This is so embarrassing. After all my bragging about organizing my scrap space earlier this year (it was THIS POST), it’s a mess again. Holy cow! I think it’s even worse. Yeah, I just looked at the Before photos from last time and it is much, much worse now. My excuse is that I started as a scrapbook consultant this year and now, in addition to all my own stuff, I have to ‘keep stock on hand’ of Memory Works products. At any given time, I also have boxes of orders here until I distribute them. But, that being said, the real reason it’s a mess is because I haven’t kept up on it. I didn’t create a solution before I had the problem. And I’ve kept buying new scrapbook supplies while hardly using any. Okay, here is the disgusting evidence:

This is as you walk into my scrapping area, which is the back half of a larger room with the kids’ play area in the front. As you can see, the walkway is closing in on itself and I can barely walk through there without losing body parts. The box of red albums is a Daisy D’s Year in Review and Christmas album. I’m doing a class/party on that the week after Christmas. There’s my little Lexmark standalone photo printer that I got at Target for $25 on Clearance. I tried to use it once, got frustrated when it wouldn’t print anything but green photos, and it has sat collecting dust ever since. Although I did recently buy that Lexmark-specific photo paper (it’s sitting on top of the printer) to try again before I toss the thing out the window. The blue bins I bought last month to try and better display my products at crops, etc. (will be a separate post about those later). Until now, I’ve been using a big clear Rubbermaid container and small, white plastic baskets to display things. The Rubbermaid is just plain ugly and the white baskets are cute enough, but the sides are too low and everything just kind of flops over and won’t stand up for customers to look through it. You can also se my XXL tote and another smaller one (don’t remember what that one is called). I load them up with MW products when I go to crops and it’s nice because they protect everything from dust and getting bent in transit, and the XXL is on rollers so I can really carry lots of stuff. The problem is then I have no room to take my own crop stuff (tool kit, page kits, etc.). Needing a solution to that problem. The cream tote is all my Memory Works catalogs and paperwork. Well, I shouldn’t say “all”…there is another huge white binder of stuff in my home office. The black box is a Creative Memories Power Sort box full of photos and memorabilia from my Europe cruise. That was in 2006 and I’m only about half way through the album (if you don’t count journaling, of which I’ve hardly done any). Everything in the Power Sort is getting dusty because I can’t put the lid on or it will crush my brochures, menus, etc. To the far right is my shelf which has stayed pretty organized, mainly because it’s packed and there is nowhere to put anything else. But it needs work, for sure. The two ziploc bags on the floor are my templates, CM cutting system, Coluzzles, etc. They used to go on that shelf but they got kicked out when I bought some new blank albums.


After you walk in my scrap area and take a left, you’re looking at the window and my desk. That stack of paper with the black and white Jenni Bowlin on the top (love it!) is my December kit from Memory Works Express. I had it out of the box to look through it and never put it away. Under that are some other recent purchases: K&Co. Wild Saffron slab; DCWV cardstock pad with the jagged edges (what’s that called?), and two SIS tool packs that are empty. I had all my acrylic stamping stuff in one of them and it got full, so I bought an identical one when they were on a great sale at Tuesday Morning. Then I found the black tote at Michaels (you’ll see it later in the tour) for 40% off and moved all my stamps into the tote. Not sure if I’m liking it, so while I decide, the empty blue tool packs sit empty. The ribbon jars on the right look fine ~ I’ve managed to keep up with my ribbon this way, just tossing in any new ribbon I get right away. The large white box and another stack under the brown box (that you can’t see here) are picture frames from Costco that I bought about two months ago. Okay, let’s be honest, it’s been more like six months. I HATE the picture frames I have around my house right now and keep saying I will redo them, but there they sit. It just seems so intimidating to figure out which pictures I want to put in which frames, get them enlarged and/or converted to black and white, choose which pictures go where in the house, and hang them. I’m procrastinating big time on that one. The basket on the top right is full {bursting at the seams} with letter stickers. Even though I have a Cricut, I can’t seem to stop buying alpha rub-ons, Thickers, chipboard alphas and sometimes even sticker letters. Although I’m proud to say I don’t buy those much anymore because I know I won’t use them; I have years’ worth to use already. Although most of my letters are at least in one place (that basket), they definitely need to be purged and organized.


This is the top of my legal size filing cabinet. Inside is actually very organized, with all my greeting cards sorted by event; receipts, instruction books, etc in files; and office supplies like printer paper, extra cartridges, etc. Again, ribbon jars look good although they’re dusty on top. I purged magazines and idea books last time I did The Big Cleanup and now the stack is back! New magazines, idea books and other books that need to be purged or put away.


