Archive for the ‘Organization’ Category

I can’t stand this anymore. This is it. Have you ever gotten to this point? Where you can barely stand to walk into your craft space, let alone even think about actually making something in there?

I have.

I’m used to clutter. I just have so much stuff that it seems inevitable. I usually have what we affectionately call a “Fort” around the chair I sit in most nights. My Fort is built of magazines to read, boardgames to punch out, images to color, and beading to work on. But enough is enough. I tried to get into my craft room the other day and it looked like this.

awful horrible no good craft room

It’s ok. You can judge me.

I know. It’s insane, right? My poor buried Vagabond! Are you ready for another one further in? Prepare yourself.

More scary craft room

Seriously. Judge me to your heart’s content.

So yeah. That’s the state my room was in. And I wanted to get in there and make something, but I couldn’t. It was just too much. After a little analyzing, the biggest issue is that I need to find a Home for everything–a Forever Home. Otherwise, I’m just moving and pushing everything around. So I drastically took a day off work and spent a long weekend working on it. Here’s what I have so far.

cleaned up craftroom

Look! Floor!!!

As you might remember, I’ve tried this before, and every time I’ve worked on cleaning up, I think it’s helped. I still love the Target shelves that I put up in this post, and as you can see in the pic above, they’re still there.

cleared table

There’s Table!!!!

I didn’t get the exact same photo, but I think you can probably tell the difference. There’s actually table space!!!! Isn’t it incredible? Now for the scary part. I have to actually get in there and Make Something. I need to test my organization and see if it’s going to hold because if it doesn’t, then it’s not working and I need to try again. Right now I’m just happy to have clear surfaces. I think the key for me is going to be the combination of baskets and carts. Even though I like to have everything at my fingertips, this time, I tried to move as much off of my table as possible. These things I put into easy to get to baskets and tubs that I can bring to my table when needed–and then put back away when I’m done.

carts in Crafting{without}Kids craftroom

So many carts…

There are 2 carts here and 2 more behind my table next to my chair. That’s 4 carts (2 Raskogs 🙂 ), in my room. Since I don’t have enough room to make stations for different kinds of media on my desktops, I’m using these carts. The top of the white one is all my “good” paints and mixed media type supplies. I’m hoping that by having everything together, I’ll be able to just roll it near my desk if I need it all, or take some of them out to use and then, here’s the kicker, actually put them back, when I’m finished with mixed media projects. I even have one downstairs near my Fort with all my coloring stuff for my #TheDailyMarker30Day Coloring Challenge (which I still need to do today). I’ll let you know how the test of the new and improved craftroom goes.

Ok…I’m off to go color something! 🙂


29/365 #yearofmaking

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I’m here with a bare bones What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. To find out more about the cool WOYWW of it all, go and see Julia at Stamping Ground!

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday

Exciting, isn’t it?!? Nope.

I’ve been spending a bunch of time lately reassessing my space. While I’m really lucky to have my own room, I have A LOT of toys in it. And they are kind of everywhere. At the last crop I went to, I was able to use two tables, and I set up one with my computer and camera and the other I used to make stuff. It was SO nice to be able to have the two stations, that I wanted to see if there was any way to recreate that in my room with the little space that I have. So I sat and stared and made lots of notes. LOTS of notes as you can see. Now I have to implement, but I think I’m on the right track!

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WOYWW 222: Darkness

Well…it’s not dark now. But it was. When I went into my craftroom this weekend, I flipped the switch and blew out my light. My room doesn’t have any overhead light so I need to make do with a series of lamps, but it was my main beloved Ikea (of course) floor lamp that went out. So with less than stellar light, I set to the other main craftroom task–organizing. With that comes updating my Google Drive list, so out comes the laptop.

What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday 222

It’s baaaccck!

Of course, I had to move stuff in order to get TO my laptop to write this for the amazing Julia and company over at Stamping Ground, but that’s the way it goes, right? There’s my Ranger Ink Palette I unearthed while moving stuff here and there. In one of the many organizing books I’ve read, there was the trick to keep a list of problem areas and supplies, so that’s the start of my list right there. Number 1? Magazines! Then I dug into trying to work on my “Prime Real Estate”–the shelves I can reach without moving from my chair.

organizing craft supplies

A Work in Progress

Adhesives in the bin at the top. I’m mostly working on thinning out the pen containers and only leaving what I actually use. The one on the far left used to be completely full! So I’m still working away…maybe on something more crafty by next week!

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I’ve been meaning to join in and post for What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday. It’s hosted by Julia over at Stamping Ground. Every Wednesday you take a picture of your workspace and then post it. I’ve always found others’ workspaces really interesting. It’s fun to take a peek into another’s creative space. It’s like being a little crafty peeping tom. Here’s your look inside my little window.

WOYWW 220, workdesk

There’s Space!

The ONLY reason there’s space there, is my laptop was there as of yesterday. In the baggie is the rest of the necklace I need to make into earrings and a bracelet for my pseudo-mother-in-law. I’m trying to use my new-ish Sticker Stadium so that’s getting filled up. I just opened a really old epoxy button and chipboard set to get at the cute little cupcakes to make a Thank You card for my trainer. If you think it looks crowded now…you have no idea. Did I mention this table is 6 feet long? And it’s at least 5 1/2 feet full.

This isn't even the whole thing...

