get back to you! Happy crafting!

 

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23 Responses

  1. Great tips! Thanks so much for the inspiration.. I noticed a lot of binders.. would you be willing to list your categories for us please?

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    • I list them in the video but here thay are again: Christmas/Winter, Non-Xmas Holiday, Alphabets, Frames/Scrapbook, Background/Borders/design elements, Vintage: Victorian, Vintage: circus/quirky, Vintage: Grunge & household, Vintage: Storybook/crafty secrets, Nature (flowers trees, scene stamps), Animals: Mammals, Animals: Birds & Insects, Asain: Nature, Asain: Geisha/Dragons, Asain: Animals, Kids, Birthday/Food/Beverage phew, I think that was it LOL! Depending on your collection you will come up with other categories too!
      Thanks;)

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      • Thanks so much for doing that! I’ll make note of your categories and will see what I have when I finally get around to organizing mine.. ugghhh.. what a huge endeavor! Yikes!

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  2. wow what a project. Thanks for the tut.
    Myrna

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  3. Holy Cow!! You have more stamps than Hobby Lobby! LOL!! I am going to show my husband this video so he can see that No, I do not have enough stamps!!

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    • Happy to enable, er I mean help LOL! My husband walks into my craft area and gets a glazed over look in his eyes ha ha! Some of my friends bring their husbands down to my art room to prove the same point too! And then they “thank” me for introducing their wives to the glorious world of crafting;)

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  4. I’m just getting started, mkstly to keep fm falling in2 the BLACK HOLE.n I exsist in constant perpetual PAIN. SCARR tissue grows where once I had Hlthy Disc. I’ve only been able to buy a few stamps. I’ve no markers but a set of color pencils. I love Your Ideas, thanks for the PANIC warnings too!

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  5. I really like your organizing stamps progect i would have lik to see the actual inside of binders to get a better idea of how stamps are put into them.

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  6. I am stuck trying to figure out what to do with my pile’s of stamps. I have most of them stamped in a book. Then filed in an expandable pocket file. I now have about 800 stamps. Some sets and some single stamps. About 400 have not been stamped in my log book or placed in the expandable files yet. They are piled high on my table begging for me to work them into a system!
    I need to decide to finish logging them all in and place them in the files as I have been doing OR stop and reorganized then by theme. If I reorganized them Id have to restamp them off on to paper by theme. Because the expandable files dont showcase the stamps as well as the binders do. But they were cheap and worked well to hold the stamps. However you cant really see the stamps. So what I would do was just stamp each set on to paper as I got them and place them in the next available slot in the files. Writing on the page where the stamp was located. Here is the problem. When I want a certain stamp. I have to flip through a ton of pages to find the stamp I wanted. Then see where the stamp would be located. This was fine when I had only a few 100 stamps.
    So do you recommend I bite the bullet and start over? or stay the course and catch up my stamp filing? Thanks for any direction.
    Terri

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    • Hi Terri,
      First let me say that I can sympathize! I started stamping all my stamps in a book too when I had much less than I do now but that system never worked well for me. I love the binders because I can see where everything is and flip through like a book. I would be afraid that I would not be able to find or see my stamps in an expanding file system but if you LOVE this system and it makes since to you keep at it. The stamping out of everything before filing take a TON of time, more that you would think unless you were doing it LOL! With the binders you don’t need to index anything, if you are looking for a flower go to the nature section, if you are looking for a cupcake go to the food binder etc. I got my binders at Sams Club, a 4 pack of 1.5″ binders for $10, sometimes they were good quality, sometimes not. I think If I were you I would gather a bunch of boxes (shoe boxes, crates, priority mail boxes..whatever you can find) and divide your stamps by type: Holiday, nature, vintage etc. Write the category on the outside of the box. Once this is done you can decide if you want them back in the file folders, in binders OR you might just keep them in the boxes if you don’t mind rifeling through them. I say clear shoe boxes at ACmoore this week for .70 cents of you could use pretty photo boxes (LABEL THEM!) Just fiquer out the best system for the way you work but first divide them in catagories that make sense to you. You will see stamps you forgot about and be inspired all over agin. Let me know how you make out!

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  7. Wow, amazing! Great job, I don’t have many stamps…but it still seems like a mess! Great tips for organization and splitting them up :)

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  8. Your timing is great! How did you know it has been on my mind to find a way to organize/catalog my stamps so that I have them in a workable and usable order? I say catalog, but now I give pause to that when I see how YOU did it! Always an inspiration – thanks so much, Lindsey!

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  9. I am getting closer,,,but I think I still need a wee bit of counseling. I did come to the conclusion that I need to get rid of some of my old sets that I will never use (not my classics of course!)…so I am growing!

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  10. Don’t forget FreeCycle for binders. I was amazed at the 6 boxes of binders from various people that I was able to collect. Think I have about 9 that aren’t filled at this point.

    Roberta

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  11. Thank You for the video and the information! How quickly an idea can pop into ones mind when a visual suggestion is made, your “printers drawers” triggered the fact that we still had the display our DGS used for his Pez trucks….just gathering dust and taking up space…..it is right now in the process of being altered so that some of my medium and larger stamps will fit nicely into what was smaller spaces. I can all ready see my stamps in place on my wall. TY

    Just on quick question, I have been using the binders for my stamps but have a real problem keeping them upright, any suggestons?

    Again Thank You for the great idea!

    Claudia

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    • Hi Claudia,
      When you say the binders won’t stay upright do you mean the pages inside the binders slump (in which case try heavy duty page protectors with cardstock inside then place your stamp sets in. If you mean the binders are tipping over try using a box as a bookend so they don’t all over;)

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  12. Thanks for the great idea! I took all my stamps out and I am going to organize them in binders by category also. It takes so much time to find them in the little storage boxes I have. I find I use the same ones over and over because I know where they are. I’m off to get started! By the way, WOW! is all I can say about your craft room!

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  13. I’m curious about what you stick each stamp on, if you are breaking up sets. I know in your video you mentioned these divider things, but you only had a few sets on them. What about all the others? Are you sticking them to the cardstock you mention putting into the page protector?

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    • I stick them either on the page protector or since they tend to be small inside a baseball card page protector. They sell packs of 10 in the toy section of the Dollar Tree and there are 9 pockets in each sheet;) I determine if I will break up a set on a case by case basis, just do what seems natural and useful to you;)

      Like

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