When I first started collecting wafer thin dies and embossing folders I put them in self-made pocket pages and stored them in zippered binders. It was not easy or convenient to find the die I wanted. I would have to get the binder, unzip, flip through the pages, pull out the chosen tool, and then reverse the process to put it away. Meanwhile, during use the binder either needed to be put away OR left lying open on a crafting surface. The binders also took up valuable shelf space. So as I researched different ways to store my dies and embossing folders I had a couple of parameters I kept in mind:
· The system needed to be portable and as light as possible. This precluded using the magnetic sheets and removing the dies from the all of original packaging. These latching boxes seemed to hold a number of dies, but the manufacturer information would need to be transcribed, or not included.
· I wanted to easily flip through to find the tool I wanted. A maximum of three moves to get out the tool to use it. I read this somewhere . . . and have tried to use this concept as I continue my quest to organize.
· It needed to be cheap! So I was not interested in buying multiple DVD or CD cases or a specialty designed notebook.
I found these Sterlite storage boxes in the correct dimensions and went to work. Almost all of my Spellbinders, Heartfelt Creations, and Quickutz 4" x 4" dies currently fit in one box! That is about 400 dies or 75 sets. I used repurposed packaging to make dividers to keep some level of organization. I kept all of the original packaging cards and replaced the adhesive with adhesive magnetic stripes. Much lighter than a magnetic sheet and keeps the dies attached to the packaging. It also helps me know which die I am using because it is on the original packaging. The new Spellbinders packaging is even better! Just snip off the plastic hang tag and the pocket holds the dies!
Miscellaneous Sizzix, Quickutz, Elizabeth Craft Designs, Technique Tuesday, and Impression Obsession dies reside in a second Sterlite box. They are in their provided envelopes, in divided page protectors, or on the packaging with magnetic stripes.
Grand size Spellbinders are stored in an accordion folder along with a few over-sized Quickutz dies. The tabs are labeled for quick reference.
My large collection of Quickutz 2” x 2” dies is still stored in the original Quickutz system. They are categorized by themes. This system has always worked for me, so why change?
All my embossing folders are in another Sterlite box. Each has been labeled with the name of the folder in Sharpie pen. The manufacturer already labels all of the folders. They are organized by theme and it is much quicker to pull out a folder from a box than it was in the previous system. My collection numbers right around 100 embossing folders.
These are the systems that work for me right now. Maybe you will be inspired in your organization process as well! Stay tuned for the next organization post where I share how I store the wafer thin dies and coordinating stamps.