Welcome to Day Six of Organization Week! Links to all of the "Organization Week" posts are available by clicking on the "Organization Week" image in the far right column of my blog.
For our final two days of "Organization Week," we're going to talk about some specific storage solutions. Remember, you can't organize the way anybody else does unless your brain works the same way. So steal what works for you, and leave the rest!
I'm going to share two ideas with you today that both involve repurposing storage I bought for another purpose.
In my studio there is a "hallway" that was created by the placement of the desk.
I can take the book rings down and bring them to my desk. I can look up and be inspired by something I see hanging there. And this is a solution that works for my style of creating (I don't use a ton of embellishments, so they're out of my main area).
My wire grids are the detritis from cheap wire grid cube storage I used to use, that fell apart when we moved. But I was in The Container Store the other day and I saw this display:
My second repurposed item is this:
It's a Clip It Up. I originally thought I'd put all of my alpha stickers and embellishments on it, but it turned out to be a bit too unstable and didn't hold as much as I thought. So I ended up putting all of my fat quarters on it. I have them arranged by color and now it really works for me! On the top tier I have all my fabric-related mixed media stuff: rubbing plates, Angelina fibers, etc. Like-with-like and it's all out in the open where I can see it and use it!
And now Kim, Sally Lynn, and Katje are going to share their ideas (remember steal what works for you, and leave the rest)!
There are many storage possibilites out there. I chose ones that reflected my personality and supported the way I create. I have eclectic tastes, and wanted to mix both function and fashion for practically no money, since I would rather spend money on the supplies than the storage. Yard sales, salvation army stores, Big Lots, dollar stores, friends and families garages are great starts to gathering a mix of containers.
Two areas that were over crowded and cluttering up my space was my huge selection of punches. I had seen tons of ideas where they were in hanging shoe organizers, filed in boxes etc. I knew I would never use my punches if they I had to pull them out or they were hidden. I found these great metal bins in the garden section of Walmart.
Another area of frustration for many crafters is clear stamps. With the rise of acrylic stamps out there, everyone's inventories are growing and its impossible to use them or know what you have unless they are organized in the way you create. I like to use large three ring binders, page protectors and slip transparencies right into them).
There are several examples of this on the internet and many companies even sell acrylic stamp storage. I also use old CD cases. I had a ton of CD covers/cases that I don’t use for music or software. I use the blank case and add temporary adhesive to the stamp and store them right inside the case.
Thanks so much for letting me share my storage ideas. Hopefully this will inspire you to find storage containers that allow you to spend more time creating, add some personality to your room and be able to clean up!
There are a LOT of them, right? 346 is the current color collection, with a dozen or more being added on semi-yearly. The majority of the systems I've encountered for organizing them are desktop units, wall units and totes that are too 'bucket-ish' for me. I wanted something in-between the lovely labeled store displays and a simple marker stand - but on the wall. I want it labeled, so when something is out of place or missing, it will be obvious. There is little worse when you are coloring with Copics to reach up for a marker that suits your needs, and it isn't there.
Here is my solution, made from CD holders:
Three units covers the entire collection of 346, extra shelf for a few spare blender pens, my glitter pens and a big, honkin' bottle of blender solution. Essentially there is room to grow. So if Copic decides to release more pen colors in the future (or the end of this month!), I'll have that magical number twelve covered.
To read all about how to put together this amazing storage unit from CD holders, read this post on Sally Lynn's blog.
I have a ginormous collection of stamps. The never-ending problem is knowing what you have, and being able to find it.
In the beginning, you have a few images. Typically, it doesn't take much to have an inventory in your head. And if you can physically see them all – aren’t you lucky! But that is like buying the small tote when you are a scrapbooker. What are you thinking? It's a nirvana that doesn't last. Sooner or later, your collection grows and you find yourself buying duplicate themes, without realizing it. Not that there's anything wrong with that -- but if it is because you aren't organized -- it is time to fix that problem.
I’ve been growing this collection for thirteen years. After much trial and error I have a system that is both foolproof and second nature to me now.
Physical Storage –
Bins, Boxes and Binders – oh my!
Lots of people discuss mounted vs. unmounted, clear vs. rubber, but essentially if you love a stamp image, you will buy it no matter how it’s mounted and the result is you will have a mixed bag of every style. The problem of how to organize, store and catalog them will creep up on you quickly. This is how I handle my stamp collection.
- First, I either *unmount my stamps from their wooden block, or take my purchased unmounted stamps and mount them on EZMount. I use regular EZMount for unmounted red rubber, and EZMount Thin for those that have been unmounted from the wood blocks and already have cushion. Clear stamps don't need any help in that department.
