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:
On a magnetic wall strip:
In shallow drawers: or without the drawers themselves:
Clear plastic shoeboxes:
Photo boxes
Punch N Go Tote:
Over-the-door shoe organizer:
Crop In Style Punch Organizer (scroll down): or in use:
On a pot rack:
Towel rails on a wall:
CD rack:
Toolbox/tackle box:
Tilt bins
Matchbox car containers
Steel drawer units - not cheap, but sagging problem eliminated!
Hanging on curtain rods:
Custom-built shelving, if you're handy:
Clear acrylic photo frames stacked in shallow drawers
Rotating desktop units:
Craft Locker:

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:

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!



  1. HEre is where I store mine at present.

    The tiny ones I have in a pouch in my tote.

    A friend stores her modest collection in RUBs

  2. You are a woman after my own heart! I LOVE my label maker and being organized. I love your site! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love my punch organizer from

    It is very sturdy and hangs on my wall! He also carries ink pad, ribbon and cricut organizers!

    Love them!