Let’s face it – trends come and go in the craft industry. The must-haves change pretty quickly and one area where I find this particularly obvious is in my stamp stash. Since my storage space is at an extreme minimum, it’s important for me to keep a tight grip on the size of the stamp collection. Stamps – acrylic, unmounted and wood mounted rubber – take up a lot of craft room real estate and for me, need to be purged on a regular basis.
I admit, there are so many great ways to store them. I love the ‘binder with cling pages’ idea, in fact, I have one of my own:
I love the cd holder idea – there are some brands of un-mounted stamps that come in similar style cases. This example from the Delightful Order blog is very nice:
And I like the simplicity of these simple, flat, plastic packages that come from a kit club. I store these together in this small bin:
The problem is when they start to accumulate, they take up a lot of space regardless of their storage format. In addition, the wood mounted stamps can get heavy in large groups.
Since I store my stamps in an Ikea dresser, I always have a problem with the drawer bottoms bowing. So I need to be careful about adding to this part of the collection.
Another problem I have when there are too many; I lose track of what I have and don’t use them. Having that excess saps my creativity so keeping the stamp stash lean and mean is essential for me. Here is how I approach a purge:
Trends: The first category I focus on. Trendy imagery and shapes (like owls, hedgehogs, hexagons, chevrons, doilies, etc) usually don’t have ‘crafty’ staying power. I’m pretty ruthless here. If I haven’t used it in at least a year and it’s a trendy image, it has to go.
Sentiments/Words: As a cardmaker these are an essential in my stash but even they can become dated. I’m on the lookout for current and/or timeless fonts & phrases. I’m not above keeping the sentiment portion of a stamp set and purging the rest of the pieces for the sake of saving space. The binder pages are especially handy for keeping these all together in one place.
The ‘Basics': This category has more staying power. The are the lined journaling spots, classic shapes like hearts and arrows, etc. When I’m purging this group I’m thinking more about how much I’ve used them. Are they looking dated? Unless I have something specific in mind for a project and it’s been more than 2 years, I purge them.
And lastly, Condition: I have a few stamps (mostly acrylic) that I’ve used & abused so much that they no longer make a clean impression. If they are torn or no longer making a clean print, they need to go.
I’m ruthless but not to the point of removing the stuff I love. I keep some stamps just because they make me happy. I even keep them out where I can see them.
Regular purging of product helps me justify keeping my faves and adding new ones. In addition, reviewing the stamp stash on a regular basis, or any part of my stash for that matter, is a sure fire way to spark my creativity. Don’t be afraid to let go of the products that aren’t working for you. The manufacturers will keep making more!