Monday, December 7, 2009

Organize YourStuff Challenge - Week 29

Good morning, scrappers! This is it - my final blog entry on the Challenge we have all grown to love/hate/want to throw Twinkies at (bring it on, I LOVE Twinkies!!!). You all have come SO far and I'm so proud of you! So before we get on to the topic at hand, I have one request - grab your camera. Take a picture of your newly remodeled space, and post it. I want to see before and after shots here. Make me feel like these hours of typing were well worth it!

So, what's left to cover? How about the pretty things? You know, the things that make a difference between "Oh, this is your scrap space?" and "I WANT YOUR SCRAP ROOM!" I am going to let you in on a little secret - it's in the details. You don't need custom cabinets, a $1000 work table, or hardwood floors. Heck, you don't even need a whole room. What you need to make it feel like a true creative space are little pieces to help pull it all together.

Think I'm nuts? Check out the rooms you bookmarked from Week 3, the bonus for overhaulers. What did you like most about the spaces? Yeah, the countertop was nice but didn't the little red tags on the silver buckets really tickle your fancy? That was cardstock on a $1 bucket from Target. It wasn't from Bloomingdales. This is stuff YOU can do, folks. You can put together a scrapbook page, right? Putting together a room is no different. Look at it this way - your walls are your cardstock. Your tables, chairs, etc - all coordinating paper. Any accessories you add - embellishments. It all coordinates. It won't be AS simple as scrapbooking - MME does not make a paint/table/lamp pad, unfortunately - but if you keep that same mindset, it will help you with decor. And take risks - it's paint. It's $20 a can and a Saturday afternoon. You can REDO it if you don't like it. It won't kill you.

So, by now, you probably (hopefully?) have your basics. You have walls painted. You have work areas. You have lots of bins and baskets (plastic is perfectly ok). Now we need to tie it all in. My first word of advice - pick a neutral, add a second neutral as an accent, then pop in splashes of a bold color. Meaning:

Walls - light tan, Furniture - black, Accents - red
Walls - greyish blue, Furniture - white, Accents - orange
Walls - cream/pale yellow, Furniture - cherry wood, Accents - bright royal blue

Get the idea? Use your scrapbook pages as design guides. What color combos have you chosen in the past that you adore? You can bring that into your scrap space! And the nice thing is, with keeping your bold colors to your accent pieces, it's super easy and cheap to change your color scheme. Tired of red? Swap for turquoise! It's that simple and will change the feel of a space FAST.

If you've exhausted the links from the Week 3 bonus and still can't find inspiration, one of my favorite sites is Rate My Space on hgtv.com. It's all rooms posted by users - and there are a few scrap spaces, but ignore those. Check out the bedrooms and living areas. There are a ton of rooms, of all different styles and VERY well done. I want your space to do 2 things - first, it should incorporate seamlessly into the rest of your home decor. If you have a warm French Country going on, then I don't want a white melamine and plastic scrap area. Second, I want it to be a place you LOVE. Not just because you get to create in it and it's YOURS, but because it truly feels good to be in. I want all the comforts of home in your scrap space.

Now, what accents am I talking about, and where are you going to find them? Things I love to see in a scrap space: rugs, lamps (table or floor), potted plants in decorative planters (think BIG floor planters here, not tiny African violets), pottery, vases, photo frames, antique suitcases, framed mirrors, pillows, window treatments, candlesticks, artwork. The same kind of things you find in other areas of your home that make it feel like "home" instead of a department store showroom. You don't have to go out and buy all this stuff - repurpose what you can, see if family and friends have things they'd like to "donate," and shop in your own home. Things can be painted and dyed, remember. And anything can be recovered in fabric! In choosing pieces, think about a scrapbook page again. You don't add ONLY flat shiny stickers as embellishments, do you? No! You add some glitter, flowers, some ribbon, etc. You want different textures and feels. This is no different than your scrap space - go for a knobby chenille pillow or a sisal rug. It will bring life to the area.

If you're looking for new pieces or just inspiration, here are some of my favorite places to snag ideas and goodies.

http://www.ikea.com/
http://www.target.com/
http://www.worldmarket.com/home/index.jsp
Hobby Lobby - they have home furnishings, you know!
http://www.pier1.com/
http://www.ballarddesigns.com/
http://www.homedecorators.com/
http://www.grandinroad.com/jump.jsp?itemID=163&itemType=HOME_PAGE
http://www.potterybarn.com/
http://www.pbteen.com/?bnrid=3700111&flash=on&cm_ven=eCommerce&cm_cat=sitelink&cm_pla=PB&cm_ite=homepage
http://www.landofnod.com/
http://www.potterybarnkids.com/
http://www.dwr.com/
http://www.westelm.com/
http://www.jcp.com/
http://www.overstock.com/
Home Depot and Lowes - I found the greatest plants at home improvement stores. Big, beautiful plants and gorgeous planters for beyond cheap. Don't go the silk route, get real plants if your space will allow it!
http://www.crateandbarrel.com/
http://www.uttermost.com/
http://www.etsy.com/
http://www.umbra.com/
And of course, there's Ebay, Craigslist, antique stores and garage sales! Or any local home decor stores you have around - TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Kirklands, HomeGoods, Stein Mart, etc.

This is no different than any other Challenge - go with a list. Don't come home with 16 orange plates and no idea what to do with them - they'll just be clutter. Figure out what each blank wall in your space needs, take measurements, and then go on the hunt. Only buy what works for your area and things that WON'T get in your way. Remember, these are ACCENTS, not tools. You may find a gorgeous table lamp, but if the only place for it is in the middle of your work area - well, that's not so gorgeous then, is it?

Finally, I'm not going to disappear into the sunset forever now that this Challenge is over. If anyone gets stumped on organization ideas, your best bet is going to be posting on 2Peas message board. BUT - if you get stumped on decor or room layout, I am more than happy to help. I do have a Bachelor of Science in interior design, so I'm not all fluff. If you're having trouble deciding on a rug, or can't figure out what color will work best, email me and I'll get back to you pretty fast with some ideas - wookie_mouse@yahoo.com. But no spam or hate mail please, that's not very sweet, and David Duchovny would NOT approve. In the meantime, feel free to revisit this blog anytime, enjoy your beautiful new scrap spaces, and finally - get scrapping!

Thanks for taking this journey with me, I had FUN!

Stacy

Monday, November 30, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - Week 28

Another Monday, another Challenge! This one may or may not apply to you - this week we're going to tackle card storage, both made cards and supplies. Most of our card-making gear is interchangeable with our scrapping stuff, so that's all settled. But there are a few odds and ends - like pre-folded cards - that are their own entity. We're going to get those in order this week, and find a good storage solution for any cards you may have lying around, waiting to be given to someone special (or if it's a nasty card, someone not so special. Don't we all do that?).

First off - card storage. I'm going to combine both pre-folded cards and made cards into the same category here, since their storage options are pretty much identical. If you don't have a large stash, then they might even be able to be stored in the same container, which would be pretty sweet. Some options include:

A clip-it-up type system
Accordion file, by theme
3-ring binder with page protectors
A mini album
A box, bin or basket with divider tabs by theme
A Rolodex-type file

Once you determine your stash size and which method would best suit your card collection, it's time to decide how you want to organize them. For made cards, you can divide by theme (ie, birthday, thanks, get well, etc), by month (Valentines in Feb, etc), or by person (mom, dad, David Duchovny). For pre-folded cards, you can divide by size, color, or style. Figure out which system works best for you and start filing away!

For my cards - I used to use a clip-it-up, but I found it took up too much desktop space for my liking. So I just filed all my cards by theme into the cheap-o photo boxes from Hobby Lobby. The top won't fit because the cards are larger, but that's ok - it sits on my shelf just fine and is easy to flip through when I need to find a card. If I make multiples of the same card to use up scraps, then I file them together in a ziploc bag.

