20 March 2017

A Clean Craft Room!

 
I'm a terribly messy crafter. That fact might surprise people who know how much I love organizing, but it's true. While I'm working on a project, it looks like a hurricane hit! And when several projects are in the works, every surface in my craft room -- including the floor -- is covered with stuff. Unfortunately I've been in such a funk lately that I've been working on projects and not really cleaning up between them, resulting in a lot of stuff lying about. The end result was a very cluttered space with no clear surfaces. AND...this is a first: I actually bought the SAME COLOR OF INK PAD TWICE last week because I hadn't put the first one away!

In my craft space, I want (and need) everything put back where it belongs. It's too easy to accidentally throw something away -- like a stamp or a die -- if it wasn't put away properly. When it comes to my creative space, there are few things that make me happier and more productive than CLEAN AND ORGANIZED! So over the weekend, I finally spent a few hours putting everything away, re-organizing a few things, and giving the craft room a deep clean.

As a side note, I've noticed that especially when I feel out of control with life's circumstances (such as right now with Tinsel's very sad situation), organizing stuff makes me feel a little bit better. For me, it's about controlling a tiny part of my environment and creating a more peaceful space for myself.

So here's a bit of what I worked on this past weekend as well as some thoughts on various organization systems!

After a few years of working in this space, I still enjoy it. There are a few things I might do differently, but I don't feel strongly enough about any of them to change them at this point. Case in point: My Target cubes are functional, but they're not super-sturdy as they're just made of particle board. As a result, they wiggle a bit. But they're good enough for my craft room and they do hold a LOT of stuff.

I started with two sets of cubes but added an additional two which sit back to back. Since the cube backs are unfinished, having a second set allows me to put them in the middle of the room instead of against a wall.
 

This past weekend, I emptied and dusted all of the cubes, then I moved all of my ribbon and small baskets together and grouped the canvas bins in one area. I have a similar set-up on the other side.
 

When I first got the cubes, I struggled with how to make them functional and still work with my color scheme. I don't like a lot of stuff stored out in the open as I find that visually distracting, so I decided that anything that is on display has to match. So my ribbon jars are covered with coordinating paper so you don't see the various colors of ribbon inside. It's weird, I know...
 

I also struggled with how to make the best use of the canvas bins that fit in the cubes. I could not imagine just tossing stuff into them, so I found containers that could fit down inside to keep like items together. At first I thought it might be a bit cumbersome, but I've grown to really like the system.

This is what it looks like inside my "embellishment" canvas bin. Most of my embellishments are stored by color family in these containers.

 This is my "ink" bin. The canvas bins, when organized this way, hold a LOT of stuff!
 

I took measurements of what I needed to store and bought these containers (called Really Useful Boxes) at Office Depot. They stack together very nicely. 
 

 All of these containers fit in the "ink" bin with room to spare.
 

 If I were to do things over, I might look for a bigger table but this one works for most of my projects. When I'm making kits for a class, however, I usually have to move to the kitchen and dining room tables.
 

I recently decided to bite the bullet and replace my post-bound family albums with 3-ring binders. I had several that were "in process" with chronological layouts, but the inconvenience of that format has been a real barrier to finishing them. If you're a scrapbooker, you probably know how much more convenient binders are to work with than post-bound albums. In order to add different sizes of page protectors to that type of album, you have to completely dismantle it. Binders make it SO MUCH EASIER!

 So I sold several of my albums and replaced them with binders. Now I can easily add in the memorabilia that has been sitting around for YEARS. Woo hoo!
 
 

Dismantling 10+ albums and moving all of those pages around created a big mess. I took time this weekend to organize everything so when I get back to it, I'll be ready to go. This bin has all of my blank page protectors and pocket pages.
 

 See those black tubs in the back of the closet? They are filled with memorabilia -- school papers, programs, other non-photo items -- which needs to go into my binders. YIKES!
 

 I've also been working on a heritage album project and that stuff was scattered all over the floor. I finally gathered it all back up and got it organized so that it's ready for when I get back to it. SO MUCH BETTER.
 

Last year I re-purposed this old cart which came from my dad's garage. The black baskets hold tools and other items for upcoming classes, a simple system that has been working really well for me. After I'm done creating class projects, I put the tools into the basket so they're ready for when I make kits and teach the class.

This part of the closet has remained pretty much unchanged since the first day. The computer cart (which was going to be tossed!) at the bottom of the alcove is on wheels but I never need to move it. The middle shelf, which houses my dies and embossing folders, pulls out which is very handy! 

 When I'm done with a personal project (like the Christmas cards I made in December), I often have leftover die cuts or punched pieces that I opted not to use. I keep those pieces and use them on future projects. Over the weekend I sorting them into baggies and added a piece of scrap cardstock to keep them standing up straight in the basket instead of flopping over. It's a little thing but it makes me much happier!

I found this "wood grain" vintage metal tray at Goodwill recently for 99 cents. One can never have too many trays! I use them all the time to organize supplies for projects and this one will be great for seasonal decor in other parts of the house, too. (You can see the basket with my extra die cuts in the photo below.)

 I still love my simple paper and scrap organization system. Cardstock and papers are organized by color, and the scraps are sorted the same way in the drawers. I had a huge pile of leftover papers and cardstock to put away this weekend. I vow to do better with my cleanup! It would save me so much time to just put things away after each project.

All in all, cleaning and organizing the craft room was time well-spent. I can be much more productive if everything is put back where it belongs, and I finally feel like I can breathe again with everything tidied up. I only wish I were more disciplined at KEEPING it that way! Maybe these photos will inspire me! HA!
jp

No comments: