Deep thoughts on paper…

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I have a confession.

I’ve not put away a piece of patterned paper into it’s proper home for at least six months. Probably more like nine. Instead, I’ve stacked or arranged temporary homes for my new papers here and there. It’s gotten ugly. To be fair I was doing it on purpose for a while. To see if I could use up my older stuff, to see how much I reached into my ‘archives’, see if I wanted to change things up in my paper storage. Now that the experiment is over, I’m going to be glad to go back to the way things were. Away from this mess…

See? To be fair it’s a bit worse than that. But you get the idea. Anyhow, I purged, cleaned, and organized all my patterned paper yesterday that was in the proper storage container I have. I had papers that dated back to 2001. All papers I loved – but I had to admit that I’ve not even thought about using them. That the freebies from my managing days or extra class or project sheets of paper or design team extras that I love – but haven’t yet used… probably won’t ever see light of day. I’m in a unique position because I try not to use “extinct” patterned paper in my classes or assignments. To do so would mean that students couldn’t recreate and might get frustrated that they can’t get the paper I have. So those papers that are out of print (or are from companies who no longer exist) get put in a special file ‘for personal use only’… and I think you can guess that I just haven’t been reaching in there much.

I use vertical storage (cropper hopper) that are all fit into this crate thing. Rule is if my patterned paper outgrows it’s home, it’s time to sort & donate some. This is the photo before I started adding the newer papers back into it.

Here’s what I learned:

1. Some companies I love AND use up. Pink Paislee, Cosmo Cricket, and American Crafts all come to mind as companies that I thought I’d need a lot of room for but had hardly any papers. (I’ve used them!!!)

2. Some companies I love and either over-buy or under-use. Basic Grey, October Afternoon, and Making Memories are examples. I LOVE their stuff – but still have quite a bit unused. Hmmm.

3. Buying only paper you truly love or that you know will be useful is a smart move. This year I did NOT find lots of stripes, graphic bold designs, and other patterns that I rarely use.

4. Stuff that’s truly “you” won’t go out of style. I still have some 5+yr old paper in my stash that got a nod to stay on. It doesn’t feel old – it just hasn’t been needed yet…

What will clearing out your patterned paper say about you as a crafter? I’m liking what I see in my space.

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5 responses »

  1. I need to make time to do a big clean up – you always feel so good after it. I can barely even walk into my scrap room right now!

  2. I love clearing out OLD scrapping goodies and paper. I usually send them to a Canadian friend of mine that kind the papers we have here in the good ole USA!!!

  3. May, you are right about the fact that what you truly like and felt drawn to in the first place will never go out of style. I actually have some old fashioned stickers and preprinted titles that I really like and know I will use.

  4. I have cleaned out a lot of my paper recently. Although to look around my scrap room you probably wouldn’t believe me lol. I tend to buy paper packs because they are less costly but then there are always patterns in there that I don’t really care for. Also on occassion well intentioned family memebers will give me paper that really isn’t “me”. So these papers have found a new home with a beginner adult & child scrapbooker.

  5. You’re taunting me with that shot of Hambly woodgrain, right? I think I kept a 2″ square of that beauty, because it’s all I have left LOL.

    I have been avoiding dealing with patterned paper with a capital “A”. Told myself when I last reorganized my studio that I didn’t need to go through it, as it was all organizied/filed and fit in the allotted space. Well… here we are 18 months later and that’s no longer the case; I have a “temporary” box for new papers which is mostly what I’ve scrapped from for the last year.

    I love patterned paper and have about 3 linear feet in 2 file carts allocated for its storage. Don’t care if it’s old or new – I learned a long time ago that once I’ve used it and it’s in my scrapbooks it becomes timeless. But it’s definitely time to sort/purge/organize the new stuff, and reclaim that temporary box for another use! Thanks for the push in that direction.

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