Organization is the crafter's biggest asset, especially for scrapbookers. As discussed in my first post, I'm an incurable pack rat. I hoard away ticket stubs, programs, school projects, certificates, pictures, brochures, postcards, wrapping paper, stickers, itineraries, and various other odds and ends that I think might possibly come in handy for scrapbooking purposes. This is amazing when it comes time to scrapbook. However, I invariably end up missing something that I find again weeks over even years later, moaning about how it would have been perfect to fill that little empty space on the page.
My, rather inelegant, solution has been to dig through every single file and other possible hiding place for these little odds and ends before beginning to scrapbook. This usually works the best if I am focusing on a particular year, so I can pull everything from that year all at once and then match them to the pictures I have stored away. I have set places for all of my other materials as well. I have a box for all of my stickers, a divided box for my scrapbooking paper, all of my other supplies are carefully packed away into a single box in between uses (that includes my glue, my photo corners, my templates, scissors, calligraphy pens, etc.). My pictures are all in photo boxes unless they are ready to be used, sorted in a more or less chronological fashion and divided by box into College, Spain, Childhood, and other categories that seem appropriate.
My programs (with ticket stubs inside) and brochures take up one large drawer in the living room. My awards and certificates are stored in a hanging file folder, as are most of the other odds and ends. While I find this to be a great system for organization, in general, you can see where it might cause a problem when trying to pull together all of the stuff for a particular set of pictures. Either, I'll forget to look in the box of stickers, and end up going to the store and buying more, when I had already bought stickers specifically for that set of pictures. Or I'll forget about the folder of awards, and find one the next time I look through that would have been nice in a scrapbook I just completed. My usually response to this dilemma is to add anything important, like certificates and programs, to the end of the scrapbook it is associated with, so that it is at least with the other stuff. However, it still causes in inordinate amount of frustration.