Martha has a 'Doh! That's-so-obvious-why-didn't-I think-of-it' idea for keeping track of your decorating stuff. The decorator's folder. What you do is keep swatches of paint, fabric and carpet in a folder. Revolutionary! Martha suggests a small accordion file but you could go crazy and have a file for each room.
Taking the idea and running with it I have added:
- Window measurements in both metric and imperial (cause my maths is lousy)
- Room measurements (ditto)
- Pictures and dimensions of each major piece of furniture.
- Pictures of the whole room from a few different angles... I know it's a teeny bit obsessive.
- LOTS of paint chips. if you don't have sample's of your upholstery fabric or you're working with pre-existing carpet (and you can't just chop a bit out!) Then you can match the colours with paint chips (make sure you match them in daylight).
- 'Aspirational' images. As in, the stuff I want but can't afford; that way if I happen upon a near-as-dammit or something hackable I can snap it up.
I update it fairly regularly so it doesn't get so heavy that it acquires it's own gravity. The real trick is remembering to take it with you when you're shopping for house stuff.