I’ve been scrapbooking for about 5 years now, and boy have I accumulated a lot of stuff. I’m very blessed to have a scrapbooking area in my home, which I share with the kids’ playroom area. It works out great because I can scrap, make cards, organize photos, or work on the computer while still interacting with them. My window has a beautiful inspiring view. I’m very lucky. But like a lot of you, I also love to scrap-shop! I am proud to say that about two-thirds of what I have was bought on sale, at a discount store, or with a coupon. I even got my Store in Style cubes one at a time, with Mike’s 40% off coupons (hey, we are a thrifty family! my SIL bought her dining table and 6 chairs one piece at a time using the 40% off coupons from Cost Plus!). My mom also gives me tons of stuff. She has a very particular style that she likes for scrapbooking, so if she has extra papers or embellishments she doesn’t care for, she knows I will take them. For instance, they gave us lots of free stuff at CKUs (“Creating Keepsakes University”, see www.creatingkeepsakes.com ). She belongs to a monthly kit club and the items aren’t always her style. Score for me!!
Anyhow, I feel like I’m constantly organizing, purging, and re-organizing my stuff just so I can have some desk space to scrap. It’s always a work in progress and I don’t think I’ll ever be done. Even if I go on a spending freeze, I’ll still feel the need to better organize the stuff I already have. I actually enjoy organizing…just another healthy obsession, right? So last night (or this morning) I was up until 2am working on my scrap area. It felt like a got a lot accomplished in 3 hours, but when I looked at my space before walking away, it didn’t look that much different. Dangit! I did find some new floor space I hadn’t seen in awhile LOL. I purged 6 photo storage boxes (you know, the one’s you get at Mike’s for $2/each?). Some were empty/never used and others had partially organized photos in them. But I’m switching all my photos to the Creative Memories Power Sort boxes (www.creativememories.com). Until I can afford more Power Sort boxes, I just put the photos in a Rubbermaid container. But I got all my sorted and unsorted photos and memorabilia into one area of my bookshelf so when I get to that project, I won’t have to search all over the house. My birthday is this spring – think my list will just say “Power Sort Boxes please!”. It’s aggrevating when you’re ready to organize but you don’t have the equipment you need, huh?
My favorite organizational item is my Scrap Rack (www.scraprack.com). It’s like a series of 12×12 binder pages that attach to several “spinders” (the metal 3-ring part of a binder), all attached to an easel-like rack. It’s tilted about 45 degrees so you can turn pages and see everything. I have one section sorted by topic (birthday, sports, zoo) and another section by calendar year (New Years, Valentines, Spring, Mothers Day, etc). This system works just perfectly for me, because I seem to function best if I have everything for one topic in one place. For example, if I’m doing a Christmas layout, I turn to ‘Christmas’ and there are all my Christmas papers, brads, ribbon, and embellishments. I even put topic-specific layout ideas, poems, and quotes in there. I’d say I have about 80% of my stash filed in my ScrapRack. I’ve gotten into the habit of just filing things right away when I bring them home from the store.
On my bookshelf, I have 10 vertical paper holders (www.cropperhopper.com) – they’re cheap at Costco or at Mike’s with the 40% or 50% coupon. I use those for Bazzill by color, regular cardstock by color, and one is full of just Chatterbox stuff (luv them!) and another is filled with my recent KI Memories big purchase. I use the smaller paper envelopes they come with to hold my other favorite papers/embellies by manufacturer – Autumn Leaves, Doodlebug, Memories Complete, and SEI. When I have a lot of one line, I like to keep the items in one spot because they work so well together. Also, when I do theme albums, I prefer them to have a continuous look so I use mainly one brand at a time.
The prettiest things in my scraproom are my ribbon jars. I got 6 canning-type jars from Cost Plus ($3 each) and sorted my ribbon by color. It looks very nice on the shelves. I used to use the little boxes and the embellishment case by Cropper Hopper for my ribbon, but it got too labor intensive to roll and file each new piece of ribbon. Now I just unwind new ribbon from it’s holder and throw it in the jar. When I’m working on a layout and need a particular color, I just put that jar on my desk instead of bringing out the whole CH case. I would love to post photos of this scrap-haven of mine, but it’s still too embarrassing. When I get things in better order, I will show you. For now, I just love spending time in my organized chaos.