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.