I started scrapbooking in 2010 and moved quickly into stamping and it's become a passion (shopping addiction too!) In the two years I've been paper crafting, I've amassed 10 two-inch binders full of stamps (clear and UM/cling) plus two drawers full of wood-mounted ones.
Miraculously, I have a pretty good memory for what I have - but finding what I want has been the challenge. Plus, in each set, you get tons of things.. sentiments, flowers, leaves, "extras".. punctuation.. clouds.. etc.
I started with a few stamps in sleeves I made and put into a small binder (for franklin-covey refills) and quickly outgrew that. I moved to two zippered Mead 2" notebooks, but once I outgrew those, I had to find a way to organize them.
I knew I didn't want a Clip It Up (I reserve the right to change my mind at any time, but for now it would not work for me). For one thing, my crafting space is in the middle of our great room, completely out in the open - I have one desk, with lots of drawers, and am using faux books and decorative boxes to store my scrappy stash in the area. I just didn't want something like a Clip it Up hanging out in the open all the time.
I converted to 2" black binders from wal mart, knowing I would have to somehow come up with a system for inventory. Then IT CAME TO ME!
I had asked for a Mac Book Pro for Christmas.. and my sweet, sweet Santa brought me one. But I've been on a PC my whole life, so it has been a real adjustment - I knew it would - though very useful to my artsy/crafty needs.
One day I was playing on my laptop with iPhoto and IT CAME TO ME:
so this got my gears spinning.
I had been trying to think of a way to categorize or organize the sets, and I couldn't come up with ANYthing that worked with the way MY brain works... seems like everyone else categorizes by brand or "type" (sentiment, girlie, food, nature, masculine, travel, etc.)... but that would not work for me at all. I mean, my favorite stamp sets (and by far the majority of all the ones I own) have all sorts of things in each set. Like I mentioned above...
As I grew into more and more 2" black binders from wal mart (planning this because I knew I could leave them in those and figure out an inventory system later, and use decorative paper on the spines so they would look nice on my built-in shelving), I decided to leave all the stamp sets as they were - where they were - but simply note WHERE they are.
Here's what I did: I took each binder, one at a time, and saved an image of each stamp (or stamp set) from online to iPhoto. Then I went through each one and added keywords for every single thing in the set. Plus, I would use extra words that I might use later when looking up a certain "style" of stamp or graphic (say, "girly" or "girlie", "nature" etc.) in addition to everything that was in the set.
THEN - in the "description" box, I noted what binder they were in (binder1-8, or binderc1 or binderc2 for cling 1 and 2)(they are zippered so they won't fall out or get dog fur in them).
SO: If I want to find a word or image for "sister" I just go into iPhoto and click the "search" button and type in "sister." Now, up pops every single stamp set that has a stamp with the word SISTER in it (or an image of sisters). And voila, visually, I can browse them. When I see one I want, I click on it, and the description box tells me what binder it is in. MAGIC, I tell you!!
This really did NOT take long at all - and I did it while watching TV with the family at night.. and I'm all done - have been for a few weeks now - and have used this system VERY successfully since I put it into place. I cannot tell you how amazing it feels to use a system I came up with myself and it really works with how "I" think. If it would help you, too... then give it a try!!!
I used my Silhouette to do large numbers (2" wide x 3" tall) for the spine and the front inserts for each binder - with a different decorative paper in each one (coordinating, from the Main Street DCWV pack), and used a deep border punch on them just to make it pretty. this way if I have several out on my table (during serious weekends!), I can easily see which one is which by the number.
By me, for me. And for you too if you could use it! Let me know if you try this out!
(Check out my May 6 blog post for a photo of the binders!... www.artofdixie.blogspot.com)