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How To Sort and Store A HUGE Ephemera Stash!

If you have been collecting ephemera in your craft room for years like I have, you might find these tips and tricks for storing a HUGE ephemera stash super helpful!

How To Sort and Store A HUGE Ephemera Stash!

Why I Wrote This Post

I am a craft supplies junkie… I AM that person who has a crafting habit AND a collecting craft supplies habit! When Tim Holtz comes out with a new type of ephemera, well just take my money because I LOVE IT ALL!

That said, I do use a lot of it, but there is no way to use it up as fast as it comes in, and also, when I don't what I have already I tend to buy more even if I don't actually need it.

I have been organizing my craft room this year and this was the very last thing that I had to get a good solution for!

Sorting Your Ephemera Video

Ephemera Storage Considerations

I have thoughts about how to store ephemera and the problems I have encountered in the past!

  1. Volume and Variety: My collection includes everything from Tim Holtz vintage ephemera paper dolls and quotes to photographs and fabric pieces. The vast volume and variety made finding a one-size-fits-all solution for storage and organization quite difficult.
  2. Visibility and Accessibility: One of my main goals was to ensure that all items were visible and easily accessible. I've learned from past experiences that if I can't see what I have, I'm less likely to use it effectively in my projects. Previous storage solutions failed because they didn't allow for easy visibility or access.
  3. Categorization: Deciding how to categorize the ephemera was a significant challenge. I had to figure out which items should be grouped together and how to categorize them in a way that made sense for my crafting process. This included decisions like splitting categories by size (e.g., large vs. medium backgrounds) or theme (e.g., flora and fauna).
  4. Storage Space: Finding a storage solution that fit my available space while still being functional was crucial. I needed to ensure that the storage boxes could be conveniently placed in my crafting room for easy access during projects.
  5. Future Expansion: It was important that my organization system was flexible enough to accommodate future additions to my ephemera collection. This meant leaving room for new items and possibly re-categorizing as my collection evolved.
  6. Personal Organizing Style: A significant challenge was finding a system that matched my personal organizing style. I identify as a “visual organizer” who prefers large categories and needs to see items to remember to use them. This preference heavily influenced my choice of storage solutions and categorization methods.
  7. Avoiding Over-Organization: I aimed to avoid creating a system that was so detailed it became cumbersome to use. I sought a balance between being organized and maintaining flexibility in how items were stored and accessed.
  8. Decision Fatigue: The process of sorting through and making decisions about each item, such as whether to keep it, which category it belongs to, and where it should be stored, was mentally taxing.

Past storage solutions I have tried include using a Snap Flipbook (which has fancy page protectors) and a giant bin (this one did not work at all).

Here is the total amount of space the two storage boxes takes up!

How To Sort and Store A HUGE Ephemera Stash!

Sorting and Organizing Ephemera Into Categories

I don't have a great “everyone” system, but this is how I decided to categorize my types of ephemera…

  • Flora and Fauna: Birds, flowers, and Easter-themed items.
  • Round Things: Gears and circles.
  • Architectural and Curtains: Frames, mirrors, and chipboard items.
  • Background Size Ephemera: Divided into large and medium sizes.
  • Tags and Borders: Including actual tags and border designs.
  • Bitsy Things: Small items used frequently in art. Ephemera Storage Solution

I decided on using 2 sets of the – Clear Craft Storage Box – with 6 Tabbed Dividers and 15 Pack Medium Storage Envelopes to store my ephemera. (this is an affiliate link, I will earn a wee bit of money if you purchase through my link!)

I think this will work great for a few different reasons:

  • I have used plastic envelopes for years, just not in this kind of structured way!
  • I can sort them into categories, but not have too detailed a system
  • They are clear so I can see exactly what is in each envelope
  • I love that I can take out sections of the box to make bigger or smaller areas

Ephemera Storage Box Wrapup

Thinking back on the organization process, I realized it took much less time than I had anticipated. I thought it would take hours and hours, ultimately it took about an hour and a half.

I ended up using two boxes for organization, which helped me categorize my items based on their frequency of use.

The first box was designated for items I don't use daily.

This included my paper ephemera collection of paper dolls, photo booth pictures, fake photographs, name things, silver chips, circles, flora and fauna, among various other categories. It was a way to keep these less frequently used items organized yet out of the way, ensuring they didn't clutter my workspace.

The second box was reserved for items I find myself reaching for more frequently.

This box is filled with colorful things, fabric, tissue paper, transparencies, and items I've made myself. It also houses my collection of borders and tags, medium and large backgrounds, tags, stamps, and tiny ephemera.

The rationale behind this organization was to aim for efficiency and ease of access during my crafting projects. By having these items more accessible, I can streamline my creative process, making it easier to find what I need when inspiration strikes.

This method of organization not only saves time but also makes the crafting experience more enjoyable, as I'm not constantly searching for materials.

How To Sort and Store A HUGE Ephemera Stash!