It now looks like this (well, this is what it looked like in June right after the change- I thought I'd post some "real life" scrap room photos instead of cleaned up, perfect ones), and I have to say that it's made the whole room feel much more open!
This is the view from behind my desk when the Murphy bed is down, and when the bed is up I have a massive amount of floor space available for large projects. I had the bed down during this particular part of the year just to serve as another flat surface to lay out the projects I was working on for the CHA Summer show.
My desk now faces the door to the room, and I've also upgraded my chair from my 10+ year old Office Max cheapie to a new one that thankfully doesn't hurt my back any more!
If you look closely at the shelves beside the chair, you'll see these little guys- my new favorite organizers (well, new is relative- I've had them in place for a few months) paired up with both a large and small Cropper Hopper paper holder each. These little drawer sets (from Target) are my new secret weapon in getting little bits and baubles and die cuts and chipboard bits out where they can easily be seen and used!
Each of these units has three drawers, and I've allocated two drawers per unit to holding buttons, brads, resin flowers, sequins, rhinestones, and all sorts of tiny dimensional bits. The top and bottom drawer in a unit each hold a different color- for instance, the drawer set shown above has green items in the top and aqua items in the bottom, and then the drawer in the middle holds die cuts and chipboard items of both colors (so aqua and green are mixed together.
The six units are each devoted to a different color set- pink/red, orange/yellow, green/aqua, blue/purple, white/black, and brown with an extra drawer in that last unit dedicated to seasonal items- Halloween, Christmas, 4th of July, etch- all thrown in together.
I'm mostly taking everything out of the packages to add to these drawers, though you can see a few full button packs are still intact. I even took apart the precious French General embellishment packs from Jolee's Boutique- I'd found several on clearance at Michaels- and luckily found that the little cards that the baubles are attached to popped right out of the backing quite easily. If an embellishment pack has multiple colors in it such as a sheet of rhinestones with rows of different colors, I simply cut each row apart and add it to the drawer separately (I'm not worried about keeping up with who made what- I don't submit to magazines, anyway).
I do still keep some embellishments stored by manufacturer, especially if I still have most or all of the paper collection that coordinates with them. As those papers get used, the leftover bits of the collection will eventually be added to these drawers, as well.
Oh, and those Cropper Hopper paper holders next to each unit? They're for storing papers by color as I split up older collections to file them away. I'm leaving lots of manufacturer lines intact for now, but some older ones (Chatterbox, anyone?) are being filed away by color to facilitate easier mixing of papers in the future. Those papers occupy the larger Cropper Hopper holder, and larger flat embellishments like border strips and large sticker and rub-on sheets are filed in the smaller ones.
Here are a couple more random drawer photos, just because I think they're pretty to look at. :)
So all of this brings me to my thoughts on stashbusting. As in, I'm thinking it's something I really want to do next year. I know that a lot of people would look at my stash and tell me I need to purge, but in my mind purging is something that you do when you have a lot of stuff that you don't like. I've purged in the past, and pretty much everything I have left here is something that I'd actually like to use in my scrapbooks at some point, so my plan is to use as much of it as possible in 2013.
That means curtailing the purchasing, focusing more on scrapping with what I have here, and also doing (a lot) less single manufacturer design team work so that I actually have more time to work with older stash (I'm good with the volume of pages I've been making, I just want to do it with existing supplies). I know I won't be able to stop shopping for new goodies entirely, so I plan on keeping just a single kit club subscription (I recently switched over from Studio Calico to Citrus Twist because I love all the color that Trina includes in her kits) to satisfy that craving for the new stuff that's sure to come out. As for the manufacturer design teams, my terms with all but one will have ended by March of next year (and that one is a stamp company that I plan to stay on with for as long as they'll have me :) ), and I'm not applying for any more. I've loved my time on manufacturer teams and have learned a lot from them about how I like to scrap, but that period in my scrapbooking life is coming to and end. Single manufacturer scrapping is very different from the mixing-it-all-up that I normally like to do since most teams require that you use only their company's product, and the newest product at that- not very conducive to stashbusting!
So I'm officially going to call 2013 my Year of Stashbusting! I'll still post lots of layouts here on my blog (though I may do multiple layouts in one post and not post quite every day), but you're going to see some old (and not-so-old) supplies make appearances instead of all new stuff. There will be some new-ish stuff mixed in (I did quite a bit of buying from the new CHA Summer releases, after all), but the focus is going to be on using up what's here.
I've got a great feeling about this change! I'm planning on participating in lots of sketch challenges to keep me going, and I hope that a lot of you guys will join me in your own Year of Stashbusting, as well!
P.S. I've been drawing a lot of stashbusting inspiration from Shimelle's Scrapbook Remix class lately. If you're like me in wanting to use up your stash and mix some of the old with the new, then I definitely recommend that you check it out!