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Cardstock Organization Tips

Updated on March 6, 2020
linfcor profile image

Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.

Best Tips To Store Cardstock

It is a fact that if you are a scrapbook artist or a paper crafter, you are going to get a large collection of paper and paper scraps ! I know that as sure as I know the sun will rise every morning. And more than that, I know that if your stash is not organized, you will get frustrated and waste time trying to find just the right piece of paper for that special page or layout. Avoid the frustration and take a few minutes to get your paper supplies in order. I guarantee you will enjoy your craft time 100 % more after you finish this project.

There are as many ways to store craft paper as there are people who use it. There is no one right answer to your storage system, only the one that right for you. Before you get started get your paper organized, you need to determine the amount of space that you have available for these supplies. Your decision on which system to use will depend on the amount of space that you have. From a small space in a bookcase to a closet area, there is a system that's right for you, so let's get started !

Step One-Open Or Closed System

So the first decision that you need to make is if you want an open system where you can see your paper or are you the type of person who wants to have it stored i a closed system like a cabinet. I am a visual person, so I like to see my paper.

If you have large enough drawers, the standard sizes of paper can be stored in a file drawer system.
If you have large enough drawers, the standard sizes of paper can be stored in a file drawer system.

Options For Paper Storage

Your options for storing your paper will depend on the amount of space that you have available. Before you get started measure the amount of space that you have.

If you are limited in space, then the file box is the right system for you. There are mobile boxes that can be moved and carried. This kind of system is good for those who have a limited amount of paper.

The file drawer system is perfect for smaller paper (anything less than 12" x 12 ") You can use a file drawer system for your smaller paper as well as any scraps the you might collect. There are also file drawer systems for 12 x 12 inch papers that roll around on wheels.

There are cubes and upright open systems that run from small to a complete wall system.

People store their paper in all kinds of ways. The most important thing for you is to find the system that works for you in your space.

Step 1- Look At Your Stash

Lay it all out and see what you have !

So you know that your scrapbook paper in really unorganized and it's a pain to find what you need. So, it's time to take action. Your first step is to gather all your paper and see exactly what you have. Separate the scraps from the whole sheets. Gather your mats and smaller sheets and pile them up by size.

The first thing to consider is where and how much space that you have available. Are you going to store your paper in a desk drawer or on a bookcase? Do you have room in a closet for a standup file system ? Or are you limited to a single file carrying case? Once you have decided where and how much space you have available, it's time to move forward.

Now you have to decide how you are going to separate them. You can decide to separate them by color or by the kind of paper you have. You should, if possible, store your scraps of paper in a separate filing area or space. You can file by color. You can file patterned paper separately. You can break patterned paper down into florals, strips, by season or holiday. Again, it's up to you , depending on your space. There is no perfect system. There is only the one that's right for you

Purging Paper

If you have been a crafter for any length of time, then you know how easy it is to collect paper. We all do it. We have pieces of paper in our stash that we save. We all say the same thing. " Some day I will use that paper". So it gets moved and left in a stack an then we forget all about it.

Or worse yet, we have little bits of printed paper that has been ripped or partially used and we justify keeping it for that one time where we say to ourselves we will need it. Well, in my book, it's just occupying space. If you haven't used a piece of paper after 2-3 years, more than likely you won't.

Purging your paper stash just means getting rid of paper that you know you will never use for anything else. For example, I don't have pets, so there is no reason for me to have any pet paper. If you haven't used it, it's time to part ways with it. It means that your craft life will be less cluttered.

Recently I spoke to a crafter who had purged her paper stash. She said that she had gotten rid of three bags of paper. It was crumpled. torn or only had bits left. She said that after she purged her paper stash, she felt like a new person . Just something to consider.

Stacked pizza boxes are a great recycling project fir storing card stock. You could cover the tops and sides with patterned paper. The great thing about this project is you can customize the height to fit your needs.
Stacked pizza boxes are a great recycling project fir storing card stock. You could cover the tops and sides with patterned paper. The great thing about this project is you can customize the height to fit your needs.

Store By Color Or Store By Size

It's Your Choice

Some people think in colors so they like to keep all their paper stored by color. Others like to sort by paper size. I would suspect that most people sort with a combination of both these . For the most part, I keep my 12 x 12 paper in one storage unit. It's filed by color and the patterned paper is all together. MY 8 x 10 paper is stored in a file box and sorted in color also. My scraps are stored in a vertical file drawer system. What choice you make for your filing is dependent on how much paper you have and what kind. And of course the amount of room you have to store it plays a big factor.

How To Make Your Own Cropper Hopper

If you have the room, store your colored paper on one shelf and your patterned paper on another. Visually pleasing and makes things easier to find

The Rainbow Color System

Most people store their cardstock and other papers on a shelf. The best way to organize your paper is to store it by color. I keep al my colors together in one location on one shelf. I keep them in paper holders by color. I also keep my scraps in the same location by color. That way when I want a specific color I only have to go to one space and one section. Keeps things tidy and simple. When I need to shop, I know exactly how much of each color I have.

Storing Patterned Paper

Store By Manufacturer, Collection, or Theme

Now we get to your patterned paper. If you are a die hard crafter as I am, you probably have a lot of different patterned paper. Usually for me, a purchase a paper stack that is either in a special color group, a theme ( like Christmas), A collection of paper that all goes together, or a special kind of paper like glitter, parchment, or burlap. Paper stacks actually give you the most for your money. So what to do with all those pretty papers?

For me, I like to keep my patterned paper with my colors. That way I can coordinated a patterned paper with the color I need

Once again, how you store these papers is dependent on the space that you have available

Paper can also be stored in easy to find and reasonably priced bins
Paper can also be stored in easy to find and reasonably priced bins

Sorting Patterned Paper By Theme Or Category

Sorting by theme is probably the easiest to use of all the systems. You sort by what the paper is or has the most of. You simply make a list of all the themes or categories that will work for you. You sort the paper into piles and file it away. Then when you are looking for a specific type of patterned paper, it will all be there for you in one location. Here are some themes or categories you can use.

  • Babies
  • Birthday
  • Butterflies
  • Children
  • Christmas
  • Flowers
  • Pets
  • Plaids
  • Polka Dots
  • Stripes
  • Swirls
  • Vacations
  • Weddings

Advantus Crafts Cropper Hopper Easy Access Paper Holder Black CH92579
Advantus Crafts Cropper Hopper Easy Access Paper Holder Black CH92579
This system in perfect ! You can add units to it as you go along. I use it to store 8 x 10 " paper. It holds a lot of paper and is sturdy. I have had the cardboard versions of this type of storage and they did not hold up. This unit will last a lifetime.

Vertical Storage Systems

One option for your paper storage system is a vertical file. Lots of crafters like this option because it keeps your paper clean, tidy and organized. I also use the vertical system for storing my scraps. I file them by color and subject in vertical files in a desk drawer system. Staying organized gives me more time to craft ! This system is great for anyone who wants to store their paper on a desk top. Or if you have limited space, this option can be used in a bookcase.

This system uses a closet sweater storage unit in a closet. Perfect idea if you have the storage space
This system uses a closet sweater storage unit in a closet. Perfect idea if you have the storage space

Storing Your Scrap Paper

I never throw away any paper until it's down to very little tiny bits -almost like confetti. I believe in being a responsible crafter. That means for economic reasons as well as environmental reasons, I use all my paper to it's max. So I have bits that I use for borders, flowers, frames, mats, ect. The nest question is how to store them

I have a desk in my craft room that has two deep drawers that I use for paper storage. One drawer holds my paper scraps. In this case, I file by color in hanging folders. This makes my crafting so easy. I just dip into my scrap drawer and get exactly the color I need.

You might be able to find an old file drawer at a yard sale. You can find well priced plastic drawer systems at the box office supply stores that will also hold hanging folders.

If your space is limited, use a file drawer that comes with folders in them. I promise you that using this idea will save you a lot of frustration, time and money

When you get a new collection of pad paper, write on the edge of the pad the name of the collection and store your collections together

More Scrapbook Paper Storage Ideas

Zip Lock Bags- Perfect Paper Storage Tool

Two gallon zip lock bags are the perfect choice for storing scraps of paper

Vertical File Cart

Seville Classics Large 10-Drawer Multipurpose Mobile Rolling Utility Storage Organizer Cart, White
Seville Classics Large 10-Drawer Multipurpose Mobile Rolling Utility Storage Organizer Cart, White
This is my unit of choice. It has lots of drawers and plenty of storage for all your paper storage. You have enough room to store all the standard colors of paper. You can also make labels for the drawers. It is very sturdy and will fit into most standard closet spaces. The wheels make this unit very portable.

