Saturday, October 27, 2012


Hi Everyone

I often think the key to getting anything done efficiently is to be organized, that may mean knowing where to find stuff when the moment strikes your urge :-)

You know the old adage- "a place for everything, everything a place". 
Now lets not be mistaken when I'm in the deep throws of creating my craft space looks like most, but I have made it a habit to clear up and put away after each session, everything to a specific place. I often get asked to help out others in getting their spaces sorted too, so I thought I'd share a few ideas that might be helpful to others as well.
  • Where possible cut down on packaging- its main purpose is for transporting the item and identifying the product/instructions etc. Beyond that it takes up space- space is very important- not enough space for stash is a problem LOL
  • You can use Folders that have clear plastic sleeves- great for sticker sheets, patterns, templates, rubons etc 

  • Clear Plastic containers that have multi compartments in one unit. Great for Brad collections, buttons, trinket type embellishments, embroidery cottons,  small amounts of ribbon- wound on floss cards etc etc

Other Ribbon storage idea. (only downside can get dusty- but you'll be using them more hey LOL!

Try to store product that can be faded away from open spaces and sunlight, it also keeps dust off your product.  

  • You can buy A4 sized clear plastic, pressed stud wallets that are great for storing your individual colours of cardstock, Also in some craft supplier outlets you can purchase 12" v 12" (30cm x 30cm) size plastic wallets for your 12" square sheets of patterned paper.

  •  Or alternatively clear zip lock plastic bags to keep each individual patterned paper family together. If you have lots of odd assortments you may decide to store them in shades- ie. creams, browns, reds, blues etc etc. Sometimes these can be found from your local catering wholesaler- most sell to the general public as well or alternatively found on the Internet.

  • When you've done a fair bit with a particular patterned paper but still have good bits left over- give away to a friend or group, it keeps your stash fresh to you and allows more space for refills  LOL!

  • Store Die cut dies ie. Bigz Dies, Framelits, Embossing Folders in Purpose made containers or CD box storage boxes. They all have bookplate labels so you can identify your box as well. They are available from your Stampin Up demonstrator, cardboard variety from office suppliers or your local Ikea. In some instances you buy them in 2 packs.                                    
Stampin Up Product - inserts available -sold seperately

Good to note that your Framelits (and simular like product) can be stored in the same clear DVD style cases that the stampin Up Clear Mount stamps come in, just add a magnetic sheet to the case (not available with the case, sourced separately  the Clear cases are available from Stampin Up. Here is an example from another demo- Mary Fish

  • Inks can be stored in Ink towers-   
  •  Stampin Up has a purpose made version that can also be built upon and makes for easy transportation to retreats/ workshops etc. 
 There is also hand-crafters that make ones out of MDF  etc,  for more permanent storage in your craft space. Best if inks are stored upside down, to keep ink at the surface of your ink pad. I do like this about the way Stampin Up ink pads are made to store this way automatically.

  • Keep your stamping blocks together in a caddy and keep your blocks cleaned to insure a long life's use from them. Stampin Up sells this caddy shown below. Their Clear blocks are of very good quality and its best to keep them in clean condition, less opportunity for scratching- thus making your stamps awkward to cling if that becomes the case. Don't throw away the foam inserts that come out to put your clear blocks away, they make great piercing pads or needle storage.

  • For Stamp sets there is various ways to keep them organized too.  
  • Whether you have preference for 'Cling Mount' stamps or Wood Mount, both come in purpose made containers. My preference is for 'Cling' (clear) mount stamps as not only can you see the surrounding space around your stamp for better judgement of placement but the DVD like containers they are stored in take up less space in your craft stash- this is always important. Over cluttered craft spaces don't mix well with craft time output. The wood choices come in their own cases (with the wooden blocks included) and are just over 1" high.
'Clear Mount' or 'Cling Mount' to use with the clear Blocks come in a DVD style case and so are more slimmer to store.
**** A little tip too- Don't throw away the surrounding rubber bits of your stamp set, it is much easier to see if you have any stamps missing when there is a space left empty as oppose to just having the actual stamps on their own. This becomes very apparent when you are sharing them around at retreats/workshops, classes etc. Here is a pic care of a another demo- mount your stamps but keep the surrounding rubber, it all naturally clings to the bottom of your case, keeping things intact.

If your stamp sets come without storage you can either purchase these clear cases or use those plastic slip in binders.
  • There is DVD tower furniture available not only at your local $$$ stores at very reasonable prices but also at most department stores and again at IKEA- available in various colours. I'm a fan of white because in my opinion it creates the look of 'more space'. and light which is important in a creating environment.

  • Alternatively you can store your stamps on a book case or purpose built cupboard much like a pantry style cabinet.

