Tuesday, January 24, 2012

project life organization

I know, I know, I know. I just finished a massive, month-long overhaul of my scrap room, and here I am talking about organization again, right?

The problem is that I'm a tweaker, and if something isn't quite working for me my brain continually processes it in the background until it comes up with a better solution. Such was the case with my Project Life album. My Amber Core Kit and the original kit from my half-finished 2011 album were just sitting in boxes on one of my Expedit shelves, with the other supplies (mostly tags from Elle's Studio) scattered in other hard-to-find places.

Places like this lovely basket of all my favorite things...except the journaling and little shipping tags were barely visible under an onslaught of ribbons and brads. The brads have also found a new home, but I'll get to that another day...I'm very excited!

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One day about two weeks ago my brain, having finally completed its background processing, told me to get up and go first into the attic and then to Target right now to get the items I needed to take my Project Life's lack of organization and turn it into this...

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Poor Darren. He probably has no clue why I do the things I do, such as suddenly have to go into the attic at almost 10pm to find one of the trays that his mom painted for our wedding.

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I'd been looking at (and envying admiring) Marcy's, Michelle's, and Lisa's Project Life "stations" for a few weeks, but I knew that I needed something smaller and slightly more portable. Large, flat surfaces are at a premium in my scrap room, so any solution that I came up with had to be movable and also storable in my existing Expedits. Eventually I remembered these trays in the attic (I'm pretty sure they were originally unpainted wood trays from Michaels), and they turned out to be perfect for holding all the little journaling bits I like to use for Project Life.

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At Target I browsed the organizer aisles in search of something to divide the tray up a bit so it wouldn't just turn into a huge mess of supplies...because that never happens in my scrap room, right?

After just a few minutes of looking, I found these long, narrow drawer dividers that were the perfect width to accomodate the original Project Life journaling cards, and they even have little grippy rubber bottoms to keep the cards from sliding around!

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I say that the cards were a perfect fit as if I measured the cards or the tray before returning going out and returning home with three of the little bins, but really it was just sheer dumb luck that they a) fit the cards so well and b) fit perfectly into the tray and even allowed for all three plus a bit of extra space at the end. Truly I have the organizing kung-fu gene. Or God magically changed the size of the tray and/or the bins before I found out they didn't fit, because He knows how that would have frustrated me greatly.

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I've already shown the first tray full of actual Project Life Journaling cards, and the other two hold all my Elle's Studio tags and a small assortment of other tags and journalers that are useful for the album. I removed all the Elle's Studio tags from their packaging to make it easier to flip through them and find what I need. I've learned that removing items from their packaging is often a great way to make them more usable since you're more likely to be able to see the full contents.

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This little tray slides perfectly into some otherwise dead space on top of my greeting card organizer box in one of my Expedits. I can pull it and my album (along with a kit or whatever paper line I want to work with) out when I'm ready to work on a week of photos, and the easily put it away again when done. Perfect!

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So, see, it's not a huge overhaul! :) Sometimes it's the little tweaks to a system that make the biggest difference.
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