The Key to Keeping Your Scrap Supplies Organized

In order to help get you ready for our annual Scrapbook Garage Sale, I'm going to share something that I recently learned while purging my own scrap supplies.

This is a simple concept yet I finally realized what my main problem was when it came to keeping my scrap stuff organized.

Your supplies need to fit into your defined space.

This was a major issue for me and probably also for many of you. Since I work at a scrapbook store, I have constant contact with all things scrapbooking which means I buy stuff regularly. I have a hall closet that I converted to my craft space. The doors have been removed and cabinets and a counter top have been installed. Since I don't have a scrapbook room and my closet space is pretty limited, I stored stuff where ever I could. I didn't realize how bad it actually was until I gathered everything I had so I could see it all together. I had my albums in my bedroom closet on a shelf that were impossible to get to, paper stored in vertical paper holders in my tv armourer, kits and "in progress" projects stored in a wire rack system in our playroom along with an open cabinet full of embellishments, stickers and mini books. A couple weeks ago I discovered that I had a tub of chipboard books under my bed in a storage container that I completely forgot existed for at least 1 1/2 years. I store very few items under my bed so the fact that this was under there and I forgot about it made me finally realize my stash had really over grown it's invisible boundaries. Admittedly I was embarrassed by the shear volume of it all and I realized it was time to get serious and let a good amount of it go.

After piling everything together on the playroom floor, I sorted through every item. Realistically, this takes time. I sorted everything in "shifts" because I knew it wasn't something I could get done in one night. Here's how I decided what to keep and what to let go of. I asked myself the following questions:

1. Do I still like it?
This is an easy one. If no, it went to the garage sale pile. If yes, next question.

2. Do I have an idea for it?
Do I realistically see myself using it within the next 6 months?
This is when honesty comes in to play. I also think putting a time frame on when it's going to be used helps. I especially used the time limit when it was an item that I had been holding on to for sometime.

3. Do I have the space for it?
If the item made it to this point (especially bigger, space consuming things such as kits), I had to survey how much room I had, then decide which item was the most important to keep.

4. Does this item fit into the vision for my space?
This last point I stole from professional organizer Peter Walsh. He has a great new show on Oprah's network that I adore.)

I know this sounds silly when we are talking about scrapbook supplies but this does apply to my situation. My craft closet is located in my living room and it's one of the first things anyone sees when walking in my home. Usually, the counter top in my space is not only completely covered, but it is also piled up. When it gets to this state, then I usually have to start putting stuff on the floor. For me, once items hit the floor, they stay there for awhile. This is all not a very welcoming site to see upon walking into my front door! So it really made me focus on keeping what would fit into my space. Plus I really wanted to get to the point where my stash was easily controllable so that it would stay organized. We all spend so much time organizing our supplies. Wouldn't it be great to use that time to scrap instead??? Of course!!!!

So once I finished the sort, this was my garage sale pile. It's probably the biggest amount of stuff that I've ever let go of.

I hope I have inspired you to sort your stash and be more organized. Because being more organized means more time scrapbooking! :)

Check back to read to read my next post in which I will discuss how I organized the supplies that I kept. I will be sharing more tips along with some great organizational products!


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