Getting Started on Organization

Getting Started on Organization

I have had a fairly organized scrap room since I started on this paper crafting journey. What started as one iris cart and half a computer desk has morphed into a full room with two closets and lots of storage and workspace for myself and my family.

When we moved into out current house last May, I was able to build the room around two ideas: everything crafty related would have a place, and there would be enough room for everyone who wanted to make something.

Let me show you how I originally set it up:

This is the view from the door. I love having my computer in the room now. I wasn’t able to do this before we moved, and am so glad I can fit it in now. Next to it are my filing cabinets with work, home, and keepsake files. The top drawer of the black one holds my scraps, sorted by color. My printer is on a shelf on top of the file cabinets. Next to that is my scrap table, with all my most used tools on the table in the corner. Around the corner is my youngest’s scrap table. (Which is a piece of plywood covered with scrapbook paper we mod-podged on and then covered with clear shelf liner.) Iris carts with tools and embellishments are underneath the tables.


This is the view from the corner by the green chair you saw in the previous photo. Another table in the corner holds more drawers of tools, as well as stamping supplies. Next to that is a counter height table with inks on top, and stamps in drawers underneath. Yes, every one of those drawers is filled with stamps, and they are sorted by theme. Next to that is a locker I saved from my grandparents’ house and repainted. It holds bulky kid type art supplies, like craft foam and big bottles of paint. Finally, there is a cart for my diecut machines, and the table for sewing projects.

As you can see from the photos, I have a rather cluttered studio. At the time I took the photos, I was still going through boxes, and sorting through craft supplies. I didn’t worry about making it show worthy, I just wanted to document how my craft room was coming along.

There are some things that I set up that are working wonderfully. One of my favorites is this solution for my marker storage. Markers last longer if you store them horizontally. I’ve tried keeping them in drawers, pen sorters, and baskets. None of those solutions worked very well. Drawers made them hard to access, I kept scraping my knuckles on the pen sorter, and I could never find the color I wanted when they were all tossed in a basket.

Enter an idea I saw on pinterest: plastic tumblers in a wine rack. I did a lot of comparison shopping, and decided I’d use these plastic stackable wine holders. It’s working wonderfully, especially since they aren’t taking up any extra surface space. A piece of plywood covered with handmade paper on top of the wine/marker holders makes a great shelf for my printer.

I’ve got a tool organizer from Harbor freight for my most used tools (adhesive, scissors, and washi tape!) and baskets holding paper trimmers, big bottles of glue, more scissors and paint brushes, journaling supplies, and my most recent scrap purchases.
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I have repurposed packing material to make shelves to hold my ink pads at my stamping station.

I installed shelving in one closet to hold paper, photo storage albums, memorabilia containers, project containers, and my collection of craft magazines.
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The other closet holds random craft project supplies; anything from  fabric to handmade paper to my ironing board. It’s still pretty messy. I’m planning on installing more shelving, but that’s not too high on the priority list right now.

The thing to think about when you organize your stash is: how do you use a particular product? Is it something you reach for all the time? Is it something you will look for regardless of where it is stored, or will it be “out of sight, out of mind?”

One of the most relevant things I have ever heard about organization is from Stacy Julian:

You can only scrap in the way you are organized.

What that means, is if you look for your product by color, (ie I need something red here) you should sort your stash by color. If you look for things by theme, (I need a holiday thing) sort your stash by theme. If you look for things by type (ie brads, or borders, or buttons) then sort your stash by type. (That quote also applies to photos, but that’s a discussion for another day.)

I have been using this approach since I started paper crafting. However, your scrapbooking process, and how you look for product changes over time. It’s important to occasionally reevaluate what works for you and what doesn’t. Later this week, I’ll show you how my scrap room has changed since I originally set it up.

If you like the stackable wine holder, you can get it through my affiliate link:

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