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Anatomy of A Scrap Space Design Overhaul, Part 2

Yesterday, I described the problems that had gradually and not-so-gradually developed in my kitchen scrap space to make parts of the space no longer practical for me after a year of using it.

So, after I took a brutal look at all of those facts, I came up with a plan to partially rework the kitchen area, keeping the things that were working – and even expanding on them – and replacing the things that weren’t.

The plan wasn’t radical, but involved a few large changes that will drastically enhance the usability (and long-term flexibility) of the space for my paper crafting needs.

The Overhaul Plan:

A New Drawer Unit: The biggest key to updating the space was to replace the cubes and Cropper Hopper cart with an Ikea Alex drawer unit. The Alex unit looks much nicer for my home decor, and provides a single nice solid work surface for my paper trimmer and die cut machine to sit on.  It also provides tons of nice deep drawer space for all my ink pads and small bottles of things like Stickles and Distress Stain, as well as great storage for all my small embellishments, ribbon, twine and many other supplies. This unit, with the help of an assortment of drawer organizers from Walmart, sucks up product like you wouldn’t believe! It’s greatly enhanced both the appearance and efficiency of my work space – a double win!

Ikea Alex Kitchen Scrapbook Station

Project Life & Sizzix Dies Drawer

Embellishments Drawer

Above are two of the drawers in the Ikea Alex unit all filled and organized. The top of the two drawer photos shows the drawer that contains some of my Project Life supplies, my ATC supplies, and my Sizzix Movers & Shapers, along with a few oversized Sizzix dies. The drawer in the bottom photo contains an assortment of embellishments, sorted by type in various drawer organizing baskets. It makes it really easy to find a specific type of embellishment, which is how I usually search for them as I am creating.

(Oh, and don’t worry – The retired Cropper Hopper cart didn’t go to waste! It is now in my daughter’s room serving as the perfect home for her massive collection of mini plastic figures that I never thought I’d find a way to help her keep organized! One character per drawer, and now she can actually keep her collection of Princesses and Olivia figures organized. It’s a miracle!)

CD Boxes: Another Ikea product came in handy in updating the middle shelf of the kitchen wall cabinet. Four of the company’s Kassett storage boxes, sized for CD’s, fit perfectly in the space, with room left over for my basket of 6×6 paper pads. The boxes now hold dies, and my completed cards (which had been in another room but which I wanted faster access to). Another one currently holds some stamps but that may change as part of the consolidation of my stamp storage. The boxes reduce the visual clutter in the cabinet, and can easily be pulled out onto the table for use. They are also very flexible about what they can contain because of their larger size than the previous small, narrow baskets that were in the space.

Kitchen Scrapbooking Cabinet

As you can see, I’m still using the large baskets on the top and bottom shelf, but some of them hold different things than they did 15 months ago.  The small basket on the lower left holds miscellaneous bottles of things that are too tall for the Ikea Alex drawers.

Desktop Organizers: I really liked having my heat gun, glue gun, and some of my small tools out where I could grab them quickly, but I thought that I could get even more into that small space. After all, that would mean more stuff located more conveniently, right? So I did some brainstorming and some product research, and came up with a plan that included nice decorative desktop units with two drawers, with open storage on top. (I love using vertical space!) The open storage includes a half-dozen tin buckets, and a big open wood basket.

Kitchen Desk Scrapbook Organizing

Tool Buckets

Desktop Storage Detail

The chipboard drawer units were purchased at two different times from two different places – Walmart and Container Store – so they aren’t quite identical but not so it is noticeable. I found the Bamboo Drawer Organizer on Amazon. It was beautiful happenstance that it was the perfect size to hold my phone, as well as the perfect color to blend with the counter. The top drawer holds some small dies (the aluminum ones) and the bottom drawer is empty still. One of the white drawers is still empty as well, while the others hold Project Life memorabilia, buttons, and label stickers.

