Today we travel to Australia to get a more in-depth tour from the highly organized scrapbooker who inspired this entire week, Jody Dent-Pruks. You might remember a glimpse into her highly organized space back in February 2010. Jody takes organization quite seriously, and proves you don't need a lot of room to achieve a clutter-free creative area full of your favorite products!
Let me begin by saying that I am an organised person (most of the time). I find life calmer and easier when I am clutter-free and organised. So in the spirit of full disclosure, I will first show you that having my belongings neat and tidy is not just a scrapbook thing; it extends to all areas of our house.
My linen cupboard:
Let me also tell you that I live in a very tiny house (just five rooms total) and storage is at a premium, especially when you have a hobby that threatens to overtake your storage areas. I have already posted my scrap area as part of my blog hosting week back in February, so for our spring cleaning we will go a little deeper.
This used to be a linen/storage cupboard but it now holds most of my craft supplies. Everything has a home and everything is labeled. Labeling is key to organisation! I can put my finger on most items very quickly because it has a label on the front. If I add a new item to a storage box/drawer, I just add another label.
Medium-sized plastic tubs hold bulky items and things that I don't use as often. The middle shelves also hold drawers of varying sizes. The drawers hold my most used items and are at eye level for easy access—this is key, people! You won't use it if it's a drag to get it out! My bulkier tools like my Epic 6, Xyron, and Bind-it-All sit on top of the drawers so they are always easy to take out, use, and put away.
One set of drawers holds my cardstock scraps, sorted by colour. I used to try and keep all my scraps no matter how small, but this is unrealistic so now I only keep larger scraps and what fits in the drawer. Part of keeping things organised is the upkeep; if the drawer starts to get full, I have a purge and take all the smaller pieces to work for craft at the library. Having your scraps sorted saves time when you just need to use a small piece for a punch or embellishment and saves you from having to cut into a fresh piece of cardstock.
I treat my patterned paper just like my cardstock—all scraps go into these two drawers to be used for cards and embellishments. Sometimes I can complete a whole layout or mini-book just from my scraps. Again, anything too small goes to work.
My inks are kept in the middle drawers and I often flip them over to keep the ink pad moist. Again, ease of use is key. The drawer above holds the stamp cleaning pad and the tubs below hold my stamps. When I need to use them I can just carry the tub to my desk and play around. When I am finished it all goes back in, lid goes on, and away it goes—makes pack-up a breeze.
I have also managed to take over part of the other linen press in our dining room and I put a bookshelf in the cupboard that could hold the large-sized albums; they do not fit any other bookshelf and we have no free walls left. Small house strikes again! My cardstock and patterned paper collection is here as well. What you can't see to the left is the vacuum cleaner, my husband's guitar and amp, our CD collection, my wedding dress, my first-date-with-Gary-dress (oh please, who doesn't have that in a box somewhere?) and the box that has all those crazy cords and plugs from our collection of computers (I know you all have one of these boxes, ha!).
The top shelves hold my cardstock and my category drawers (from my BPS Library of Memories class). All my cardstock is housed in Cropper Hopper vertical storage boxes—the best thing ever, in my opinion. I can see my cardstock easily, it takes up less room, I have them in all sizes—12 x 12, 8.5 x 11, and 8 x 8—and they are all labeled. I can pull them out and carry them to my desk, and I have been known to just sit them in a tub when I go away to scrapbook, just in case I need a colour. I have made peace with what I like and so my collection is heavy with white, kraft and black with a small selection of other colours.
The bottom shelves hold my albums and my folders, I am still in the process of moving pages around in my albums using the Library of Memories categories. Other albums belong to my boys and class that I have taken.
I also have a series of white folders on the bottom shelf. These folders hold class notes from Big Picture Scrapbooking, divided by teacher. I also have a couple of folders for inspiration. Because I can't house an unlimited supply of magazines, I do tear out what I like (I think I heard a few of you gasp—and yes, it was hard to do at first), punch holes in it and put it straight into the folder. So, my very favourite things are right at my fingertips, including folders that house inspiration for sewing, knitting and crochet, computer and font tips, Christmas ideas and records—well, the list goes on but it is all in one easy-to-get-to place.
The kraft folders house all things school for my sons Oscar and Byron. I have another two folders that contain all their primary school stuff, but these folders are for high school. These are not their school albums; these are the report cards and achievement certificates and awards—you know, all that stuff. Having a place to put it as soon as it comes home stops it from becoming clutter somewhere else in the house.
Finally, here is my built-in bookshelf in the dining room. I will say that I have taken a few shelves for my hobby, but this bookshelf holds all our family books and also serves as storage for our boys' Playstation and Wii. I regularly go through my books to see if I still want to keep something; if not, it's donated to the library. When you have a small space, it forces you to be ruthless!
OK, there you go! Yes, I have a disproportionate amount of storage just for me, but those are the perks of being the one that keeps everything sorted. Ha! Knowing that my space can't expand, I have to think about what I do bring into the space. Sometimes there is room and sometimes something else has to go. Because I scrapbook in the lounge room, I need to be able to pack up quickly and this system of tubs, containers and drawers makes that very easy. I am a visual person, so it makes sense that if I can see it, I will use it. It works for me and I hope it helps you a little to take control of your scrap stash—because I know you all have one!