I am super excited about my new card-in-progress storage system!
Way back in the past, I was completely unorganized about my card pieces. I would print and cut out pieces as I needed them. If there were extra bits, they would float around in various boxes or on my desk until they got incorporated into a card or until they got damaged and would have to be tossed.
Eventually, I wised up and started storing the bits and pieces in file folders that I stored into these plastic craft storage containers that I liked from Freddy's for about $6.50 a shot. I got a second when I overflowed the first one. Then I started to overflow that one as well and was considering getting a third when I did the math and realized that I could probably pick up a second-hand filing cabinet for about $30 or so that would work a ton better than a bunch of plastic cases.
So I started the hunt, looking in various thrift stores, checking out possible alternatives to store these folders.
When thrifting, it's best to not get too focused on a particular item that you're looking for. Instead, keep in mind the problem you are trying to solve. You might be looking for a good pencil holder and spend all your time in the desk organization area completely miss the wonderful glass vase that is the perfect size and shape to hold your pens and pencils.
What I found was a picnic basket for $6 that looked like it could hold my file folders perfectly.
I took my treasure home, totally thrilled with this inexpensive and completely cute filing cabinet alternative. Check out the red gingham print!
Once home, though, I was disappointed with how my file folders flopped listlessly on their sides in the basket and I realized that I really needed a file frame that would allow me to organize my folders into hanging file folders.
They sell them at the office supply stores for $10 to $15 (they include some hanging folders, but I didn't need them, plus they often come in sets of two) but I remembered seeing them at a thrift store recently. I hadn't needed them at the time, so I hadn't gotten them and I had to revisit two Goodwills before I tracked them down again.
$4 more. My husband set me up with a hacksaw with which I cut off the excess length and now they fit BEAUTIFULLY.
I found an old nightstand to set them on, so they're at a perfect height next to my desk -- otherwise, if they're on the floor, like under the desk, they're harder to get at and not in a well-lit area -- and they are VERY convenient now.
If I want to do a card, all I have to do is pull out the correct folder, toss it into my portable crafting kit, take it anywhere I wish and I can be completing a card in just minutes (instead of hunting around my cluttered desk looking for pieces of card or my tools).
My damage for my filing system: $10! And WAY cuter than a sterile old filing cabinet!