Here is the heart of the space, where i actually scrap, my L-shaped desk. With the missing front trim that never got put on because we didn’t follow the instructions properly when we put it together from the box. Once the desk was together, waaayyyy too much trouble to pull it apart again just to add some silly little trim. Anyway, you can see my black tool pack which holds many of my essentials – various adhesives, stylus, stapler, etc. The papers on top are envelopes from Christmas cards we’ve received so I can update my address list. I mean, really, that doesn’t even belong in here and that’s what happens a lot. If I want to straighten another area of the house, I just put things in here. Voila! We have a mess! On the right side are sticky notes and mailing supplies; my new ToteAlly Cool totes (larger for punches, Stickles, etc and smaller one for Cropadile, pens and scissors); the ever present Diet Coke. In the back are recently developed photos that have nowhere to go so I keep stuffing them back there. To the left is my ScrapRack which is very organized but too full so, see, the little K&Co. tags are falling out of the Christmas section. And my glorious new Basic Grey Magnetic Mats and faithful Cutterpede paper trimmer.


Here is my little corner with my stereo (new Pebbles Inc. Ribbon Iron on top cooling off because I just used it); high dollar printer and scanner that I never use; random Mike’s and Target stamps for long-overdue RAK’s; baby wipes to clean acrylic stamps; and my labeler which surprisingly gets a lot of use in my space. I’m very organized about being disorganized! The desk drawers have computer equipment, font and software CD’s, etc and are very organized but I don’t seem to go in there very much, so maybe that stuff could go elsewhere and open up some space for scrap-related things? The cupboard side contains my Cricut, mats, and cartridges on top, a bin with electrical cords, phone cords, power strip, etc on bottom. Again, why is that stuff in here? I do have an old laptop on my desk that I just use for journaling but I hardly ever use the accessories anymore so they could go in a closet or something. See, progress already!


Here is the rest of my desk. There is the black Michael’s tote I told you about. All my acrylic stamps, ink pads, alcohol inks, stamp cleaners, etc are in there. Behind the tote are: a bucket of Prima flowers I’m borrowing from a friend, my ink pens in Creative Memories Pen Holders, and random new products that need to be put away. The Colorbok paper pads under the black tote will be for sale, but I need to log them in my computer first. The pile on the left is mostly the stuff from my Secret Santa (thanks again!) and the right side pile is memorabilia to file and a new notebook for scrap ideas, to do lists, etc. (First entry should be: TO DO ~ Clean up your damn space!).


Wow, okay… Seeing your mess in a big full color photo is even MORE eye-opening, even MORE embarrassing and shocking. Deep breath. Count to 10. Breathe out through the nose. Yoga breaths, yoga breaths. Okay. I’m back. This is the table to the left of my desk (the far side of it is near the walkway we already saw). I brought this table in the last time I organized, thinking it would be extra space to work on big projects, sort my photos, or have a friend over to crop. Yeah, right. It’s become a primo dumping ground for the stuff I guess I just used to leave on the floor. On the table you can see more gingerbread jars which I’ve been dumping various embellies in that either need to be put away, or are prizes for crops. The 12×12 stack back there is mainly paper to file or put a price tag on. The white baskets I was using to display my products ~ one is empty, the other has in it two Memory Works Express Kits from May 2007. One is mine, one is for sale. There are papers and embellishments in a super large Ziploc, including a box of glitter chipboard letters from K&Co. which I need to keep bagged together to sale and/or act as a sample of the kit. The problem is that each of these kits comes with an alterable project and this one was a small paint can. I mean, jeez, how to you even store that?? I guess my lame answer is, “In a white plastic basket.” Down below the table are my very organized page kits in a white plastic crate, another jar, and a Target bag with a flattened postal box and some acrylic stamps to sell once I get them in the computer and price tags put on. At the bottom middle of the photo are two cardboard file boxes on the floor. Hiding under the bag of Figgy Pudding Card Kit stuff (with cards in progress) is one project box (album, papers, embellishments, photos and souveniers from a big trip we took in, yes, 2005). The other is a project box for my 2006 cruise album. Neither has even been touched in months, except to add or take papers from. What you can’t see is that the entire space under my desk is filled with bins of my old photo storage system (remember THIS POST about how I was going to re-do that?), altered projects to make (photo cubes, shadow boxes, etc.), and Christmas presents. I’ve been shoving gifts under there all year because it’s the perfect hiding place. Everyone is scared to come over here! Seriously, my DH sends the kids in to grab the wastepaper basket once in a while or he just yells over to me, “Hey, how’s your trash? Bring it here if it needs emptied, please.” Smart man. Very, very smart man.


This is just a close up of the jars on the table, and you can see the blue basket in the background where I’ve put some of the paper packs I have for sale. They are elsewhere in the house, but I have a total of two large blue bins (like the one on the table), two medium sized green ones, and two small blue ones. They are all filled with MW products for sale. The baskets themselves are organized, but I have nowhere in my scrap space to put them.


So, I have survived the ultimate in humiliation by showing you my ‘crap’ area. I mean, SERIOUSLY?? SERIOUSLY?? And why am I subjecting myself to this, you ask? Because that’s what it takes for me to get to work and get this place cleaned up again. Last time, I entered an Organization Challenge on the CK Message Board. This time, I’m sharing it here on my blog. Now I’m accountable (I mean, if you guys out there really care??) and I WILL get organized again. I’ve come to this conclusion: Now that I’m a scrapbook consultant and have to keep a lot of extra products and paperwork around, this space just isn’t big enough anymore.

Part One of My Plan: My wheels have been turning about how I can re-work this space, maybe somehow utilizing our guest bedroom/office also. I already got DH’s approval to get rid of the old king sized bed in there that takes up half of the room, yet only gets used about four times per year when my mom visits. (No worries, Mom, we’ll findya another place to sleep!).

Part Two of My Plan: I have two weeks off from work for the holidays. Granted, I could get busy with my ‘from home’ jobs, I have at least one scrapbooking event, and we may go out of town for a few days. But I think this is a great opportunity to spend some time getting my scrap area organized…once and for all…um, yeah, right! Do I have your support? You got any suggestions for the dilemmas I’ve shared? I challenge YOU to organize your scrapbooking area over the Christmas break, so post in Comments if you will join me. I would love it if you sent me some photos I could post of your before/after or link us to your blog showing same. DEADLINE IS SUNDAY, JANUARY 6, 2008 (‘cuz ya gotta have a deadline or else you won’t do it!)…

Good luck and God Bless Us all!

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  1. avatar

    Hi! Congratulations, you have taken the first step by analysing your space and identifying some of the problems.

    I am a scrapper, an amateur organiser and a naturally messy person, so I hear you!

    Would you like some feedback? Shall I give it anyway? LOL!

    You have a story/explanation for every single thing in your space and why it is there and what you could/should do about it. That is a lot of brain space you are using to keep track of all that. Now you have written it down, take the next step and turn that into a to do list – eg the lexmark printer: try it with the paper, see if you like the result, if so find it a home, if not donate or chuck it. Total time involved, probably less than half an hour.

    A basic rule of thumb is everything has to have a home or else you can NEVER put it away. Some of the homes you have identified currently have other occupants and you have commented on possible relocation. Write out a list of all the storage locations around the room and what they should be used to house (not what they currently house) Think about how you use the room and look at having zones – so, all your photos live in a zone, not scattered in various locations.

    There are some great organsing resources online and also some great books. I have links to some on my blog.

    Oh, you have way to much stuff, but you already know that! So first things first, develop a plan for rehoming your unwanted supplies. Go ahead, make someone’s day!

    Empty storage containers … fill them, even if just temporary!

    Better shut up now, will check in and see how you are going. You can do this!

  2. avatar

    Ummmm good luck with that. I do like the idea of using the guest room as additional space though. We will be checking up on you! I did love the link to the “ultimate” organinzed space that you posted. Thanks for sharing that, I got some great ideas from it:)

  3. avatar

    Can i just say Wow? That is a lot of stuff. Good luck with the organization, I can’t wait to see it all done.

  4. avatar
    Elizabeth says:

    ya know it’s really not that bad considering all the fun stuff you have. One day I will have your problem of too much stuff to organize. Till then I will be jealous of your scrap/art space. Have fun sorting and organizing!!
    Elizabeth (ckmb cutepumpkin)

  5. avatar

    You gotta a lot stuff, my dear!! I’ll come over and happily organize it all for you :)

  6. avatar

    I’m on it! I’m getting the Cropper Hopper rail system for Christmas (check out my blog, so I am up to the challenge!

  7. avatar
    Jennifer says:

    Okay, so I’m with you. We just moved last Saturday and my scrapbook room is smaller than the old one, but still a great room. It is all in boxes at the moment and as I began to open a few last night I realized that I actually managed to PACK my MESS! LOL! I did. I took all the “important” stuff that was on my very large desk and put it into a box so I could get to that stuff first. Well…I opened that box and there wasn’t really anything all that important in there other than a couple of half finished projects I need to do before Christmas! I couldn’t believe I had actually just packed the mess and I didn’t even notice that I was doing that as I packed! So…here it is…on paper…I will get it organized and completely set up before January 6th. (I’m actually hoping before Tuesday, but I still have lots of other stuff to do, too, so I’m not going to make promises I can’t keep.) One trip to IKEA to get the EXPEDIT shelves that dh has already promised and then I will have a place to put everything. Thanks for giving me someone to be accountable to! Now….what are you doing on the computer? You have a room to organize! LOL! :-)

  8. avatar

    Thanks for showing the world how “real” scrappers organize!

  9. avatar

    I am like you – I will organize – it will look GREAT then I start working and leave this here and that there and BAM its a mess again. Here is one thing that I tried and it worked and I LOVE IT.

    Hubs has some extra peg board from the garage. I spray painted it and used some embellishements to hide the screws and (hear the angels singing?) its wonderful. I can hang all my template, tools etc on it, I can see them, and they are at my reach when I need them (no digging around for them). Of course, paper and small embellishments are another issue but I am slowing working on it.

    For your rubber stamps (that are not acrylic) get a spice organizer thing that is multi-leveled so you get 3 times as many stamps in one space!

    Good luck with your organzing. I have to “re-do” my little space too.

  10. avatar

    Erkia, I feel your pain!! My scrap-room is a mess. I have an album I’m working on laying on my desk. I’m working on several projects, so last week I took over the dining room table, (because it is bigger) and my dd can sit with me and scrap/help me. She helped me finish an entire 2008 calendar for my dh’s grandma and a family word album in a day and a half. I laid it out how I wanted it and she glued it all down for me. What a huge help!! I mailed them yesterday :)
    Bottom line: – I now have another area to clean up before I get to my scrap room. (And two more tribute albums and one word album to make before Christmas) YIKES!!

    I will take your challenge to get it cleaned up. I am also moving at the end of Jan to a smaller house with no scrap room…what will I do then??
    Hide it all under the bed?? Get rid of my clothes and store it in my closet??

  11. avatar

    Hi Yvette ~ Yes, I welcome comments and constructive criticism! But let me correct you…I do NOT have too much stuff. Okay, there. Um, I love your idea of surveying my existing spaces and listing what SHOULD be there, not what IS there. I guess I’ve mentally been doing that, but I need to write it down and take action on it! I enjoyed your blog and all the resources you have over there.

  12. avatar

    Hey Stephanie and Heather ~ CKMB GIRLZ ~ Thanks for stopping by. I will amaze and astound you with my organization skills. Do come back and check on me! I need the pressure…er, um…I mean, encouragement {tee hee}. And Heather, I do not have “a lot of stuff.” It’s an optical illusion and y’all are seeing thangs!

  13. avatar

    Hi Elizabeth, Samantha, and Julie ~ More CKMB’ers, yay! Thanks for stopping by to bear witness to my mess. There is sure a trend of comments saying “You have a lot of stuff.” Wuzzup with that?? I have the normal amount, I think. Did you catch the part where I’m a scrapbook consultant so a lot of it’s not even mine? (Though I wish it were, LOL). I’m going to post photos of some other scrappers ‘studios’ I’ve seen online, and you will see that I only have an itty bitty amount of stuff. I mean, the stuff I own (not the stuff I sell). Julie, I’m so happy you got your L&B Rail System. Hope you’ll post photos of it when you’re all done :)

  14. avatar

    Hi Jennifer ~ That’s a funny insight you had about moving your scrapbooking stuff to your new house. If you’ve read my blog before, you know how much I really, really want an Expedit so I’m super jealous :) And I WILL hold you to Jan. 6th, if you do the same for me. It will be fun to share our results with each other when we’re all done… Ok, ok, I’m getting off the computer after I finish answering the comments left so far!

  15. avatar

    Hi Sandra (love your blog!) ~ Yes, by ‘real scrappers’, do you mean ones like me who can’t afford Martha Stewart’s custom cabinets in her attic loft, or the Lisa&Becky cubes that, while fabulous, cost $50…EACH! I mean, us normal folk have to resort to Rubbermaid, Sauder, and Walmart sometimes :) Thanks for always visiting and saying “hi”. I enjoy your comments.

  16. avatar

    Hi Cheeky ~ Your blog is hilarious, btw. We share a similar sense of humor. When I read the stuff your DH says to you, it reminds me of my DH. God love ’em! I think your pegboard and spice rack ideas are perfect! It’s great how such simple things can be used in our areas to keep us organized. Let us know how your ‘re-do’ goes…

  17. avatar

    Hi Lisa ~ Thanks for sharing about your “two messes.” I’m sure a lot of us can relate, esp. around Christmas with all the extra projects to do. As for the new house, yes, definitely use the closet. I mean, who really need clothes and shoes?? Scrap supplies is where it’s at! Seriously, though, I have seen people without a scrap room use those underbed containers that are large, flat and on rollers. I think they even have lids that hinge in the middle so you just slide them out halfway, lift the lid, and grab what you need. I’ve also seen “scrap rooms” made out of walk-in closets, dining room nooks, etc. Thanks for joining in the challenge!

  18. […] websites, scrapbooking — americanmom @ 7:11 pm If you’re participating in our SCRAP SPACE ORGANIZATION CHALLENGE/strong> (deadline is this Sunday, 1/6/08) , you’ve probably had to confront your ribbon. I found this […]

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