It’s a dilemma we all face as scrapbookers:
What do I do with all the paper scraps?
Over the years, I have tried different storage options for scrap paper storage. I’ve tried the hanging file folders but the folders were never the right size to hold 12 inch long paper scraps. Every time I would reach for a file, paper was always falling out and would bulge at the bottom.
I also tried the big 12×12 box where I would toss scraps. With that system, the scraps were never seen again because the box was so disorganized I couldn’t even look at it. I also tried keeping the scraps in the Cropper Hopper folders along with my 12×12 sheets of paper, but the folders soon bulged with scraps, so that didn’t last long.
In the end simplicity is what has worked for me. I was shopping at Walmart one day and down the storage isle I found this Sterilite bin. The dimensions looked about right (it’s about 13 inches wide by 11 inches tall). I suddenly had the idea of putting my scraps in page protectors and “filing” them upright. It works perfectly.
This has been my storage solution for several years and I actually use it every time I scrapbook. I just divided my paper scraps up by color and put them in some old, beat up 12×12 page protectors. I have a second bin for my pattern paper scraps.
When I’m scrapbooking and trimming paper, any scrap that is large enough goes directly into it’s color page protector. This bin sits right behind my work station. Anytime I’m going to die cut something or cut a title with my Silhouette, I reach here and try to find scraps first.
One of the questions I see scrapbookers ask when it comes to paper scraps is, how big (or small) should a scrap be to keep?
I can only speak to what I do — I personally do not save super small pieces. I will keep a strip of paper (no matter how tall it is) if it’s at least 12 inches long. I can use that as a border on a layout. If a scrap is at least 2 inches wide (or wide enough for my smallest dies/shapes), I keep it no matter how long it is. If it’s a 7 inch strip and but less than 2 inches high, I toss it.
One of my best tips in terms of storage is that if it’s something you use all the time, make sure it’s easily accessible. That’s one of the reasons I think this works so well for me. I just reach for one of these plies, bring the color I need directly to my workspace, pull what I need and easily put away what I don’t use. The scraps stay organized and contained.
I also think it’s important to purge your paper scraps a couple of times a year. When I have a hard time sliding the page protectors in and out of this bin, I know it’s time to purge and toss the scraps I’ll never use.
So do you have the perfect scrap paper storage solution? What is working for you?