For my card supplies - I know it's beyond easy to fold a card from scrap paper, but I'm addicted to the pre-folded cards in boxes! I have a cabinet devoted to my card making supplies and instead of shelves, I have 2 large bins that pull out. I cut the tops off all the boxes of cards and stacked them in there. All I have to do is grab the color of card I want and the matching envelope, and I'm good to go!



In closing, I want to add my 10 rules for organizing. I'm going to post these at the end of every challenge, because I think that they are very, very important. I want you to keep them in mind as you tackle each of these projects - they will make your life easier and the task less daunting.
1. Label your containers.
2. Be consistent in your methods.
3. Don't be too specific - your search for your items within your space should be short and simple.
4. Your organizational method should be easy to take out AND put away.
5. When organizing, break any large piles into smaller groupings. Have a 2 foot tall stack of paper to sort? Do it in 1" high chunks, it will be easier to handle mentally.
6. If it's something that you use on almost every project, then keep it within reach of your main scrap area.
7. Don't stress your containers. Get a new system or purge your stash.
8. For most items, product packaging adds bulk. Toss it. One exception - rub ons.
9. Repurpose when you can - almost anything can be painted or covered in paper/fabric.
10. THE GOLDEN RULE - FIRST choose an organizational method, THEN choose a container that fits your space and style. Always shop for containers with a list in hand - a beautiful container is simply clutter if it doesn't have a dedicated purpose in your space!

Your cards are all neat and ready to go! Join me next week for our grand finale - we're going to turn your neatly-organized scrap hole into a vision of creative grandeur! Ok, maybe not so much, but you won't feel like tossing your cookies every time you walk in there. See you then!

Stacy

Monday, November 23, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - Week 27

Happy Monday, scrappers! I know we're all knee-deep in turkey guts and stuffing right now, so this week's Challenge is something you can do anytime - font organization. And depending on the number of fonts you have, it may take quite a while (I know it took me about 4 months, eeek!).

Step One - stop downloading fonts. If you haven't gotten your fix yet, then go get it out of your system. Hit every free font site out there, download until your computer explodes, then proceed to step 2. It will be impossible to organize what you have if you keep adding to the mix.

Step Two - don't install your fonts. If you install every font you have, then your system will bog down. Keep it to the basics that your system needs, and then install/uninstall as you need the others.

Step Three - decide how anal you want to be about your organization. If you only have 50 or so fonts, a font folder is probably enough organization. But if you have into the thousands, then your best bet is to divide up your fonts into families (ie, serif, sans serif, grunge, antique, etc) or go with a font organizing program. There are a lot of free manager programs out there, the most popular being The Font Thing. This program rocks but will not work with Vista - but I've also come across the AMP Font Viewer that's free and Vista compatible, but I can't comment on the ease of use. Regardless of which one you use, now is the time to figure out how you want to organize your fonts, get your folders set up, download and install your free font managers, etc. Start making preparations.

Step Four - start organizing. Unzip any fonts that need it, move all your fonts into one location, make sure all your font files are valid and working. Then start moving them into their new homes.

Once you're done, you can easily see which ones you have using a font manager, or you can print out your fonts and store them in a binder for easy access. Also make a backup of your new system onto a CD - if your system crashes, it will NOT be fun to try to set all that up again!

Your font dilemma has now been solved! Go gorge yourself on pumpkin pie and get Grandpa out of the gravy, and I'll see you next week - we're going to get those cards and card-making supplies tamed!

Stacy

Monday, November 16, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - Week 26

Helllooooo, scrappers! Can you believe we only have 4 more weeks to go? You all are doing GREAT! This week we're going to tackle 2 completely unrelated topics, but it will be fun and easy. One will deal with the boring, organizing side, and the other will be a little more creative. So you can get your fix and make progress at the same time! What could be better than that? Other than David Duchovny pulling weeds out of your front yard, but that's another post entirely.

A quick update for all of you riding my tail about those negatives - I have not fallen as your leader. I now have 92% of my negatives labeled and filed. The rest will be done this week....I got sidetracked by the Cowboys losing this weekend, let me mourn a little and I'll get back to work.

Ok, let's move on before more distraction sets in.

First topic this week - now that our spaces are lovely, labeled, dust and clutter free - how are you going to keep it that way? If a personal attendant and maid are out of your budget, then my first suggestion is to look around your house and your life. We are constantly bringing things in from the outside - mail, groceries, things from work, things from the kid's school, you name it. Scrapbook supplies are just another thing on this list. Now, if your home looks like it should be on the show "Hoarders," then this exercise may not work for you. But if you DO have some of the areas above under control, what's the system that works for you? Figure that out, and then apply it to your scrapbook supplies! For me, there are 2 things that work. First, I have a designated space for all my papers that enter the house, whether they are things for school or bills. They each go in a certain bin to be filed at a later time, which is in my day planner on a bi-monthly basis. I applied this same system to my scrap supplies - and for me, this is key: the new supplies DO NOT ENTER MY WORKSPACE. Unless I intend on immediately using them on a project that is currently on my desk. Instead, they enter a file system that is located right by the door to my room:



I got this particular one at the Pottery Barn outlet, but you can find them at office supply stores and lots of catalogs - I've seen some nice ones at Ballard Designs. There are 2 units stacked here, and all are labeled (of course). I have spots for paper, magazines/ideas, stamps and embellies, and stickers and die cuts. When I get a package or go to the local scrapbook store, I immediately place my supplies into the proper files. Then, in my day planner, I have "clean scrapbook room" listed for every other Friday. It's no different than doing laundry, or cleaning toilets, or watering the plants. It's a chore that needs to be done, and by making it part of my usual weekly tasks (or bi-monthly in this case), I know that my scrap space will stay clean. It's been almost 2 years now and it WORKS.


Another option I've seen many scrappers do is have a goody basket - a large bin where you put all your new supplies for a while so you can bask in their glory and drool. Set a time limit, maybe a month or so, and use what you want from your new stash. Then recycle the bin - either on a time schedule or whenever you get even newer goodies. Put the now older items in their proper homes and make room for the new stuff. But make sure you do this regularly - you don't want this bin to be a catch-all that starts a new trend of disorganization!


One final tip on keeping the clutter at bay - and I will admit, it's the most boring task in the world but it makes all the difference. If you finish a project, clean it up. Completely - file your scraps, clean your stamps, put away your tools. Have a completely pristine workspace before starting your next task. It will prevent the clutter from snowballing and you hopefully will not have to re-take this challenge. Because - although I do love you - I don't want you back here again.


On to the second part of this week's Challenge - organizing your albums! I'm sure most of us have a hodgepodge of albums going on - mini albums, 12x12 in different styles, 8.5x11 albums from 1991, books, you name it. It can be tough to find a storage solution that accommodates them all. There are really 2 options here - keep them in one place or separate them. If you choose to have them all in one place, it doesn't necessarily need to be your scrap space. The living room would work just as well, a bookshelf in the hall, wherever you'd prefer. But it would be nice to have them in an area where family and friends could access them and appreciate them! Small baskets are another great option for mini books - I know many scrappers who keep baskets around the house and just rotate the books through as they make new ones. Kids love looking through the mini books as well. If you want to break them up - maybe have the newer or incomplete albums in your scrap space, some personal albums like wedding ones in your bedroom, some family albums in the living room - that works just as well. With hodgepodge albums, you can choose the album to fit the space and the decor - anything goes.


