My method has long been to compulsively hoard them "just in case." Of what, you ask? I never know. I can, of course, recount horror stories of beautiful quilts with ink spilled on them, or new puppies teething on them. But honestly, it doesn't happen often enough in real life to warrant all the little bundles of fabric I have in storage.
Judy Laquidara mentioned last week on her blog, Patchwork Times, her system of making squares of her leftovers and sorting them into the "appropriate plastic boxes." PERK! went my ears. I love the idea of sorting things! Into boxes! Quickly, Judy, tell me how this works, I wrote.
... they're assorted by size. Every time I have a 2-1/2" strip, and I don't use every inch of it, I whack it into 2-1/2" squares and they go into the 2-1/2" squares box. I have boxes for 2", 2-1/2", 3", 3-1/2", all the way up to 5". If I have anything bigger than that, I cut it down to whatever allows me to get the most squares, like a 6" strip, I would cut into 3" squares or 2" and 4" squares.
I also have a box for half square triangles because I sometimes end up with extras of those. I love having those already made when I'm making a scrappy quilt. Honestly, sometimes when I'm wanting to sew but just don't feel like or don't have the time to drag out a project, I'll just sit and make scrappy half square triangles and save them for future use. Gives me a sense of accomplishment, lets me sew and doesn't involve too much thinking.
I also save all my leftover binding strips. They go into a big drawer. When I'm making a really scrappy quilt, I'll sometimes pull out those binding pieces, sew them all together and I have binding!
Good luck getting yours under control.
Here's a picture of her plastic boxes filled with gorgeous bits and pieces:
What a great idea. :)