OMG! I recall way back when I had two relatively small bins – one for patterned paper and one for cardstock. It was easy – I had things arranged more or less by colour, along the ROYGBIV spectrum, and they were in hanging folders (the US legal size, so a bit of the paper extended from the top, on view), very easy to flip thru. The box was about 20 inches wide, so the papers were staggered, so in any folder I could see an inch or two of all the papers in that folder. The two things happened: I got way too much paper and paper manufacturers started putting out double-sided paper and card.
So while struggling with my papers yesterday I sat, immobilized by indecision, for way too long. I kept trying to recreate the easy system I had but hit the wall every time. Colour didn’t work when one side was multicoloured stripes and the other pale dots!
That also rules out another of my organizational plans, having things loosely organized by style of pattern (stripe, swirl, floral, dot, grid, text, etc.) because that is sort of how I tend to pull papers. mixing usually something linear (lined, grid, stripe) with something softer (floral or swirl) and something that reads solid (smudges, faded dots like the one above or ink spray or just cardstock)
I thought about organizing it into manufacturer, as any paper line by any maker will coordinate, but that makes for pretty run of the mill layouts. I prefer to mix things up across lines – plus in some cases I may have only a couple of papers from a give maker or line.
In the end, after stopping and starting and sorting and re-sorting for about an hour, I finally decided that the only thing that made sense FOR ME (and this is totally a personal thing) was to make up KITS of papers that I think will work together according to my own preferences. Given that much of my papers originally came in kit form and I immediately split them out, used bits, left others in a pile, it would have been a lot easier to leave them all in kit form – although I may not agree with the combos, so maybe that isn’t the answer either. The leftover bits I just am trying to sort in general patterns or “style”. What I hope will happen is when I have my photos by the paper array I will find a “kit” that I like (or maybe two) and then go to my scrap bins or stray papers and browse this smaller collection for stuff to fill in. It may not work, but I just have NO IDEA what else to do. I might as well give this a shot, at least till I get frustrated with it!
Here is one of the “kits”:
It has all the elements I feel would work well together, I like the colours, and I think I should be able to find photos that work well.
A real added bonus is weeding out stuff I know I will NEVER use and familiarizing myself with what I have. Like I’ll actually remember individual papers…HA!
So the sorting continues. I may finish one day….