Wednesday, January 2, 2013

One Shelf at a Time: a Re-examination

Last year, I introduced a segment to the blog called One Shelf at a Time. It was my hope that I could create a more organized craft space in small increments. I would focus on one specific area, then move onward and work on another. The plan had merit, but it failed.

The reason why it failed is that I lacked follow through. I tend to get distracted. I would start organizing an area, find something cool that I forgot I had, and then, like a little kid, I would run off to play. Part of my distraction problem dealt with time. My day is often spent homeschooling and doing some housework. I etch out small bits of time here and there to create. By the end of the day, I don't want to organize or clean some more. I just want to play. The temptation is too great.

What resulted over the course of time was a large creative mess. I admit that I normally create in a state of organized chaos. I usually have projects drying, materials stacked and waiting to be used, and a layout in progress. This organized chaos turned into clutter. My cats helped to spread the mess around.Before I knew it, it was out of hand and getting less fun to create in my craft space.

Over holiday break, I have begun to dig myself out from under the avalanche. The mess is still there but more controlled. I am re-implementing the one shelf at a time scenario. However, this time, I have come up with some ground rules:

1. I must use scraps right away or toss them.
2. I must use items to be recycled within 2-3 days or toss them.
3. I must put away my toys after I use them. No more leaving stuff out on the desk.
4. I must reorganize one shelf per week.

So here we are on my first shelf. Last week, I reorganized my stamp storage. For a long time, I have been storing it by manufacturer. This made perfect sense to me since I am on several design teams. I need to know who made what. The problem is, I don't think about what manufacturer I want to use when I need a stamp. I think about images or themes. My next step took a lot of guts for me...

I cut apart the stamp sets and stored them inside CD envelopes and cases. I can then write the manufacturers name on the case or envelope. The CD cases I have are thin and not all of the stamps fit neatly inside them. That's why I also have the envelopes. Small stamps are contained and less likely to be lost.

I then used cardboard from shipping boxes to create dividers. I placed the stamps by theme or category inside a plastic drawer. I used categories such as: backgrounds, journal spots, animals, holidays, etc. There was a  little space left over. I stuck a plastic tupperware dish in it and placed my versamark pens and a few other stamps supplies.

It's now very easy for me to find a stamp that  I need. Over the next month or so, I will test drive this solution to see if it fits my storage needs. If it works out, then I will invest in nicer looking dividers or make my own.

For tips on how to  test drive a storage solution, check out my article today on the Scrapbook News and Review blog.

My next shelf will be my letters and alphabet storage. Stay tuned!

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