Hi Stampers! Today I thought I would share some tips that I use for keeping my craft space organized. You can never be too organized, right? Also, I find that being able to locate exactly what you're looking for right away, without having to search for things, saves so much time and keeps crafting more fun. So, here are a few ideas (my top ten!), and I hope you find one or two of them useful for your craft space.
1. Catalog your inventory. I keep a looseleaf binder to keep track of the stamp sets that I have. When a new order arrives, before I mount the stamps or use them, I copy the insert (for clear mount sets) or the sheet of labels (for wood mount sets). I then punch with a three-hole-punch and put into my looseleaf binder. I separate each category similar to the categories in the Stampin' Up! catalog. It is so much easier to look through a binder than it is to pull out all your boxes of stamps to see what you do and do not have.
2. Organize your cardstock. I purchased a plastic file box not too long ago and sorted out all my cardstock at that time. What a difference a little change makes! I know that many crafters prefer to keep their cardstock on open shelves, but I prefer to keep mine out of direct sunlight so there is no chance of fading. I'm fortunate that my craft space is in a sunny room! I must admit that this box has become rather full, and my Specialty Paper is elsewhere pending an additional box. Not to worry; I'm on the task!
3. Label your ink pads. My best storage investment from the Stampin' Up! catalog is the Color Caddy. It is so awesome to have every color of ink at your fingertips. I also labeled them all to make locating the correct color even faster. I found that it did not spin as easily as I would have liked, however, so I now have it sitting on a sturdy OXO Lazy Susan. My Color Caddy is not quite full yet, but I'm working on it!
4. Keep your tools and accessories handy. Another storage device that I just love is my Desktop Carousel. It's so great having all my blender pens,embossing powder, glitter, scissors, you name it right on my desk. You wouldn't believe how much you can fit in it. Stampin Mist, Color Coach, adhesives, Dimensionals; it's all in there.
5. Store leftover "punchies" in Stack and Store Containers. If you're like me, you always have leftover punched or die cut pieces that did not get used right away. Keep them handy for your next project by storing them in Stack and Store Containers. You can purchase empty containers, or like I did, re-use an empty button or brad container. Cut out a piece of DSP using the Circles Die and, of course, add a couple "punchies" so you know what is inside.
6. 12x12 Scrapbook Storage: All of my 12x12 card stock and Designer Paper fit neatly into several of these handy beauties. After I have opened a new package of DSP, I put it into a scrapbook refill page, as the original packaging usually tears after a bit. Smaller pieces of DSP go into a Ziploc sandwich sized bag.
7. Keep catalogs and magazines in magazine files: I keep all of my old Idea Books, Mini Catalogs and Stampin' Success magazines (a publication for demonstrators only) in these handy magazine files. I love looking through old issues to get inspiration!
8. Storage for clear mount stamp sets: My shelves are pretty deep, and I didn't want my clear mount stamp sets to slide all the way to the back of the shelf. I discovered that they fit perfectly into a plastic container turned on it's side. I keep only my current sets here. Retired products are stored on upper shelves waiting for my next Ebay sale.
9. Find a handy spot for your Big Shot: If you use a Big Shot or other large tool, find somewhere to keep it handy. If it is in a box buried in your closet you'll never use it. The desktop organizer that I have mine on was almost cast away in an attempt to make more space, but I realized it was perfect for the Big Shot. It elevates it a few inches, which is helpful if you are like me, and prefer to crank the Big Shot standing up. Also, the little drawer below fits the platform and other large items that won't fit into my plastic shoe boxes. It sits on a placemat because it makes it easier to slide, kind of like being on wheels!
10. Box up and label everything!: OK, I realize that I have some issues and that my life would not be complete if it were not organized into plastic boxes and labeled. However, it's a system that works for me!
So, that's a peek at my craft space. It is still a work in progress and I am constantly re-organizing and trying to make the most efficient use of space. Just when I think I have it all figured out, I go and buy more products and then they don't fit and I have to re-organize again! It's a fun problem, though!
One last tip... Stamp with a buddy! My best pal Oreo always keeps me company in my craft room. I hope you found something useful in this post. Please comment if you did!
Home Depot: Clear plastic boxes, shelves
Ikea: Office furniture, chairs, lamps, magazine files
Bed, Bath and Beyond: OXO Lazy Susan
Homegoods: Desktop organizers
Staples: File storage boxes, hanging file folders, three hole punch, Brother P-touch label maker
Michael's: 12x12 scrapbook storage boxes, desktop carousel
Target: Looseleaf binders, dividers
Ebay: File tab and ink pad labels (type 'Stampin Up labels' in the search bar and you'll find them)
Stampin' Up!: All other items