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

Organizing your wooden stamps for home & away

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I’m what I would consider a not-so-normal crafter. By that, I mean I work at home in my craft room as much as I do away at scrapbook crops or retreats. Because of that, organizing my supplies is rather difficult! A lot of people love to use shelves, wall units, big boxes and bins to hold their stuff. That doesn’t work for me, because it makes packing for a crop a mess.

I’ve been experimenting with storing my wooden mounted stamps for the past several months, and I have finally found a method that works great for me!  Using Totally Tiffany stamp and store suitcases, I have my wooden stamps stored in plastic boxes that travel great & store great at home, as well. Here’s the link to these stamp and store suitcases.

 

I played around with packing each case the best I could so that I had the maximum amount of stamps in the minimum of space. Reminds me of the old school game Tetris.

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After arranging them the best I could, I took a color copy of the entire box, just like this.

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Now that I had a copy of each box, I went back and numbered each stamp on the color copy. For my first box, I labeled the outside “Stamps Wood 1” So I started numbering the stamps in this box 1-1. The next stamp was 1-2, then 1-3, etc. This way, I knew instantly which suitcase the stamp goes back into when I am done with it. I also knew by looking at the color copy how to maximally arrange my stamps so I can store the most in the least amount of space.

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I did this with all three of my stamp suitcases. The second box, the stamps were numbered starting with 2-1, etc. The third box was 3-1, etc. I used my label maker to place a label on the top and side of each box of stamps so that I can easily identify and easily replace the box after using it.

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The full stamp suitcases fit very well in my Ikea Kallax 2 x 4 cube unit, alongside my Totally-Tiffany Paper Storage boxes (link below).

 

I really like using every single inch of shelf and cube space I have. It works very well for me, given my ink pads are stored in the same Kallax cube.

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I hope my method is useful for you. It’s a great way to store your stamps for both home & away. Pack these small stamp suitcases easily in your favorite 31 bag or tote for a crop or retreat. Enjoy your day & happy crafting!