One of my duties as Preservation Assistant is to make sure our supplies are adequately stocked and organized in a way that makes them easy for preservation staff to find. There have been many times other staff hand me a piece of paper, board, or cloth and say that we need more of it, and none of us can remember what exactly it is called or where we last ordered it from. Our previous Conservator, Katherine Kelly, came up with a smart way to remind us where we ordered various supplies and what that supply was, and we still use her system today. This method has worked very well for the supplies kept in our large cabinets.
Colored labels were made noting the product/item, size, color (if applicable), vendor/source, and even the catalog item number when appropriate. The color of the label lets us know the type of item at quick glance and corresponds with a printed chart that hangs on the inside of the cabinet door. These labels are adhered to magnet strips using double-stick tape which makes them easy to move around in our cabinets if we decide to do some reorganization. I can also easily take the magnet to my desk for reference when I am writing up a supply order to replenish our stock.
Upon first glance, this system may seem a little OCD but it really has worked quite well for our lab. What do you do to help keep your large, flat supplies organized?