Welcome back! First off, I have to apologize. This is a really long post, with lots of pictures. And, I have put off writing it BECAUSE it’s so large and full of pictures. But, it has to be done…
The organization techniques I’m sharing are inspired by Jennifer McQuire. She was one of the first crafters I watched on YouTube, even before I started down this card making road. Because of her blog, I knew I was going to want to stay organized. I’ve used many of these techniques since day one, but not fully. For example, I labeled everything, but not with a label maker (I hand wrote on the inserts or used a Sharpie on the job ticket folders). I wasn’t sure how “invested,” I was going to become in card making, and I didn’t want to buy some tools and not use them. I really recommend checking out her Favorite Crafty Things of 2017 Organization video.
This post, and my organization overhaul, is inspired by all the organization post on Instagram! I decided to get my butt in gear and fully commit to being organized.
Here are some of the pictures of my craft space before my re-org.
I did pull my desk around, so that I wasn’t staring at the wall anymore. It still works because I am right handed, and all the tools are on the right. I kept the Raskog cart with my Spellbinder Platinum 6 on the right as well, behind the desk. This is the most recent picture, and as you can see, I did switch the contents of the cubbies around a bit, and got a second ink rack form Organize More (I now have a third one on order).
I decide to get another Kallak unit, this time a 4 x 4. Here are the new pictures.
I felt like the desk looked uncentered with the expanded unit, so I moved my desk over and put the cart with my Gemini on the right. This also gives me more room to move around, as the cart was previously under the Nuvo Drops, blocking the access to the shelves.
As you can see, almost everything is in the same spot. I liked the set up I had before, I just needed more room. Oh, and now everything is properly labeled, swatched and divided. I’ll show you close ups of all that.
I am keeping a cubby nice and warm for my new ink wrack.
I keep precut cardstock, my mini ink cubes and coloring items in this Raskog. The top basket also has my t-ruler, most used adhesives, sanding block and erasers. I also keep a bag to catch cardstock scraps. These are throw away pieces for me to recycle. I’m not sure why the coffee filters are here, as you can see below, all the heat embossing stuff is in the other Raskog. I guess I ran out of room?!?!
On this Raskog I turned the top basket over. Originally I kept my Platinum 6 here, but as you can see it’s now the place of honor for my Gemini. Below the Gemini are my heat embossing powders, heat gun (normally on my desk), small water spritzers and spoons. Under that is my cutting board, perfect for heat embossing, and cleaning supplies (Swiffers, microfiber clothes and alcohol wipes). I have little magnet containters that hold my powder tool and my spare blending pads. You can also see in the background that my Christmas decoration boxes are STILL in my living room. Hopefully they will be put away this weekend.
Let’s take a closer look at the labels, swatches and other fun stuff!
First up, cardstock!
I use plastic job ticket holders to store my cardstock. They are very handy because you can keep small scraps of cardstock in the pocket, as well as full sheets. You can’t see it here, but the job ticket holders are stored in magazine holders.
I left the top part of the holder on at first (this was where I wrote the manufacturer and color in marker). When I finally broke down and bought a label maker, I trimmed it off. It is easier to get the cardstock out. As you can see, I have a problem hoarding scraps…
I also made a swatch ring, using a tag die that was included with the Gemini. I have a sample of every color cardstock.
And, of course they are labeled on the back.
I do have some 12×12 pads, and they just sit on a shelf. I don’t use them very often. My 6×6 cardstock pads are currently stored in the same wooden crate as my large stamp sets (below).
Next, my favorite, ink pads!!
You saw the ink racks in previous photos. These are close ups of the pads. I have one rack with Distress Ink & Oxides as well as my most reached for inks. I labeled one side of the ink pads (most people label all four, but that’s a lot of label tape, and, well, I’m cheap). I also stamped the ink on label paper, and punched out a circle with a good old fashioned hole punch.
My other ink rack hold most of my Altenew ink. The third rack will hold the rest of my Altenew ink, miscellaneous other inks, and my pigment inks.
This lovely image is of my ink swatch book. This is 100% from Jennifer McQuire, even the template. I’ve always had swatches of my inks, but I hadn’t gotten to the point of cutting them down to insert into these coin collector pages. I finally did that this week. You can see the new green inks from Altenew in this picture. For the Altenew inks, if I didn’t have a “full set,” (they sell their inks individually and in sets of four) I still added the little swatch insert, so I could see what I was missing. I had already printed it and cut it out, no point in wasting it. Please check out Jennifer’s blog! She has the template for ink swatches for pretty much every ink out their.
I keep my ink cubes in the Distress Ink tins, and keep them in one of my Raskog carts. I did include them in the swatch book, but I didn’t label them, or put ink dots on them. That would take another weekend to finish!
Hang on, we only have 2 sections left!
