As I get a new set it gets stamped into the book and labeled accordingly and then gets put on my shelf. It was alot of work when I started this system, but now it's really easy to keep up with it. The hard part in the beginning was the time that putting it together consumed.
Here is where my system comes into play. Take for example when I was making my niece's graduation card the other day, as I said before I didn't remember having a graduation stamp. So I opened the book and started flipping through. I came to the Every Occasion category and my Year After Year set from SU.
As you will see, it's listed in the book as Year After Year, Every Occasion # 7 (which means it's the 7th set I have in that category) and then set of 8 (because there's 8 stamps in the set) and that it's a Stampin Up set. (The brand of stamp, is important and I'll show you why in a minute.) I saw that there was a graduation cap in the set. Perfect!
So now I had to find the set. So I go to my shelf, and I know from what my book has labeled that I am looking for a Stampin Up set, color category orange for Every Occasions, set # 7.Look! There it is! It took me literally less then 10 seconds to find it. Since I knew what color category I was looking for and what set # it was.
Now, the reason I put the brand is because different brands are stored differently. All of my SU sets are all mounted on wood blocks, so I know if it's an SU set that I am looking only in the SU plastic cases. My unmounted sets are all kept in either CD cases or DVD cases. It just cuts down on the looking time if I know the brand I am looking for with how I have them stored.
Here is a shot of my TAC sets so you know what I'm talking about. Some of these cases have more then 1 set in them so you'll see that those cases have 2 labels.Here is a shot of my single stamps. They are all on my top shelf and are at the back of the book. That way if I choose a single stamp I know where they are located too.
Is this system complex? I don't think so, but some may. It works for me though. It sure has cut down on the time it takes to find a set to use. Before I started doing this I found that I would be standing at my shelf for sometimes 30-45 minutes just pulling out sets and looking for the ones I wanted to use. Now that I have this system it has cut down that time drastically. I will look through the book and in less then a minute find the set I want and then it takes me around 5-15 seconds tops to find that set on the shelf. So in less then a minute I'm stamping rather then it taking 30-45 minutes to even start a card.
So there you have it! Clear as mud? I hope I didn't confuse you all too much and that this makes sense. Like I said, the most time consuming part is when you start the system having to stamp every set into the book by category and then labeling the set and the book. But once you have all your currently owned sets done, it's fairly easy to keep it up as you add new sets to your collection. :)