The first choice is probably what kind of space do you have for your storage? Do you prefer vertical or horizontal storage; do you have room for only one type? Do you have desktop or tabletop space, cupboard space, drawer space or floor space? If you have more than one choice, the most convenient to your workspace should take top priority. However, the closest space to your workspace may not be the most practical for storage and/or easy access, so keep that in mind, as well.
The next thing you probably want to decide is how you prefer to have your paper stored and your preference for accessibility. Do you have enough paper to store it vertically – if not, depending on your form of vertical storage, it may bow under gravity. If you have a lot of paper, you might need to have more space to store it horizontally, so the weight of the paper doesn’t make removal of one sheet difficult or damaging. One thing not to take lightly is whether you gather your materials beforehand or if you use them directly from storage: right-hand or left-hand side, overhead or movable storage may make a big difference. Another big choice is mobility: do you attend many scrapbooking gatherings or parties? If you do this on a regular basis, you might want to look into a good-sized mobile storage unit that you can use at home or take along with you. If you go this route, make sure the unit you choose fits into your vehicle *and* is easy to get in and out of the seat, trunk or area you will be transporting it.
Scrapbooking tools and storage vary in price from “pocket change” to fairly expensive, but fortunately, there are plenty of choices for page storage for any budget:
One option on the lower end is hanging file folders. There are folders big enough (13.25″ x 14.75″) for your paper, starting at about $1.50 each. A very economical choice, especially if you already have a file cabinet or other hanging file storage container.
An inexpensive alternative for store-bought is to make your own from large cereal boxes; remove the cereal bag, a simple, angled cut and you’ve got instant vertical storage. Stack them close together and you can sort into colors and pattern styles.
There are also scrapbook-specific units in this style for sale. These are just under $20, and come with pouches and labels to coordinate your categorizing.
A slightly different variation on this is the portfolio-style, also with handle and portability. These last 2 styles also have the versatility of being either vertical or horizontal storage, thus a bit more flexibility in storing choices, though not as stackable as some of the other horizontal choices, such as stackable plastic trays. These can be adjusted to any number that suits you, added to as you need them, are lightweight and can be further divided by tabbed files or cut-to-fit posterboard or card stock. They can also be set up in various locations: floor, table/desk/counter top, shelf or cupboard.
Another vertical choice is drawer units. Plastic ones are lighter, usually cheaper and often stackable, which, again, expands your storage as needed. There are also wooden, metal and cardboard choices – whatever suits your needs. I love the plastic option below as they are lighter weight.
On the high end, for serious scrapbookers are cabinet storage/workstation choices. These can be beautiful pieces of furniture to add to your decor, and have amazing amounts of built-in storage. Many have doors that when closed, look like a cabinet, etagere or chiffonier. Some can be quite large and can even include a worktable.
Whatever you decide is your choice of storage, keep in mind that coordinating sheets by “type” or “color” or “occasion” might require dividers and thus more storage/space if you tend to have a lot of different types of patterns/pages on hand. Always remember that if your storage choices aren’t “scrapbook safe”, to protect them with the proper envelopes, folders and such.
Photo courtesy shimelle