If you decide to have all your albums together, you also have the option of creating a unified look. I took this route myself and got rid of a lot of older (mostly postbound) albums that the love just wasn't there anymore. I replaced them with the American Crafts cloth albums for my main albums, and any specialty albums (especially trips) are in the modern line. I love how they take up the same space on the shelf and just look so darned neat together! (Ignore the postbound album on top that is NOT put away, it's a friend's album and doesn't reside in my room!).


Ali Edwards uses this same approach, but in a little more extreme: http://aliedwards.typepad.com/_a_/2008/05/q-a-albums.html - she also shows how to make those cool little circle tabs, they are SUPER easy to make.


Which brings me to the next topic - labeling your albums. There are so many ways to do this, the easiest is using a computer template so whatever new label you need, it's automatically identical to what you already have - no trying to find matchy-matchy supplies from a line 3 years ago. Keeping it simple helps too - not only in saving you time for more important projects, but also in maintaining that unified look.


Some other options:
If you're into Creative Memories, you can have the albums etched or use a spine charm: http://www.ehow.com/video_5226043_customize-scrapbook-album-covers.html
More ideas:
http://www.scrapbook.com/forums/showtopic.php?tid/1499669/
http://www.scrapbook.com/forums/showtopic.php?tid/1493201/

That's all for this week! So go figure out a good way to handle any future incoming supplies, decide what you want to do with your albums, and get labeling. I'll see you back here next week to tackle fonts - your computer will thank me. :)


Stacy

Monday, November 9, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - Week 25

Good morning, my scrappy friends! I won't lie to you - this week will bore the pants off of you. BUT - it will finally get one more thing off our "I really should do this, but I HATE doing this, so let me go watch tv instead" list. We're going to tackle our NEGATIVES (hey, come back, there's nothing good on tv right now, really!!!).

Unless you have your negatives all neat and orderly, then shoo. Go watch tv.

For the rest of us who have them shoved in shoeboxes, there are 2 main goals I want you to focus on in sorting your negatives. First - they need to be in some sort of order in case you accidentally mess up every photo you've ever had printed from them and you need to find a replacement fast, you'll be set. And second, they need to be in a safe storage method, away from light, heat, Kool-Aid fingers, and mouse droppings. Unless you plan on accessing these on a regular basis, it doesn't have to be user-friendly as much as your embellishment storage would be. And if you never, ever use a film camera anymore, it may not need to be expandable - just accommodate what you already have.

You will have one other decision to make - to store these separately or with your photos. Either way will work fine, it just depends on what suits you best.

Below are some links I'm come across for storage methods and ideas. Choose one that fits the space where you intend to store your negatives - if you don't plan on accessing these very often, then it doesn't have to be your scrap space, it could be a closet shelf. This is also one of those areas where I personally feel that pretty can take a back seat - if your negative storage isn't going to be seen, then don't splurge on a beautiful and elaborate storage system. Make do with what you have around the house, if possible. And, as always, the links I posted are intended to give you a visual idea of what it is I'm talking about - it doesn't mean I endorse the product or the store.

Sentimental Playground negative pockets: http://www.organizedphotos.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=TSP&Category_Code=O
Filmbin Box with envelopes: http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.com/item.action?itemGroupId=332
FoldLock sleeves: http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.com/item.action?itemGroupId=51
Negative sheets: http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.com/item.action?itemId=430
With photos in a Cropper Hopper negative/photo holder: http://www.cropperhopper.com/search.aspx?find=ch46-p
In acid-free envelopes
In storage sheets in a 3-ring binder: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/61728-REG/Vue_All_V8000_Negative_Saver_Archival_Storage.html

I will not be posting a photo this week of my negative storage because I, in the past, have always chosen the "watch tv" option and my negatives are crammed in 3 shoeboxes in my attic right now. Bad scrapper! Bad scrapper! I do, however, have a 50-pack of the Vue All sheets and a 3-ring binder waiting, so I will be enduring this painful journey along with you.

In closing, I want to add my 10 rules for organizing. I'm going to post these at the end of every challenge, because I think that they are very, very important. I want you to keep them in mind as you tackle each of these projects - they will make your life easier and the task less daunting.

1. Label your containers.
2. Be consistent in your methods.
3. Don't be too specific - your search for your items within your space should be short and simple.
4. Your organizational method should be easy to take out AND put away.
5. When organizing, break any large piles into smaller groupings. Have a 2 foot tall stack of paper to sort? Do it in 1" high chunks, it will be easier to handle mentally.
6. If it's something that you use on almost every project, then keep it within reach of your main scrap area.
7. Don't stress your containers. Get a new system or purge your stash.
8. For most items, product packaging adds bulk. Toss it. One exception - rub ons.
9. Repurpose when you can - almost anything can be painted or covered in paper/fabric.
10. THE GOLDEN RULE - FIRST choose an organizational method, THEN choose a container that fits your space and style. Always shop for containers with a list in hand - a beautiful container is simply clutter if it doesn't have a dedicated purpose in your space!

Hopefully we can all survive this together and make it through to week 26, when we'll tackle one of my favorite topics - keeping it neat and album organization! See you then!

Stacy

Monday, November 2, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - Week 24

Happy Monday! We're down to the 6 week countdown! This week we're going to tackle memorabilia - we all do it on trips, hoard things like they're going out of style. I'm not going to tell you to clear out your clutter and toss the sugar packets from that cheap motel you stayed at. We're going to get things organized in case you really DO want to scrap those sugar packets, you can find them!
There are 2 types of memorabilia to deal with - flat and bulky. The best way I've found to accommodate both is to find a system that works with your flat memorabilia, and then add a note card or a photo in there noting your bulky items (which are stored elsewhere) that accompany that event. That way, you can keep all your items together and organized but not lose small things like ticket stubs, or bend important papers, amongst the big things. If you're up for it, the photograph may be enough of a memory to scrap to allow you to get rid of the bulky item altogether - greatly simplifying your life!
The most logical way to organize your precious mementos is by theme or event. If you keep items from something that's ongoing, or repeated every year, like a family gathering or trip, then it might be best to organize by theme. If it's a one time deal, like the birth of a child, then organizing by event is the way to go. Keep in mind these can be combined, it doesn't have to be all or none. So go grab your bags and boxes of "stuff" and find a big clean floor space to dump them out at (keeping the sugar packets away from kids and pets, of course). Dig in and start sorting! At the end, you should have several piles of things - this is also the prime time to purge. Do you really need all 5 brochures from the same boat tour? Be realistic, you DO have photos!
Now that you know HOW to sort your memories, let's look at ways to house them. For bulky items, I suggest finding a really pretty box that you love. Hobby Lobby has a great selection of unique ones, and I love the little suitcases from the Paper Source: http://search.paper-source.com/index/_/N-/Ntt-suitcase. Have fun with it! For your flat items, possibilities include:
In hanging folders in a portable file box
In zip-top bags in decorative baskets
In a 3-ring binder in page protectors
In accordian files
In scrapbook albums
Memorabilia can be tricky if you're taking an acid-free approach to scrapbooking. Make sure to keep your newspapers in a plastic page protector or bag away from your other items. Use acid-neutralizing spray as needed. And for important documents, make copies and file away your originals.

I've found 2 systems to house my memorabilia. The first is for my flat items - I use a 3-ring binder with page protectors. Each protector holds one "event." I have each event labeled at the top, so when I go to scrap the pictures from my Cancun trip, I just flip to the "Cancun" page protector and take the whole deal out. And everything I need is in there!


For my bulkier items, I found a lovely box (half off! which makes it even prettier!) at Hobby Lobby that matches my room decor. Problem solved!


In closing, I want to add my 10 rules for organizing. I'm going to post these at the end of every challenge, because I think they are very, very important. I want you to keep them in mind as you tackle each of these projects - they will make your life easier and the task less daunting.

