PAPER ORGANIZATION ~ Power through your paper by Totally-Tiffany

If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m a huge Totally-Tiffany fan. I have a lot of her organizational items for my craft room, and follow a lot of her beliefs regarding organizing your scrapbook room. The bonus? A lot of her organizational ideas spill over into the remainder of your home.

Today, she’s discussing “powering through your paper” to organize your craft paper.

Power Through Your Paper

Too overwhelmed to organize your craft room? Think again!

I think so many people feel overwhelmed, that they never start organizing. I moved, and used that time to completely organize my room.

Is this your room? Thankfully this was never my room. But after looking at people’s rooms in scrapbook groups, this seems to be a lot of peoples’ current situations.

Don’t think organization happens in one day. It typically does not. But it does have to begin somewhere. Get THREE big boxes. Wal-Mart has them cheap. Label one ‘sell/give’, ‘recycle/trash’ and the third ‘donate’. Pull everything out of your room one area at a time and look at them honestly: Have you used this in the past year? Past two years? No? Then it’s gone. Do you use it? Then place it aside.

Next, move your desk/table where you want it in your now-empty room. Sit and begin to craft. Grab the tools you need one at a time as you need them.  As you pull in your tools, you will realize what you want and need near you.  So organize those. Then, work on some more crafting/scrapbooking, and organize more stuff.  It was important for me to have my paper and my Stickles, washi tape, and ribbon near me. If it was too hard to get to what I wanted, I knew I wouldn’t use it.

A good policy for organizing a room from scratch is to avoid buying new organizational products. After you have purged and donated/trashed/given away the stuff you don’t use, you will realize  you probably have all the organizational items you need. NEVER BUY NEW STUFF UNDER THE GUISE OF GETTING ORGANIZED. Wait until you are completely done cleaning and reorganizing your space. Use it for a few weeks or months. Then realize what you honestly may need to make you more productive.

Now that you’re organized…what happens next? The key FOR ME was to institute a policy of ‘no leaving until I clean it up’. When I’m done for the day, I make myself put everything where it goes. If I’m in the middle of something, I put it in one Iris case (only one) and put it in a special spot for my project being worked on.

I also instituted a “no working on a new project until I’m done with the current one.” That way, I’m not spinning in circles with 20 uncompleted things all over my scrapbook room. Once you allow yourself to work on 5, 10, 15, or even 20 projects at once, you’ve let go of your craft room and turned it into a project-in-progress storage facility. THIS IS THE EASIEST WAY TO BECOME UNORGANIZED AND CREATE CHAOS IN YOUR CRAFT SPACE.

A lot of people have so much stuff and it’s so lacking in organization, that they frequently purchase duplicates. I refuse to use Evernote or any other software program to keep track of my inventory. I don’t need it! I’m organized, my things are visible, they are handy, and I know what I have.

When I do buy something, I have to incorporate it immediately into my organizational system. No tossing a shopping bag in and shutting the door. Nope. Never. That REALLY makes me reconsider whether I want to buy something or not. It stopped all impulse purchases. The day you start tossing bags in without organizing them is the day you become this:

A huge bonus being organized is that I know what I have instantly, I don’t need an electronic device to keep track of what I own, and I don’t own any accidental duplicates of anything. I know what I have, I use what I have, and it’s easy to STAY organized. It’s just like your health: It’s easier to stay healthy than get healthy.

Stay organized, be true to yourself, and you’ll find how much you truly enjoy crafting in your own room once again.

The Key to Crafting is SOLID Organizational Skills

The key to being a productive crafter is discovering your crafting style & organizing based on that.

You don’t have to be Martha Stewart and have a million dollar craft room to have a wonderfully-functional craft space at home. You DO have to find a way to organize your things that makes you efficient, keeps your space (however small or large) tidy, and allows you to quickly grab what you need.

I have some friends who have enormous craft spaces. You’d think they would be crafting away all hours of the day and night, being incredibly productive. Instead, their craft rooms are a jumbled mess of boxes, bags, and tons of new products they impulsively bought with no real use in mind. They have never sat down and spent 10 minutes figuring out what their crafting style is in order to get organized. Here’s an example.


How do you avoid becoming the Crafting/Hoarding Queen? The key is some self-discovery 😉

DISCOVER YOUR INNER CRAFTER: What kind of crafter are you?