When I first started stamping, I kept my stamps and dies in those mini binders above. I quickly had to switch to the stamp pockets you see below. Until recently I kept the stamp pockets in the wooden crate above, but I also outgrew that. Now I keep my large stamp sets in the wooden crate ( I use another one to hold spare adhesives). As I mentioned above, my 6×6 cardstock is also in this crate. I’m still trying to figure out the best storage method for this cardstock. I have some ideas I mention below.
The binders here hold my dies, and we’ll take a closer look later.
Here I switched to the InterDesign container (this one is the side by side one). This holds my smaller and medium size stamp sets. Every stamp set is labeled with the company name and set name, as you can see on the right. You can also see how I used to hand write the info.
For the dividers I used cheap cardstock, added a label and then laminated the cardstock. I store my stamps by theme, then file them by manufacture in the theme section. The stamps sets in the front right section are new sets, or sets that I mean to use in the near future. I’m trying to figure out a way to use the stamps I already have as well as the new things I haven’t had a chance to play with yet.
If there are matching dies, I add a magnetic sheet to the cardstock insert, and I write the number of dies included in the set. If there are small sets, I will store two in a pocket. I plan to erase all the penciled labels as I use the sets. Sitting down and erasing everything at once would take a long time.
The large pockets are Avery Elle, and I used my Fuse Tool to make them a bit thinner. The medium and small pockets are from My Favorite Things. I like the quality of the MFT pockets better, and am hoping to get the 6×6 size when it’s back in stock.
I also have an order for Altenew’s storage pouches that should arrive this week. I grabbed the 6 x 8 size in order to store 6 x 6 cardstock (so I can keep the scraps with the rest of the pad). These pouches have zipper tops. I’ll share a blog post if this works out like I hope.
As you can see, I am currently storing my extra die cut images in the pockets with the stamps. I used to keep them in one of the mini binders, along with extra background etc. but the binder was overflowing. I’m trying this out to see how it works. So far no issues.
You had a peek of how I store my dies, let’s take a closer look.
I have separate binders for different types of dies. The are divided into Standard Shapes, Other Shapes, Sentiments and Shaker and Cover dies.
I use page protectors with cardstock inserts covered on magnetic pages. I will add more then one set on a insert, to save room. The one above is only two sets, and is labeled on the front.
This page has a bunch of dies from MFT, so I labeled the back (or rather left the old label).
The “1P,” and “3P,” indicate how many pieces are in each set. I also store any extra die cuts with the die set. Sometimes I use tiny ziplock bags, which you can see peeking out on the left.
Here are a couple of miscellaneous other organization items:
As I mentioned, here is the other wooden crate, which holds adhesives. My Xyron sticker maker, my foam tapes & stripes, tape runner refills etc. Next to it are mini binders with background I have previously made, Masking Paper, and other specialty papers, pre-cut.
This is my tool cubby. It holds spare cutting boards, my cutting tools, and my stamp platforms (yes, there is a Misti in there, more on that later this week). Here you can see the magazine holders I use (from IKEA). I keep the stamp platforms and my We R Memory Keeps Scoring and cutting board. I also keep my sequins organizer in here. The sequins are all labeled by manufacture and name, and are in rainbow order, by type.
I use these wire baskets to hold all my finished cards. I made the dividers the same way as the stamp dividers, and store them by theme. I need more friends!
Last but not least, we have my envelopes. Same laminated dividers. These are stored by manufacturer. The basket next to it holds bigger embellishments, like ribbons, the shaker pouches from MFT and gems.
I”m not sure if I previously shared this with you, but I keep my most used embossing powders in these Sistema containers. In the past I had written the manufacturer and name with Sharpie (it wipes off with rubbing alcohol). I went ahead and labeled these as well.
Believe it or not, I think that is it! The marker storage is pretty self explanatory, it’s from Crafter’s Companion. I currently keep my Alcohol Inks in a metal container (on the shelf with my makers) but I will be buying the new Alcohol ink tin.
The fabric drawers along the bottom of the Kallak units hold spare items and bulky items. My fun foam, Fuse Tool, label maker, laminator and supplies, mailing supplies, etc. As I mentioned I ordered the drawer inserts to help with the smaller items that don’t really fit well in the fabric bins. they just get lost, and I don’t like digging around for them.
It was easy to make the switch to, I guess I’ll call it, neater organization. I was always organized, but in a handwritten, rustic way :). Even though it was easy, it still took some time. It was worth it, though. I’m very happy with how everything looks now. I think I will be switching to an InterDesign bin for my finished cards, as I’m running out of space there. And, I can’t wait for the ink rack and drawer inserts to arrive. I’ll have to post an update when they get here.
I don’t have affiliated links but I did add many of the items used to my Amazon Wish List. No, not for you to purchase for me, but so you could see exactly what I used. Hopefully this link will take you there.
Thanks for stopping by and sticking this post out! If you have any questions, or see something I didn’t explain please let me know.