1. Label your containers.
2. Be consistent in your methods.
3. Don't be too specific - your search for your items within your space should be short and simple.
4. Your organizational method should be easy to take out AND put away.
5. When organizing, break any large piles into smaller groupings. Have a 2 foot tall stack of paper to sort? Do it in 1" high chunks, it will be easier to handle mentally.
6. If it's something that you use on almost every project, then keep it within reach of your main scrap area.
7. Don't stress your containers. Get a new system or purge your stash.
8. For most items, product packaging adds bulk. Toss it. With once exception - rub ons.
9. Repurpose when you can - almost anything can be painted or covered in paper/fabric.
10. THE GOLDEN RULE - FIRST choose an organizational method, THEN choose a container that fits your space and style. Always shop for containers with a list in hand - a beautiful container is simply clutter if it doesn't have a dedicated purpose in your space!

Your sugar packets are no longer in a box somewhere attracting ants! Congrats! Now go take out those trash bags full of stuff you found, and we'll focus on getting your negatives organized next week.


Stacy

Monday, October 26, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - Week 23

Good moooooorning, scrappers! Hope you all can take a quick break from your ghosts and goblins to join me in organizing your templates this week! This should be a relatively laid back week, since templates don't come in too many shapes or sizes, which limits their storage options. And chances are, you probably have a setup that works for you now - in some form or another. This will probably be more of a "tweak" week than a total reorganization.

First off - HOW to organize your templates. By type is one of the most logical - brass with brass, plastic with plastic, etc. Another easy way is by theme - journaling, baby, etc, with all your template types mixed in. Either way is valid - go with how you scrap, and that will help guide your decision.

Now, let's get those templates organized! Once you've decided on your method, let's find a good home. Please note that the links I posted are intended to give you a visual idea of what it is I'm talking about - it doesn't mean I endorse the product or the store.

Brass/small templates:
In clear CD cases (NOT slimline)
Stacked by theme in clear plastic shoeboxes or photo boxes
Zip N Flip: http://store.scrapbooking-warehouse.com/278904.html
In hanging zip-top bags
On jump rings
In a multi-drawer chest
In a mini photo album
PSB or baseball card sleeves

Larger plastic templates:
In 3-ring binders
Stacked in magazine holders
In hanging zip-top bags
On jump rings
In a multi-drawer chest

For my templates, I decided to organize them by type - mainly because I know what I have. My smaller brass templates are in a Cropper Hopper zip n flip system in a 3-ring binder:


For my larger templates, they go in a 3-ring binder as well. If they don't have holes to fit the rings, then I just slide them into a sheet protector.

Promised you this week would be short and sweet!

In closing, I want to add my 10 rules for organizing. I'm going to post these at the end of every challenge, because I think they are very, very important. I want you to keep them in mind as you tackle each of these projects - they will make your life easier and the task less daunting.

1. Label your containers.

2. Be consistent in your methods.

3. Don't be too specific - your search for your items within your space should be short and simple.

4. Your organizational method should be easy to take out AND put away.

5. When organizing, break any large piles into smaller groupings. Have a 2 foot tall stack of paper to sort? Do it in 1" high chunks, it will be easier to handle mentally.

6. If it's something that you use on almost every project, then keep it within reach of your main scrap area.

7. Don't stress your containers. Get a new system or purge your stash.

8. For most items, product packaging adds bulk. Toss it. One exception - rub ons.

9. Repurpose when you can - almost anything can be painted or covered in paper/fabric.

10. THE GOLDEN RULE - FIRST choose an organizational method, THEN choose a container that fits your space and style. Always shop for containers with a list in hand - a beautiful container is simply clutter if it doesn't have a dedicated purpose in your space!

Your templates are now happy in their new homes! Congrats! Meet me back here next week, same time, same channel, and we'll work on storing memorabilia. See you then!


Stacy

Monday, October 19, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - Week 22

Hello, ladies! Are you still having fun? I hope so - because we only have 8 more weeks to go! You should be seeing some major, major progress by now. Keep in there, you're doing great!
This week we're going to focus on something BIG - dies for die cutting machines. And I say BIG because the oh-so-creative-but-not-so-kind die cut machine designers wanted to make sure that their dies are never, ever confused with eachother, which means us lucky consumers have to find storage systems for a gazillion different types of dies. Thanks, scrapbooking industry! Thankfully, a lot of companies have recognized this and put out storage methods for their own products, which DOES help, but it also means if you have multiple die cutters, chances are, you're going to have multiple storage systems as well. Which means more work for you this week.
There are 2 different ways of organizing your dies - by manufacturer or by type. I would love to organize by type - have all my shapes together, themes together, etc - but it would really be a nightmare to find a storage solution for. How can you store Quickutz with Big Shots dies? And then adding Cricut carts to the mix - what a mess! So I suggest you store by manufacturer and create an inventory book or Rolodex that you can group your dies together by theme in. So you can turn to a page and see all your dog dies from all your different companies, and then go to the appropriate manufacturer to take out the one you want. It seems the most logical way to go.

I know there are a lot of different systems on the market, so I'll try to break them down into one general category first with options for many different types of dies, then tackle specific systems and solutions I've found for the different die systems on the market. If I missed a die system, it's because I couldn't find solutions! So please - help me out here and if you've found a solution that works for YOUR system, post it to benefit everyone.
As always, the links I posted are intended to give you a visual idea of what it is I'm talking about - it doesn't mean I endorse the product or the store.
General storage ideas for any/all die systems:
Photo storage boxes
Clear plastic shoeboxes
Divided hardware storage drawer units
Divided plastic boxes
Cricut:
Sizzix/Big Shot dies:
Sizzix towers - no longer being produced, but you can find them on Ebay
Nestabilities:
Quickutz storage binder:
On the inside of cabinet doors (or on any flat wall surface): http://wickedlywonderfulcreations.blogspot.com/2009/01/new-nesties-now-what.html
Quickutz:
Slide storage sheets in a 3-ring binder: http://www.archivalusa.com/2x220hb100.html
Cuttlebug:
In divided plastic boxes
Hopefully one (or more) of those methods will work for your stash! Here's some solutions I've come up with for my die collection:
Sizzix - I keep all my Big Shot dies in a cheap white photo storage box from Hobby Lobby, nothing fancy. My border dies (the long ones) are kept in plastic ruler cases from the school supply section of most mass retailers like Target or WalMart. The Sizzlits dies are kept in baseball card holders in 3-ring binders - I can get 2 alphabet sets per binder:
My regular Sizzix dies are stored in Sizzix towers:
For my Cuttlebug dies, I found a divided plastic storage case that I could customize for the long versus short dies. My embossing templates (the square ones) go into a photo storage box.
My Quickutz are in the Magpie tins. I love this system! A lot of places have them on clearance now, I saw them for $20 at Big Lots. My Revolution dies fit well in the bottom drawers of the units.
In closing, I want to add my 10 rules for organizing. I'm going to post these at the end of every challenge, because I think they are very, very important. I want you to keep them in mind as you tackle each of these projects - they will make your life easier and the task less daunting.

1. Label your containers.
2. Be consistent in your methods.
3. Don't be too specific - your search for your items within your space should be short and simple.
4. Your organizational method should be easy to take out AND put away.
5. When organizing, break any large piles into smaller groupings. Have a 2 foot tall stack of paper to sort? Do it in 1" high chunks, it will be easier to handle mentally.
6. If it's something that you use on almost every project, then keep it within reach of your main scrap area.
7. Don't stress your containers. Get a new system or purge your stash.
8. For most items, product packaging adds bulk. Toss it. One exception - rub ons.
9. Repurpose when you can - almost anything can be painted or covered in paper/fabric.
10. THE GOLDEN RULE - FIRST choose an organizational method, THEN choose a container that fits your space and style. Always shop for containers with a list in hand - a beautiful container is simply clutter if it doesn't have a dedicated purpose in your space!

