When you download a digital element (and unzip it), you need some place to keep it. Those kits add up pretty quickly and all of a sudden you have 114 different kits sitting in your downloads folder.
Different scrappers have different ideas about how your elements should be organized. If you have a fabulous system for this would like to share in the comments of this post, feel free.
Here's my top advice
:: Have ONE place that you keep ALL your digital scrapbooking stuff. A folder can have several sub-folders in it, but you need to have one place where you KNOW all your stuff is
Here's an idea to easily find the kit you want to use: create an additional folder containing copies of just the previews of all the kit you have. (Usually a preview will come with a kit that shows a good representation if not all the elements of a kit. If one didn't COME with the kit, you can snag it from the designer's website by right-clicking on the picture and saving -- remember, we only right-click to save for good and legitimate purposes!!!) If you keep a copy of the kit previews to all the kits you own in one folder, you can flip through THAT when you're trying to figure out what to do with a layout. Then once you choose a kit, sort through your wonderfully organized files and grab it!
(You can also keep a copy of the kit previews that you WANT to own, to make it easier to choose when you have extra money to go shopping. Just be sure if the preview doesn't say where to buy them, change the file name to help you remember.)
Within a particular designer's folder -- if it's a designer I buy a lot from and who has a lot of different products -- I do even MORE organizing. For example, Miss Mint not only sells great kits (at PeppermintCreative.com), but she also has amazing Alpha sets, and stand-alone embellishment sets. Here are some examples:
I like for my folders to make sense to me -- I like all the alphas together, all the embellishment packs together, then all the kits together. This way when I'm looking for a Miss Mint alpha, I don't have to search all over my Miss Mint folder (which is VERY full!) So I change the file name of the kit -- instead of "MissMint_Alpha_Ripped Jean" I add an "A" to the beginning of the file name. ("AMissMint_Alpha_Ripped Jean") This way the folder will be at the front of the file names, alphabetically. All the embellishment packs get a "B" in front of their name. The kits naturally follow below them. See example below.
If everything in your folder ever seems totally out of order, go to "View > Arrange Icons By > Name."
There are several programs available to help organize your files. I don't know anything about them, as I'm too lazy to learn one, but here is a list of things to look into:
:: Mac users, iPhoto
:: ACDSee photo manager
:: Digital Scraproom
:: Photoshop Elements Organizer
One last thing: BACK UP YOUR DATA! This is SUCH an important part of the organizational process. Computers crash. Or get stolen! Hard drives fail. Back up on a regular basis, and don't use just one back-up source. I use a second internal hard drive, plus an external hard drive. (Gotta keep my bases covered!)
Here's a great write-up of digi-supply organization: