Tuesday, April 30, 2013

this month in my scrap room (a.k.a. scrappy jedi and the closet of doom)

Last month I ran across a series of posts on Sue Althouse's blog called This Month in My Scrap Room, and I was so inspired by how she quickly rounded up little things she was doing to improve how her space worked for her that I sent an email asking if she would mind if I joined in and did a similar post of my own each month! I was quite happy when she emailed back and gave me her blessing, and today I have my first installment ready to share with you!

If you follow me on Pinterest and have seen me madly pinning scrap room ideas, it's not because I'm getting ready to rearrange- I'm just trying to inspire myself to clean things up around here! I started with the closet in my scrap room. The scary, scary "Closet of Doom." And while I completely neglected to get my DSLR out and take a before photo, I did find one buried in the depths of my iPhone...

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::shudder::

Seriously, nothing in the lower half of this closet was working. It had just become a place that I piled stuff that I didn't know what to do with, and as much as I liked to think that those plastic drawers kept things organized, they just didn't. And the power strip and wireless router just laying on the floor in front of it? Yikes! So I cleared everything out, scanned in a bunch of paperwork (and then shredded it!), and eventually got to a point where I could see the floor once again...

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...and found tack strips. When we moved back into this house a few years ago, I ripped up all the carpet that had been installed by the previous owner and found some awesome hardwood underneath. Unfortunately, I also found tack strips and hundreds of staples, and Darren and I spent weeks pulling them all up. Somehow I missed doing that in this closet, so I took a few minutes and finished up the job. Eventually we'll have all the floors in the house sanded and refinished, but we're waiting until the kitchen and bathroom remodels are done to minimize the risk of damaging the shiny new-ness.

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Darren kindly stepped in for a few minutes and hung both the power strip and router underneath the supports holding the copy stand in place, taking care of that little mess for me by getting the cables up off of the floor.

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I opted not to put the plastic organizer drawers back into the closet (they went home with my brother, and the office supply items that they held have been moved to another area where they're easier to find) and instead rolled my Raskog and Antonius organizers from IKEA inside. The Raskog holds my 6x6 paper pads (and is full, which is just one of many reasons I have seriously cut back on the shopping this year), and the Antonius will eventually be a home for my 3x4 and 4x6 journaling cards. Only the top two drawers are partially full of those right now- the bottom two house a few unfinished projects...as does the bookcase to the left of the closet.

The closet was the biggest thing I tackled this month, but I did work on a few smaller projects that will likely be ongoing since I've only been working on them in little 15 minute spurts here and there.

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I did a trial run of sorting my paper by color almost two years ago and loved it, but for some reason I never went back and finished the job. I'm happiest when scrapbooking from kits (both those I buy and those I make), and I almost always build my kits using a color palette (I talked about that a bit in this video at Two Peas). Having my paper sorted by color just makes sense, so I've been grabbing a handful here and there when I have a few minutes and just getting it done.

I've learned a couple of things while doing this-
  • First, I'm able to find things so much more easily! I used to store my paper by manufacturer and collection, but when I scrapped I'd go hunting for a piece of orange (or whatever color) paper. I'd then try to remember which collections might have that color and spend way too long looking for one sheet of paper. 
  • The second thing I learned was that I tend to prefer B-side prints, especially with just one or two colors. When sorting paper that's double sided that I only have one sheet of, I make myself choose which side I think I'm more likely to actually use, and I almost always choose the B-side. So, all of those collections that I was buying because I like the look of the pretty, busy A-side? Yeah, I can stop doing that. All I need to do is buy the embellishments I like and then match them to papers that I already have.
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Another organizational project that I'm really excited about is finally finding a storage system that I like for my clear stamps! I've tried binders and boxes and all kinds of methods, but never found anything that really just worked for me. I've been considering some of the systems that include stamping "index" sheets, but it always just seemed like so much work to stamp all of those images and then clean all the stamps! I'm so happy that I discovered Tracy Banks' (Mercy Tiara's) method in this video. I'm grouping mine by manufacturer in the folders, and I am so happy to not have to take stamp sets out of their packaging and then put them back in again every time I want to use them!

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I also like this method because I already had everything I needed for it om hand, including the transparencies! I did run out of the box that I had last week, though, and went looking for more, and holy moly, they're almost $50 a box (100) at the office supply stores! Luckily I found a box of 100 on Amazon for little less than $20, and I'm pleased to report that they work perfectly for this system!

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My last little organization project for this month was moving my wafer-thin metal dies from the Quickutz magnetic folders I had been using (shown here) to an ArtBin case. The dies take up way less space this way and are much easier to flip through! I was getting tired of opening up all those folders every time I needed to find one die, and now I can just flip through the sheets in my box. JoAnn had the cases and sheets on sale for 50% off earlier in the month, so I got a great price on them!

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I try not to organize things just for organization's sake, but I do love it when I get things to a point where they're easy to find and work with- the point of most of this month's projects. And a big thank you goes out to Sue Althouse for the idea for this post and for letting me play along with her post series!