First off - card storage. I'm going to combine both pre-folded cards and made cards into the same category here, since their storage options are pretty much identical. If you don't have a large stash, then they might even be able to be stored in the same container, which would be pretty sweet. Some options include:
A clip-it-up type system
Accordion file, by theme
3-ring binder with page protectors
A mini album
A box, bin or basket with divider tabs by theme
A Rolodex-type file
Once you determine your stash size and which method would best suit your card collection, it's time to decide how you want to organize them. For made cards, you can divide by theme (ie, birthday, thanks, get well, etc), by month (Valentines in Feb, etc), or by person (mom, dad, David Duchovny). For pre-folded cards, you can divide by size, color, or style. Figure out which system works best for you and start filing away!
For my cards - I used to use a clip-it-up, but I found it took up too much desktop space for my liking. So I just filed all my cards by theme into the cheap-o photo boxes from Hobby Lobby. The top won't fit because the cards are larger, but that's ok - it sits on my shelf just fine and is easy to flip through when I need to find a card. If I make multiples of the same card to use up scraps, then I file them together in a ziploc bag.
For my card supplies - I know it's beyond easy to fold a card from scrap paper, but I'm addicted to the pre-folded cards in boxes! I have a cabinet devoted to my card making supplies and instead of shelves, I have 2 large bins that pull out. I cut the tops off all the boxes of cards and stacked them in there. All I have to do is grab the color of card I want and the matching envelope, and I'm good to go!
In closing, I want to add my 10 rules for organizing. I'm going to post these at the end of every challenge, because I think that they are very, very important. I want you to keep them in mind as you tackle each of these projects - they will make your life easier and the task less daunting.
1. Label your containers.
2. Be consistent in your methods.
3. Don't be too specific - your search for your items within your space should be short and simple.
4. Your organizational method should be easy to take out AND put away.
5. When organizing, break any large piles into smaller groupings. Have a 2 foot tall stack of paper to sort? Do it in 1" high chunks, it will be easier to handle mentally.
6. If it's something that you use on almost every project, then keep it within reach of your main scrap area.
7. Don't stress your containers. Get a new system or purge your stash.
8. For most items, product packaging adds bulk. Toss it. One exception - rub ons.
9. Repurpose when you can - almost anything can be painted or covered in paper/fabric.
10. THE GOLDEN RULE - FIRST choose an organizational method, THEN choose a container that fits your space and style. Always shop for containers with a list in hand - a beautiful container is simply clutter if it doesn't have a dedicated purpose in your space!
Your cards are all neat and ready to go! Join me next week for our grand finale - we're going to turn your neatly-organized scrap hole into a vision of creative grandeur! Ok, maybe not so much, but you won't feel like tossing your cookies every time you walk in there. See you then!