Monday, July 16, 2012

A place for everything, part 1

My third-ever blog post was about my craft room (you can read about it here).  As my interests have shifted (more jewelry than scrapping) and my business has grown, I have made some changes to my studio.  I'm calling it a studio now because it sounds more professional.  :)

One problem that cropped up is that there wasn't a good place for everything.  The closets became poorly managed, and whenever I brought anything in, if I didn't have somewhere to put it, it got dumped on the floor.  Also, when I got my Cricut Expression (posted about here) there wasn't anywhere it could "live" where there was enough room to cut.

So I moved a folding table in and moved other things around.  The folding table was supposed to be my Cricut station, but it became a dumping ground for designs I was working on, beads brought in, and whatever else I didn't want to put on my desk.

Here's what my room ended up looking like after the Bead&Button Show:

It's a mess!

Turning the corner:

The table is under that pile of junk in the back

The other side of the room hasn't changed too much, but the shelves have become more cluttered:

Some of the things are easily moved out - the bin of displays and such from the Bead&Button Show Meet the Teachers event can go downstairs, but there are so many other things that needed a place to go.

Even though I have a lot going on - faculty submissions for next year's B&B Show, an art show in the middle of August, an upcoming visit from my in-laws, the Milwaukee Bead Show in October, then "the season" (art and craft shows through Christmas) - I felt I had to do a massive studio reorganization so I could get some work done.  It felt so oppressive in here, and the folding table was so close to my chair that I felt boxed in.  I couldn't roll back very far without hitting the table.

The first thing I did was to list everything I do or types of supplies, including subcategories.  I ended up with 50 subcategories.  Yes, 5-0.  I was pretty thorough.  Then I listed all the areas I have to work with, in detail listing out each shelf and drawer.

Then I thought about what areas bothered me the most.  The first was my stamps and the second was my tutorials and kits.  Let's look at one of the "before" pictures again with labels for where the stamps and tutorials/kits are:

The stamps were all but inaccessible, and the tutorials/kits just floated around the room, always in the way.

I decided I wanted to have the stamps in the closet outside my studio where there are shelves.  One of the shelves is narrow so it wouldn't be hard to get to things in the back.  I knew I could also put my stamping supplies tote and my inks in there, too.  But that meant cleaning out those shelves.  That wasn't too bad - there were a lot of bulky things, primarily supplies for mailing - boxes, bubble wrap, stuff like that.  I kept some of the boxes and broke others down for recycling.  I consolidated all of the mailing supplies in one box and moved it to the basement.

Here's Simoon "helping" me pack things away:

I used some portable shelves to help separate the stamp sets, and here's the result:

I will have to move the tote and inks out of the way to get at some of the stamps, but that's nothing.  I'll need them anyway when I stamp.  I was also able to move a number of other stamp-related things from another bookcase.

Pixel likes to "help", too.

Now on to the tutorials and kits.  I wanted a permanent place for them but also a way to easily take them to shows.  In my last post, I mentioned that my friend Cindy came to the rescue.  Well, she came to the rescue again.  At last year's Milwaukee Bead Show she brought a rolling cart with items to sell.  She took what she could fit on the table out but had overflow items in the cart.  I thought that was neat but didn't really consider doing it myself until now.  I have two carts - a purple one with two drawers, and a white one with three drawers (the one with all the stickers).  I decided that three drawers was better for my needs than two, and that cart is more durable and portable than the purple one.  Emptying it was quite the task.  There were things in those drawers that had to have been there since 1995 or before.  I found some pictures from my first wedding (which was in 1995).  Every few years I would make a weak attempt to clean it out - I'd take some things out but then dump a bunch more stuff in.    This time I completely emptied it and was brutal about throwing things away.  I don't have places for absolutely everything yet, but I was able to put my tutorials in the top drawer, my kits and some kit making supplies in the second drawer, and sample boards and other show-related items in the third.

It's a beautiful thing!  And since I don't need this stuff that often, the cart is tucked into a closet, out of the way.

There's more I can talk about, but this is getting quite long.  I'm happy with what I have done so far and am starting to feel more peaceful and less oppressed.  There's still so, so, so much to do, but I'm working away at it slowly.  I'm not going to "dump" anything anywhere, unless it's in the trash or in a box to be donated.

Stay tuned!


  1. Way to organize your work space Traci

  2. We swapped places, I used to bead a lot more than I scrap lol. There is balance :D. I'm in the throes of craftroom re-organization. It's just not very much fun at all, but it'll be worth it in the end. Your space looks really well organized!

  3. Reorganizing is such a pain, but so necessary! Great job and keep up the good work!! Can't wait to see how it all turns out!! :)