Sunday, October 7, 2012

Do you organize more than you scrap?

I scrapbooked for two hours this morning and then I organized for two.  Not because I am a tidy crafter, but because my table had developed scrappy wakes of cut paper, backs of glue dots, stray embellishments, a dried paint palette, a paper piercer, tweezers and other misc. tools.  It had been a couple projects since I had done a proper cleaning but not thaaaat long, yet my work area was shrinking and I was loosing more things than normal.  I have a system of storing things and if I don't return or refile things straight away my already limited space becomes a jungle of crafting materials.

First I sorted my scraps by color then filed them in my filing system. 
After, many, many experiments, I have found that having my scraps right next to me at waist level is best.  If they are out of reach, I won't bother pulling them out and if I can't look down into them, I won't bother looking thoroughly.

Next I put my embellishments back into their respective binders.  This is a new system I put into place a few weeks ago after many, many failed approaches.  So far it has been good and the return process is easy enough that I actually do it.
After that I gathered up the ribbon laying around here and there.  There were lots of loose strands and in random places too.  You'd think I'd grabbed a handful and threw it up in the air.  I organize my loose ribbon by color in zip lock bags while the cards and spools are stored together. All of it fits nicely in a drawer next to my work table. This makes clean-up easy and I can find things pretty quickly too.
Then I put away buttons and do dads in the storage drawers.  This piece of furniture seemed like a great idea at the time I bought it, but sometimes I think it is way too big for all of the actual storage it provides.
Here is where I keep my small Prima flowers, stamps, masks, bling, buttons, brads and metal embellishments. I also keep my acrylic paints, jewelry making supplies, mixed media materials, mediums, inks, drafting tools and cricut binders in this unit.  I have to be diligent about putting the right thing in the right drawer or I may never see it again.

On top of this unit I keep my papers and card stock organized by color.  The red box on top of the paper is my "to be filed" box.  When ever I pull out multiple sheets to match a certain color or look, I put the paper I didn't use in the box so that I can file it away. I hate filing but today I did it.
I organized my paper by color a couple months ago.  I had to implement a new system because the cardstock/ paper/ double sided paper organization was NOT working.  Do I like it?  It still a chore trying to find a specific paper amongst all of the others.  I think it would be a much more functional system if the paper was at waist level so I could look down onto the top of the paper holders rather than relying on the top edge for my searches.  Someday, if I have a bigger room, I'll give it a try.
This horrendous mess is actually a hub of activity. Here resides my borders, medium flowers, sewing machine, 8.5 x 11, 8 x 8, 6 x 6 and 4 x 6 paper, chipboard letters, adhesives, cricut accessories, xyron ephemera, and many other critical tools and supplies.  The big binders on the top of the bookcase are old invitation sample binders that I grabbed before they went into the trash.  Someday I am going to adhere all of the kid's artwork to the pages.  "Someday" being the operative word. It looks really disheveled in the photo and that is because it is, even after my best efforts this morning. sigh.

This is the view of my desk and peg board area if you are standing in the room's left corner.  My drafting table is large but my Imagine and Cutterpillar do take up some real estate.  I have one of those old-school monitor arms for my laptop or to store projects I have not finished.  The peg wall has all of my prisma color markers and tools/ supplies I need to keep handy like my crop-o-dile, brayer, wire cutters and T-square. Under my table I store my big shot, sizzix dies, punches, cricut cartridges and my "My Story" machine.  You can see the tip top of my drafting chair in  between the closet door and the table.  Lately I have been using it as another work surface if my desk is overpopulated.  In desperate times, I just it into the hallway and use the floor for my overflow crafting.

It is a lot to keep track of and a small space to house it all. If I don't clean up after a project, I develop layers of mess until I can't lay anything flat on the table.  So I organize and then I organize some more.  If I didn't like to organize, scrapbooking would be out of the question.  I just have to build organizing into my scrapbooking time.  If I plan to scrapbook all afternoon (12 - 4), what that really means is 30 minutes pulling supplies, 2 hours 30 minutes scrapbooking and 1 hour cleaning up.  If I put off cleaning up then the next scrapbook cleanup will beall that more time consuming.

It doesn't bother me really.  Scrapbooking isn't just about making pretty pages with your photos.  Scrapbooking is shopping, looking for inspiration, chatting on the message boards, taking cool classes, watching you tube videos, a little more shopping and yes, organizing.  That is the deal.


  1. Looks like a great place to create! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for sharing your work (play) area. Love to see how others store all their goodies. I really like how you sort your scraps by color. I spend way too much time going thru my scrap paper looking for what I know should be in there. Sometimes I just go ahead and take a new sheet because it's easier but then I just keep adding to my already too full scrap box! I too have to clean up after a project. It's amazing how many things get taken out and sometimes lost in the wake of a project. It's all worth it though :) Have a grea day!