Diary of a Scrapbook Room Makeover: A Prologue

I’ve scrapbooked for 8 years, and had a scrapbook space in my home for about 6 or 7 years. In that time, I’ve bought more organizational items and reorganized my stuff more times than I can count. Although my amount of supplies, tools, and completed scrapbooks have increased a bunch during that time, my amount of scrap space has not, and I was feeling really cramped. So, the time has come for a major re-do, not only to my existing scrap space but it’s affecting two other areas of my house as well.

I have to say, I’m somewhat hesitant to start posting about this subject, for a kind of dumb reason. Like many long-time scrappers, I have LOTS of stuff. Lots of scrap stuff. Lots of photos and memorabilia. Lots of other stuff in my scrap area that doesn’t even belong there, but it takes on the identity of scrap stuff because it’s been dumped there and looks like it belongs, LOL. But this is what’s going to happen: People are going to read the entries about my room re-do, see the photos off all my “schtuff” (as NOEL JOY likes to call it), and person after person will say, “Wow, you have a lot of stuff!” or “It’s like a scrapbook store!” or “When can I come shop your stash??” or “Does one person really have that much stuff?!?!”

For some reason ~ and I know it’s irrational because who cares “what people say?” ~ but those comments really bother me. I think mostly because I take them to have an undercurrent (or heck, a blatant, outright message) of “Why in the HAY-ELL do you HAVE so much stuff?” and “It’s ridiculous to have as many supplies as a store would have!” Even if the comments aren’t intended that way, that’s how I tend to read them.

I’ve seen these types of comments on my own blog when I’ve re-orged before. I’ve seen them on the blogs of other ladies who’ve shared their lovingly organized scrap spaces. I’ve heard scrappers trashed on message boards: “She must be in massive debt,” or “She needs to get a life.” {I remember this one poor girl that was bombarded with things like, “How many bottles of Primas does one person need?!?! You are disgusting.” Crap, maybe she was on the DT for Prima and they were all free samples for her to create with, biz-natch!} Anyway, just hurtful, damaging things are sometimes said. There are also funny things and sarcastic things that probably meant very little to the person saying them, but to the person who’s being talked about . . . it can be a big “ouch,” kwim?

When people comment on my amount of scrap stuff, I always feel the need to defend myself, to explain, to justify. Yes, I have legitimate reasons for having such a good stash. But, no, I’m not rich, I don’t spend recklessly, I’m not spoiled, I’m not in huge scrap-debt, and I don’t need to get a life. I have a wonderful life, thankyouverymuch! But I also have feelings and misplaced guilt and sensitivities and, most importantly, JUSTIFICATIONS! :) {Ha ha, I had to throw that in there, didn’t I?}

Another thing that bothers me about those comments is that they are totally missing the point of the person ~ say, me, for instance ~ who has taken the time to not only re-do their space, but to take photos along the way and then write about the experience. The point isn’t to show off the massive amount of supplies we have, or to hear how much we remind the reader of their LSS. The point is to share organizational ideas. When I post about my process, I want people to ask organizational questions, inquire where I got a certain storage unit, or to compliment me on how cleverly I’ve arranged everything {‘cuz I’m needy like that}.

I don’t want to hear about my plethora of supplies. Yeah, I HAVE A LOT. That’s why I’m organizing them. Duh.

So that’s why I’m hesitant to start this whole process. NOT the process of reorganizing, ‘cuz that’s a done deal. That’s already happening, baby! And I’m thrilled about it. But I’m leery about sharing my “diary” here on the blog, because I’m afraid off those comments I’ll get that I know will hurt my feelings. Sure, I can delete the ones I don’t like….it is MY blog, after all! But I like to leave comments standing for the most part, and don’t censor my blog comments unless they’re spam or really super offensive. I’m a straight-up person with nothing to hide (well, isn’t that ironic?) so if readers do make those comments I so dread, I’ll most likely leave them there for all future readers to see. And I will want to yell at them, “But, but, but wait!” Yet I promise, I will bite my tongue and forge on. Even though I have an entire post practically written in my head called, “In Defense of All My Scrap Crap.” You know, where I get to ‘splain myself before you assume I belong on A&E’s “HOARDERS” or “CLEAN HOUSE,” hanging out with mah gurrrrrl, Niecy Nash, LOL!

But, ya know, I’ve explained myself before and no one wants to hear it, let’s be honest. They just want to tell me how much stuff I have. You know it’s true! Remember this post and, when you see those comments in the future, come back here and say, “Erika, your ESPN was working. You were right.”

The most common way by far that people come upon my blog is from searching for “scrapbook room” or “scrapbook organization.” It’s an immensely popular topic in Scrap World, as we scrappers acquire all these fun goodies and are curious how others have their pretties arranged and their scrap spaces decorated. I ADORE looking at photos of and hearing about others’ scrapbook rooms and storage ideas. So, yes, I will bite the bullet, take those comments as they come, and eat Double Stuff Oreos to dull the pain. Because I do want to share this project, this adventure, with anyone who wants to listen. I hope I can be of help to readers, whether it be to give storage ideas, provide inspiration to re-org your own space, or even just give you something to read while you drink your cuppa Joe in front of the computer in the morning.

Stay tuned, scrappy organizers….the journey is about to begin :)

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24 Comments on Diary of a Scrapbook Room Makeover: A Prologue

  1. Joy
    September 15, 2009 at 3:43 am (5 years ago)

    When people comment to me about the amount of stuff that I have, I always bring up the example of stamp collecting. That’s a hobby that people think of as pretty normal, and people buy the stamps with no intention of ever ‘using’ them for anything. It’s the acquiring of them, the owning of them, the looking at them, the sorting of them, etc, that is the fun part of the hobby. Scrapbooking, for me, has a lot of the same appeal. So I don’t feel guilty when I buy something that I may never use, or when I spend time reorganizing my scrapbooking area for the nth time, or when people notice that I have waaay more scrapbooking paper and embellishments than I will ever use. I have enjoyed buying everything I have bought, one by one, and that is absolutely legitimate all by itself as part of this hobby!

    Reply
  2. Ona
    September 15, 2009 at 4:54 am (5 years ago)

    Joy, you are so right. Coin collecting is another hobby that can be ‘hidden’ on a book shelf.

    Reply
  3. Dana
    September 15, 2009 at 6:47 am (5 years ago)

    Looking forward to this. I have enough stuff to fill a small room but really only have part of our master walk in closet to store my stuff. I need tips for sure. Maybe something you do will work for me too. I hope so!

    Reply
  4. Jingle
    September 15, 2009 at 7:43 am (5 years ago)

    I get those comments a LOT! The funny thing is…I happen to know the budget that some of those same commentors have and it is WAY more than I spend! LOL! I just happen to keep absolutely EVERYTHING visible, which makes it look like I have even more than I really do. It’s like people assume that most of your stuff is hidden away, so the visible is just the surface – NOPE! Not with me – if you can’t see it…I probably don’t have it! The store comments I have taken to seeing as a compliment – I like that my space is inviting and inspiring -that is what store displays are, right? So that is EXACTLY what I am looking for in my studio! I am curious to see how you go about doing this. I’ve been contemplating an organizing blitz, but avoiding it due to the time and effort it will require. Perhaps you will inspire me!

    Reply
  5. Melissa S.
    September 15, 2009 at 8:34 am (5 years ago)

    I have heard those same comments from others about my space, and it bothers me as it does you. But after reading your post, I’m not going to listen to them any longer. Like you, I’m not in dept over this, nor do a have a hoarding issue. I just have a hobby that I really enjoy!

    I’ll be interested to watch your reorg adventure as it unfolds. I just went through it, myself (forced by a move), and I have hesitated to post photos of the finished product because I didn’t want to hear the negative comments. But now I think I will be photographing my space this weekend and maybe putting it on my blog next week. :)

    Thank you!

    Reply
  6. Michelle
    September 15, 2009 at 9:08 am (5 years ago)

    Like you, I’m not in debt over any of it, so I figure, my money, my prerogative what I do with it. Also like you, I have more stuff than I could possibly use in a lifetime. Probably seven or eight lifetimes! But having exactly the item I want, in exactly the color I want, at exactly the time I need it is PRICELESS! I’m sorry there are snarky people out there who want to put a damper on your fun, and I’m sorry that you take anything they say to heart. It’s YOUR hobby, you do it YOUR way, sister!

