Perhaps the most perplexing scrapbook organization issue is what to do with all the other supplies scrapbookers have that I didn’t address in my previous article. Long gone are the days of just stickers and paper. With all the various items available it can be frustrating, and time consuming, to figure out how to store your things.
I’d love to have a bag like this one by Anna Griffin. The problem is, what would it hold? How would I use it? The answer, sadly, is that it would sit in the back of my closet. I mention this because it shows that the difference between what is lovely and what you want (versus what you need and what works) can be wildly different. There are two things that I find the simplest and most effective in most cases for storage:
1. Boxes. Usually in the form of plastic bins, crates, pull-out drawers, or any other item that you can put supplies into.
2. Shelves. Sometimes the easiest way to store things is simply by not putting them inside anything at all, but rather leaving them out but contained on a counter or shelf.
These are effective because they are basic, and they are smart picks because you can utilize them for absolutely anything. If you change your mind or your needs change, you won’t have invested in specialty storage items. With that in mind, there are a lot of other options, and today I will talk about the ways I use, and other ways I have considered to use, to store my “other” supplies.
Ribbon storage is a tricky thing. I love dowels for rolls of ribbon and cool boxes like this one, but because I tend to buy single yards or ribbon that comes on cards, neither is a viable solution for me. I find containers with ribbon (loose) sorted by color to be the most effective method. I have heard that pinning lengths of ribbons to a string or even onto hangers in a closet is good, but I’ve yet to try it.
This unmounted stamp binder from the Idea-ology line by Tim Holtz is intriguing, and I know some people have great success with this kind of a system. I’ve just never been able to make it work long-term.
This holder for clear/unmounted stamps by 7 Gypsies is intriguing, I’m just not sure that it would hold enough or be the right size for my stamps to work well.
As far as wood mounted stamps go, I choose to store them on shelves around my studio. They’re out and visible, and easy to access. I have some older (rarely used) wood stamps stored in a box.
The supplies I have in boxes or on shelves right now depend on my frequency of use, and need to have at my fingertips. I keep most punches boxed:
Due to their frequency of use and to keep them away from prying preschooler fingers, I keep ink pads, paints, and mists up on high shelves just above my work surface.
Pens are a unique challenge, as most require you store them tip-down or sideways so that they do not dry out. I have a little box that I use (no idea where it came from) for most of my pens that keep them tucked right where I need them – within arms reach!
For my tools that get used often such as scissors, paint brushes, hole punches, and more I try to keep them in cups. I have this craft caddy (made by Fiskars a few years back) that I use for most things, but any kind of cup will work. The trick is finding ones that are a good size for the items you’re using them for.
This wraps up my articles for Scrapbook Update on storage and organization for now, but I have a feeling that I’ll be re-visiting some specific topics and challenges as I find solutions for myself. If you have any comments, or would like to add your own solutions please feel free to leave a comment here or contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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