Mar 192015
 

How do you keep track of your dies? If you’re like me, then you have multiple storage systems for different types of dies. Speaking from experience, the greater the number of dies you own, the greater the chance is that you will accidentally purchase them twice. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve done this with books! All of this creates the need for a master inventory system, something I’ve talked about in the past but had not started. Well, this past weekend I decided to get busy. I gathered all of the loose dies that hadn’t yet been put away, created an Excel spreadsheet with columns for Company, Type of Die, Description, Product No., and Location, and entered the information for the loose dies.

Loose Cutting Dies

Then I tackled the existing storage systems and methodically went through the contents of my binder, box, drawer and hanging pocket systems. I was surprised to discover that I have more than 150 individual dies or die sets. Definitely too many to keep track of in my head!

Die Inventory System

When I completed my spreadsheet, I felt pretty good about knowing what dies I own and—possibly more importantly—how to locate them quickly. I store my foam-backed dies (Sizzix Sizzlits and similar thin dies) in a three-ring binder, large steel rule dies (Sizzix and Tim Holtz Alterations Dies) in a drawer, small steel rule dies (Movers & Shapers from Tim Holtz Alterations) in vinyl hanging pockets, and all wafer thin steel dies (such as Sizzix Thinlits, Framelits, Nestabilities, Edgeabilities and similar dies from other companies) in boxes with magnetic sheets. When it works, I like to pretty up my storage systems with recycled calendar pages.

I use a three-ring binder for foam-backed dies. Inside the binder are vinyl pages with pockets.

I use a three-ring binder for foam-backed dies. Inside the binder are vinyl pages with pockets. The dies in this category cut detailed shapes from thin materials such as paper, card stock, vellum or foil.

Large steel rule dies are stored upright in a drawer so that I can read their labels. These dies cut through thicker materials such as card stock, chipboard, fabric, plastic and grunge board.

Large steel rule dies are stored upright in a drawer so that I can read their labels. These dies cut through thicker materials such as card stock, chipboard, fabric, plastic and grunge board.

These smaller steel rule dies are repositionable. They cut through the same materials as the larger steel rule dies.

These smaller steel rule dies are repositionable. They cut through the same materials as the larger steel rule dies. I store them in hanging vinyl pockets over a closet door. You can find these at Bed Bath & Beyond or similar stores.

These ArtBin boxes hold up to 21 magnetic sheets of wafer thin cutting dies. The sheets are one-sided and durable. Typically you'll find these boxes at Michaels or Jo-Ann Fabrics.

These ArtBin boxes hold up to 21 magnetic sheets of wafer thin cutting dies. The sheets are one-sided and durable. Typically you’ll find these boxes at Michaels or Jo-Ann Fabrics.

I store matched sets of stamps and wafer thin dies in Taylored Expressions binder storage boxes. Depending on how many rubber stamps and dies you store on the magnetic sheets you purchase separately, these boxes hold up to nine pre-punched magnetic pages. I bought mine at my local scrapbooking store, but you can also find them online at TayloredExpressions.com.

I store matched sets of stamps and wafer thin dies in Taylored Expressions binder storage boxes. Depending on how many rubber stamps and dies you store on the magnetic sheets you purchase separately, these boxes hold up to nine pre-punched magnetic pages. I bought mine at my local scrapbooking store, but you can also find them online at TayloredExpressions.com.

I’ve only had my inventory system for a little less than a week, but already it prevented me from re-purchasing a couple of dies I already own. I suspect I need to do the same with some other categories of tools. What tool or supply-tracking systems have you developed for yourself?

© 2015 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

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3 comments on “Create a master inventory system for your cutting dies

  1. SarahBeth ~ Along Magnolia Lane on said:

    Wow, you are really organized! I don’t have dies, only yarn and that is hard enough to keep track of! LOL!

  2. Dies can be so hard to store! Some are so thick making them hard to store and find. But your system seems really organized! Great job on sitting down and tackling this task. I’m sure you’re happy you got it done before you repurchased those dies!

  3. LeAnn Frobom on said:

    You are so organized!

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