When I first started scrapbooking - I was overwhelmed by all the items available and wanted everything. I got a significant portion of it as well. However, when it came time to create layouts, I was at a loss. I didn't have the items I needed for my layout or could no longer find the things I had wanted and didn't get during my early shopping sprees.

Now however, I have found that it is extremely helpful to follow a few simple rules when shopping for supplies.

1.) Load up on solid card stock. You will use this the most and it is cheaper in the long run to buy this in bulk. That way, when you're ready to design a layout, you can have your foundation page or mattes or whatever you would use the card stock for.

2.) Patterned paper comes and goes. If you find a great patterned paper that you fall in love with - buy it. However, before you do get it, think to yourself if you can really use it. I had paper that sat there for a couple of years because it was really beautiful, but didn't go with anything I had.

3.) When shopping, take your pictures with you. That way, you can find the perfect embellishments to go with the theme rather than guessing or find the perfect coordinating paper for a particular colour. By doing this, you will buy what you need and save money in the long run.

4.) Your tools are your scrap lifeline. Invest in good tools when you start scrapping and they will last you a long time. I started with some excellent tools and some tools that weren't the best and needed to be replaced after about a year of use. I learned the hard way to invest in good tools up front. It seems like you're spending more on good tools, but this is going to be a one time investment rather than having to replace what you purchased 6-12 months ago and spending the same amount or more.

5.) Stay organized. The most important thing to me is to be organized. Clean up after each session and put things back in place when you're finished. This made the biggest difference to me and my scrapping. Organization should play a key no matter how big or small your scrap space may be. Take a look at the wealth of information in magazines and on-line regarding storage and organization and find what works for you.

Hopefully, this will help get you started and on your way to enjoying the best hobby ever!