*The only wood stamps that typically avoid this block carnage are the big background stamps, or alphabets that in my opinion can really use the good support of a permanent mount (or I’m just too lazy to take those suckers apart!)
- I put the stamps into a Sterilite Show-Offs CD container for storage. These are labeled with a number. I used to buy a smaller container for these which you will see in my pictures, but once I found the Sterlite containers, I continued on with them. They hold more and I don’t want a lid, since not all stamps will fit inside a lidded container.
- Larger stamp sets that can’t be easily cut down to fit inside this system, such as big honkin’ alphabet stamps go into page protectors and get filed into my ScrapRack.
Stamp Bins – mostly Sterlite Containers:
Once the stamps are physically ready to be used and stored away it's time to add them to the "inventory" system. Gosh, that sounds so official! But it is really accessible and easy to use. I use Adobe Photoshop Elements Organizer software to catalog my stamps. If you have Photoshop CSx you can use the Bridge program for this portion.
- Take a low-resolution picture with your camera or scan the stamp index or find a picture on the manufacturer’s website. You only need a 72dpi image. Grainy is fine, because all you need is a teeny thumbnail and it’s best to keep it small rather than take up a bunch of space on your computer with these.
- Categorize the image.
- As your collection grows you will quickly discover that you cannot physically store stamps by category. It’s an unnecessary burden. So build that into your system from the beginning. This way, when Container 1 gets full, you move on to Container 2. You don't think, 'Winter is full, do I need to buy another container for Winter?' No! If you know what you have, you don't need to containerize by theme – your computer is going to do the categorizing for you.
- Place the physical stamp into a container and make note of the container number in your digital file.
Here is a screen capture of the Organizer tool.
I then create Keyword Sub-Categories as I see fit for cataloguing the stamps. The first category shown here is Stamps and the sub-categories are shown collapsed below. You could go as detailed as creating categories for wood-mounted, cling-mounted and clear; if you wanted to. I don't go that far with mine. But I do start with basics such as SOLID and LINE DRAWING. And then I cross-categorize them as much as possible. I also created a main category for Manufacturer.
Here is a screen shot of the keyword part of the screen.
I’ve opened up all the keyword subcategories under the Animal keyword so you can see how little or how much detail you can add. I even have a category for "Stuffed" – not the taxidermy ones, mind you. I mean teddy bears and sock monkeys! But I guess if you hunt – to each his own. This can be added to at any time and cross categorized. So flexible!
Let me share an example:
- Manufacturer (Red Lead)
- Line Drawing
So I can find it by clicking on any or all of these categories.
So now I’m going to go searching, because that wasn’t the bird stamp that I wanted for my project. So I’m going to click on Animals > Birds and on Music. And this is the result.
Finally, I use the captioning mechanism to store the kind of details you might need if you intend to submit to a publication, or sell your stamps (I know, shocking idea!) at any time.
Let me show you an example:
Find That Stamp!
Digital Album = Physical Container
Now how do I take this great categorization and actually go find those stamps in my studio? I create Albums for each of my Bins that I store the stamps in. Each album is a physical container.
I have BINS by number (these are the Sterlite containers). I have MONOGRAM BINS (these are the cardboard boxes that I keep my larger alphabet letters in, be it chipboard, metal or individual large monogram-sized stamps. And I have the Scraprack.
I simply drag the stamp image into the appropriate container (both physically and digitally!) and that’s where I can find it in the future. I can also know exactly where to put a stamp when I’m done using it.
And if I’ve loaned out a stamp to a friend – yep, they get an album with their name on it. I know where my stamps are at all times, missy!
Makes things simpler, doesn't it? No big clunky image binder or rolodex to keep up-to-date. Easy to reorganize and add on to at any time. I have to say, I decided to do this a long time ago and as long as I keep my discipline in the maintaining of it – I cannot fathom a better way to organize my stamp collection.
I can provide my keyword list if you feel that will help you to get started. It isn't importable or anything like that. But if you'd like me to send it to you just send an e-mail (sally DOT lynn DOT macdonald AT gmail DOT com) and I’ll send you the keywords as a little cheat sheet to get started in creating your own system.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Like most craft-a-holics, I am a collector. When I find a product I like I pretty much buy it in every color, shape, and style. And like many artists I am visually organized -- I gotta see it!
Well, I love embossing powder. As you know it usually comes in clear cylindrical jars with plain white tops -- great when displayed on wire racks in the store. But I don't have wire racks at home. I keep them in these Iris plastic scrapbook storage boxes.
