scrappystickyinkymess


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Organizing my supplies

Doing the organization of my stamps seems to have set me off on an organizational journey.  Boring, I know, but the end result just makes everything easier.  Plus, as with the stamps, simply handling all my stash reminds me of what I have, and sometimes teaches me something.  For example, am I the biggest numpty in the world and the only person on the planet who DIDN’T realize that Cats Eye pads can be stacked?? I mean, I had seen them in stacks before, but just never thought I can do that with mine! – I thought they had to come that way.  DOH!

Nice of them to have the CHALK inks with white bases and the PIGMENT ink ones with black bases!

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Now all I have to do is list the colours on my Mac, print the names on sticker paper, and ink over them, as I did with the Distress Inks, so I don’t have to open each one to see what colour it is.  And they can be grouped in colour families to make it easier.  That lets me take full advantage of my RUB surrounds. Cool.

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The Chalk ink large pads (see them at the far left?) are the only ones that are too tall to get more than two in the opening.  How annoying is that?  The rest fit four to a compartment easily. Thinking the Chalk ones have to go back in the drawer, where they fit better.  Then I can house the chalk ink petal pads (the ones with 8 teardrop pads in a flower shape) with them.

Cost: £10 for the two RB trays

Next, ribbon storage.  This was just a problem for me.  I am so cheap, I hate to spend money on organizing when I COULD spend it on goodies.  And I totally DO NOT CARE about my craft room looking like a model home.  I buy stuff if I have to, but it is rarely “pretty.”  I had all my ribbons in old laundry-pod containers and coffee jars and it took up the most enormous amount of shelf space.  I had seen many people who organized their ribbons in Zip-lock Baggies on a big book ring but really I had too many to do that.  One day, while at the grocery store, I was looking that those things they have hanging from the shelves.  You know, like in the soft drink aisle they will have a hanger with straws on it, for example. Well, one of the store worker-bees was swapping out nearly empty ones for full ones.  I looked at them and thought Huh.  I asked what she did with the old ones and she said they put them in the recycling.  So I nabbed a handful of them.  They proved the perfect way to use unusable space.  I had some of those stick-up hooks to add to the little hook thingie on the back of my door and hey presto!

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This is what the hangers look like – people in the UK will know exactly what I am talking about, because every store seems to have them (ok, maybe not Waitrose, but pretty sure I have even seen them in M&S) but not sure if they have a similar thing in the USA? This shot sort of shows how they work:

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Cost: more or less free.  I had a tub of binder clips anyway, and baggies, and the sticky hooks, but even so I expect we are talking less than £10

Next, stickers.  A while back I got fed up with having to paw thru every sticker set I had.  I had some of those really old binder things, with the divided page protectors, that they used to sell for sticker storage, but they took up too much room, never seemed to be the right size to effectively store my stickers and with the stickers inside them it was totally a case of out-of-sight, out-of-mind! I tried storage boxes as well, but same problem. Ditto the magazine holders.  They took up a lot of space and I was forever pulling them out, rifling thru, putting them back.

While at Staples one day, I found these desktop organizers in the sale section. I grabbed two.

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I divided my stickers my colour.  The  BLACK and WHITE sets are in the left-most sections black top rack (actually the black stickers take up two sections!) white bottom rack.  Then the rest of the colours, logical to me (like yellow/orange is next to brown because some of them work either way.) One section is multicoloured sets, but when I am looking at the sets in some cases they make sense in a particular section. Like this set.  The Pinks and reds are next to the yellows and oranges so it goes between.

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The thing is, I can stand in front of the rack and flick thru the ends to see enough of the set to know if I want to pull it out or not.  No opening boxes or pulling out full holders.  The rack stays in place and I only take out the ones I am auditioning for my project.

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See?  I even used old blocks the kids don’t play with (well they are adults now after all) to divide the shelf area in two.  That lets me add all the oversized sheets (like the Basic Grey sticker sets, although I did consider cutting each sheet in half to divide the two colours and mix them in with the smaller ones, I’ve not tackled that …. YET) to the right, and even a little tub full of the tiny letter sets – again, when I need tiny letters, I need TINY LETTERS.  There is no need to mix them in with the other ones.

Cost: Can’t recall how expensive they were but I think they were pretty cheap. I’m thinking no more than £10 each and maybe a lot less.

So those are three things I have used for storage that work brilliantly (FOR ME) and cost me very little.  They work efficiently in MY space and may work for you too.

And now I have decent photos of them when it comes up over on UKS I can share easily.  Result!