The preparation for this project has started and I love seeing all the photos from everybody’s craft space. I have seen some beautiful BIG rooms but also the coziest small craft nooks. I even have seen people reorganizing a room in their house to fit in a craft table. That makes me so happy!

It doesn’t matter if your space is big or small. It is having your own little happy craft space that will provide you a place to relax and create that matters.

But, to have a relaxed feeling in your craft space, it is important to have your supplies organized. Nothing can get me more in a stressed mood than not finding that one item or tool I need to use on my project.

So lets start “getting ready” session 1: the 4-step plan.

In the first chapter of “The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker” they talk about a 4-step plan which really has helped me a lot.

Step 1: Create your vision
Step 2: Select an organizing method
Step 3: Organize and pare down
Step 4: Store and display

Step 1 is to really think about what does and what doesn’t work in the setup you have now. Storage and organization are not the same things. The goal is to find storage solutions that help you accomplish your goals and allow you to work better. What would you like to change? For example I have all my stencils in a big box but that just doesn’t work for me. They are all on top of each other and it is hard for me to go thru them all to find a stencil that I like for a certain project. Therefore, I do not use them as much as I would like to. Things like that I think about and write down.

Then in Step 2 the book talks about 7 organizing categories:

  • By activity
  • By topic/event
  • By manufacturer or product line
  • By color
  • By project
  • By pattern/shape
  • Chronologically

For each craft item you can apply a different category. Sometimes you can even apply 2 categories.

To begin this process you need to think about HOW you create. Do you start your scrapping projects with pictures and then choose papers and embellishments, or do you start with products? I personally start with pictures and I scrap chronologically or by event, so I have all my pictures organized chronologically or by event. This makes it easier for me to find a photo I want to use. So when I am working on a baby album I know I need to print photos from the baby photo file.

I then choose papers to match the coloring in the pictures or the theme of the pictures. Therefore, I decided to change my paper storage from manufacturer, to by color and also some few chosen themes like Birthdays, Christmas, Travel, etc. This allows me to easily find what I need by the way I scrap. So, when I am going to document a Christmas or baby photo I can easily find the paper to match or if I’m doing an every day spread, I reach for the color I need. My paper kits however, I do like to organize by manufacturer. I do this because all the items in the kit compliment each other. Also different kits from the same manufacturer usually have the same color-scheme or color-tone so you can use them together.

I then choose my embellishments by color. For instance, I organize my enamel dots by color. I do this because I like to add my embellishment based on colors that compliment the overall design. It doesn’t matter to me if it is all from the same line or even the same manufacturer.

You can see for each item you really have to think about what would work for you. And this can also evolve and change over the years (or sometimes even months or weeks). If you find that something doesn’t work for you then just try to find another way that will work. I know my way is still evolving but I do notice it is getting better and better and it has saved me from a lot of frustrated moments not to find something.

Well most of the times that is…there is something called being too organized in which I lost my MINC machine. I mean come on that thing is HUGE and it really took me a while to find it (to be honest my son found it as I was stressing and asking myself how in the heck I could loose something like that in a room so organized) . And no it wasn’t buried underneath a pile of (S)crap. I had it put neatly into a drawer. Go figure!

Ok, let’s get back on topic. Take some time to go over all the craft items you have and think what organizing category would work for you based upon how YOU create. You may create differently for different types of media. For instance, you may think about your scrapping process quite differently than you think about your mixed media projects. I personally organize my mixed media materials not by color, but by media type (Dylusions paints, sprays, acrylic paints, watercolor paints, pencils, etc.)

The next step is to also think about what storage you are using now and if you like it or would like to change it. There are 4 main storage options:

  • Open and visible
  • Open and not visible
  • Closed and visible
  • Closed and not visible

For me, I like to have a lot stored in closed containers or drawers. But in my first craft room setup I had everything in open visible containers. And although it looked pretty it made me somewhat restless. So, I made the change to how I have it now and I am very happy with that. But this doesn’t mean this is the same for you. For instance, my friend who scraps by color, needs to see things in order to remember that she has them and needs to use them, so she stores her embellishments by color in big crystal clear acrylic bins all together. You really need to figure out what will work for you.

Then it is time for Step 3. To organize and pair down. Pull out two empty bins to use for this process, one for items you will keep and one for items you will donate. Now choose one crafty item at a time and go thru the entire stash of that item deciding what to “keep” and what to “donate”.

So for example ribbons. Sort out all your ribbons, really think about which ones you want to keep and which you know you will never use again. The amount of de-stashing you will need to do will be based upon your space. You want to create a space and system that will allow you to meet your goals, as outlined in Step 1.

Then it is time for Step 4. Store and display. Take your “keep” bin and start organizing your stash item the way you have written down in step 2 for that item. You keep taking these steps for each craft item. And remember this process doesn’t have to be done in one day, or even one week. Just take some time to really sort out your entire stash.

At the end you will be left with a clean and organize craft room that will be ready to use., will make you happy, and will help you to accomplish your crafty goals without frustration.

So lets get to it! Feel free to ask questions and share your progress on our special project Facebook group.


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