Your dies are all neat and organized and snug in their beds. Let them join the rest of the party going on in your scrap space, and I'll see you back here for Week 23.

Stacy

Monday, October 12, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - Week 21

Helllooo Monday! Glad to see everyone so bright and chipper and ready to organize! This week will be an easy one, so grab yourself a nice hot cup of coffee and relax - we're going to get all your pens and pencils in order. If sticking them all in a large bin works for you, then see ya later. If you want them a little more refined, then read on.

Let me get straight to the point here - it's pens. And pencils. And markers. It's not rocket science. You either organize by type, or by color. And I think type works best for most people - if you want a red pen, you don't go digging through a box of 30 red pens, markers and pencils. Unless you're psychotic, then that's ok, there are meds for that. So go gather all your beloved writing tools and let's find a good way to store them.

Bonus, that will add some time on this week but will be worth it in the end: Take some time this week to get your writing instruments in shape. Make sure all your pencils are sharp. Go through your pens and make sure they all work - toss any that don't. We don't hang on to things like this for sentimental reasons. Unless you want to be known as the "pen lady."

Ok, on to the storage methods. Please note that the links I posted are intended to give you a visual idea of what it is I'm talking about - it doesn't mean I endorse the product or the store.

Stored upright, in jars - best for pencils, not so great for pens (which should be horizontal). Put a layer of beans in the bottom to help keep the pencils separated to get them out easier.
Stored horizontal in a wine rack: http://craftystorage.blogspot.com/2008/02/mk-julias-pen-storage-idea.html
Keep them in the cases they came in (Prisma, Zig Twins for example)
Use a pen holder from an office supply store: http://www.amazon.com/Eldon-Shelf-Savers-trade-X-Cube/dp/B00006IAMW
Crop In Style Pen Caddy: http://www.save-on-crafts.com/cropinstylpe.html
Multi-drawer storage chest
Photo storage box or clear shoe box
Tackle box
Revolving kitchen organizer or tool organizer (best for most-used pens and pencils)
Colorful mugs or small tin pails
Pencil box
Empty paint cans painted and stacked together on their sides
Silverware drawer organizer
Plaid Creative Gear Pen and Marker Holder: http://www.thesavvyscrapper.com/catalog/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=28&products_id=431&osCsid=446961a8cdf56056a
Artbin Prism 6-slot box: http://www.crafttownhobbylandusa.com/proddetail.php?prod=1106AB
For copic markers: http://trudee.blogs.splitcoaststampers.com/category/craft-organization/
Zippered pencil cases: http://www.dickblick.com/products/global-classic-leather-pencil-cases/, great for crops

Hopefully you've found something in the links that works with your stash AND your space. Here's how I tackled this storage dilemma - multiple solutions! I have a decent sized stash, mostly because all my journaling pens and Prismas are leftovers from design school - who would have thought they'd be so handy down the road? First, my Zig twins are in the cases they came in, I just stacked them in a cabinet. I use the x-boxes by Rubbermaid from Office Depot for all my gel pens and journaling pens:

For my Prisma pencils, I use the zippered pencil case from Dick Blick art supply. My Prisma markers I just keep in a photo storage box.

In closing, I want to add my 10 rules for organizing. I'm going to post these at the end of every challenge, because I think they are very, very important. I want you to keep them in mind as you tackle each of these projects - they will make your life easier and the task less daunting.

1. Label your containers.
2. Be consistent in your methods.
3. Don't be too specific - your search for your items within your space should be short and simple.
4. Your organizational method should be easy to take out AND put away.
5. When organizing, break any large piles into smaller groupings. Have a 2 foot tall stack of paper to sort? Do it in 1" high chunks, it will be easier to handle mentally.
6. If it's something that you use on almost every project, then keep it within reach of your main scrap area.
7. Don't stress your containers. Get a new system or purge your stash.
8. For most items, product packaging adds bulk. Toss it. One exception - rub ons.
9. Repurpose when you can - almost anything can be painted or covered in paper/fabric.
10. THE GOLDEN RULE - FIRST choose an organizational method, THEN choose a container that fits your space and style. Always shop for containers with a list in hand - a beautiful container is simply clutter if it doesn't have a dedicated purpose in your space!
Your pens and pencils are now ready to be used as tools of creativity and not weapons of desperation. Congratulations! Now go drag out that old coloring book for some fun and meet me back here for Week 22.

Stacy

Monday, October 5, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - Week 20

Good morning, scrappers galore! This week we're going to focus on organizing a mess that has probably been the bane of my scrapping existence for quite some time - die cuts! There are so many shapes, sizes, colors and themes, it's a nightmare to try to find a system that works. But we WILL tame that mess this week!

First off - HOW are you going to organize your die cuts? This will depend on how you scrap and how you organize your other embellishments as well. You can organize by theme (ie, baby, Christmas, quotations, etc), by color (which works well for things like blank tags), by type (borders, tags, frames), or by manufacturer (which is a good option if you sort your paper in this method - you can keep sets together easily). You don't have to choose one category - you can have a mix if it works better for you, as long as you know where your stuff is! You also need to decide if you want to take them out of their original home (whether it be sheets or boxes), or leave them attached as is. If you choose to separate them, it'll be easier to organize by theme or color. If you leave them attached, it'll be easier to separate by manufacturer. The choice is yours.

Now that we have an idea of how to divide up those piles, let's look at WHERE you can put them. Please note that the links I posted are intended to give you a visual idea of what it is I'm talking about - it doesn't mean I endorse the product or the store.

In Crop In Style Paper Sticker Binders (PSBs) or 3-ring binders with divided page protectors: http://www.createforless.com/Crop+In+Style+Paper+Sticker+Binder+PSB+Navy+and+Black/pid69700.aspx?utm_source=googlebase&utm_medium=cse or http://www.c-lineproducts.com/product_detail.php?product_id=848
In zip top bags, hanging on a clip it up or pants hanger, or stacked in baskets or bins
In shallow drawers or a multi-drawer chest
In acid free envelopes in a photo box (for smaller die cuts)
In clear plastic shoe boxes or photo boxes
In Craft Keepers: http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog.jsp?CATID=cat2051&PRODID=prd35270&cm_mmc=Google%20Base-_-Comparison%20Site-_-Web%20Site-_-Craft%20Keeper%2012''x12''%20Poly%20Envelope%20-%20Clear
Tilt bins (for smaller die cuts)
Hanging file folders
Expandable organizers
Over-the-door organizers
In a mini photo album
In clear CD cases or DVD cases

Now you have some options, I'll share the system that works for me and how I scrap - but it did take a while to find. I combined 2 methods of sorting - by theme and by color. The vast majority of my die cuts are in an Iris cart (I removed the wheels and stacked 1.5 together) - they fit nicely under my main work table:


In this stack are all my die cuts by theme. I have a box for baby die cuts, boys, stars, journaling blocks, floral, swirls, animal/nature, etc. If it's too% theme-related, it goes in here.


My second method (not pictured) is identical to my box storage for my alpha sets, it's just located on the other side of my work table. Using the cheap white photo boxes from Hobby Lobby, I have one box per color and all my "blank" die cuts (ie, not theme oriented) go in here. So if I'm looking for a purple tag, I go to my purple box and I likely have one in there. If I'm looking for a purple tag with a puppy on it, I go to my animal box instead. These are easy to kid proof as well - one strip of masking tape per side won't damage the box at all and the toddler gives up pretty easy.

