Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Organizing The Card Castle: Part 1

Here's what I did to make my craft space work for me. What works for me might now work for you, but if you are thinking about organizing a space dedicated to crafting, here are some quick tips to remember~

  • Knowing yourself is the key. Put things in places that make sense to you.
  • Be willing to make changes when necessary.
  • Location, Location, Location! If you have to hunt for it, you won't use it!
We've moved a few times over the last few years as I've mentioned before. Moving, especially relocating is unsettling. My desire is always to get set up and comfortable as soon as possible to speed up the whole transition-- for all of us. One of the things that make me comfortable is knowing where our things are and having them easy to get to (my biggest pet peeve is wasting time). I am a very organized person but I'm not disciplined (I'm working on it). I learned from all this moving that planning ahead is a time saver. Before the moving truck arrives, I know exactly where every bowl and cup is going to go in my kitchen. I look around the empty kitchen and figure out how much space I have and what will work better in which cabinet. When the boxes are all over the place, I don't have all those decisions to make. It really does make it all go easier. Actually this last time I had the teenagers unpack the kitchen while I was on a college visit. Because I'd already made all the decisions ahead of time, I could tell them exactly where to put things over the phone. For instance, I keep the cups in the closest cabinet to the refrigerator. The plates are usually near the dishwasher and the pots are near the stove. Things that are alike are together and within reach of where I use them. My baking utensil are in the drawers below the mixing bowls. Makes sense, right? But you didn't come here to find out about how I organized my kitchen did you?
I brought up the kitchen because I applied the same principals to my craft space. I have modular and movable storage pieces instead of built ins because we've moved a lot. ( I put that in past tense hoping to ward off any evil moving spirits) lol.
Designate a Work Space
~ The Desk ( Tools and Embellishments)
I started in a corner of our bedroom 3 houses ago. I now have a whole room to myself in the basement.
I began to get more crafting done once I had a designated space. Even if you start out with a fold up table and a few containers what I learned from my personal experience is that the basic thing to remember is accessibility. If you can't get to it quickly and easily, you won't use it, often.

This same desk is still a part of my work space but as you can see, I've added a lot to it since 1999. LOL.
I stamp standing up, so I can take advantage of height. I use the drawer storage units made by Iris (aka Iris carts). What I like about them is they can be taken apart and reconfigured to suit my needs. I didn't buy them all at once, but I've been adding to them over the years as my needs change.

I stacked the units on either side of my desk. I have the equivalent of two carts (the three deep draw carts) plus one drawer on each side. Then I went to Lowes and for less than $10 I was able to purchase a piece of wood board ( 12 inches by 72 inches) in the section where they sell shelving. To dress up that piece, I asked my builder ( who happened to live 2 doors down with all his tools) to use his router and make the edge pretty for me. It barely took him two minutes. I sanded and stained, and polyurethane'd it.

Most of my frequently used items are within arm's reach while I stamp. On the bridge above, I keep markers, color pencils, adhesives including glue dots and pop dots, small scissors, post it notes for masking, blank cards, glitter, eyelet setter... you get the picture.
On the left "tower" I have envelopes, embellishments, including buttons and brads and 3d stickers etc.. I keep the extra Xyron and other adhesives in the side too. Just to the left of the left tower is where I keep my punches.
I prefer to keep my embellishments in drawers because I don't have any more shelf or table space, but I want to show you a beautiful alternative. My friend Dawn, designed this hanging/clipping system. It sits on the corner of her work space. See Dawn's embellishment storage .
The right tower has become a life saver. I keep scrap paper in the smaller sized drawers sorted by color. Whenever I need say a purple piece of card stock, I check there first. When it's time to clean up (theoretically) I open all the scrap drawers at once like steps (with the lowest drawer opened all the way and the next one up a little less etc). I can clean off my desk very quickly that way (theoretically). Next to it, you can see it a little in this picture is where I keep my ribbon, also sorted by color and also in smaller drawers.
Under the desk and still within reach, I keep embossing powers, cutting tools (like Coluzzle) and paper trimmers with accessories, paints, chalks, bigger adhesives ( like the Xyron) and glues.

Other embellishments like flowers are stored in jars on the other side of the room. They are not as practical, but they make the room pretty. The light bulb shaped jars are actually salt and pepper shakers . I sealed up the holes on top and I use them to store micro beads and similar embellishments.

I'm going to do paper and stamps in part two to follow.

1 comment:

nise said...

I am so DISorganized right now. Part of it is time and my lack of it and part of it is mental. It was really good for me to see and read this, Jacki. Thank YOU!