Recently as I reorganized my craft room, I had folks asking to see what I had changed and how I had organized. So, in one of those very rare moments a few weeks ago where the surfaces in my scrap area were actually clean, I took a few pictures to share with you.
Now that I’m actually writing up the post to go with them, I’m realizing that some of the pictures are dark or I didn’t get a close-up of something I thought was interesting; but in the interest of actually getting this post up (and who knows when I’ll get my room this clean again! ) I thought I would share what I have.
So, if you are curious about a part of my organization that I don’t have a close up photo of, leave me a comment and I’ll see about getting a picture and more explanation for you!
The Big Picture
So, this is a close-to-all-encompassing shot of my craft space. To the right (behind the cradle) is the sliding glass door to our backyard. So, when I’m crafting in the afternoon, I actually get some nice natural light. But in general, I’ve optimized to be out of the way of my 2.5 yr old running in and out of the house and to be within arms reach of my most common supplies.
The Most Used Stuff is in Arm’s Reach!
70-80% of what I use to make most of my projects can be seen in this picture and was my biggest area of optimization so that I could be sitting at my table and just swivel around in my chair and reach what I needed.
So, the most important things… my stamps, cardstock, ink, and embellishments are right there where I can grab them as I’m designing. This may seem like a duh moment for you but after almost a year of having things on shelves scattered across the room; this was huge for me. For example, I was getting soooo sick of wanting to grab a piece of cardstock and being so irritated that I had to get out of my chair and walk across the room to grab a piece of paper. I know totally lazy! But when you are only getting in craft time in 20 minute increments due to overlapping nap times, you suddenly care about every minute!
Anyway, so, let me tell you about some of my favorite things here:
1. Having my cardstock right there and easy to grab! I use those magazine holders for your shelves only instead of having them stand upright (so you can see the short front panel facing out) – I tilt them on their back so that what is normally the top is actually facing out. This gives me tall sides to hold up my paper but maximizes allowing me to see the colors I have and I don’t have to take the holders off the shelf to get a piece of cardstock out!
2. I’m storing my 12×12 designer series paper in those colored milk-crates on the bottom shelves. I have struggled for years to figure out how to store my 12×12 paper in such a way that I can easily tell what I have and find the right paper to use on a give project. This is my favorite method to date. I keep my 12×12 packs in big ziploc bags and then put all the bags in a single crate. Because of the wide open top, I can slide the crate forward and then start flipping through my paper packs – kind of like folks used to do with records in record stores! I found that if I kept my paper in big magazine-style holders like I do my cardstock, I couldn’t easily flip through and I would often forget what I had. Usually until after I finished a project and then I would see something and think – “that would have been perfect for the project I just finished! Oh well!”
3. Can you tell I love my Stack and Store embellishment caddies? Seriously, LOVE THEM! Again, this came down to me realizing that if I can’t easily see the embellishment, I’m not going to remember to use it. These things spin like a dream and I can use empty embellishment containers to store extras of random stuff I’ve been hording for years. I swear I’ll use everything someday… no really…. !
4. Stamps and Ink are right there! I used to have my retired stamps over in a cupboard and my current stamps near by. But I realized that separating them out like that meant I NEVER used my retired stamps and also had a false sense of how many stamps I had because I only saw the current ones. So, now I have all my stamps grouped together and just have marked on the outside of the stamp boxes which stamps are retired.
Here is a closer in picture of the IKEA shelf unit next to the “arm’s reach bookshelf”:
I can spin my Ink caddy from my chair and then the top drawer of my unit contains all my different adhesives and adhesive bling. So, when I need a Stampin’ Dimensional or some Sticky Strip, it is right there.
A little further out of my reach (so I actually have to stand up for this one) are my punches and Big Shot dies. Yes, I use punches or dies on just about everything I create – but something had to be further away and they just fit so nicely here don’t you think?
You can also catch a glimpse of my hanging racks that hold my glitter, embossing powder, and heat gun (which has newly been replaced by the new fabulous SU heat gun).
All The Rest
I swear it doesn’t look this messy/cluttered in real life! But I commandeered this Pottery Barn bookshelf and desk combo from my Hubby when we moved back into this house and it turned out to be the perfect size for my scrapbook albums and Stampin’ Up! catalogs!
So, the shelves are full of albums, premade cards (that is those boxes on the center middle shelf), catalogs, and misc extras. I try to keep the desk area clean for overnight guests to use or to have a small area for picture taking.
And last, is the big pantry (yes, this bookcase was literally purchased to be a pantry when we lived in a smaller apartment!) I LOVE how strong these shelves are, and with the doors, this became a perfect storage spot for my extra tools, class items, and 12×12 cardstock. To be honest, I have about 2 shelves in this entire bookcase that I grab supplies from regularly; so it is great to have a place to put everything else and close the door to keep toddler hands away and extra mess contained!
What I Used For Storage
So, hopefully these pictures help give you some ideas for how to store your supplies. I’ve found that since I reorganized, I get so much more done and with less hassle! My big tip?
Keep the supplies you use most often within reach of your crafting chair!
But since you will need furniture and boxes for storage, these are the items that I love:
1. BESTA bookcases from IKEA – this is what I use for my cardstock storage, stamps, and tools. It is found in the Living Room/Media Room section of IKEA and it is designed to hold heavy stuff, so it actually holds up well to the weight of my paper
2. BYGEL rails and baskets from IKEA – I found these to be cheap (like a few bucks a rod – cheap) and be PERFECT for punch storage. I store my old “whale tail” black punches on the wall from these racks. But even cooler is the $1.99 wire baskets that they sell to hang on the rods are an exact fit for the new slimline punches! So, another easy organization move.
3. Magazine style holders for your paper – you can get them in wood, plastic, cardboard, etc from most organization stores (or online here and earn some Northwest Stamper reward punches at the same time!)
4. Stack and Store caddy from Stampin’ Up! – I haven’t seen anything like it but I cannot do without my caddies (check out the Stack and Store caddies online). I love that I can stand there and spin my rack to see everything I have in the way of brads/buttons/eyelets/beads/etc, and so I use my stash! Having items in a drawer just didn’t work for me.
Like I said, if you have any questions or are curious about something I didn’t point out specifically, leave me a comment and I’ll try to give you more details to try at home!
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