In closing, I want to add my 10 rules for organizing. I'm going to post these at the end of every challenge, because I think they are very, very important. I want you to keep them in mind as you tackle each of these projects - they will make your life easier and the task less daunting.
1. Label your containers.
2. Be consistent in your methods.
3. Don't be too specific - your search for your items within your space should be short and simple.
4. Your organizational method should be easy to take out AND put away.
5. When organizing, break any large piles into smaller groupings. Have a 2 foot tall stack of paper to sort? Do it in 1" high chunks, it will be easier to handle mentally.
6. If it's something that you use on almost every project, then keep it within reach of your main scrap area.
7. Don't stress your containers. Get a new system or purge your stash.
8. For most items, product packaging adds bulk. Toss it. One exception - rub ons.
9. Repurpose when you can - almost anything can be painted or covered in paper/fabric.
10. THE GOLDEN RULE - FIRST choose an organizational method, THEN choose a container that fits your space and style. Always shop for containers with a list in hand - a beautiful container is simply clutter if it doesn't have a dedicated purpose in your space!

Your die cuts are now easy to find and you no longer have to threaten them with the paper shredder. See you all back here for Week 21.

Stacy

Monday, September 28, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - Week 19

Welcome back, happy and organized scrappers! This week we're going to focus on chipboard - the bare naked variety. This should be a good week - great results with minimal effort!

First off - let's talk about HOW to organize your chipboard. You need to decide whether to keep them in their packages (and often this means for the sheet variety like Fancy Pants, whether or not to leave them attached to the sheet), or to break them off into their individual pieces. This really is a matter of personal choice and may even be dictated by your space - sheets are going to need a good 12x12" space for storage, while if you have smaller pieces of chipboard, they could go into smaller containers that could stack. So keep that in mind. If you know your manufacturers, or have a small amount of chipboard, storing on the sheets is very feasible. But if you have a large amount and can't remember who makes what - you just want a large chipboard daisy! - then breaking up your sets may be a way to go.

A second issue is how to categorize them - by manufacturer or theme. Follow your paper on this one. If you know who makes what, then sort by manufacturer. But if you are looking for a chipboard frame with a star on it, then sort by theme. It will make your life easier to have all your like pieces together. Some themes include frames, seasons, brackets, scrolls, floral, hearts, stars, etc. Go through what you have and see what you have a lot of - start grouping them, and that will help to dictate what categories you need (and how many boxes to buy!).

Now, alphas are another story entirely. You can choose to store them with your chipboard here, or with your other alphas. I think it makes more sense to store them with your alphas - unless you are a fan of keeping all your manufacturers together, then store like with like.

Finally, let's talk blank sheets. I know every scrapper hoards chipboard from any place imaginable! The best solution I've found to store it is to treat it like you do your paper. So if you use the vertical paper files, dedicate one to chipboard. Chipboard is also nice in that it can stack upright on a shelf without bending - just a bookend is all that's needed. File cabinets are yet another option.

Now that you have an idea of HOW to organize your chipboard, let's talk about what to store it in! Here are some solutions I've found - keep in mind which route you decided to take. If you're keeping original packaging, then you need to accommodate the bulk of chipboard and the 12x12" nature of it. Some options - like hanging zip top bags - may not be strong enough to hold. Most unpackaged chipboard sorted by piece can fit into much smaller containers. You will need as many containers as themes or manufacturers, and plan for future purchases as well.

Clear plastic shoe boxes
Hanging zip-top bags, on clip-it up style rails or pants hangers
Page protectors in a 3-ring binder
Multi-drawer chests
Over-the-door organizers
Photo storage boxes
Crop-In-Style cubes

My main storage method (in addition to the shelf and paper holder shown above) is an Iris cart with the snap top boxes, wheels removed:
I actually have one and a half of these carts - each drawer unit comes apart and can stack on top of eachother! So I have one and a half under each side of my standing work table. I have my chipboard broken down by themes, one theme per box, and each box is labeled.
It's worked out very well for me - prior to this method, I used the 3-drawer Sterilite drawers, but this was prior to the huge pieces of chipboard coming out (and then prior to Sterilite coming out with 12x12 drawers!). Those are both good options that worked for me, tho.

In closing, I want to add my 10 rules for organizing. I'm going to post these at the end of every challenge, because I think they are very, very important. I want you to keep them in mind as you tackle each of these projects - they will make your life easier and the task less daunting.

1. Label your containers.
2. Be consistent in your methods.
3. Don't be too specific - your search for your items within your space should be short and simple.
4. Your organizational method should be easy to take out AND put away.
5. When organizing, break any large piles into smaller groupings. Have a 2 foot tall stack of paper to sort? Do it in 1" high chunks, it will be easier to handle mentally.
6. If it's something that you use on almost every project, then keep it within reach of your main scrap area.
7. Don't stress your containers. Get a new system or purge your stash.
8. For most items, product packaging adds bulk. Toss it. With once exception - rub ons.
9. Repurpose when you can - almost anything can be painted or covered in paper/fabric.
10. THE GOLDEN RULE - FIRST choose an organizational method, THEN choose a container that fits your space and style. Always shop for containers with a list in hand - a beautiful container is simply clutter if it doesn't have a dedicated purpose in your space!

Congratulations, your chipboard is now easy to find when you need it! Meet me back here next week, same time, same place, and we'll deal with all kinds of pretty die cuts.

Stacy

Monday, September 21, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - Week 18

Lovely morning, scrappers! Can you believe we only have 11 weeks left? You guys that are sticking with me - I'm in awe. Good job, keep it up!
The Challenge this week is to organize our tools. This is going to be a very individual task, since everyone has a different set of must-haves (heck, trimmers alone must come in 8 different sizes!), and tools can be small, sleek, bulky, heavy, you name it. So I'll offer up some suggestions for storage, and I'll leave it up to you to figure out the best method for YOUR stash. There are really 3 ways of basic organizing on tools - sort by frequency of use, function or size. You also need to decide 2 things:
First - are you going to keep your tools with all your other tools, or with the products that you use them with? For example - your heat gun. Decide whether to keep it with your tools or your embossing supplies. Do what makes sense to you, and stick with it. Also, in grouping tools, decide whether to keep ALL your tools together, or put some of your less-often used tools out of the way. By splitting tools up, you can gain a lot of workspace, but you also risk forgetting what you have.
Second - if you go to crops a lot, now is a good time to figure out how to make your life easier. Decide to invest in a second set of tools that will be packed and ready to go for your crops, or find a good tool storage solution that's also portable.
Here are a few ideas I came across for storing tools. Please note that the links I posted are intended to give you a visual idea of what it is I'm talking about - it doesn't mean I endorse the product or the store.
Over-the-door organizers
Tilt bins
Clear plastic shoeboxes
Multi-drawer chest
Photo storage boxes
Tackle box
Hanging on a wall (no pegboard needed): http://www.paperwishes.com/products/4001966
For my setup - I have my tools sorted by frequency of use. My less-frequently used tools are in a lazy susan in a cabinet:
I repurposed a cute garden tote to hold my scissors. ALL my blades are in here - I love my Exacto knife, so I keep my spare blades in a film canister. I also have a second canister out with a slit cut in the top to hold all my spent blades. When the canister is full, I tape over the top and toss the whole thing in the trash - no loose blades to injure someone!


This is actually a photo of my old tool storage. I currently have the Making Memories desktop carousel: http://www.makingmemories.com/Products/detail/Desktop-Carousel This setup did work for me for a while tho - those are just garden planters, another Hobby Lobby find. I found that I needed a little bit more structure (ie, compartments) tho.


So go gather up those tools, make your decisions, and sort and store!

