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Budget Friendly Paper Storage Options

Ah, I have just enough time left in the morning to wish you a good morning! Five minutes to spare. Phew! The morning just flew by- and now I’m here spending time with you!

If you’re anything like me, finding ways to store your craft supplies is hard. Especially if you’re looking for budget friendly (meaning cheap or FREE!!) storage solutions. As more supplies are added to my arsenal, finding inventive ways to store it all in one place becomes challenging. As a result, what I store items in changes and evolves over time to make more room for things and free up space elsewhere. Other times, its finding something else that just makes sense.

Storing my paper has been one of those challenges. There are so many options to consider when storing your paper! Do you store horizontally, vertically, by color, by theme, by collection, all together, separately, do you divide them…the list goes on. Those are some of the things that run through my mind when brainstorming ideas. The monkey wrench: not having shelving in my craft room! I have a very eclectic collection of hand- me- down pieces of furniture from my parents, my mother in law, and even a teensy little table that a previous homeowner (that we bought a house from) left behind. If you’re lucky enough to own your own shelving system from Ikea, Canadian Tire, or another office type store, consider yourself very lucky! If you’re like me, and have a small space (or a bedroom, like I’m lucky enough to have), but don’t own the furniture you’re dreaming of having to make your life easier, then read on! This may help you! (I hope, at least!)

Obviously, the option we’re left with is making the best of the situation we’ve been dealt. Right? That’s all we can really do; make lemonade from the lemons in your life. I’ve concluded that the bottom line is deciding what works best for me. Your job is to do the same for you. Even if you have all of the furniture and storage options, you’ve got to find something that jives with how you operate and do things, otherwise you’ll be left searching, looking for another epic way to store your craft items. Often times, that becomes a work in progress, because our tastes change, we realize something isn’t working, we’ve added more to our stash, maybe you’ve moved…the list can go on and on.

Happily, though, I think I’ve stumbled upon a system of storing paper that works perfectly for me. Because I’m a home business owner, finding a way to keep my current papers separated from the retired ones became a new challenge. Even if you’re not a business owner, this might be an option to consider, too. Especially if you’re a nerd for organization, like me. Side note: until recently, I was a believer in keeping everything I purchased from CTMH. While the deepest part of me would seriously love to keep everything, my craft room would love to beg otherwise. So, I sell some stuff, and organize the rest better.

I don’t remember where I dreamed up the storage idea I implemented for my card stock (see below), but it was a sheer stroke of genius. Truthfully, I think I saw something similar on Pinterest, and wondered why a person couldn’t just build them, rather than buying them. I’m uber lucky to have a dad that’s handy with wood!

He built me these storage boxes from left over wood he had lying around his shop. The dividers the paper lies on pulls out, and as you can see, it makes for a lot of room to add paper! Until you decide that some of the paper you own needs to go (for whatever reason- mine was to de-stash and make more room), I hadn’t thought of labelling the sides of the boxes until this latest batch of CTMH card stock retired. Then- Uh oh. I had a problem. I didn’t know what some of the colours were!

Enter my label maker. Everything is now organized, labelled clearly (certain colors are still a mystery to me- there’s one that I just can’t figure out what color it is), and just the way I like it. No more getting confused, or sitting staring blankly at my computer screen when I’m trying to blog about the latest papers and colors I used!

Did you notice that some of the stickers aren’t staying put very well? It kind of annoys me (truth be told), but I’m relieved to say that they are not permanently attached! If I need to replace that color with something else, they’ll be easy to change. Phew! (And, look at that- more room to grow! There’s some empty slots there! Seeing some empty space makes my heart happy!)

For a long time, now, I’ve used a legal-size hanging file folder system to store my patterned papers from CTMH. Recently, I decided to separate the current patterned papers from the retired ones. The retired papers I just can’t bear to part with, so I had to find a solution to store them and make room for them. I thought about this option for some time. I looked for ideas on Pinterest, I looked at storage boxes and filing cabinets, and eventually found a great idea that was posted to one of the CTMH group pages I belong to on Facebook. I don’t have what this person used. I had even pondered using 31- style boxes for storing my paper, but ultimately settled on the best deal of all: things I already had at home. It isn’t pretty, or glamorous, but it works. That’s all a girl can ask for, right?

