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

Struggling to find a solution for paper scrap storage?

If you are a scrapbooker, chances are you have loads of paper scraps that are too useful to get rid of. The question then becomes: How do you store them?

As usual for me, I start out at my neighborhood Good Will. I have found so many useful and inexpensive storage items there, that chances are, I’m going to find one again. And I did!

It’s a hanging banker’s box that holds file folders. I’m putting different colored paper scraps in different folders to keep them organized. Best of all, it has straps so it’s easy to move around my room or take to my car when I’m scrapbooking at a crop. Even better, the colors match my craft room perfectly 🙂

Don’t forget! Good Will is a WONDERFUL resource for scrapbook organizational items! Here’s a pretty pink one you can get for your own craft room from Amazon!

 

Have a very Merry Christmas & craft on!

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.

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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.

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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.

NOW THAT YOU’VE FIGURED OUT WHO YOU ARE, HOW DO YOU BEST ORGANIZE YOUR CRAFT SUPPLIES FOR YOU?

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 Totally-Tiffany.com 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.

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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: http://www.christineiscrafting.com/organizing-your-themed-12×12-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:  http://www.christineiscrafting.com/organizing-your-wooden-stamps-for-home-away/

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.

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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