I've been organizing things in my craft area over the past few weeks, and thought I would share a bit of the fun! If you're not "crafty", I'm sure this post will be of little interest for you. I'm working on a farm update post so all you un-crafty, non-stamper readers have something to look forward to! *grin*
Bit by Bit...
My crafting area is all about function, not so much about being "pretty". I love drawers and having lots of places to put things, which is good because I've gathered a LOT of things over the years! I literally have a WALL-o-SUPPLIES in front of me when I'm sitting at my work table. And I love it this way! My table is nice and wide, provides me with lots of work area, and is sturdy enough to support all of these things.
One of the first things I did when I started the reorganizing project was sort through my "miscellaneous" stamps in the drawers I have above my table. There are specific drawers now for things like snowmen, and chickens, and I also divided up sentiments by theme. There is a Christmas drawer, birthday drawer, etc. Sometimes it just makes sense to keep stamps organized by company; I do this for Rosie's Roadshow, A Muse, and most of my wood mounted Whipper Snapper stamps. Some wood mounted Whipper Snapper stamps are stored in other drawers, like chicken and snowman, where appropriate.
I use old Stampin' Up stamp cases to keep the smaller sentiments contained within the larger drawers. The cases keep the small stamps lined up and facing upwards, so I can easily see what each case contains. One of the things I did during the "reorg" was pull sentiments out of Stampin' Up sets, and put them in with my other sentiment stamps. So now, if I want a birthday sentiment, I go to the birthday drawer and all of the sentiments I own that are birthday related are there for me to choose from. Previously, when the sentiments were stored with their original Stampin Up set case, they just weren't being seen (or used).
I went through all of the little drawers I have on my desk, making sure things were in the right drawer, and that the drawers were in the best order. Glitters, watercolor pots, sparkly powders, and flocks are on one side, pens, pencils, and various drawing tools are in the next row, miscelaneous doo-dads, tags, office supplies are in the next row, and buttons, brads, charms, and other embellishments are in the next row. The large white wooden drawers are used for 12x12 paper, tools, prima flowers, 6x6 paper, and various envelopes and pre-scored card bases.
I used to keep all of my Stampin' Up ink pads grouped by their assigned color family (brights, earth tones, subtles, etc), but decided I would rather have them grouped by ROYGBIV, which is how I sort all things color related (glitters, pencils, buttons, etc). I find this method of sorting much more logical, and it's easier for me to find what I'm looking for. I took all of the ink pads out of the spinner, dusted them off (yoyo yellow was crazy dusty!), and put them back into the spinner in ROYGBIV order. A spinning rainbow of color!
The ink pad colors that don't fit in the spinner flow over to the wooden storage rack next to the wall. Pinks, purples, and the neutral colors fit there perfectly, along with the selection of pigment ink pads I own. The wooden ink storage that's sitting on my desk is from Storage Units, Ink. It's wonderful quality, and is in like new condition even though I've been using it for about 6 years. I only wish that I had opted to order the version that only has the ink pad slots and the re-inker holes. I don't store markers in the unit (which is what the smaller drilled holes are for), so that is a bit of waste of space on my storage unit. I do like having the re-inkers next to the ink pads, though -- that's a great option! (The little white capped bottles stuck into the storage unit, and on top of the storage spinner, are the ink refills for the ink pads.)
The wooden rack mounted on the wall houses other inks (Ranger Distress, VersaMagic, StazOn, etc). It is a curio cabinet I got years ago from my Aunt Judy. Thanks Judy! Bet you didn't think it would still be used after all of these years! It's mounted on the wall sideways...it's light weight, doesn't take up a bunch of space, and the shelves are the perfect size! And it's a cute spot for me to display a few of my stamps, too! Above that is an old Coca-Cola bottle case, storing little bottles of buttons. These will soon be replaced with small stamps and doo-dads set on display, as the Coca-Cola shelf is a bit high to reach to often for supplies. Everything got a good dusting, and straightening up.
Next, I settled on a new way of organizing the markers I use most frequently. These storage cases are meant to stand upright on the surface of the table, but they were taking up too much space, and it was difficult to see the colors. I decided to turn the cases on their sides at a slight angle and stack them. Not only did this solve the issue of not being able to see the colors well, but also takes up a LOT less space! I used two small foam adhesive dots to adhere each case to the one below, so if I choose to change the way they are set up, it will be as simple as removing two foam dots from each case. I used an old cutting rail (a 1/2" piece of teflon from my 12" Fiskars rotary paper cutter) as the prop under the cases. A piece of sticky strip tape holds the teflon strip in place. Perfect!
Another thing I did to the markers was add a cardstock dot, along with the color number, to the tops of the smaller markers. Since my markers are two different sizes, I wanted to be able to quickly know which colors fell into a series, and keeping them in numerical order also makes it quicker to find the colors I want to use since they'll always be in the same spot. I used a standard office supply paper punch to make the circles, a fine tip marker to write the color numbers, and small zot glue dots to hold the cardstock circles in place. Easy as can be, and I'm quite happy!
The largest organization project I took on was regrouping my Stampin Up wood mounted sets. A lot of people have chosen to unmount their wood mounted stamps to save space, but I don't want to do that. I LIKE stamping with wood blocks, and I like seeing the image art stickers on the blocks. So instead of unmounting all of my stamps, I chose to move them into larger storage containers, and combine sets with similar line art style and theme. I chose to use Thicker Stuftainers from Stampendous, which are the perfect depth for wood mounted stamps.
I also used Thin and Thick Stampendous Stuftainers to store some of my cling mount images. The Thin and Thick containers are the same size as the Thicker containers, just thinner, so they line up nicely with the newly combined sets. I keep stamps that are just bare rubber in three-ring binders, by company and by theme. At the far left, you can see I still have a few sets in their original containers from Stampin Up.
It's obvious that people who choose to completely unmount their stamps are able to save a great deal more space than the option I chose, but I'm pleased as punch with my newly organized shelves, and I love how inspired I am to use more of my stamps! They're so much easier to get to!
I also tidied up the ribbon rack that hangs on the door that opens up to the water heater area. This rack used to be an over-the-door towel rack. No more towels... it has been "ribbon central" for several years, and it works great! Hello, my pretties!
So... now I want to hear from you! How do you organize, any tricks up your sleeves, and I wanna see photos! *grin*