Tuesday, January 27, 2015

It's in the papers - Day 27 of 31 days of organizing minis

Today is paper day - paper I use and how I store it.
I have already talked about wallpaper so I won't discuss that here - I am talking about the paper we print on, clippings we might save, magazines, books, instructions, or other misc paper.
First, I think that it is very important that if we are including it in our minis that it be archival quality.  What this is means is it won't turn color or cause other damage later due to the acids in the material.  For example, newsprint will turn yellow over time.  Most copy paper is ok but it is always good to check the label of paper one is buying - is it acid and lignin free?  If it is not or unsure then think about it before buying.  It may be ok and just not labeled that way. 
Second, when it comes to paper and color, sun is likely to cause fading.  (This is also true of other colors on objects such as from paint.)  So for our paper, we should protect it from the sun both before and after we use it.

Storing paper
My printing paper is stored in a open shelf that I picked up second hand.  My plain copy paper - which I like to get a bright white so get best vibrancy, is stored open but in the package (I unwrap part of it).  My higher quality paper that I like to do special printing on comes in boxes and I leave it in the boxes until I use it.
I also have some photo paper - again stored in the original box to protect from light.
A sorter like this could be made using wood, but plastic stackable trays works great as well. I prefer a sorter of sort, so that I don't have to unstack to get to whatever. Of course paper could go in file folders or hanging folders as well.

For my printed papers - notes and instructions and receipts, I use a file box.  There are a myriad of options out there.  I like this one because it latches and has a handle on top.
About a year ago I went through this set of papers and I scanned (or typed up my notes) as much as I could at the time.  Yes, I did get rid of the paper afterwards. I am trying to be digital when it comes to paper.  There is a time to have paper, but I don't have to have paper all the time like for instructions or ideas.  I will talk about going digital in another day this month.  If I do print on paper, I try to reuse what is left for taking notes when I am done with it.  So let's say I forget to print on both sides and I am done with the paper, then I draw a mark across the printed side and turn over to use the other.  Sometimes these get cut/torn in half so becomes a smaller note sheet.
Let's say I buy a kit that comes with printed instructions.  I keep those with the kit until it is finished.  I may or may not scan it for later reference (which so far has been never needed), or just toss it.
If I get a kit without paper instructions and I need to go online to view them, then I will save a pdf copy of the instructions.  I do have a netbook (small laptop type computer) and I do take it in the studio.  So this works for me.  If I had a desktop computer I would be more inclined to print those out, but I would do so double-sided. 
I do like to save paper and save ink when I can.  So I use settings like fast (lower quality print out) or grey instead of colors for photos and then refer to the color photos on the computer.  This is unless I am making up kits and then I print color and good quality depending on what it is in the kit.
Things that I print that will be used in the miniatures themselves, I store those in my wallpaper binder.  I don't usually print things just to print them.  I print to use so I have very little printed on hand that I have done.
Alternative to the file box is a drawer cart with a filing section on top for hanging folders. I had one for awhile and my problem is dust.  It didn't help that my kitties liked to lay on it.  I don't recommend one for that reason, why I have a file box instead, but I know for some this would work.
Of course if keeping a lot of paper, a filing cabinet is good.  I have two of those - the short ones, but they hold household not miniature related papers.  And yes, I try to avoid keeping paper there too if I can.

Ideas and clippings
I have several binders full of ideas that I have clipped from magazines.  These are three ring binders and inside I have sheet protectors that the clippings are housed in.  I add labels to the sheet protectors so I know what the theme is for that group.  These aren't grouped in any particular order.  
I have another binder for newsletters - that contained instructions and I do have those indexed so that I can look up which one.
I don't subscribe to many magazines and ones I do, I don't cut up.  Instead I get more ideas from pinterest and google images if I need something.

Miniature magazines hold a special place to me, so I have them all organized by month and year.  However I have considered selling what I have at one point and I did take time to scan most of them at the time.  I just did this for my use, not to share.  But I haven't kept up doing this. 
You can sort of see in this pic that I have some on top, those are recent ones I put there until I put them in a box.  
the labels I added are permanent (taped over with packing tape) once the box is full. Otherwise they are just taped at the top and bottom.  
These boxes are contact paper covered laundry detergent boxes.  

I am torn on whether magazines should be digital or paper.  I would love to have the option as easier to search for something, but I also love to hold them mag in my hand.  

I tend to keep this for awhile and then toss them.  I prefer to find things online and so don't get many catalogs.  I used to save them for a long time, but found typically the prices were out of date.  If a dealer I buy from gives me a catalog then it goes in the file box shown above, unless it is a dealer that sends them regularly and those hang around for a while then get tossed.

I include this here as it is where it fits in the list of items I am sharing about.  But honestly I don't have many books that I consider miniature related.  Ones I do have, I keep in a bookshelf in my living room.  Writing this though is making me re-think that.  Both in terms of storage and also in terms of buying more for reference. 
My philosophy about having books has in general (not just mini) is to borrow rather than buy.  Unless I can buy cheaply.  With the internet buying cheaply becomes more a possibility for me.  The last one I got for minis was $0.01 plus $4 shipping.  That is cheap enough.  I have no issue with buying used.  But I do like to get the best deal for a used book I can and for what I have ordered, I won't complain.  Usually the interior is intact and that is why matters to me.
If I had more books, then I would do so by subject matter.

Come back tomorrow for another day of organizing ideas in my 31 days of organizing minis and mini supplies.

Happy Miniature Organizing!

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