The cold, hard reality of crafting is that we need to keep our supplies organized. I don’t know about you, but I don’t personally find that particularly interesting or fun.
I just need to do it. I really need to do it more than once a month.
I can’t work on a table that looks like this:
That’s the sight that has been greeting me every time I walk into my craft room my friends.
It isn’t very inspiring. It’s been like this since January. Can you relate to this?
If you’re like me, I find that between working full time and taking care of the house and my family there isn’t a lot of extra time to be as organized as I would like.
I spent all last weekend really cleaning my living room, kitchen, bathrooms, entry areas and the mudroom. I didn’t get to either bedroom. This is a 4 room house and I didn’t get to two of the rooms in the house! I have been battling this virus that has spread through our school since November, as has everyone else in school, and I just haven’t kept up with the house cleaning. Specifically, the dusting and the floors. The house always looks tidy and the kitchen and bathrooms are clean, but you know you just have to get in the nooks and crannies to make the place feel really cleaned. And I tend to pile things up when I get busy or feel overwhelmed. I just need to de-pile.
My poor craft room was neglected and I didn’t have any down time to actually create.
So…WHERE DO YOU START?
- I started by clearing off the table. I pulled a paper box top out and put everything on the table into the top of the box.
- Then I picked one set of like objects that I could deal with immediately. I had a pile of scrapbook pages that I have created over the last year (you read that right…the last YEAR) that just needed to be put in an album. Plus there was one page that I just needed to finish. I also needed to do that without allowing myself to get distracted by the goodies on the table. This task worked out well because I have quite a stash of brand new scrapbooks, scrapbook pages and page protectors from my time as a Creative Memories consultant in the early 2000’s! I have had these more than 10 years my friends and they are ready to be filled. So I filled one today in about 30 minutes. The pages were done. They just needed to be put into the album and covered with the page protectors. I also needed to finish that one page. DONE! Another WIN!
- Pick the biggest pile of offending supplies and get them back where they belong. I had put the stamps that I’ve used over the last couple of weeks on that table instead of just putting them away. Why? I wanted to quickly clean off my work table so I could grab what few minutes I had each day to create and I didn’t want to get bogged down in cleaning. I was busy. You know how this happens. That stuff only took 10 minutes to put away. Another WIN!
- The last pile of stuff in that box top included all the latest purchases. I like to put them in the nice plastic stamp and die storage sleeves and then put them in the appropriate bin. I didn’t have that many new stamps and dies once I got the sets I had currently used put away. You can see all of it in the above picture! The main issue was that doing this led me to tidying up my stamp and die sorting system. I can tell you that the entire process led me to clean off two sets of shelves and my sewing and die cutting counter which is always tidy, but not this month. Another huge WIN!
In the end, my table looked tidy. I had completed a scrapbook and I had finally put my journaling supplies into the Stamp-n-Storage drawer set that I had purchased during their 10 year anniversary sale.
This is not my work table. I use this to journal and organize my supplies. I also craft here with my daughter if we have time when she visits. I can put on a movie and get organizing or business chores done at this table.
I had been organizing my stamp and die sets by company, but this really wasn’t working for me. I decided to create some new categories for my stamps. I have categories now for Christmas, Winter, Fall, Valentine’s Day and Card Kit stamp and die sets. I also have a bin full of journaling sets that includes all my alphabets, inspirational quotes, borders and so forth. I have one fridge bin for just my backgrounds. I pulled out my stamp sets specific to spring and gathered them in one place as well.
One thing is certain. I do not need to purchase any more stamps and dies! The good thing is that I am really good about using what I have. I did pull out a few that I had not used yet and those will get used next.
I did take a break midway through to have a cup of coffee and a brownie bar.
It is sometimes necessary to pause and regroup after all!
This is my die cutting area and it functions really well for me. It is super organized even though my sister tells me that it doesn’t look it. I can find everything that I have stored in this area. I love having a dedicated cutting area and a dedicated sewing area. I have a nice Duraflame heater under my sewing machine that keeps the room warm in the winter.
It actually looks like a wood stove with a fire burning in it from the front. I like that it has a thermostat so that when the room reaches a certain temperature, it shuts off and then kicks on again as the room cools. I also like that the unit itself does not get hot. I’ve given it plenty of ventilation in the back and I’m careful to keep aerosols and my alcohol inks and other flammables away from this area. Those are stored elsewhere.
I realize that my craft room is not a Pinterest worthy room. It is the land of left over furniture, clearance shelves, and thrift store finds. I’m okay with that. I can’t have a room filled with cabinets and closed storage. I will never use my stuff if I store it away behind closed doors. I need to see it to use it and open storage is not as tidy looking as putting things in a cabinet and closing the door.
I also like bins and baskets. If an organizing system is too fussy and requires me to put something in just the right spot…it won’t work for me. I know that I am a tad OCD and that if I allow myself, I will make my room into a perfectly organized showcase.
I would also be miserable if I did that.
This is my happy place. See my stuff makes me happy and using it makes me even happier. I need to be able to put it away quickly and storing things in baskets or bins works great for me. I know that it is not for everyone. I also know that I can find what I’m looking for because I have it organized in sections.
I have a die cutting area next to my sewing area. That is next to my paper storage, then my markers, inks and tools are right around my actual work table. My stamps are in bins on the shelves stored with the coordinating dies that go with them. I have 2 cabinets holding my scrapbooking supplies beyond that.
I also had to add my office supply storage and my Nordic Track to this space, as well as my daughter’s piano.
Like I said…it’s a 4 room house and I’m in the basement in a semi-finished room that is actually a good sized space.
I’m so happy here!
The only stuff that I haven’t been using in my room is the Stampin’ Up! stuff. I love my SU stuff, but I can’t feature retired products on my blog because you can’t buy that stuff anymore. That’s one of the benefits of me branching out and using supplies from all the other companies out there. You can still purchase the stuff they made several years ago. They don’t keep retiring things that they just started selling 3 months ago.
I did a reasonably good job of downsizing my stash when we moved 2 years ago. Granted, I have added a considerable amount of new stamps and things since I have been trying out new supplies from new companies to see what I like. I can say that I’m at a point where I will only buy what I need now. It’s going to be all about using what I have.
So…What’s left to do?
I have to repair the drawers under my craft table. The Alex drawers that I got from Ikea have warped so much that I can’t get the drawers open. I removed the bottoms and I’m going to try to use Gorilla Glue and duct tape to repair them. apparently this has been an issue a lot of people have with these draws since they are only laminated on one side. I can’t wait to get that chore done because I will be able to finish organizing my actual work table area. Right now, I have moved stuff out of the drawers and taken them apart to start the repair process.
What a pain in the neck. I don’t have time to repair this stuff and I need the drawers for my most used tools.
That will be my job for a weekend at the end of this month.
I also ordered a couple of new organizing pieces from Totally Tiffany. I can’t wait until they get here. I’m hoping they will make the shelves behind my look tidier even if it is open shelving.
I love the Stamp-n-Storage stuff that I have and it has really helped me keep my space organized and it all functions really well for me.
But we all know that this organizing gig is one of those fluid things we are always tweaking to keep it working!
Thank you for stopping by today!
I appreciate that you stopped by to see what I have been up to. I hope that your weekend has been as productive as mine has been!