Horizontal Paper Filing System - Another Scrapbook Paper Storage idea

The horizontal system for storing your scrapbook paper is another option. This type of system is great for anyone who has vertical room and wants an immediate view and access to their stash. It allows a lot of storage area. The closed system will keep your papers cleaner, but the open system actually allows you to see what you have

Using A File Box Or A Filing Cabinet

A file box or a filing cabinet is another option for storing your card stock. You can use them for your 8.5 " by 11" papers. You can also use both of them to store your scrap paper. File them by color in hanging folders with labels attached at the top.

Expanding hanging folder are perfect because things seem to stay in place easier.

You cab often find them in thrift stores, so keep on the lookout for them.

Three Ring Binders And Page Protectors

Using three ring binders make so much sense for your paper storage. You can set up a system where you have the binders in the color to match your paper. Use the page protectors to hold the paper. You can easily add divider pages for the different hues of the same color. It would be very neat in your craft space to see these lined up on a shelf.

They would not however hold your 12" by 12" paper. For that, you can use scrapbooks in the 12" by 12" size. Again, you could sort your paper by color. using page protectors.

How you use this system depends on your personal needs.

What Is Your System For Scrapbook Paper Storage? - Do you have a system to store your paper?

We're just wondering how many people have their stash of paper organized. I know that it took me a while to get things the way that I wanted them. But what a huge difference it made in the amount of time that I had to craft. I spent less time looking for just the right paper and more time enjoying myself. So how about you? Are your papers organized?

Do you have a sytem for storing your scrapbook paper?

See results

My Craft Room Has Become Organized- My Story

It took a lot of effort, but was well worth it !

Two years ago, I married the love of my life and moved into my current house. I was very blessed to get a room just for my crafting. Now the task was to get all the stuff I had moved into some kind of order. Boxes and boxes sat in that room for a few months, while I tried to figure it all out. The first thing I actually did was to get my paper organized,

I used storage containers that I had. I decided that for me, I would organize my paper by color. Then I placed my printed paper in two containers. Eventually, I hope to get that paper even sorted out.

Next on my agenda was to sort out a box of scraps. As any papercrafter knows, we never throw out scraps. But I needed a system to sort those scraps out. So in my desk, I set up a vertical file system for my scraps by color, by season, also have a separate one for stripes, florals, dark and light prints.

I can't begin to tell you how doing this has affected my craft time ! I find exactly what I need ! I spend less time searching and more time being creative !!!!!!

Tip For Choosing A Paper Storage Unit

Always read the description of the paper storage unit that you are looking at, Make sure the storage unit you are considering will fit in the space that you have. Read the reviews, if there are any. Then make your choice !

Final Thought

A card stock storage system is only a good one if it is one that you will use. The system that you chose will depend on the space that you have and the amount of paper that you own. Your system may change as the amount of paper that you have will grow, so be flexible. The whole point is that getting your paper organized can be very rewarding. It will save you time, and you will always know where that special sheet of paper is when you need it.

© 2013 Linda F Correa

How Do You Store Your Scrapbook Paper ? - We'd love to hear your ideas

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    • linfcor profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda F Correa 

      5 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      Sounds like you are doing well with your organization ! What I do is organize my paper by the rainbow....all colors together. Then I organize my patterned paper by theme. That way it makes it easy to locate what I need. Each theme has a divider

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I bought racks for my 12x12 pads. i have a cube storage form my 6x6 and small pads. i bought flynt magazine holders from ikea for my 8x11 storage. for my scraps i bought a Helmer file cabinet from Ikea about 40 bucks and it has 7 drawers in it and fits perfectly under my desk for easy access.

    • linfcor profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda F Correa 

      5 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      Thank you. I am always on the lookout for new ways to store my stash

    • peachpurple profile image


      5 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i do not have that many stock cards or paper. But your tips are pretty useful for my other craft supplies. Thanks

    • linfcor profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda F Correa 

      6 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      What a great husband you have to help you with that

    • linfcor profile imageAUTHOR

      Linda F Correa 

      6 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      @cre8ivebydesgn: I love your idea. I am going to invest in some units that make my paper a little handier in the near future. My dream.....the big unit in the armoire !

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I sort my paper by color, then I got cardboard magazine holders to hold my scraps, also by color, and then some by pattern. My husband installed cabinets so that I could "hide" all my stuff. It works great and I'm so thankful it's not out in the open anymore looking cluttery.


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