Tips For Managing Your Paper Stash

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My Paper Relationship Journey

I love paper but It has been a journey, that’s for certain!  There have been two parts of this journey; 1. defining my relationship with paper and 2. managing it, and in between the two I’ve had to simplify the process of using it. Before I go into how I’ve managed my paper stash, I wanted to talk about my relationship with paper and how it has evolved over the years. From single sheet paper to Double Layout Kits, there has been something to be learned from all of it.

Single Sheets

When I first started to scrapbook I remember that the habit I had picked up was I would just buy random sheets of paper. I ended up being intimidated by patterned paper and started hoarding it for “special occasions”, which left me overthinking and feeling overwhelmed. The designs of the paper were often large, and I would have to often cut into the pattern unless it was the background sheet.

Paper Pads & Packs

Around this time I discovered paper pads/packs. They provided coordinated paper but they never seemed to be just right for creating layouts. You got a lot of “busy pattern” papers, and I found myself getting bored halfway through using the paper pad. This is when I actually stopped buying paper pads and started making my own customized layout kits. 

Customized Layout Kits

This is when Kiwi Lane began looking at ways to simplify the creation process for scrapbookers; this led to the Play-To-Create system, and a big component about ‘simplifying the creation process’ was paper. This led to idea of creating our own layout kits using paper we already had. I started by making custom paper kits following these rules; 

Click On The Image To Download It

Around this time we released Idea Book #1! During this timeframe, Debbie, Shiloh, and I were experimenting with going through our own paper stash using the guidelines I just shared. Once I finished creating my own customized paper kit using my stash, I would slip it into a clear bag and find the right time to use it. This was one of the reasons I was able to reduce my paper stash so much, or at least manage it in the way that I have.

Kiwi Layout Paper Kits

We then used the knowledge we gained as not only creators but also as scrapbookers to create double layout kits and the Kiwi Club Kits that are both coordinated and useful. We’ve spent years mastering the science of scrapbooking paper, but I understand that buying these helpful kits does not help the stacks of paper you already have at home. That’s where creating your own Paper kits can be helpful! These double layout kits are helpful when you quickly want to find a project to work on and they simplify the process, save you time, and maximize the fun of creating! 

Managing Your Paper Stash

Over the years, I’ve learned to separate different types of paper so that I can easily manage it or find it when necessary, but I always start with the scraps, or in other words, the leftovers.

Leftovers

After I’ve just finished a two-page layout, I organize the scraps. There are two ways this can go, depending on what projects are on my mind. These leftovers are just as useful as the paper kit they came from! All of these scraps are already coordinated and can often be used to create another single or double page layout. For example, my sister just sent me a photo of my mom sewing, which I could use on a one-page layout. Using scraps, and finding the right background page (Usually from my single paper stash), I can create a customized layout kit. Once I’ve created my own customized kit, I slip it into a clear bag, and then it goes into my hanging file organizer. For a closer look at this idea, check out the video at the 21:56 mark. 

Once I’ve used some of the scraps to create customized paper kits, I then trim down the scraps to a useable size and organize them by color/theme (basically a mini paper kit) then I fit them into a Storage Card Box using 6×6 – Accessory Storage Cards and/or the Mix and Match storage cards. For more details, check out this post about organizing your scraps, which also talks about how I organize my finished cards.

Paper Kits

Now that I’ve covered how I manage by customized paper kits and my scraps, let’s talk about how I organize paper kits! In my create room, I have a fun hutch where I put paper pads, single sheets, customized paper kits, as well as pocket paper kits using multipurpose bins. When I want to make another customized paper kit, I pull them out and begin searching for the right paper, because I know most of them are single sheets. For more ideas on how to store paper, you can check out this post. 

What Else Is In This Hutch?

Using the same Storage Card Box that I used to organize my scraps, I slipped in some old alphabet stickers. This goes into my hutch as well. There are a few of them, and again, to make it easier to find, I organize them by color. Whites go in one, red and yellows go in another. This way, when I have sudden inspiration while I’m creating a layout, I can find it easily. Organizing is all about making the creating process easier!

Double Layout Kits And Kiwi Club

I recently ordered this shoe cabinet from Ikea and found that it fit my 12×12 paper perfectly. It’s nice and narrow so it doesn’t take up much space and I can press it against the wall so it’s out of the way. I usually put my double layout kits in there as well as past Kiwi Club Paper Kits (because I know they are complete). I also seperated them depending on the theme. There are four storage spots in this cabinet, and I’ve separated paper depending on the color (fall vs spring coloring), as well as the pattern! Floral patterns all go in one, and more geometric ones go in another. This makes it easy to find when I want to quickly find paper that will coordinate with recent photos.

Other

This 3-Tier Rolling Cart is a favorite among the Kiwi Crew, and I’ve enjoyed it as well. Since this cart has a lot of space and can move, it’s great for storing all those on-hand essentials like Designer Templates, scissors, adhesive, ink, and so on. I was able to fit this die, stamp, and supply organizer from totally tiffany in the middle bin so that I can fit all of my essential crafting supplies in this cart. For a closer look at this idea, check out this post. 

In Summary:
  • Make sure you are intentional about where your paper goes (Whether that be your fall paper on one side and your spring paper on the other) so that in a moment of inspiration, it’s easy to find!
  • Be intentional about what you buy! This will help you use that stash of paper!
  • Don’t be afraid to bring paper kits to the store to check if they will fit in potential storage spaces!
  • Start using your paper! Take advantage of what you already have and if you need to, make it more usebale by creating your own customized paper kits.

Sarah Fuller was able to make 98 Paper Kits using the paper kit method! Wow!

Check Out The Full Tour of Susans Creat Room!

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