Thursday, October 28, 2010

Organization tip #2: Organize your stash

Over the years, I've changed how I work with paper.  I used to use my Fiskar's shape cutter on every layout.  As a result, I kept my templates in the handiest drawer in my storage cabinet.  Fast forward 10 years, and I can't remember the last time I used my shape cutter.  But, my templates are still in the same spot.

So, I started thinking about what I want to use more often, and it was my inks and paints.  But, I wasn't using some of them very often because they were buried in several different drawer.  The first thing I did then, was to purge enough of my shape templates to fit into a different location, and put my distress inks and paints into the newly open drawer.

On my desk, I have a rotating caddy.  For a long time, it sat nearly empty, while I continued to stuff scissors into pencil cases.  I then realized its potential by putting all of my commonly used tools in the outside pockets (scissors, craft knife, bookbinding glue, bone folder, etc.).  My crop-a-dile fit into a larger pocket, and presto!  The large caddy is now useful, and I got rid of several smaller caddies.


Die cuts are now a big part of my crafting.  I just love how I can cut paper into any shape I like.  I had this great wine box on top of my cabinet, and I had my long sizzix dies stored here.  The problem was that they didn't fit, and hung over the edge.  I emptied another drawer in my storage drawers, and moved the dies there.  This accomplished two things - the newly empty slot perfectly fit more of the thick dies that I love, and the drawer with the long dies had some great space for new punches I wanted to have better access to.

Here is my die cut area with my big shot (far left) and the wine box (far right):

Here is the newly empty drawer with my long dies and new punches:

For the other drawers in my space, I tried to create new groupings of items.  This drawer now has sewing supplies - buttons, ribbons, elastic, etc.:

Here is an overall view of my desk.  I like to use baskets to group things (although some of them just serve as catch-alls), and the more commonly used things are front and center.

So, my process involved:
  • Thinking about things that were difficult to find or use.
  • Reducing the supplies I didn't use as much.
  • Moving the supplies I wanted to use into high traffic areas, while moving things I don't use as often into lower traffic areas.
  • Grouping items with a common theme (die cuts with punches, inks with paints) to make them easier to find later
I've got more to come!  Next up is stamp storage.

How do you organize your work area?  What about those pesky stamps?  Leave a comment and a link to  a picture of your space!

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