It’s a new year and I know you have boxes and piles of craft, photo, and scrapbooking supplies sitting somewhere in your house: the garage, basement, office, or kitchen. I’ve brought in Megan Spears, organizing expert, to give us some advice on how to get our stuff organized for good this year. This is article #1 in a 3-part series. Are you ready?
I have been an avid scrapbooker, aka “scrapper” since 2000. Back then, sexy cool organizing products were far and few between. One had to make do with unorthodox solutions to keep your stuff organized. At one point, I remember using a shoe boxes to keep my photos and Tupperware to store my buttons and ribbons. Nowadays, there are more products to keep our stuff organized, but the big question is WHERE DO YOU START?
Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you some helpful solutions on how to get your stuff organized once and for all! This series is going to be broken down into three parts… THE SPACE… THE STUFF and THE PHOTOS. In each segment, I will provide you with a guide on how to get organized, some suggestions on how to simplify and some resources on where you can find help! Fasten your seatbelts people, and away we go!
Let’s start with the space.
Do you work at home? Do you create on the go? Do you have a shared space? Sometimes it just takes some dedicated time to start sorting through what you have to really understand what you need. Often, creatives use a shared space at home, regardless if they work at home or are on the go. If you have a dedicated space just for your stuff, it’s easy to let things get out of control. Take the time to break down the project and see how you can simplify and streamline how you work. Here are some things to think about.
Start with your space. You need to determine what kind of workspace you have. A dedicated space or a shared space? Take into consideration some important elements and make a list of what you will need (draw a floor plan). Some key elements are:
- Large work surface
- Good lighting
- Ample storage
- A good seat or chair
Maintain a work circle! Start with the spot where your butt will be… standing or sitting. Clearly identify where everything should go, ensuring it’s within arm’s reach of where you will be. If you have long term items, they can be stored elsewhere in your space. If it is within arm’s reach, it takes less time to retrieve.
Create zones. Zones are how we keep all the “like with like.” Just a few zone examples might be paper, embellishments, stamps, or cutting system. For example, in the stamp zone, you might have all your stamps, inks, cleaners, and cleaning pads.
Go Vertical! When creating a space at home, don’t overlook the vertical space. Use shelving, wall systems or even cork board to go vertical. It will create so much more space… get creative!
If you are on the go….
Use S-M-A-R-T containers. SMART containers means Simple, Modular, Affordable, Realistic and Transparent. When you have SMART containers, it makes the packing up process a little easier. Stay tuned for more information on this subject in the “stuff” segment.
Layout ahead! It’s important to layout your pages before you leave, ensuring that you will have everything you need while you are out ,and will save you a ton of time while you’re working!
Getting organized in your scrap space will take some time. But believe me, it is well worth the investment! A few resources for space planning examples are 2 Peas in a Bucket and Creating Keepsakes, and for workspace products, I like Crop In Style and Scrapbook.
I think you’ll find yourself feeling more productive and prepared when you are working in a more organized space. Did you notice that I didn’t say anything about the space being clean? Stay tuned next week for great ideas on organizing your stuff!
Megan Spears, Disorder2Order, LLC, has been helping families and professionals get organized since 2004. She is a member of the National Assoc. of Prof. Organizers (NAPO), the National Study Group for Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD) and has been teaching scrapbookers to get organized from the beginning!