Aug 27, 2012

Organizing Challenge

Most of you know that I am a hoarder collector of stamps.  I loooove rubber.  Over the years I have had people give me all kinds of rubber.  I have purchased rubber on my own.  And then of course some of the other rubber I think I inherated from my mom from when she stamped when I was younger.  But you see, here's the thing....I have never had the concept that I perhaps don't HAVE to keep every single piece of rubber that crosses my path.  I mean, yes...of course they have feelings but they truly DO need to find loving ink pads to embrace them.  I don't know why I never thought of this before.  DUH!  Actually I think I purged once a long time ago...but I can't swear to that.
About 7 years ago (I think) I did the undaunting task of unmounting all of my stamps.  Of course this is ONLY after we had moved a fiew times and I had lugged 4 of the ginormous RubberMaid bins to and from our destinations.  I was not even using a quarter of my babies and I HAD to find a better way to manage all of my rubber!!  So I came up with this system.  Stamp each image on the outside of the envelope.  Then cut a piece of transparancy to fit inside of the envelope.  Mount the rubber on the static cling sticky stuff and attach to the transparancy. Then file the envelope in the correct category.  I use the storage snap stackers used for ornaments...they are the perfect size for 2 envelopes side by side.  Traveling is simple and storage is a breeze too. I LOVE THIS.  But then.......
I got lazy.
After a few years of depression and just not caring my beautifully organized stamps got messier and messier.  My envelopes started looking ratty and half of them were empty cause I would use a stamp and not put it back.  (This is where the depression and not caring part came in).
Theres so many things on this particular envelope,  I couldnt tell ya if I wanted to use one or not.  So I have been racking my brain to figure out a way to better my system.  Most of you know I am a selective perfectionist.  Most things run off my back...but the few things that don't, will drive me insane until they are perfect.  So as you can imagine, the envelopes of old system, NOT WORKING for me!!!  They are messy.  I would LOVE to go back and restamp each and every one, making them nice and neat.  BUT there's a few glitches with this proposition.  1.  The cost of envelopes since I first did this has like doubled.  2.  I remember running out of ink several times in the first run.  Not to mention interest and follow through.  OK, so I had to come up with a way that could encase the stamps and keep them organized within themselves but NOT the cost of envelopes nor all the work of restamping for hours on end.
So THIS is what I came up with.  Taking a quarter sheet of cardstock and machine stitching it to a quarter sheet of transparency.  I only stitched across the bottom and up one side, leaving a corner open to slide the stamps in easily. 

The above pocket is obviously part of my spring/summer category.  At one time I did keep my stamps in categories by maker.  But I learned that I was again, not using them.   In the beginning, if I had been a little more diligent in keeping track of the manufacturer information, I think I would probably still keep up with that.  But since I didn't and I had several stamps from unknown makers...well it just seemed silly to do it.  Plus it took me a LOOOONG time to give in and to bust up my StampinUp! sets.  I what if that set has a butterfly and flowers, it all has to go in the bugs or the plants.  New system...the butterfly will be in its rightful place with the bugs and the flowers will be the plants. 

Though I have 2 more parts of my plan.  1.  I am getting rid of the rubber that I am not in love with or just doesn't spark some mojo for me.  2.  I am making it my mission to use each stamp I am keeping once.  So I make my project and stamp the envelope where it will be stored in the new system at the same time.  I wont get burnt out trying to get the whole system in place over night.  I will have lots of blog fodder because I will be STAMPING and I will have the perfect cleanliness that I need.  Actually I have other ideas, but since I don't exactly have a Chinese Manufacturer in my list of contacts, that can whip me up a prototype, this will work for awhile.
The main thing that I have to keep remembering is, these are MINE.  I need to organize the way that it works for ME.  I need to put them in such a way that I will get the most out of them.  NOT what everyone else thinks I should do.  I know...I know....some of you StampinUp! people swollowed your gum when I mentioned splitting up a set.  I am not selling my cards, so I am not worried about angel policies.  I am not publishing my stuff, so worries about angel policy.  And I am not in the market to make a killing on resale.  So keeping them together just seems crazy.  Plus, I honestly have a few sets that I only like one or two stamps out of them, the rest will go to a new home. 
Do you have unmounted?  How do YOU store them?

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