As I mentioned, I don’t own what this person used to store her papers (It looked like a filing cabinet drawer on casters. And, it was full. #paperstoragegoals LOL) My tall upright filing cabinet has two empty drawers at the bottom. I tried that first. I couldn’t close the drawer because the paper is too tall. (12×12). My little filing cabinet is broken- neither drawer has the rails in it to hang file folders from. And, I’d run into the same problem with the little filing cabinet- the paper is too tall. Hmm. I shopped at Walmart and pondered the storage options they had there. I wasn’t interested in spending money if I didn’t have to. I finally settled on trying my Bankers Boxes, (they usually come in a set of three, which is what I have), and which has been collecting dust since we moved into this house. (October will be 7 years, in case you were wondering). Surprise! It works!

If you’re a part of any of my groups on Facebook, you’ll have heard me refer to my scrap paper Sterilite drawers that I use for scrap paper storage. I probably have mentioned it here once or twice, as well. There was enough room under my little work table to store my Bankers Boxes next to my Sterilite storage boxes, and still work comfortably. (No pictures yet of my work table. Its currently a mess because I’m mid- workshop planning!) The hanging file folders fit neatly over the edges of the box, and the paper fits comfortably inside. The lid doesn’t fit on the top of the box (of course, paper is sticking out of it!), but it doesn’t need to. I put the lid on the bottom of the box, should I ever need it. (Also, as you can see, not all the paper in there is CTMH. There’s one giant paper pack that I can’t part with from Michaels, and a paper pad gift I got from Creative Scrapbooker Magazine.) My plan is to utilize a different file folder for a different collection. When I need to purchase more file folders (note that they are legal size, not letter size), I can pick up another pack from Walmart for a decent price. You can, too! Or, don’t use the hanging file folders. Nothing is set in stone. I like using it because it keeps the paper together, in one place, and neat looking. Someone else may just opt to throw their paper in a box willy- nilly, and carry on with their day. More power to them if thats how they roll!

This is how the file folder storage system should look (when you purchase the entire system, not just the file folders):

The black case and file folders all came together for one nifty price. (Check your local Walmart for them). I’ve had this filing system for a number of years. It began as my card stock storage (see, evolution at its finest!!), which is why you see a half circle (homemade) tab that’s coloured orange. I abandoned that idea a long time ago, but kept using the storage system for paper- now patterned paper, not card stock. (I also use this idea elsewhere in my house- one for storing the current years’ pay stubs, bills, receipts, and medical expenses to include with our taxes because of my husbands’ health issues; and a second for storing gymnastics board stuff. It works well. When the year is out, I empty the one that stores pay stubs and bills and start over! (They go into the large filing cabinet in my office).

In the picture above, you can see that I left the paper in the plastic bag it comes in from CTMH. My plan is to leave them that way so when they are moved over to the retired filing box, the sticker on the front of the package will tell me what’s inside that bag! Genius! This idea dawned on me after the fact, so that’s why they are not in a plastic bag in the Bankers Box picture above.

So, there you have it, my paper storage ideas in one neat blog post. Did you find this information helpful and useful? Not everyone is going to find this method of storing paper beneficial for their needs, but that’s ok. The beauty of sharing this information is providing people with options and ideas, because you just never know when the ideas presented here will work for someone else. I’d love to see how you store your paper, and what you love about it!

I just have to make a disclaimer- CTMH does carry paper storage items, and they are phenomenal storage ideas, as well. I couldn’t draft this post without sharing what they offer, as well. While I would like to add what they carry one day, right now I’m more focussed on using what’s on hand. If I had a million dollars at my disposal, I’d be all over all the storage options, LOL! I’m making lemonade from lemons. Remember that ❤

Don’t you love how sleek and classy this paper tray looks from CTMH?! It fits a 12×12.5×2 inch stack of patterned papers or card stock, its stackable, and perfect for storing your papers within arms reach. The best part is, there’s an entire system of storage options that coordinate with it, too! Think pen storage, ink storage, washi tape storage (oh, yes!!), and more! There’s boxes, too, for your ink pads and stamps! (Watch the new catalog for new storage boxes from CTMH).

If this looks like something you’d like to give a whirl, let me know! I can get it ordered for you, or you can do it yourself by visiting my CTMH website. While this item is available to customers across all our markets, I can only offer this to Canadian residents. Sorry. If you are located outside of Canada, you can search for the consultant nearest you via my website. (In America, New Zealand and Australia).

Thanks for joining me today!

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