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Old 06-08-2004, 03:55 AM   #1
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Default Organizing

I am having a really tough time getting, and staying organized. In large part, it's my personality to create a massive pile of "stuff" as I go thru a creative process but on the other hand, i'm terrible at finding a place for everything and that is partly my problem. Any hints for recovering "mess makers" like me?
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Old 06-08-2004, 04:11 AM   #2
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I am the complete opposite! I am a neatnik to the end. I organize everything! However there is hope for you, my mom is just like you...imagine having it that way growing up! When I got married she lost her "organized mind" as she puts it! LOL :P Anyway, one great way to get and stay organized without great expense is some little baskets, plasttic bins or boxes and a little planning. I have just a little bit of room for my stamping supplies but it is orderly most of the time...I ALWAYS keep my small scraps even if they are only an inch big because you never know when you will need what! They go in a tiny four by three by about four inch high basket so that I can see the scraps as I go but don't have the pile on my work surface. I also have a little bucket that would hold about two cups of water and it is my "tool bin". It holds rubberbands, mini stapler, pens and pencils and my scissors for fine snipping... It too only takes up about three inched of work space but is easily accessable at a moments need! I have my ribbons on a very small round curtain rod that I put two paperclips on the ends of and then tied ribbon to the paperclips and hung the whole rod from two tacs eight inches apart with the ribbon that is tied to the paperclips. The reason for the paperclips is so that I can access either end when I want to add or remove a roll of ribbon. It is very handy. Again within reach and eyesight but not ina pile in a drawer or on my workspace!!!!!
I hope this helps a little for paring down those piles...another thing I do is stick every big scrap in a small temp holder until the project of the day is done and then I sort them into hanging files by color so that I have scraps easily findable for the next time I need just a little piece for a card or tag or something. I NEVER cut a full sheet for just an inch or two piece!
Let us know your tips!
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Old 06-08-2004, 05:58 AM   #3
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I too have been trying to reorganize my space since I have just a small space to "craft" in and I seem to buy more and more stuff.

I have gotten some great ideas from this site

Put your Stampin Around rollers in a clear tennis ball can so you can see them - 6-7 of them should fit into a can

Get an 8.5x11 clear plastic folder that velcros or ties shut and put all your scraps in there so you can readily see what you have available. I have actually have 3 - one for scrap SU card stock, one for printed paper and one for non SU scraps (for use in my scrapbook as opposed to cards). If I am going to make a set of cards for a swap I first look and see what scraps I have and make a decision about color based on my scraps at hand - that way I can be sure to use up my scrap paper first.

THE CROPPER HOPPER - I just bought this (not from SU so mine is slightly different) but this works great for keeping all your little stuff all in one place - I go to friends homes to stamp and scrap so I needed the potability of getting all my stuff from one place to another.

Small file system for 8.5x11 paper- I got mine at Office Max it is an expandable one with a handle that has about 20 different sections. I have all my cardstock in there separated by color and brand.

I also have a heavy duty plastic folder for my 12x12 paper that I got at Wal-mart (Micheals sells them too but they are more expensive there) - I can't remember the brand but it have about 10-12 sections and zips up around the edges. (my 8.5x11 clear plastic scrap folders slip right into this)

At home I have a big plastic tote for all my stamps that I keep in my scrapping cupboard. I have a smaller plastic tote that I use when I am going out to stamp or scrap I just bring the stamps I am going to need for that night. I can't think if the brand name right now but I got them at Wal-mart - they have a lid that latches down and they have a handle built into the lid. (I also use these plastic bins for my kids toys too)

I have some small hinge lid containers (by Stearlite?? I got them at Walmart) for all my embossing powders - I can fit about 10 or so small SU ones in there.

A good friend of mine bought one of the rotating utensil caddies from Pampered Chef and she uses that to store her hand punches, scissors, pens, and other various things that are needed on a regular basis.

Another thing that works well - that I have used in the past is a Fishing Tackle box - I have one where the top part latches shut and then you open that part to get to the bottom part - the top is great for all sorts of little things - eyelets, pens, small punches, etc... and the bottom part can hold a few stamp sets - I got mine at Walmart for about $20. I must have spent 1/2 hour looking at all of them finding just the right one that would work for me. I use this mainly if I am going scrapping because I can fit my small trimmer, all my CM cutting patterns, my letter stamps and stamping spots in the bottom.

