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die organization

Remember when the Papertrey Ink dies came out? Remember when the senior design team shared how we all organized our die collections (the April 2010 senior design team challenge)? You might remember that this is how I had been storing my dies...


This wasn't the perfect solution for a system then, and I knew it. The dies slid out of the binders a little too easily. I paid attention to how others were organizing dies online. The magnetic boards inside cupboard doors would be great, but my craft area doesn't have cupboards. Some sort of filing system would be great and I started organizing this way a couple of times... In not that long, my die collection looked like this:


Not exactly efficient for finding dies I wanted to use when I needed them. A filing system wasn't going to work. So I kept looking for and working on a solution and now I have finally found something that works! Let me share what I did as well as the process I used to sort and organize all of the dies...


I paid a visit to my local office supply store - Office Max - not too long ago and was browsing in the aisle that had binders. I spied the line called [IN]PLACE and noticed that the line includes some binder pocket inserts that zip closed. There is a larger pocket and also a smaller pocket that has divided pockets. (I noticed that there are some reviews on the site that complain about getting the stickers off of the pockets. I was able to remove the stickers on the ones I bought. If there was any residue, I was able to rub it off with my fingers.)

I started by organizing the larger dies first to put into the larger pockets... I made piles by category: borders, favor it boxes, envelopes, etc.


I used some regular white labels to write out the categories to attach to the pockets.


How much easier is this going to be to page through the pockets in the binders to find what I need?


And then, the smaller dies. There are SO MANY! I did the same thing as I did with the larger ones and sorted them out into collections and themes.


The smaller pockets are perfect for storing the smaller dies and collections together. Here you can see that Wonderful Words, By the Numbers, and Friendship jars dies are all tucked into the pockets and grouped in their collections. 


I labeled the little pockets with the white labels as well - I had to refer back to the Papertrey site to make sure I had identified the dies right! When everything was thrown together in a box, there were dies that were a complete mystery to me as to what they were.


When I put the smaller dies into the pockets, I sorted everything not only into their collections, but also in themes in the pockets as well. This particular pocket is the Christmas/winter themed dies. I got some tabs (these Avery brand tabs) to add to the pages so paging through the binder will be even easier when I am looking for a particular die.


So now, 2 binders contain my entire die collection. Right now, there is room to add more and when I need to, I can add another binder.


Having everything organized and easy to see will make creating easier and get rid of some of frustration of finding the dies I want to use.


So I went from my die collection looking like this, to this:


A definite improvement.