This isn’t even the whole thing…

workdesk, table, craft room

Yeah. I know.

Crazy, right? I know. You’d think with all that space, I’d have plenty of room for everything. It’s pretty much the opposite. I keep setting stuff on there that I “really should use”. See those papers in the bottom corner of the last picture? Those have been in a pile to make-something-because-aren’t-they-all-pretty-together for…well…as long as I can remember. Now that you have all seen where I work, I should really get to making something!

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There is definitely a love/hate relationship between me and organizing supplies. I love to organize and look at everything, but I never feel like I really accomplish anything (except for my exciting new basket system). I have a little notebook that I have been trying to keep track of my supplies in. When I was first deciding on a notebook, I knew I wanted something small so I could take it with me, but my supplies have outgrown my little notebook.

So little! Measure about 1.5" x 1"

So little! Measures about 1.5″ x 1″


Peek Inside!

Peek Inside!

Quickly I realized I needed to use something else. I always have my phone with me so I want something that will sync easily with my phone, computer and tablet. I tried Evernote, but that wasn’t really working well for me. So now I’m trying Google Drive. So far it’s working well. The best thing it’s doing? SAVING ME MONEY!

I had decided that I really wanted some new ink pads. They were even in my online shopping cart, ready to go, but I was waiting on a friend to get back to me. That night, I went home and typed in all the inks I have into my new INKS Google Drive Doc. The result? About 19 different brands and about 174 colors…that I have listed…so far. Holy crap, right? I know what you’re thinking. And you’re right. I definitely don’t need to buy more ink.

And I don’t. So I didn’t buy it yet and I probably won’t. Seeing all the inks, embossing folders, and dies that I have laid out in an organized grid really shows me that I have plenty and is helping me use what I have and not buy more.

Although, it did cost me money because Blitsy.com had Distress Stains on sale and I wanted to get the ones I didn’t have. Fortunately, I just checked my Google Drive and was able to know what I had and what I “needed” to finish off my collection. So far, I think this is going to work really well.

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This is a breakthrough.

I made a project and even cleaned up after myself! I think that means I might finally have a organization system that actually works. Who knew that baskets were the answer?!?

I know it's crowded, but this is cleaner than normal!

I know it’s crowded, but this is cleaner than normal!

I love my great new shelves I bought at Target. It took me a long time to find them in the store and I had almost given up, but I’m so glad I kept dragging my poor guy up and down all the aisles to look for them. These even lock in to stack!

Locking Shelves from Target

Locking Shelves from Target

Shelves getting filled very quickly!

Shelves getting filled very quickly!

This cabinet used to have dividers that were made for shoes, but I used it for my tubes of beads. Then I realized I didn’t go over to get beads that much so I really shouldn’t use this prime real estate for something that I didn’t access much. I used to have bigger boxes stacked in here (you can see them in this post), which was nice since it’s hard to find space for larger boxes, but I got pretty lazy about lifting everything off to get one piece of ribbon (left alone putting new ribbon back!).

So now I have the boxes all separated and I can actually put scrap paper into the box instead of just sitting the paper on top of where it should be put eventually. So far so good.

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I love to organize my crafty stuff almost as much as I love to use it and I don’t think I’m alone in this. Not too long ago, my crafting group was having a swap so I went through most of the sections of my room and tried to purge and organize. Even though I’m not a Quilter, the book Organizing Solutions for Every Quilter was extremely helpful in this. It is definitely one of the best craft organization books I’ve found (and boy, I’ve read a lot of them). This cleared my floor and worktable…briefly. Soon I couldn’t even get in the door.

If I can’t see it, I forget it’s there. That’s my biggest problem. However, one tip really stuck out to me. If something has a home, I will use it more.  Let’s say I just brought home some really fun flower embellishments. Normally, these would get set on my table because they are new and pretty. Inevitably, they would get buried under the NEW new and pretty things.  But now (or soon), after sorting everything into baskets and giving them a home, when I need a flower, I will go to the FLOWER basket and see them. AND not only will I see the new ones, but also ALL the other flowers that I have purchased and loved. Every time I go for one, I will see them all. It will be so much easier to remember what I have when I see them more often.

Since I’m new to blogging, I’m not in the habit of taking a bunch of pictures yet, so I forgot to take one at the very beginning of this process. These pictures are one night and day later. So in the first one, pretend you can’t see ANY of the floor. (My Bagua marital arts training came in handy as I tried to navigate my way through. ) I moved EVERYTHING that was on the floor to a separate room because I knew I’d at least need to walk around if I wanted to get anything done.

A superficially clean floor.

A superficially clean floor.

Then I set up the sorting areas on the big table, and the little wooden table is there so I didn’t have to keep picking everything up off the floor! I took one bag back into the craft room at a time and sorted everything into the baskets. I still had bags to unpack from the crop I went to in October. *Sigh* If something miraculously had a home already, I put it there. I can’t believe how much I got done in the day. Here’s the crazy state of my table right now.

I swear it's under there somewhere!


Yeah…I know. And this is a HUGE improvement! I managed to clean out several drawers in the tall Ikea wardrobe in the corner of the room and those will be filled with baskets of my newly sorted goodies. Then I can take the baskets to and from my worktable when needed. I’m also hoping the “just throw it in” approach with the baskets instead of containers helps me with putting stuff away since I spend so much of my time making things away from home.  Wish me luck and I’ll let you know how it goes!

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