In closing, I want to add my 10 rules for organizing. I'm going to post these at the end of every challenge, because I think they are very, very important. I want you to keep them in mind as you tackle each of these projects - they will make your life easier and the task less daunting.
1. Label your containers.
2. Be consistent in your methods.
3. Don't be too specific - your search for your items within your space should be short and simple.
4. Your organizational method should be easy to take out AND put away.
5. When organizing, break any large piles into smaller groupings. Have a 2 foot tall stack of paper to sort? Do it in 1" high chunks, it will be easier to handle mentally.
6. If it's something that you use on almost every project, then keep it within reach of your main scrap area.
7. Don't stress your containers. Get a new system or purge your stash.
8. For most items, product packaging adds bulk. Toss it. With once exception - rub ons.
9. Repurpose when you can - almost anything can be painted or covered in paper/fabric.
10. THE GOLDEN RULE - FIRST choose an organizational method, THEN choose a container that fits your space and style. Always shop for containers with a list in hand - a beautiful container is simply clutter if it doesn't have a dedicated purpose in your space!
Congratulations, your tools are all happy and content in their new home! Go do a happy dance and meet me back here for week 19, when we'll tame your wild hordes of raw chipboard.
Stacy

Monday, September 14, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - Week 17

Good morning, ladies! Welcome to Week 17 of the Challenge - time to get your punches in order! This week should be relatively painless - there are only a few ways of storing punches. What's likely to be most time consuming is getting an inventory together. But at least that's something you can do while watching evening tv.

First, figure out the best spot in your room for your punches - shelf, wall, box, bin, etc. If you have an inventory, then you don't necessarily have to have them on display and they can be tucked away out of sight. Then choose a storage method that works for your space (AND your style!). Keep in mind one thing - punches are HEAVY. So keep that in mind when choosing storage - if you go with something like the Sterilite drawer units, any more than 5-7 medium punches will bog down the drawers and they'll fall out of the tracks. Large punches will strain delicate storage options and be a bear to move around. So if you have a lot of punches, make sure to go with sturdy storage and only a FEW punches per box (or mix in your heavy punches with some light ones as well). Because of their weight, they'll take up a lot more space than you realize. On to the links! Once again, please note that the links I posted are intended to give you a visual idea of what it is I'm talking about - it doesn't mean I endorse the product or the store.


On a rod on pegboard: http://stampinat6213.blogspot.com/2007/08/pegboard-organization.html
On a magnetic wall strip: http://makingmemories.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451fa2269e2010536bace9c970c-pi
In shallow drawers: http://www.stacksandstacks.com/sterilite-3-drawer-storage-chest-20238004/ or without the drawers themselves: http://craftystorage.blogspot.com/2007/08/punches-by-janette.html
Clear plastic shoeboxes: http://paperfections.typepad.com/paperfections/2007/06/paper_punch_sto.html
Photo boxes
Punch N Go Tote: http://www.paperwishes.com/products/7267580000
Over-the-door shoe organizer: http://www.twopeasinabucket.com/pg.asp?cmd=display&layout_id=1158922
Crop In Style Punch Organizer (scroll down): http://www.1stopsquare.com/cropinstyle.html or in use: http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/photo/1470672641059524861GHxWPl
On a pot rack: http://melstampz.blogspot.com/2009/02/punch-storage-misc-craft-room.html
Towel rails on a wall: http://stampnsparkle.blogspot.com/2008/01/punch-storage-solution.html
CD rack: http://colorfulom.blogspot.com/2008/01/like-many-stampers-im-trying-to-get.html
Toolbox/tackle box: http://www.twopeasinabucket.com/pg.asp?cmd=display&layout_id=852830
Tilt bins
Matchbox car containers
Steel drawer units - not cheap, but sagging problem eliminated! http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40107872
Hanging on curtain rods:
http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/photo/462314
Custom-built shelving, if you're handy: http://www.splitcoaststampers.com/gallery/photo/574015&cat=3376
Clear acrylic photo frames stacked in shallow drawers
Rotating desktop units: http://www.stampinthings.com/
Craft Locker: http://www.craftlocker.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=2

Lots of options to choose from, hopefully one will work for your stash! My method isn't the most clean and neat, but it works for me. I just throw them all into a drawer! Well, not literally. :) The drawer is about the size of a filing cabinet, and I've taken out the plastic drawers from a 3-drawer Sterilite unit and stacked them in there, so I can have many rows of punches. There's a wire frame (meant for hanging files) that the lip of the drawers sit on - which gives me additional room to stack punches below.


I'm able to find what I want pretty quickly because I know my punches well (ie, if I'm looking for my small corner rounder, I know it's the green one with the black lever). I also use a punch inventory - here's the printout I use for mine:

http://organizedscrapbooks.com/punch-inventory

Just use scrap paper and do a quick punch before putting it in it's final place. Then when you need one for a project, you can flip through your inventory to see if it will work or not before going to get it. It's also handy to have when shopping. I just did a 3-hole punch and put it in a small binder. Super easy to store and to keep updated.

In closing, I want to add my 10 rules for organizing. I'm going to post these at the end of every challenge, because I think they are very, very important. I want you to keep them in mind as you tackle each of these projects - they will make your life easier and the task less daunting.

1. Label your containers.
2. Be consistent in your methods.
3. Don't be too specific - your search for your items within your space should be short and simple.
4. Your organizational method should be easy to take out AND put away.
5. When organizing, break any large piles into smaller groupings. Have a 2 foot tall stack of paper to sort? Do it in 1" high chunks, it will be easier to handle mentally.
6. If it's something that you use on almost every project, then keep it within reach of your main scrap area.
7. Don't stress your containers. Get a new system or purge your stash.
8. For most items, product packaging adds bulk. Toss it. With once exception - rub ons.
9. Repurpose when you can - almost anything can be painted or covered in paper/fabric.
10. THE GOLDEN RULE - FIRST choose an organizational method, THEN choose a container that fits your space and style. Always shop for containers with a list in hand - a beautiful container is simply clutter if it doesn't have a dedicated purpose in your space!

Your punch problem has now been solved. Congratulations! Time for a cupcake break, go gorge yourself on some buttercream and I'll see you back here for Week 18!

Stacy

Monday, September 7, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - Week 16

Is it Monday already? Can we go back to Saturday???? Please? Oh well, let's make the most of it - let's get our buns in gear and organize our paints, glitters and Stickles! Because I know you hoard them, they're just too yummy. So let's make them easy to find and use.

These are one item that if you have just a few, you can toss in a pretty bin and say you're done. It's not hard to sort through 5-10 Stickles to find the right one. But if you have many, you really need them organized in a way that enables you to find the color you need and quickly. The easiest way is obviously by color - just set them up like a rainbow and it'll be easy to find what you're looking for. I'm really going to focus mainly on paints and Stickles here - depending on the shape of your containers, you can store your glitter like your embossing supplies (if it's in a shallow cannister) or like your paints and Stickles (if it's in an upright container).

So, here's my monster list of links for this week. As you search, keep in mind your storage space (wall-mounted, countertop, drawers, etc) - and immediately knock any option off your list that won't work in your space, no matter how pretty it is. Please note that the links I posted are intended to give you a visual idea of what it is I'm talking about - it doesn't mean I endorse the product or the store.