The tin buckets could not be a more affordable way to organize – they are from the Target Dollar Section. It’s so great having so many tools within easy grabbing range, and I still have one empty bucket for future growth! The wood bucket replaces the basket that held my hot glue and heat guns, and they have a new home in it. But since it is bigger and shallower, there is also room for organizing baskets that hold 4×6 Project Life cards and #8 sized tags within easy reach for creating with.

New Stamp Storage: I’m also redoing something that isn’t technically in my kitchen scrap area – my stamp storage. Most of my stamps have left the kitchen in the overhaul, and I’m consolidating them with the main stamp storage in the spare room, which is mostly in plastic Sterilite boxes on a bookcase. Right now the stamps are still a bit of a mess but when I’m completely done reorganizing them I will definitely show everyone on Scrapbook Update how the system works!

So that’s a quick look at the changes to my kitchen scrap space…I hope they inspire you for how you can share a space in your home!


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12 Responses to Anatomy of A Scrap Space Design Overhaul, Part 2

  1. Kristy August 18, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    LOVE how clean it looks! I’m super in love with the Alex line at Ikea too (esp the tall skinny one!) and its great to hear it works so well.

  2. Kim T August 18, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    You’re so right … organization is ongoing, sort of like housework it’s never completed! Love your ideas, esp the Ikea drawer unit. Also appreciate the way you’ve explained why organizing never ends, we do change our techniques/supplies and our space needs to reflect that. I’ve been trying to fit all my new products & tools into my current 2 yr old set up and it just isn’t working. This is a huge “ah-ha” moment so thanks for sharing and helping me embrace organizing!

  3. Caroline August 18, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    Great work Nancy! I love the Alex unit. You’ve inspired me to go and reorganize my own scrappy space! :-)

  4. MichelleGB August 19, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    Love that new Ikea unit. I will be adding that to the shopping list for my next trip there. I really would love to have all my small supplies in one spot. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Susanne August 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

    Nancy, it looks like you have solved most of your problems, and the smart lady that you are – you have also left a little room for growth. You make me want to overhaul my space – it’s been a couple of years – and things have moved around a little. Still my biggest challenge is stamp storage too, so I’ll stay tuned to see what you do with yours. Thanks for sharing all the details.

  6. Gene Ann August 20, 2012 at 2:44 am #

    I so agree with your concept of fluid organization. Both supplies and needs change, so storage has to as well. I would urge you to reconsider your pen storage because vertical is the worst way to store pens. They will last longer when stored horizontally. The case shown here http://www.mycmsite.com/sites/geneannduyck/Content/Shop/Product.aspx?pr=InspectOffering&s=646704&dpr=BrowseCategory&ds=/Hierarchy/Paper%20Scrapbooking/Tools/Pens%20and%20Accessories has a flat side so the case doesn’t roll when laid on its side. Then it can be stood upright during use. It’s also on sale now. ;-)

    • Nancy Nally August 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

      I actually do store most of my markers flat but I’ve been told by people knowledgeable about the Distress Pens that it is alright to store those particular pens that way (that’s the colored bunch of pens in the one bucket). The rest of the pens that I store vertical are just basic journaling pens – and I don’t think I’ve ever actual killed one of those in any event. They seem to last me forever and I’ve always stored them that way.

  7. Debra August 20, 2012 at 8:11 am #

    Looks great, Nancy – those Alex carts are great, I’d love a couple in my space. Thanks for your article!

  8. Donna Pomelow August 20, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    Really enjoyed your articles on redesigning your scrap area. I’m looking forward to your ideas on stamp storage because that has been a problem for me. Thanks!

  9. Laura August 20, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    As a perpetual organizer of my stuff, the ALEX IKEA unit may be the exact item I am looking for. It seems like it will hold a lot of stuff and look good doing it! Might have to make a little road trip…….

  10. Gab August 21, 2012 at 2:27 am #

    Wow that looks fantastic – that ALEX unit is perfect!

  11. Erika @ Scrapbook Obsession Blog August 25, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    Love all the changes you made, Nancy. Thank you for taking photos and explaining what you did, and where you got the products you used. I really enjoyed your post!

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