Are you a home-only crafter? You live in a rural area or have no friends who are into crafting or the type of crafts that you are. This is the one type of crafter who has the biggest tendency to become an unorganized mess. If you’re the only one using your room, you may lack accountability. If you close the doors, no one sees your mess. I know some very organized home crafters, but the vast majority of my friends who have home craft rooms have unorganized disaster zones.


Are you a crop-only crafter? Do you only really create when you’re away from home, surrounded by friends, fellowship, and food? The key is portability and securely transporting your items.

Are you a combination of both? I am highly productive at home AND away from home. At least 3-4 times a year, I spend 3+ days at a retreat with friends. I am very productive at these retreats, as well. The key to having fun and accomplishing what I set out to do is ORGANIZATION.


Home Only Crafters: If you’re a home-only crafter, you’re going to start in your space with your desk. Sit at your desk and figure out what you need organized and around you ALWAYS for everything you do. I only do paper crafting, so I need paper trimmers, adhesives, scissors, a craft mat, pens/markers, etc. Those things are right next to my desk, easily accessible, and always out. Keep those things organized and OUT. Don’t put them away in totes or bins. Don’t put them up on shelves. Put them on your desk or next to your desk so it’s easy to grab them when you need them.

Next, create organized ‘zones’ for crafting. Do you sew and scrapbook? Have a designated sew-only area and a designated scrapbook-only area. Separate your supplies into your zones. Shelving that goes to the ceiling is ideal for items you don’t use every day. Repurposing dressers and armoires for crafting is free and easy. The sky is your limit! Hit some thrift stores and garage sales. Get some used shelving. Get organized!

Crop-Only Crafters: The key for success for YOU is to organize your things using secure methods and carrying them to crops and retreast in rolling padded totes, 31 storage bags, and the like. There are lots of wonderful storage items at Joann’s, Michaels, and online at Amazon and Totally-Tiffany. The key is safe travels for your items while minimizing the size of the container you have things in. I’ve found that has a wonderful selection of see-through plastic totes in varying sizes that work WONDERFULLY for on-the-go crafting. You’re not stuck with a huge, burdensome plastic bin or box that takes up most of your tote space.

Combination Crafter:  It’s a little trickier for combination crafters (like me) who struggle to find organizational methods that work for home and away. I’m going to share some of what I use that works ideally for me — the Combination Crafter!

First, I’m truly lucky to live within 50 miles of an Ikea store. I love their Kallax storage units. They fit 12 x 12 paper with room to spare, and they are an absolute must (in my opinion) for any serious at home or combination crafter.

I have a 2 x 4 that sits on the right side of my work space. It holds my paper, my wooden stamps, my inks, and my assorted small embellishments like washi tape and inks.


Breaking my Kallax down by item, I store things as follows:

I use Totally-Tiffany Paper Storage Boxes to sort my paper by color. If there is a distinct theme for my paper, they are stored in my themed scrapbook paper area. I’ve already blogged about how to do this. You can find that post here:×12-scrapbook-paper/

I have my paper organized by color. I recently labeled everything to make it even easier to grab & go. There are also two additional boxes: polka dot and striped — they are the non-themed papers that are too colorful to fit in any one color section.

20161022_111656These fit perfectly in the Ikea Kallax cubes, but I was left with about 1 inch of space inside each cube, so I decided this would be the perfect place to put my wooden stamps. I have them sorted, organized, labeled, and stored inside Totally-Tiffany Stamp Suitcases. I blogged about them yesterday. Here’s that post:

stamp-suitcaseI also have Totally-Tiffany Stash and Store boxes for my items like washi tape, ribbon, inks, Stickles, and paints. They fit in the Kallax cubes, as well, and transport easily to crops & away from home crafting.


Each cube of the Kallax holds three Stash & Store boxes perfectly. Each box has a handle on top for easy transport. They have magnetic closures at the back of each shelf so that you can transport them and keep things in place.

I’m including a link to each of these items on Amazon that you can get delivered right to your door. I hope some of my ideas are giving you ideas on how to best organize your crafting. An unorganized space is a nonproductive space. The key to having fun crafting is finding a place for everything and everything having a place!

Until next time, craft on (links to products below)!

Totally Tiffany Stash & Store Cases


Totally Tiffany Paper Boxes

Stamp Storage Suitcases

Totally-Tiffany bags