Monday, June 1, 2009

Organization Challenge Week 2 - Brainstorming

Welcome to Week 2 of the Organize Your Stuff Challenge! Hopefully you all have gone through the process of scrapping and now have in your perfectly manicured little hands a list of your problem areas. This week, your challenge will be to figure out why these areas are hindering your scrapping, and what to do about them. I also want you to grab your trusty camera, because we're going to be posting some pictures this week.

First on our Challenge list - I want you to take a deep breath and leave your current world behind. Ignore the phone ringing and your kid screaming about something being on fire. Just take deep breaths, relax. Imagine you just woke up from 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep (ok, stop laughing). You feel refreshed, your mojo is strong, you grab your coffee and head to your scrap space. There are a trail of rose petals leading up to the magnificent French doors that is Your Room. The Scrap Fairy, in all her glorious grandeur, has visited last night (unfortunately, she didn't do the laundry, but we'll talk to her about that later). You now have the scrap space of your dreams! It's clean, it's tidy, it's free of dust/dead silverfish/things the cat coughed up. Don't wake up yet - what do you see? Are things in country woven baskets? Are they in sleek metal tins? Are there labels or do you just "know" where the supplies are at? Are your paints lined up on a shelf by color, or stashed in a drawer? Is the paper out for all to see, in racks or in cupboards? Does it feel like the loft space of a Manhattan artist, the cozy craft room of a southern cottage, maybe a porch of a shore house? This is YOUR dream room. There is no right and no wrong. This is a place where you spend so much of your time and creative energy - start envisioning what you want out of it. This is just brainstorming right now - leave out budget and space constraints. We'll deal with those later. Just have fun with it.

Now, you are still in your dream space. First thing I want you to do is to grab your list from last week. Start with problem area #1. I want you to write down all your thoughts on this area - why it's a problem, and what would make your life easier. Your dream room has no problems. Envision yourself in this space, creating the same layout that you did in week 1. How is this different from your reality? So, for my example - my monthly kits. Right now, in my reality, they're in plastic bags lined up on my desktop. I take out one, I can't get it back in, the others fall over. I hate that! But in my dream space....what if I had something to keep them upright? And in order? And maybe off my if I can stick them in a cabinet maybe. Or hang them up. That would work. See? Just jot down possibilities. Because in Week 8, when we get to kits, I may find something related to hanging or upright containers or the like that will "click" for me. But by jotting down ideas, I already have in my head a good start on how to get rid of this problem area. And if you can't think of any solutions, that's ok too - I'll give you plenty.

I don't want to talk budget and space yet, but I do want to focus on one practical aspect - how you work. I know everyone in this challenge has seen beautiful scrap rooms that they'd sacrifice their mother-in-law for. But if you have small kids who get into everything, then an open shelving system on the floor is not going to work for you, no matter how pretty it is. If you have room for one small scrap surface, then don't drool over a desktop tool caddy that takes up half the table. If you're a sitting scrapper, don't look into standing-height counters. So as we go along, keep your reality in mind. You CAN have a great, gorgeous space, and on your own terms. We're going to bring the items you covet into your reality with what you already have and own. It CAN be done. So keep this in mind as we go along - I want you to IMMEDIATELY rule out any storage solution that will not work with your lifestyle or your scrap space. No matter how appealing or pretty. Just cross it off. With a big black Sharpie.

Our final step in the challenge this week is - picture time! I think this is a great motivational tool - it's not meant to get you down in the dumps by looking at your photo (sans David Duchovny) and thinking, man, my space bites. You're going to post this photo and you're going to find that there are others out there much, much worse off than you are. And that will (sadly) boost your spirits. And if you have the absolute worst space posted, well - you have nowhere to go other than up, right? Let's keep those attitudes positive! You will also print this photo out and display it prominently in your space. Because when you're in Week 10, and you don't want to do this anymore because you feel like all you do is organize and nothing has changed, you're going to look at that picture and see how far you've come. And that will give you a second wind to tackle the rest of your list.

Here is the photo of my space, un-Photoshopped:

Overall, I'm happy with my space. It does need some tweaks tho. And some cleaning (I think that's jelly on my stamping cabinet....yuck, kids!!!).

See you all in Week 3 - get ready for a clean sweep, ladies!



  1. bring that fairy over to my place ASAP. :-)

  2. I will try to post a pic of my space...I just took the pics tonight. I'm not too computer smart! And Stacy..your space looks so nice!

  3. I only have a small space for Scrappin but I have really down sized my supplies and I found my style my main probelms are how to store embelliments and chipboard so I can find it fast. Now it is in three different areas. Thanks for posting this.

  4. I am going to give this a go. Right now I have to my scrap space also be an office as I work from home. So this will be a bit challenging, and like most my space is SUPER small. But having two kids under two and working from home, I realize I need to do relaxing things for ME, and scrapbooking is one of them. I could really use the organization so that I can scrap at a whims notice, not have to pull everything out and then place back.

    Thank you for doing this! This must be a huge time commitment for you!!

  5. Man, this is not a good time to be posting pics of said scrap space... packing / moving. But I'll do what I can. Just a warning, it's gonna be a mess! Love your space!!

  6. Ok, I guess I did week 1 and week 2 all at the same time.

    I will definitely start envisioning the ideal room/space to "get into my headspace" to figure out how to tackle my problem areas identified last week.

  7. Hey. I am so looking forward to this challenge. I just found you this week so I am a bit behind but catching up shouldn't be a big deal. I do have two young kids (3 and 6 months) so they are the only obstacle I have with time. I have a great space that is mostly organized but there are definately some problem areas, mainly with kits like you. I will attempt to post pics this weekend but can't promise anything. Thanks for the time to help all of us get organized. Audrey

  8. Are all of these cabinets, including the island custom made?

  9. Ok ladies, I'm continuing this project in earnest a year and a half later!! lol. Here's my blog post for Week #2: