I love this time of year, not just for Christmas, but the upcoming new year always gets me in the mood to organize and start fresh. I set resolutions, make plans for them in my planner, and organize the house.
Just before Christmas I bought a Pazzle creative cutter (which arrived yesterday…yay!!!) so I needed to clear a spot for it. Because our basement is only partially finished and not a space I like to spend time, I wanted to be sure all of my craft and scrapbooking supplies were upstairs and close where I’d actually use them more than the two times a year that I go to a crop. I had already incorporated a lot of my supplies into built-in bookshelves and cabinets in a room between our living room and kitchen, but kept the frames and books that were also on the shelves. I decided recently that if I wanted almost everything upstairs, then “pretty” would have to be sacrificed for “functional”. My goal was to create a space that my daughter, Faith, and I could craft and spend time together, so I focused on that.
The shelves still look organized and fairly neat, but not quite as aesthetically pleasing as they did before. Because I want my supplies to be easily portable for crops, I didn’t want to break it down into a bunch of smaller storage containers (though at some point I may). I have several rectangle baskets that I’ve had for years from Signature Homestyles. I love them because they fit nicely on the shelves, they’re durable and they look nice. I only wish they had handles so I had a way to string a tag through for labeling the contents (working on a solution for that). Scrapbooks, Etc. suggested using items you already have and finding a way to repurpose them, or getting things like small dollar store baskets. Not everything has to match, but some uniformity will keep it looking less messy.
The only contents that are not upstairs are my albums and scrapbook paper, simply because there’s not enough room. They are upright in a collapsible rolling crate that I bought at Wal Mart ($20), so whenever I’m ready I can just grab the crate and bring it up. I organize my paper in clear plastic folders. The full sheets go in the center of the folder and I use the smaller side pockets for scraps (then they don’t get forgotten or wasted). I’m able to organize by color or pattern, they’re easy to find, and when I go to a crop I have all my paper with me.
The bookshelves might not be quite as pretty, but I have to say that seeing everything…especially my new Pazzle sitting there…is motivating me to create something! If you’re having trouble getting yourself to regularly work on whatever craft it is that you do, make sure that your supplies are where you know you’ll use them, that they’re organized so that you can easily access what you need, and that you can see elements that spur your creativity.