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Old 08-04-2012, 12:47 AM   #4
Matboard Maniac
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: The Volunteer State
Posts: 205

This is quite lengthy but I thought it was necessary to outline how I streamlined my crafting and fit it into a very small amount of space....

A few years ago, I lost my dedicated scrap space and moved into a very small home. And as a result I had to prioritize every item in the house, not just crafty items.

As I began the process of streamlining, I went through my layouts and cards and decided by looking at them what key elements they all contained. I made a note of each priority item, and that is how I built my priority list. It really depends on what you feel is important to your crafting, and which elements you always use in your projects. For me, my priority items were mainly these things:

Cardstock & Patterned Paper
Small Embellishments
Necessary tools & Adhesives

Since I don't know how much stuff you have or what you feel is necessary, I can only tell you what worked for me. So look over my tips, and try to pick and choose what you think might work from what will not.

I didn't have any space in the bedroom for shelving or storage units, but I did have a little room in the den and dining room, which is where I scrapped. And I had a very small amount of storage in the garage (most of the garage was designated for DH's tools, furniture we couldn't fit into our home, the overflow of kitchen gadgets, seasonal clothes and Christmas decorations, so there wasn't much room for crafts). I stored some fabrics, wreathes, cans of paint, and larger crafting items in the garage. My point is, if you have any other place to store the extra, you wouldn't have to keep all your items in the bedroom with you, just the most necessary items and tools.

As I said, I crafted in the dining room (which was open to the den) and I located some room in the TV stand for papercrafting storage. It was a pretty large TV unit (larger than the room really needed, lol) and it had shelves and doors and a place for the tv. Since we didn't have that much media to store in it, I took over a couple of shelves for inks, paper & paints. An old pie safe in the dining room held the remainder of my items. DH and I each had a small closet in our bedroom and I chose to store my stamps in tote boxes on the floor of mine.

There were several organizational challenges, and with each one I figured out what would work for me and my space, and I went with it. For instance, I removed all my ribbon , floss, and fibers from the spools, clothespins, jars and floss bobbins that I had them stored on, and I placed them loosely in ziplocs by color family (rainbow order). These bags were then stored down inside decorative photo boxes that went on top of the pie safe. My primas were stored in similar fashion, dumped out of their jars and tins, then sorted by size and color into ziplocs, then down inside boxes. Every type of embellishment and item that I wanted to keep was taken out of its packaging and sorted by type and/or mfgr.

One of the biggest helps was when I completely unmounted all my rubber stamps and put them on cling foam. And I took all my clear stamps out of the packaging and stored them on cling sheets with my red rubber stamps. Unmounting from the wooden blocks took a while to do, but I did it in stages which made it a less taxing task.

Some crafting storage ideas came and went (it was an evolving process!) but the ideas that remained were vital to me being able to craft in such a small space. I think for me, prioritizng the categories like I outlined above, and the ways I chose to store the items were key to it working for me. Again, my secret to success was how my priority items were stored: paper storage was vertical, cardstock by color & patterned paper by mfgr then by line; ribbon, flowers and embellishments were in ziplocs; and all my stamps were placed on cling sheets that I made myself, and the rubber ones were unmounted and on cling foam. Another factor was the fact that I did have a little overflow storage in a garage, which you may or may not have.

I think getting rid of packaging and figuring your priorities are where to start. Get rid of any items that just do not jive with your style and plan.

Remember if you're a die-hard crafter like I am (and I'd bet you are!), you can make it work with even the most basic of basics. When you boil it down, it really comes down to paper, stamps, inks, glue and scissors, if you know what I'm saying.

Best wishes in your crafty endeavors!

Last edited by neece; 08-04-2012 at 01:05 AM..
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