The problem with storing them upright in boxes or bins is you can only see the white tops. I realized I could apply embossing ink directly to the white tops and that I could find the right jar more easily.
Someday, I will have a dedicated craft space with customized storage that allows easy access to my supplies. But for today (and probably a while after that) my supplies are relegated to boxes. Knowing and seeing what is inside each box helps me to craft outside the box (literally).
Not only does it make it easy to find what you're looking for, but you can see the true colors of your supplies as well. And you'll remember that Sally Lynn also color labeled all of her Copics. Visuals are important to using what you have. Labels are very important. I like to use little tags to label all of my drawers:
This helps me remember exactly where things go. It truly makes the "putting away" aspect of organized storage so easy.
Today, your assignment is to label. Label what you're storing where. Label your products so they're easy to find. Here are some labeling tips:
- Office supply stores are great sources for labels and tags.
- Go through your supply of scrapbooking embellishments. You may find some cute labels and journaling spots that can be converted to labels.
- Grab letter stickers and rub-ons if you hate your handwriting.
- Consider numbering your boxes if you're using a computerized system like Sally Lynn.
- Labeling your paint collection is as easy as a dirty finger and ten minutes of time. Simply unscrew your paints and add a dab of that color to the cap.
- Some labels will need a bit of extra adhesive. The ones on the tops of my mists each have a glue dot underneath them.
- Label your space so that a friend could come and put away your stuff for you.
- If it's too hard to write the label to describe what's in that drawer/container/bin, then it probably shouldn't be stored together.
Thanks for stopping by! And happy labeling!
Hi everyone. My name is Kim Faucher. Many know me as kimosabescraps online. I have been scrapbooking, stamping and crafting for over 10 years. I am married, a mother of two kids and one puppy, two fish and a snail. Recently I enrolled at Rhode Island School of Design to get a certificate in drawing and painting. I love exploring all types of art, crafts and photography. I have served on several design teams and currently design for Donna Salazar Designs. I have been fortunate to have been published in Cards, Scrapbook Trends and appear regularly in ScrapStreet ezine. I love spending time in my studio, drinking coffee, mingling with friends on Facebook, listening to music and being outside in nature.
I always look forward to sharing tips and techniques with online friends and talking about art with others. Thanks for letting me share my studio organization tips with you.
Sally Lynn MacDonald has been an avid mixed-media artist since 1998, when her first child was born. Subsequently, after the birth of twins, she quit her high-tech career at IBM to be home with her growing family. "This is when random acts of creativity became a survival skill!" she says.
She has been a professional instructor for several years, specializing in techniques and multi-surface applications. She travels extensively, teaching workshops at stores and events throughout the United States and Canada.
Her most recent assignment was with the C-Thru Ruler company, makers of the brands Déjà Views, Little Yellow Bicycle and ART-C Mixed Media products as the Creative Director for the Art-C brand.
She is a member of the Copic Marker Design Team and was on the certification instructor team for the past two years. She does sample and catalog work for several companies, including Faber Castell. In addition she has been a certified and/or endorsed instructor for 7 Gypsies, Art-C, Clear Scraps, Graphic 45, Little Yellow Bicycle, Prima, Ranger, Tattered Angels and US Art Quest.
Her prior design team and guest blogger experiences include such wonderful companies as Cosmo Cricket, Hero Arts, Prima, Spellbinders and Tattered Angels.
You may have seen her on a couple of nationally televised segments on HGTV’s popular craft series, ‘That’s Clever!’.
She is developing self-paced, video and instructor-led workshops online, to be live in 2012.
Sally Lynn and her husband Neil have been married for nearly twenty-five years and live in Connecticut with their three children, Brianna and the "Twinkies," Cameron and Courtney.
Keep up with her colorful adventures on her blog and on Facebook.
I have been the artsy-craftsy type as long as I can remember. I would imagine that I learned how to walk just so I could get to the paper. I saved candy wrappers, ribbon scraps, yarn, catalog photos, and other enchanted things as a small child. And I always fixed my coloring books by drawing elaborate backgrounds and additional characters to the pages. I was lucky to attend a high school that had several art classes before going to art school. After art school I became an elementary school teacher...or art director to a group of horizontally challenged people.
I am a craft-a-holic who draws, paints, knits, crochets, sews, beads, stamps, folds, cuts, binds, collages, up-cycles, and makes paper with the left-overs. Wow! You would never know that I can tweet with characters to spare...wouldja?
My blog is http://katjewave.blogspot.com