Getting Organized in the New Year!

If you’re like every crafter I know, one of our new year’s resolutions is to get organized and stay organized in the new year. Every year. I entered 2017 with a happy smile on my face and no real organization to do! How you ask? Because I finally REALLY organized my craft room. How’d I do it? Well here’s how!

First, I took a bunch of boxes (or plastic bins, whatever you have) and began sorting things. Include an extra box for donations and an extra bag for trash. As I removed things, I placed embellishments in one box, ribbon in another, paper in another, adhesives and glues in another, tools in another.

I took my donations to my local thrift store, recycled the paper, and threw out the rest. Ahh! What a feeling to be rid of so much junk I didn’t want or need!

Then I took all of the boxes out of my room. I cleaned my room, vacuumed the carpet, cleaned the floor, cleaned my work space. I then sat at my scrapbook desk or work space, whichever you have, and began to attempt to craft or scrapbook.

When it was time to use something in one of the boxes, I’d sit at my desk and figure where I wanted it and how I wanted it set up. For me, the first thing was paper. I needed my solid color cardstock near me but off my work surface, but I also needed it to be portable for scrapbook retreats or daytime crops. So I used my Crop In Style P3. It telescopes up to allow easy access to paper but folds down to a normal rolling tote when not in use.

I’d organize that one thing. I’d find something I already had (bought NOTHING for my reorganization project) and organize things in that. Then I’d get back to scrapbooking. I would need something else, and I’d get out that box and figure out where I wanted these things and how I wanted to organize them. This way, I wasn’t overwhelmed.

For me, the next thing was embellishments. I LOVE Totally Tiffany Stash & Store boxes, and I slowly got them over the course of a year on sale. I never paid more than $18 a piece for them, and they are great for me. I reduced what was 20+ plastic boxes to this small area in an Ikea Kallax unit. Best part? PORTABLE! I can grab them and put them in a rolling tote for a crop. Ribbon, washi tape, Stickles, paints — all in this little space!

I could go at my pace — no need to do it all in one day unless you’re on a mission! But I got quite a bit accomplished in the course of a year. The key to me was buying NOTHING (nothing extra to bring into my space), using what I had, purging and donating, and continually realizing that I needed my stuff organized and near me in order to craft effectively.

Next up to organize was my patterned paper (not my themed paper — just random patterns). I had Totally Tiffany paper boxes sitting unused, so I grabbed them. I wrapped the edges with washi tape and labeled them to let me know quickly what color paper was in there. I sorted all of my paper by color and theme, and wow, has it made my life easy. Sorting paper took me almost an entire day. Be easy on yourself. It takes a while to organize. You didn’t get everything in a day. You’re not going to organize everything in a day.

Three boxes also fit in an Ikea Kallax cube, with a little bit of room to spare, so I store one box of rubber stamps next to them. This way, all of my stamps are also right next to me, and are stored in leftover space! I reduced 12 more plastic boxes to these tiny little Stamp Suitcases from Totally Tiffany and other plastic boxes I already had (note: It’s a great feeling to use stuff you have and not spend money on organizational items). You’ll see the different sized plastic boxes next to three paper boxes. Don’t have to match. Just have to work! Again, these are great for home and great for crops.

Finally, I organized my themed paper & themed embellishments. I had Cropper Hopper Page Arrangers ready to go, so I put all of my beach, sports, birthday, Christmas, Halloween, Camping, Cooking, etc. paper and stickers all together. One side fits 12.5 x 12.5 paper. The other has three pockets for embellishments and stickers.

Then I put my Page Arrangers in milk crates on top of my Ikea Kallax unit. Ideal for travel — hard plastic to avoid damaging your paper — and great for home — grab what you want to work on and go.

Now what was 40+ plastic bins, cardboard bins, and multiple shelving units is now reduced to a single Ikea Kallax 2 x 4 unit and one rolling tote. For me, it’s about organization and simplicity as well as the ease of finding something. I was driven nuts going through bin after bin after bin trying to find my stuff. Now it’s at my fingertips, organized labeled, and easy to grab. It all works great for home and ideal for travel. I have become so much more creative in my room now that I’m not wasting time trying to find things.