Something I haven't tried yet but next time I go to a craft store I might look into it - I have a ton of fibers - I scrapbook in addition to stamping and some one metioned getting some plastic cards that can attach to a metal ring - wind the fiber on the plastic cards and attach to the ring. Someone else mentioned about getting the protectors that fit into a binder but have 4-6 "pockets" per page - wind your fiber into a loose ball and stuff into a pocket. I am thinking about combining the two - get some small plastic cards, wind the fiber on those and then stick them in a plastic pocket.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-08-2004, 07:33 AM   #4
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I'm a creative mess maker, too! I like to set my kitchen timer for 15 minutes. I organize, sort, and tidy till the bell rings--and then it's time to play again! Just knowing that it's only 15 minutes gives me the motivation to work hard and it's remarkable just how much you can accomplish in those 15 little minutes. When things get really disorganized, I make a rule that if I'm on the phone with a friend, I have to be tidying also. Hands free headsets are a blessing!
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Old 06-08-2004, 08:58 AM   #5
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I'm totally organized, some times I think I have OCD! As soon as I cut a piece of c/s that scrap piece gets put away in a hanging file folder that has the name of the color and a sample of the color on it!!! I don't like having anything out of place!! When I get done stamping a project, I put everything away before I start the new one. Even if I'll be using the same supplies!!! Sometimes I think I need help!!!
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Old 06-08-2004, 09:46 AM   #6
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I wish I was more organized. I sometimes think that I am wasting my money buying things to organize because by the end of the day it still all looks like a pile of clutter. Although, some of these tips are going to be very helpful, I hope.
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Old 06-08-2004, 09:52 AM   #7
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I am chaotically organized! Everyone thinks my stuff is all a mess, but it makes perfect sense to me. I don't have a space dedicated to stamping (actually I guess you could say my whole house is!). My DH thinks I'm crazy. . .I keep the retired stamps in the spare bedroom closet, current stamps under the bed - along with stacks of paper (they've taken over the whole place!), a box full of accessories and anything else. That is, I keep things there unless I've been stamping - then my kitchen table and countertop are covered and we have to eat at the coffee table!!
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Old 06-08-2004, 10:20 AM   #8
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I'm a creative mess too. All my stuff ends up on the table and I spend time looking under paper for mono, scissors, or whatever.

I am fortunate to have a craft room so, when I'm not stamping, I have everything in bins on 3 big shelves that I bought at Home Depot. I keep embossing stuff in one, ribbon in another, embellishments, paper scraps, samples, works in progress, etc in it's own bin. I use craft keepers to store my scrapbooks-in-progress. I stand these up in a desktop file holder. I even have a bin for stuff I don't know what to do with.

My 8.5 x 11 paper is in rolling cart sorted by color. My 12x12 paper is kept in stackable trays. I splurged and bought 12x12 trays at a local scrapbook store.

My other favorite organizer is one of those skinny laundry carts that's meant to fit between the washer and tryer. I have 6 small bins (two on each shelf) that hold scissors, punches, wheels, cartridges, sponges/brayers and adhesives. I just roll this up to my desk when I'm stamping.

I do have to pick up in between projects or I'd still be looking for my monoadhesive.

There is a book called "How to organize your scrapbook workspace" put out by Memory Makers. I haven't spent a lot of time reading it, but I bet there's some good ideas in there.

Happy Stampin'
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Old 06-08-2004, 11:49 AM   #9
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Default OCD!!!

Jovi, You and I could stamp together! LOL I am the same way! Everything has to be put away before I can start on the next project! I have a wonderful area in our bonus room for stamping, but I would never think to take pictures of it....everything is neatly in drawers and cupboards with slide out shelves! Oh well, I think it's just being AR!!! Happy neat and orderly stamping to you!

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Old 06-08-2004, 12:12 PM   #10
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Don't worry! There's hope!

My whole life my living areas have been disaster areas... Since I've started stamping I've been making myself stay at least a little organized. I work at a desk in the spare bedroom. I have a 3 drawer Sterilite cart next to the desk. One drawer has my stamps that I use the most. One drawer has all my inspiration sheets and wheels in it. One drawer has misc stuff that I use some but not enough to keep it totally organized. I can find stuff in it. Eventually... (but it isn't on the desk... I also have an office box on top that has my filing system in it (all my business records)

On a corner of the desk, I have 2 of the small 3 drawer units (the ones that are the right size for paper). These have my embossing supplies, inks, cello bags/stamps/post it notes, and often used items (mono, hermafix, eyelets, scissors...). Next to the drawer stack is a shoebox that has my scraps. I keep all the colors in individual baggies so I can find them easier (except for 11 inch pieces which just go in the bottom).

