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.

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