  • Have a tool caddy for your commonly used toys- ie. pencils, rulers, scissors, pierce pads, piercers, distressing kits etc etc  these are available at most craft outlets and $$$ stores.
Also little cases below like this are great for example - all your adhesive needs in 1 spot- high rise lid allows for plenty of product LOL!

  • Punches can be stored either on a shelving system or on steel rails attached to your craft wall space.

  • If you are renting and this isn't allowed than you can purchase smaller lengths in the rods and store them on the sides of your cabinet furniture or perhaps an old door leaned up securely in your craft space. The rods that I have used are available for $2.00 at Ikea, you just need to add 4 screws per rod and someone handy to secure them for you. In this instance I like the idea of having them on display for easy/quick access and they are easy to dust anycase :-)
  • Alternatively here is an idea below if you can't have something affixed to a wall.

  • Cabinets that have drawers are excellent because you can pull out the space towards you in order to locate an item easier and its contained , rather than falling off a shelf.
  • Best if items that are on open display are there for easy and regular location, otherwise store things away from sunlight and dust (and little inquisitive eyes/hands if you have littlies about- they can have alot of fun with paint, ink, glitter and embossing powders LOL!)
  • Keep Electronic Equipment together in one station point- ie. computer, printer, scanner, great if these are located as well near your work station; great for embossing (power point close for your gun) hot glue work etc. Sewing Machine etc.

  • Display your craft. Its a good idea to showcase your work, if not for others but for yourself in your craft space. Not only does it give you the opportunity to admire and appreciate your efforts, and make that opportunity available to others - sharing the inspiration, but also allows you to study the project, to learn from, critique and build upon in following projects.  You may choose to display 1 item at a time on a plate stand set up or have a cork board or metal notice board on your craft space wall. I used to use the cork variety but have taken to preferring the metal boards which come in a variety of colour choices - black, white, steel and would you believe Orange LOL!- I got mine from IKEA. They retail at about $20 each.  

Scrapbook Album Storage

  • Try to keep on top of your Memory storage too, update and back up your photos and important data to external drives, discs and USB sticks, online photo storage site,  it prevents the sadness at loosing memories should your computer/laptop have issues or worse still get stolen.You can replace a computer but not the record of memories. Most of us have learnt this the hard way.                   External Hard drives
USB Sticks

                                                                CD or DVD Discs
stored in a 1 place folder. I made altered  this case years ago as a Scrapbooking Masters entry. It has served me well, though it looks tatty in places now.

  • Keep all software discs, added componants ie- CD disc trays, negative sliders,  warranties,  instruction books, receipts for your electronic equipment,  saves a lot of heartache when they are needed and lets face it sometimes we need to reload some software when our computers seem to forget the relationship they have with other equipment. The more you can do yourself the more it saves you time or money getting outside help.
  • In final conclusion of this wordy/photo ladden post, all I can add is the less 'clutter you have around you, the less your creative mind will be cluttered as well'. So the only things you really want of display is those things that are regularly used or electronic equipment that needs air flow for safety. If you have a specific place for things that you habit-ably put time and again, you will be able to achieve much more enjoyment in what little time most of us get to indulge.
LABEL EVERYTHING (Easily done with a portable printer labeler)  - extremely important!!!

Its not necessary to be an over organized OCD to achieve a happy, workable, creative space to function and get maximum enjoyment either.

Here is a few quotes to humour you while you contemplate this task : )

The Process of Getting Organized 
When in doubt:  breathe, drink water, clear clutter.   Karen Kramer (my motto)

• Stow as you go. (put things back right after using them!) Sandra Felton, Messies Anonymous

• Out of clutter, find simplicity.  Albert Einstein

• Early in my career I felt that organization would destroy my creativity. Whereas now, I feel the
opposite. Discipline is the foundation that allows you to be creative.!!!Verna&Gibson

The best things in life…..aren't things.   Art Buchwald

If you are overwhelmed by your belonging/ stash- downsize- garage sale it, swap it, give it away- whichever way you go, you will feel the joy and so will others.- Ruthy

Well hopefully this post has been helpful, have a great weekend, cherish the time you have in life to spend creating but most of all the company of family and friends. 

Enjoy - Ruthy

**ps. if any photos are not watermarked with my name the images have been found for the sake of photo example off the internet. 


  1. Great post Ruthy, so many great storage ideas and practical too!
    Thanks for sharing these, it's great to see what others use and it inspires me to go clean and sort..:0) xxx

  2. Fantastic blog post!!!! I love reading about how other demos organise their supplies & "stuff"! Thanks for sharing! Xxx

  3. Wow Ruthy! So many great ideas in this post! I love the clear sleeved book idea for lettering, stickers etc. So simple! So neat!


    Little Purple Forest

  4. Goodness! This is a very "organized" Post! haha.
    Brilliant. Must have taken quite a while to put together. Thanks so much. Vx

  5. Gosh my eyes must be bad! that last comment took SIX goes to get published.Vx