I also have 2 other tall drawer stacks on the other side of the room for stuff that I use but not that often.

Yes, the room is still a mess. We have to have advanced notice if anyone is coming to stay so we can clean the room. But my desk is mostly clear. I find that it helps to put something away as soon as I'm done with it. If I just shuffle it somewhere else, it never gets put away!

Good Luck!
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Old 06-08-2004, 12:23 PM   #11
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Default Getting organized

Join us SHE's (Sidetracked Home Executives) I am not a BO (born organized) and therefore I can't "get" what organized ppl are talking about. You can check the book out at your local library. It is written by the Slob Sisters and is hilarious while teaching you a process for getting your home clean and organized. I have read so many get organized books I could start my own Organization book store. lol This is the only one so far that has helped me. It is a slow process but I am becoming more and more organized with the passing of each day. Yipee! I even got my stamping area organized (well, it is still a work in process but it is coming along quite nicely). I will have to take some pics and post them. I can give you more info on the SHE system if you are interested but not able to read the book.
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Old 06-08-2004, 04:15 PM   #12
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Everyone's ideas are great! My husband and I had to move to Portland for a year and since his company is paying for it, we have a one bedroom apartment instead of our three bedroom house back home! So I had to give up my office and have a TEENY TINY workspace that take up the living room. One scrap on the floor and the place looks a mess. I cant just close the door to my office andwak away anymore and I am NOT organized. I have buil;t in shelving here that I took over and I plan on getting some fabric to cover like a curtain and tie back when I am using it. That way the stuff is hidden as best as I can. Now what to do about everything else that doesnt fit there! Like my paper and paper and paper and drawers and drawers and drawers...etc Cant wait to get my office back! Only 10 more months.
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Old 06-09-2004, 02:28 PM   #13
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Default There's help for you!!!

Try checking out Flylady.net.

The lady that started this website was a former "Messy" and now she helps millions of folks get organized. There is an email list you can sign up for and if you follow her zone cleaning/organizing/decluttering, your home can be done in EVERY room within a year I believe.

She really stresses decluttering first before organizing so you have less to organize. Don't know if you need help in the rest of the house, but it sure has helped me. I'm not on the email list any more, but have gone through my entire house and I now have a MUCH better handle on things than I did 3 years ago when my last baby was born and things went down the drain while on total bedrest. :P

HTH,
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Old 06-09-2004, 03:43 PM   #14
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One thing that bothered me were my bottles of embossing powder. I couldn't see what was what. I went to the Container Store and purchased a stainless steel spice rack. It can either sit on my desk or I can flip it around and hang it from the wall. I labeled the container part and the lids and dumped my powders in. Now I can see at a glance what's what!

For my wheels, I took some old thin ribbon that my mom had given me, which I didn't use, and cut it about 8" long. Then it tied the ends together. Then I fed one loop through the center of the wheel and hung it from a 3M hook on my wall. That way my storage space went up and not out onto my desk.

The Pampered Chef Tool Turn-About is also a great idea! I love mine!

These ideas may not be the least expensive way but the way that worked for me.

Also I wanted to mention that in the July issue of Creating Keepsakes on page 142 there is a great article on organizing your workspace. This is, of course, directed at scrapbooking, but there are wonderful ideas we can apply, too!

One tip I liked is storing scraps. "Put a colored sheet of cardstock in a page protector. Place solid colored paper scraps in front otf the cardstock and patterened paper scraps in the back. Store the scraps in an acrylic container". I do something like this, but my storage binder is not clear. I'm definitely changing over to the clear.

Check out this article. A professional organizer created an organized closet for this woman for $200. While I can't do all that right now, I recommend this article for some great ideas.

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Old 06-09-2004, 05:48 PM   #15
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Default thanks!!

Thanks to all this chattering about organizing, I spent the whole day doing that!! I swear I spend more time doing that than stamping and scrapbooking!!!! I am posting this pictures because my room will not probably stay like this for long!!!!!!! I organized my stamps in the white bins in the wire rack..
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Old 06-10-2004, 06:48 AM   #16
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Oh my gosh, if I came to your room I may never leave!! It's great, and I bet you have a LOT of fun in it
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Old 06-10-2004, 10:16 PM   #17
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Default Organization is my business!