    Reply
  7. djp
    September 15, 2009 at 10:16 am (5 years ago)

    i can’t wait for your journal to continue! i think the nay-sayers have been warned, and you’ve stated your concerns well….now, get to organizing and sharing it with those of us that are just plain curious :)

    Reply
  8. Julie Howard
    September 15, 2009 at 10:19 am (5 years ago)

    Yep, I’ve had those comments too, remember the last time I posted a reorg on my blog?? Tons of comments, just like those. Not “hey, that’s a great idea!”, but “geez you have a lot of stuff!”

    And I will be the first to admit yeah, when it comes to scrappy stuff, I have a little bit of the hoarding tendency, but as the commenter above me said – having what I need, when I need it, is priceless.

    Needing to reorg and purge again myself, so it will be interesting to see what clever ideas you come up with that I can steal.. er.. borrow :D

    Reply
  9. Rachel
    September 15, 2009 at 10:58 am (5 years ago)

    You are one strong woman!! I can’t wait to see this journey. I am sure I will learn something from ya. I know I do need to redo some of my organization, mine just not flowing.

    YOU ROCK girlie!!

    patiently waiting for it all to start!

    and phewy on anyone who can’t be nice

    Reply
  10. Melissa Priest
    September 15, 2009 at 1:05 pm (5 years ago)

    share away! In fact, I might just have to take this journey with you as I am drowning in crap that needs reorganized and gone through! Mind if I play along? LOL

    Oh, and FYI – my Mikes just got all the new stickles (reg and distressed ones) as well as all the new Making Memories Halloween line.

    xxoo,
    M

    Reply
  11. Susan
    September 15, 2009 at 4:03 pm (5 years ago)

    OOh, now I really can’t wait to see!

    Reply
  12. CKReader
    September 15, 2009 at 4:26 pm (5 years ago)

    Are you kidding me?! All that and you don’t show one single picture of your room? That’s torture….!!

    I can’t wait now to see your pics. I WANT to look at it all and gasp at how much “schtuff” you have! :-)

    Reply
  13. Abby
    September 15, 2009 at 8:17 pm (5 years ago)

    I can’t WAIT to see all the pics of your room and your re-org….can’t wait for the “blow off” post when you get ugly comments either. Come on, you know we want it. ;) I was just told this last weekend that I should stop buying scrappy stuff by someone in my family who doesn’t scrapbook. Like that’s ever going to happen!

    Reply
  14. stacey jean
    September 16, 2009 at 7:49 am (5 years ago)

    i just wanted to stop and say go for it i love seeing how others organized. i being ocd organize alot. i like having new ideas from others and sometimes on a rare occation share mine as well. anyway i read your blog faithfully even tho i dont comment much. i love what you do and laugh every time i read another blog (your really funny). i hope this journey is a great one. have a great time and dont worry about others. they just werent brought up with respect and manners!!

    Reply
  15. susan
    September 16, 2009 at 8:28 am (5 years ago)

    You go girl, do your thang! I found your blog long ago doing a scraproom search and I’ve enjoyed it ever since. So I’m delighted that your reorganizing again. Love this stuff. Can’t wait to see it and read about it. Aren’t we all in search of the perfect space? Tell the nay-sayers to stuff it. Your stuff…your bizz-nass!

    Reply
    • susan
      September 16, 2009 at 8:29 am (5 years ago)

      BTW, love the new blog header too! Looks great!

      Reply
  16. LBOregon
    September 16, 2009 at 9:23 pm (5 years ago)

    Goodness, certainly you know you’re not the only one with a lot of schtuff. Maybe those negative nellies out there are just JEALOUS :-)
    I’m looking forward to seeing just what you can do with it all. Over the years I’ve been to too many warehouse sales with too many smokin’ deals to pass on…and I surpassed the capacity of my room quite some time ago. People say I should purge but I keep thinking there has be be a way to organize it all.
    I say – Inspire me! :-)

    Reply
  17. Judy
    September 17, 2009 at 8:24 pm (5 years ago)

