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The Springall Stamp Sorting, Storing and Sending System

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The Springall Stamp Sorting, Storing and Sending System

Postby Frank the Younger » Sun Sep 28, 2014 07:59 pm

Why do I need a system? Initially I kept types of stamps together on one page in the album (all the penny patricians on one page for example). Eventually there were too many to fit and it was not obvious what was where. Recently I decided the only way to store the stamps was in the order they come out. Yes I know people did this from the start but I can be slow some times. I had already started to use my ‘live stamp store’ (explained later) and had decided to use A5 stock books for my album so that they would fit in my Ankh –Morpork Post Office bag upright. Stock books on their side spill stamps, a bad idea. Once I had decided to put the albums in date order putting the stock book for retired stamps in the same order is an obvious move.

When a new stamp comes out there is the initial excitement of opening LBEs to identify the stamp and its sport but then comes the more laborious task of what to do with the piles of sticky bits of paper. The following system works for me and may even work for somebody else. Anyway the system requires an album or albums, a stock book for stamps to trade (swap book), somewhere to keep the stamps that are still arriving (live stamp store) and a stock book for the retired stamps that have not been sent to the Green Cabbage Stamp Scheme (GCTS).

Albums come in all shapes and sizes and a stock book is just something to keep the extras in but the heart of the system is how you store the ‘live’ stamps. I ended up with a four tray organiser for screws and nails (only two trays are normally needed). The point is that as the number you have of each stamp constantly changes as new LBEs arrive and bundles of stamps are sent in to the GCTS, you need something that can hold a potentially large number of stamps. This does rather assume you are a member of Bernard’s retirement scheme and buy more LBEs than is good for you. If not you don’t need a system.

The system
1. Maintenance: this is best done at the beginning so that space is freed-up in the live stamp store for the new stamp(s). Check on the emporium website to see if any stamps are endangered. If there are new endangered stamps package the spares for sending to GCTS and put any left into the stock book next to the place holder put there in step 4 (I like to keep a few even if I have an exact number for the GCTS). This should leave an empty spot(s) in live stamp store for the new stamp(s).
2. Open LBEs, drool over new stamps, check for sports and put stamps back in LBEs. There are people who can restrain themselves to the extent that they only open the LBEs at the next stage. I’m not one of them and I have no idea how they cope.
3. Move LBEs to the holy of holies, sorry I mean wherever you keep you collection.
4. Empty an LBE putting first new stamp in album, second new stamp goes into the swap book, third new stamp into stock book and all subsequent stamps into live store. The stamps in the swap and stock books act as place holders as some stamps are live for many years.
5. First sport into album subsequent sports into swap book
6. Repeat 4 – 5 until all stamps are stored and then check bank balance to see if you can afford any more LBEs if you can you did not buy enough in the first place.
7. Update your trading list on the forum; you have got one haven’t you.
8. There are two options for the GCTS at this point, either send in only the stamps that have become endangered or if you have lots of live stamps increase the postage cost by adding lots more stamps. I always keep at least one stamp in a live stamp slot just so I don’t forget what goes in there.

At this point all your stamp should be securely stored with nothing in the wrong place.

A word of warning about using stock books. If you overlap stamps on multiple pages the stock book will begin to bulge. The A4 size stock book I use for retired stamp is now 50% thicker than when I started. It does not travel well and even moving it from the shelf to my desk is not something I take lightly. Mind you I do only have one stock book for all my retired stamps since 2004.

This also means that when I travel to stamp event (Wincanton or local event) I only really have to take one shoulder bag. In this I can carry all my albums. Currently I have four for the stamps, two swap books, one book for Wincanton and Discworld non-stamp bits of sticky paper and one for Bernard’s doodles (I even have a ‘doodle’ by Ian which is really not a doodle at all and is in a different league from doodle). If necessary I can reduce this to the two swap books to make it lighter as long as I take a list of which stamps I want. Actually a copy of my forum trading list which is a good reason for having a forum trading list.

Lastly why am I writing this? I have just spent the last few weeks completely rearranging my stamps to fit this system and it was hard work and caused me a lot of agro so I thought I would share the misery by making you read this. :D
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Re: The Springall Stamp Sorting, Storing and Sending System

Postby Karenjo » Mon Sep 29, 2014 08:31 pm

I really feel for you, I seem to need to re-arrange my stamp collection every few years!
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Re: The Springall Stamp Sorting, Storing and Sending System

Postby Kelshandra » Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:44 pm

Hmm, I was using old LBE to store stamps in originally but it was never a great system. I think I may adapt your method of the plastic sorting box- certainly for the live stamps waiting for GCTS.
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Re: The Springall Stamp Sorting, Storing and Sending System

Postby Muba » Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:28 pm

I sort of mirror you Frank in how I store the stamps, but seem to accumulate all sorts of peripheral bits and pieces,
And I just keep updating my albums. but never actually update them all before commencing on the new format; the only winners are Hawid
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Re: The Springall Stamp Sorting, Storing and Sending System

Postby phalarope » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:12 am

Muba wrote:the only winners are Hawid
Or in my case, Showgard. :roll: :lol:
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Re: The Springall Stamp Sorting, Storing and Sending System

Postby Frank the Younger » Tue Sep 30, 2014 08:25 am

Muba wrote: but seem to accumulate all sorts of peripheral bits and pieces

I have another stock book full of bits and pieces from LBEs (prize tickets, etc.),
4 oversize folders for the sheets of stamps which I also collect,
a sowing/nappy box with all the envelopes
and a 4 shelf desk tidy with stuff I don't have anywhere else to put.

I haven't even thought about sorting this lot yet. :shock:
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Re: The Springall Stamp Sorting, Storing and Sending System

Postby phazedout » Sun Oct 05, 2014 09:23 am

One of the advantage of moving from a 4 bed semi to a tiny 3 by 6 meter student apartment is, stuff is placed wherever it will fit! No need for a storage system, I am just hapy to be able to squeeze everthing in.
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on teh "I may have digressed somewhat, not neing a collecting of little sticky bits of paper, as it were" ID
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Re: The Springall Stamp Sorting, Storing and Sending System

Postby barber80 » Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:51 am

I've got lots of bits and pieces as well. I've tried to sell them on Ebay. I've even got a few things I've tried to give away for free and still no bugger wants them. It's a good job selling them off wasn't part of my pension planning!

We could do with a clearing house for unwanted items - anyone willing? I'd offer myself but I'm just downsizing to a very small cardboard box. :D
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