I’m going to post later today about how I organize the Cropper Hopper Page Arrangers so that you can get your themed paper & embellishments easily organized.

Until then, craft on! Links to my favorite products mentioned in this post are below.

Totally Tiffany Stamp Suitcases

 

Totally Tiffany Paper Boxes

Advantus Cropper Hopper Page Arrangers

Totally Tiffany Stash and Store Boxes

Upcycling old furniture for craft storage

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Nothing makes my frugal self more happy than to see new life for something I was ready to donate, especially when it comes to organization and storage!

Last year, I was looking at a very old clothing armoire from Ikea and saw an old, tired, dated piece of solid wood furniture. I saw the quality was still there but the style was sorrily lacking.

I took my armoire, painted it, sealed it, and repurposed it for craft room storage! It took me about 6 hours to repaint it because I had to dissassemble pieces. But once it was done, wow was it worth it!

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The best thing is it stores 12×12 albums perfectly. Now they’re protected from light, dirt, and dust and stored upright — the preferred method to store them. Best of all — it gives me a place for a TV 🙂

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Look at your old furniture — pull out that old TV stand, that old nightstand, that old piece of furniture that’s collecting dust in your garage or attic. With a little TLC and imagination, it can become your favorite new piece of furniture in your craft room!

Have a great weekend & happy crafting!

Kitchen organizational items for craft storage

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The art of being able to find great organizational items for your craft room starts with the ability to see different uses for things you already have in your home. Maybe it’s using a silverware sorter to hold markers. Maybe it’s a divided box for a knives to hold paintbrushes. Or a lazy Susan to hold your supplies on your desktop. Or it’s looking in the kitchen section at your nearest big box store!

I was at Sam’s Club yesterday, and found this three-tiered fruit stand. It is iron, has a small footprint side to side on the bottom, and fits perfectly on an Ikea Kallax shelf. Instead of using it for fruit, I’m using it for all of my baker’s twine, large ribbon, jute, and string. It’s great for me, as I can see what I need and instantly grab it and go.

Start thinking of different uses for everyday organizers, especially kitchen related. There are some great crossover uses for your craft room!

What great items have you repurposed for organizing your scrapbook room?

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Upcycle crib springs for a homemade Clip It Up!

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When my daughter outgrew sleeping in a crib, I found a new use for the crib springs! I spray painted them to match my craft room, and hung them in my craft room. Each row of springs serves as a fantastic spot to hang things. You could use it for storage of embellishments, displaying pictures, or a combination of both (like I do). It cost me the price of a can of spray paint, and it works great! In fact, it’s become the focal point of my craft room.

I use it to display pages I recently finished so that I can look at them before I put them away in scrapbook albums. I also use the bottom half to hang memorabilia or receipts, tickets, etc. from trips that I haven’t scrapbooked yet. I hang them with the pictures to remind myself I need to scrapbook these occasions.

Look at things you already have but look at them differently — figure a way to incorporate them into craft storage or display. There’s nothing more fulfilling than repurposing something you already own into wonderful craft storage! You are giving something new life and saving your precious money for craft supplies 😉

I’ll be gone for a few days, scrapbooking with friends, so have a wonderful week, weekend, and happy crafting!

Upcycle thrift store finds for your classroom

As you know, my favorite thing to do is find something at a thrift store and see a new vision of what it can become, what I can use it for, and what I can do to give it a second life. I love to find Lazy Susan’s of all kinds. Anything that spins and stores is something I love! Last summer, I found a wonderful three level one at Good Will.

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I used some duct tape and patterned masking tape and it really made this look great. I use it in my classroom, and I love the fact that it spins. Just a little Friday post to give you some ideas of what to look for in thrift stores this weekend.

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Happy crafting!