    I am with you all the way with this girlfriend!!! Go, inspire!!! I’m looking for ideas for “all my scrap crap, chapter two”. Oh, by the way, I think we should write a book about all our precious scrap materials. I have no doubt that there are plenty of scrappers out there who have been dissed for “having soooo much stuff” and they are sick of hearing about it, so write a chapter for the book! 10 or 20 of us do that, put them all together and write a book!!! Who knows, we might get rich off of it!!! lol…
    My first question for your organizational knowledge is this: What are you going to do with your stickles? I can’t decide how I want to organize mine. I know they should be upside down, but I also like them in a container that I can just grab and go when I get ready to go somewhere else and crop. So, do you have any suggestions for that? Thanks and I am really looking forward to seeing pics of your work in progress. I am going to be fortunate enough to have a NEW room in the spring and I’m already gathering ideas. Best of luck with your projects!! I know I for one am excited to see what you come up with that I maybe can use!!! :)

    Reply
  18. Gigi
    September 18, 2009 at 2:16 pm (5 years ago)

    I support you! And I know I will be inspired by reading about your organizational efforts. I’m in the process of organizing my stuff, too. I was kicked out of my craft room last year when baby #2 arrived, so it’s a very good reason to lose a scrap space. But now I’m trying to contain everything that used to occupy a 14×14 room, and make it fit into a corner of the playroom in our basement. So I’m always happy to get ideas from other people. Keep ‘em coming, and ignore the rude posts of others. As far as I’m concerned, if people say negative things about your stash, THEY are the ones who need to get a life, not you!

    Reply
  19. Becky
    September 18, 2009 at 9:46 pm (5 years ago)

    Amen, sista! I have a wonderful sis in law that I scrap with. Unfortunately I have a hard time narrowing things down so I end up bring a few HUGE containers with all of my stuff. Last time I got things settled at her house for the weekend my inlaws were there along with my bro in law. They just looked at me in horror like, why do you buy all of this stuff? I wanted to say, hello, you are looking at a hobby that I’ve had longer than my children. That and you have no idea the power of shopping sales. So I don’t want to hear about it! Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . . thank you for giving me the chance to vent. I support you and your stash, no matter how big it is. If scrap material is my drug, I at least won’t go to jail over it :)

    Reply
  20. yvettedownunder
    September 19, 2009 at 1:33 am (5 years ago)

    I have just relocated my scrap space into the freshly-vacated bedroom of my daughter and I got some of those sorts of comments. And I don’t even keep a big stash – mainly because I tend to use it as I buy it! I did put it back into perspective for one friend, by directing her to one of the WOW OTT scrap rooms online!

    You are right, I came here via a Google subscription to “scrap room” or maybe “scrapbook organisation” or maybe just the “scrapbooking” one! I LOVE seeing other people’s creative space, so I can get ideas for what to do with my own!

    If some rooms do make me wonder how they managed to gather so much, I don’t comment as such and keep my thoughts to myself. Usually I am just envying the larger homes in the US that have basements, attics or large closets – because that just doesn’t happen here in Australia!

    (BTW people have made similar comments about my book collection!)

    Reply
  21. Jenn A.
    September 20, 2009 at 11:21 am (5 years ago)

    I will not judge you, but I do want to see all of your schtuff!! I LOOOOOOOVE seeing how others organize their scrap spaces.

    In case you are feeling too vulnerable, I will put mine out there (but you may have already seen it from AMR):
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/9954454@N05/sets/72157603701571965/

    Also, I think it is a matter of priorities and choices (of course) People think we’re weird because we don’t pay for cable TV, but that is over $100/month that I get to spend on something else, KWIM? So what if I decide to spend it on ribbon? ;)

    Jenn

    Reply
  22. Rhonda
    September 26, 2009 at 1:15 pm (5 years ago)

    Joy, I love your story. It’s soooo me to the T. I’m in the middle of RE-Organinzing my scrap room for about the 3rd time this year alone. And yeah, my friends & family tell me I have more than enough stuff to open my own LSS. :) … But I don’t see any pics of your space. I’m an “eyes on” kinda girl, I need to see some pics for additional inspiration. Pleeeease. ;)

    Reply
  23. heidi y
    October 8, 2009 at 11:06 am (5 years ago)

    I’m going back and reading your re-do/makeover in order… I didn’t have time before, so I’m getting caught up! Oh, I get the “shop in aisle 10″ from my hubby allll the time, and I’m sure most scrappers get some kind of comment from family & friends, but sooo what! If we’re getting stuff done and we’re happy, that’s all that should matter :) I’m looking forward to reading this journey of yours – so post away!!!

    Reply

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