Upright in shallow drawers, Ikea Fira drawers, multi-drawer units, or Crop In Style cubes
Cropper Hopper vertical drawers (for dabbers): http://craftystorage.blogspot.com/2008/01/acrylic-dabbers-idea.html
In shelf organizers: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=22350465 or http://lauravegas.typepad.com/photos/my_studio_in_detail/28_studio.html
How about upside down? Scroll down on this page: http://going-buggy.blogspot.com/2009/01/ta-da-here-is-my-new-crafty-space.html Brilliant!!! And you thought you didn't have room!
On velcro on a wall (no shelf needed): http://www.twopeasinabucket.com/userblogpost.asp?id=39838 or an acrylic frame: http://www.scrapbook.com/gallery/image/layout/1793069.html
In metal cutlery trays, in a drawer or on the wall: http://ucc4success.blogspot.com/
On a tiered lazy susan: http://www.stacksandstacks.com/dual-level-lazy-susan-turntable/?id=176&sku=10752&utm_medium=shoppingengine&utm_source=googlebase
Tim Holtz case: http://store.scrapbook.com/ch-th92379.html
Plastic flip-top box, great for crops! http://www.scrapbook.com/gallery/image/scraproom/1774033.html
In spice racks
In an over-the-door organizer
Clear plastic shoeboxes
Photo storage boxes
Tilt bins
Tiered racks: http://cardstockheadquarters.com/Organizers-glitterstairs.htm

My method is very simple but effective - I have an entire drawer devoted to my Stickles and paints. All I have to do is open it up and pick a color. I try to keep them in order, but that doesn't always happen. Every now and then I get bit by the cleaning bug and put them back in their proper places.


Once again, I have another link from Patter Cross - this time for keeping track of your Stickles colors. http://triplethescraps.blogspot.com/2008/12/organizational-friday.html Too smart!!!

In closing, I want to add my 10 rules for organizing. I'm going to post these at the end of every challenge, because I think they are very, very important. I want you to keep them in mind as you tackle each of these projects - they will make your life easier and the task less daunting.
1. Label your containers.
2. Be consistent in your methods.
3. Don't be too specific - your search for your items within your space should be short and simple.
4. Your organizational method should be easy to take out AND put away.
5. When organizing, break any large piles into smaller groupings. Have a 2 foot tall stack of paper to sort? Do it in 1" high chunks, it will be easier to handle mentally.
6. If it's something that you use on almost every project, then keep it within reach of your main scrap area.
7. Don't stress your containers. Get a new system or purge your stash.
8. For most items, product packaging adds bulk. Toss it. With once exception - rub ons.
9. Repurpose when you can - almost anything can be painted or covered in paper/fabric.
10. THE GOLDEN RULE - FIRST choose an organizational method, THEN choose a container that fits your space and style. Always shop for containers with a list in hand - a beautiful container is simply clutter if it doesn't have a dedicated purpose in your space!
Your paint and Stickles dilemma has now been solved. Congratulations! Go pester the kids about their homework and I'll see you back here next week.
Stacy

Monday, August 31, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge Week 15

Good morning, scrappers! YOU DID IT! We are officially past the halfway mark now. Ok, so go get your lovely picture (you know, the one you took in week 2 of your room, not the one of David Duchovny in a speedo). Bring it to your space. See a difference? I'm hoping this will get you through to the end - look at how far you've come and how much you've accomplished! And if your actual space and your photo look the same....well, time to get started, right?

This week we're going to focus on ink pads and embossing supplies. These little suckers are tricky to store because we tend to have a LOT of them, and they're not easy to stack. So let's get down to ideas.
Thankfully, there are a lot of products on the market specifically designed to hold ink pads. That will make our reorganization a little easier. Here's what I've come across in my search for ideas - remember, the links I posted are intended to give you a visual idea of what it is I'm talking about - it doesn't mean I endorse the product or the store.
In old cassette tape holders
In clear plastic shoeboxes
Multi-drawer chests
Tilt bins (for small ink pads)
Photo storage boxes
Glass jars (for small ink pads)
Dauber case (for ink daubers): http://columbiaart.net/2012.html
Ikea Fira drawers
Crop In Style cube drawers
Hardware bin units (for small ink pads)
In Scrap N Cube units: http://www.scrapncube.com/
Ebay is also a great source - items vary daily, and there are a lot of reputable sellers on there.
I got my storage system off of Ebay years ago - I've made sure it had a home in my space because it's just awesome. It holds all my larger ink pads on the sides, and the entire unit turns. On the top, I have my liquid inks as well as my smaller inkpads. The unit sits enclosed in a cabinet - so just because you don't have the counter space, don't rule out a desktop spinner! And as a bonus - my kids can't get near this thing. I can only imagine the damage they could do.
For my smaller ink pads, like the Cats Eye, I have some small bins (they're just drawers from another unit, but they were the perfect size) that sit on top of the holder and the inks are just tossed in there. Not as neat and pretty as my larger pads, but it doesn't take me much time to find what I need in there.
EMBOSSING:
Keep the powder in salt and pepper shakers or spice jars, and store on spice racks.
In clear plastic shoeboxes
In a multi-drawer chest
Photo storage boxes
Ikea Fira drawers
Crop In Style cubes
In boxes or bins
I don't have a lot of embossing supplies - I emboss every now and then, but I tend to stick with the basics. I've been able to keep everything in a wooden planter box that sits on a shelf in my room. It's out of the way, and when I need anything embossing-related, I just grab my box. If someone has a lot of supplies and has come across a good way to store them, I'd love to see photos!
I wanted to add one more link from another Organizational Goddess I stalk (and she's a Pea too!) - Patter Cross has an awesome way of labeling her inks. Check it out! http://triplethescraps.blogspot.com/2009/04/organizational-friday.html

In closing, I want to add my 10 rules for organizing. I'm going to post these at the end of every challenge, because I think they are very, very important. I want you to keep them in mind as you tackle each of these projects - they will make your life easier and the task less daunting.
1. Label your containers.
2. Be consistent in your methods.
3. Don't be too specific - your search for your items within your space should be short and simple.
4. Your organizational method should be easy to take out AND put away.
5. When organizing, break any large piles into smaller groupings. Have a 2 foot tall stack of paper to sort? Do it in 1" high chunks, it will be easier to handle mentally.
6. If it's something that you use on almost every project, then keep it within reach of your main scrap area.
7. Don't stress your containers. Get a new system or purge your stash.
8. For most items, product packaging adds bulk. Toss it. With once exception - rub ons.
9. Repurpose when you can - almost anything can be painted or covered in paper/fabric.
10. THE GOLDEN RULE - FIRST choose an organizational method, THEN choose a container that fits your space and style. Always shop for containers with a list in hand - a beautiful container is simply clutter if it doesn't have a dedicated purpose in your space!
Your ink pads are now beautifully organized and back in your space. Congratulations! Summer's just about done, so go get in one last run through the sprinkler and I'll see you back here for Week 16.
Stacy

Monday, August 24, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - Week 14

Hellooooo, ladies! Welcome to Week 14, this week will be a cakewalk compared to the past few, so it'll be a good time to play catch up. We're going to focus on your cropping supplies this week. This Challenge will be short and sweet.

I admit that I don't go to crops nearly as often as I like, so I don't have a detailed system for organizing crop gear. I do know 2 things, however:

1. If you crop a LOT - store your tools in a portable caddy that can also be used on your desktop, or invest in a second set of basic tools that can be left in your crop bag at all times.

And...

2. Don't bring your entire scrap space with you. Like ANY trip, you need to plan what you pack. I only bring page kits with me - just the basics and the photos that go with them. I take a few days to put these together - if you plan enough of them, all you have to do at crop time is grab a few bags and you're ready to go! I also like to catch up on journaling during crops - I have a few themed albums (especially photo album scrapbooks) set aside for this purpose alone, and have found that crops are a GREAT way to catch up on any Project 365 albums as well.

I did come across some interesting links on how other scrappers pack for crops - check them out and see if any of their tips might work for you!

http://organizedscrapbooks.com/article69.html
http://www.memoryworkshop.ca/index.php?p=12
http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:AKzWQW2Xcz8J:www.croppincorner.com/scrapbooking/organize.doc+packing+for+a+crop&cd=9&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

So - this week, I want you to figure out the best way to pack for your crops, and set up your supply bag as needed - including page kits. Next time a crop comes up, you'll be ready!

That's it for today - I need my daily cupcake fix, so we'll meet back here next Monday and get all your inks and embossing supplies organized. See you then!

Stacy