It's fun to hear what people are doing to get themselves organized! It's funny because my business is Stampin Up Organizational Tools, yet I would be afraid to let anyone see my craft room(s) - laundry room and dining room table!

If anyone is looking for tools to help them get their SU materials organized, please check out my website. You might find something there that will help

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Old 06-11-2004, 12:18 PM   #18
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Hey, Kris, I clicked the link and guess what? I"ve already been to your site and bookmarked it! LOL I don't know how I found it, but I had it. I really like it, thanks for sharing
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Old 06-12-2004, 12:55 AM   #19
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I love to read abt. all your organizing tricks! Here's a few of my own.

* Hubby works in a computer company warehouse, so he saves me these nifty clear boxes w/ a hinged lid that some computer part comes in. They are way too good to throw out! I have my many stamps in them, labeled with a sticky label and I vertically stack them in a dishpan "drawer" which slides into these brown stacking bins that another stamping friend just gave me.

* I also have my ink pads in a clear shoebox which also goes into my little suitcase I bought at Walmart for abt. $15.00. This suitcase has wheels and a telescoping handle so I can drag it with me to friend's stampin'/croppin' nights or to craft night at church (I'm the Hostess!)
I also load my suitcase with whatever project I'm working on plus a few of the above boxes of stamps to complete my project.

* I also put my punch buddy and embossing gun in a clear shoebox.

* Somebody gave my husband a laptop attache case (his laptop bit the dust), so he gave it to me and I carry my paper in it to craftin' nights. Also good for acetate sheets, keys, paper cutter, etc.

* I also carry my fancy scissors, eyelet punches, brayer, cleaning solutions, wire, small self-healing pad, etc. in a picnic silverware & napkin basket. I carry my pens, brushes, eyelets & other assorted stuff in a plastic utility basket w/ handle.

* I found that 3 ring binder notebooks are great to hold my collection of cards and atc's. For my cards, I use those acid-free photograph sheets and for the atc's, I use plastic baseball card sheets. My sister used to be a demonstrator for a scrapbook company and she put her stickers in the baseball card sheets.

* I also use 3-ring binder notebook to put all those little freebie ideas sheets I get from friends, parties, Hobby Lobby, Micheals, & Joann's and another for an inventory of all my stamps. I stamp each one the first time I get it in black ink in separate divisions like Name Brand, Word stamps, food, travel, etc.

* Paper goes into file folders in plastic milk crate. Pieces go into zipbags or those little clear plastic boxes. Extra stamped images also go into those little boxes.

* I found a resource for old microfilm spools that I rolled up ribbon & fancy threads on that I buy in bags at thrift stores & salvage shops, if I don't buy ribbon on the cardboard spools at Walmart, etc. I thread them onto a metal hanging pants hanger that has swinging bars to hang them up.

* I keep old film cannisters to put extra pieces of punched cardstock shapes into. I glue one to the top of the lid & or to the side to see what I have at a glance and stack them into one of those clear embroidery slotted boxes you can buy at Walmart. I also use one of those to hold my small punches and pastels.

* Wish list -- a craftin' studio instead of my kitchen in my little cottage home!
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Old 06-12-2004, 07:41 AM   #20
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Default Organization: In the mind's eye of the mess-maker!!

I personally think the thing to ask is: Do *you* want to get organized for you or is someone else telling you that you need to get organized?

I am the ADHD Queen...an original Ritalin kid. That pile of papers in my in-box on my filing cabinet may not look organized to you, but it makes perfect sense to me. I can find any receipt or bill in less than one minute - just tell me what you need. Need a c/s color? Got it! Stamp set? Just name it. As long as long as what is working for you works *for you*, don't sweat it.

I can't focus on any one thing for very long and have to really push myself in order to get any one thing accomplished (*very* proud when that happens, BTW!) People who aren't this way have no conceivable idea what it is like to live when no one thought (or project, or idea...*anything*) ever seems to get finished or put away...they'd rather judge and call us slobs, ditzes, unorganized. Truth is, we're moving at a frenetic pace. And it's generally what makes us intensely creative, too.

If you want to get organized: by all means do so. If not - you're always welcome at my house. The ink pads are always juicy, the stamps are finely trimmed, there are lots of Stamp-a-ma-jigs to go around, and I'll be doing trades for Convention....
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