It feels like I am in a constant state of reorganization in my scrapbook room as I acquire new things, clean out the old, or adjust to the subtle changes in my design process. Today, I thought I would take you on a tour of my room and also show you a few ways I organize specific supplies. Are you ready?
Several years ago when we built our house, we ended up with an odd-shaped, small bedroom on the 2nd floor of our home. It was meant to be a guest room with a walk-in closet and small bathroom, but since we don't entertain many guests, I was happy to claim it for my scrapbooking space with all of its west-facing sunlight.
When you first walk into the room, you walk in front of my main work area. I really like that my computer, sewing machine, and work space are all connected so that I can just swing myself around to each space in my swivel chair and do what I need to do. The drawers and cabinets around this space keep my most-used supplies, tools, and printers neatly tucked away. This is perfect for me since I am easily overwhelmed by a lot of visual clutter.
The drawers behind my desk house my punches, embellishments, twine, journal blocks, etc. These are the items that I reach for most often while adding the finishing touches to the projects I create, so I like keeping them closest to my work space.
Just off the corner of the main work area, you will find a space that was initially intended as a walk-in closet for this room. Here we added floor-to-ceiling cabinets with roll out shelves to house all of my 12 x 12 patterned paper and cardstock. We also added an additional work surface that allows me to pull out my die cutting and embossing machine for use on projects.
Above the roll out shelves are more cabinets. This is where I store my Noel Mignon kits, collections by manufacturer, letter stickers organized by color, and supplies and tools that I reach for on an occasional basis. I put everything in Iris snap-close cases. I loves these things! I can group like items together and then stack them horizontally or vertically without worrying about items falling out.
Across from my desk is the area that was originally intended to be a small bathroom. We omitted the wall and added more cabinetry, another work surface, and a small clean-up sink.
These cabinets house all of my "messy" supplies: stamps, ink pads, acrylic blocks, paint, spray ink, glitter, etc. On the shelves in the glass-front cabinet, I keep idea books, gifts from scrappy/family friends, and framed pieces of my children's artwork.
By glancing at these photos, you have probably guessed that I love containers. I love grouping things together in a bin that I can pull out and bring to my table as I need it. I have tried out several containers over the years, and thought I would share with you a few of my favorite right now.
I use Iris Snap-Close cases quite a bit for my paper collections and kits, but I also like to use them for other things. I really like that they take advantage of the vertical space on my shelves. Here I have used a case for all of my tags.
Recently, I have discovered that they also work well for ink pads. When the case is open I can flip through them to find the color I need ...
And then when the case is closed and on my shelf, the ink pads are stored face down where gravity can do its work and keep the ink settled to the top of the ink pad making them nice and juicy for when I am ready to stamp an image.
I love the Iris 4x6 photo holders, too. They are perfect for separating embroidery thread into different color families.
And for keeping markers and pens on their sides ... which is the best way to store them for optimal ink flow.
I use other types of stacking snap cases to store my mini alphabet stamps. The tiers can be separated and placed side-by-side on my desk while I work allowing me to pick and choose from the different styles.
Stickles and other small paint bottles also work great in these cases.
I store my loose ribbon lengths in jars on a shelf in my office. This work great, but I struggled with how to store spools of ribbon in the least amount of space possible.
More tiered, snap-close cases to the rescue! Since I don't reach for ribbon very often, I like that I can tuck this in the bottom of a closet and stack other items on top of it.
The different tiers makes it easy to find the color I need without having to dig through everything.
Binders and sheet protectors are another favorite storage solution of mine. I keep all of my acrylic stamps in binders on the shelves above my sink.
Most of the time, I throw away the packaging and then use adhesive to adhere the carrier sheet to a piece of white cardstock. I write the manufacturer and name of the stamp set on the cardstock. I try to keep the stamps in themes to make them easier to find.
This method works especially well for all of the mini stamp sets I can't seem to resist!
If a stamp doesn't have a carrier sheet, I stick them on clear report covers and slide that into the sheet protector along with the white sheet of cardstock.
If I want to sort a particular stamp by manufacturer instead of by theme (for example, stamps I have from design teams), I keep them in their packaging and put them in 5" x 7" photo pages like this.
I also love creating Reference Binders for my supplies. For example, here is a look at my mist binder. I used white cardstock cards to create color samples for all of my spray inks. This makes it so much easier to locate that "perfect" shade for the project I am working on. I can just look at the cards, instead of digging through everything and wasting my creative time trying them out on scraps of paper. (I'll be doing this with my stamp pads someday soon, too!)
I also have a reference binder for my embossing folders. The folders are stored alphabetically in stacking boxes ...
Instead of browsing through the boxes ... I can just flip through my binder with all of the sample cards and find the perfect pattern. The patterns are grouped together in categories like dots, stripes, checks, nature, etc. The baseball card sheet protectors allow me to see both the embossed and debossed versions of each of the folders I own.
I have also used binders to create reference cards for my washi tapes, only this time, the tapes are adhered to a clear report cover card, instead of white cardstock. This allows me to pull the card out and "try out" the tape on the papers I am working with.
Speaking of washi tapes ... I haven't found a "perfect" solution for them yet. I have seen a lot of neat ones around the web, but I don't like storage options that take up too much counter space ... so for now, I just my most used colors in an old 12x12 shipping box. I used a Silhouette washi tape box file to create rows within the box so that they don't roll around as much.
But, I have more washi tapes than this box can hold. For now, the overflow of multi-colored tapes and less-used patterns are kept in jars on my counter. (Pssst ... if you happen to know of a stacking/space-saving idea for LOTS of washi tapes, link me up in the comments ... I would love to see it!)
The last thing I wanted to share with you today, is how I store my papers and scraps that are smaller than 12 x 12. I do a lot of digital die cutting on my pages, and was trying to find a storage solution that would allow me to easily utilize my smaller papers and scraps. I was reading Betsy Veldman's blog awhile back about how she stores all of her 6x6 papers by color, rather than keeping them together in their pads. I decided to take the plunge and give it a try. There are a few pads that I still like to keep intact for my manufacturer design teams, but after awhile, I tear them all apart into colors. It has worked out really well for me so far!
Scraps that are smaller than 6x6 are stored in a drawer with my punches.
And then, finally, the scraps that are larger than 6x6, but smaller than 12x12 are stored under my desk in a rolling paper cart by Anna Griffin (purchased from HSN.com).
The paper cart came with a tray that fits on top, but I removed it so that it would fit under my desk. There is an opening on top which makes it easy to flip through the files and grab what I need.
Okay ... one last thing ... I gotta keep it real. My room hardly EVER looks this clean. Usually the counters are filled with stacks and stacks of projects and supplies that I am working with. Sooooo ... one last behind-the-scenes picture .... this is all the STUFF I had to put into the hallway outside of my scraproom so that I could take decent pictures for you. Haha!
Thank you for letting me share my space with you today. I hope you have found a few inspiring ideas that might work for you in your own space. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below and I would be happy to answer them.
Wishing you a creative weekend!