Studio Storage - Katmouse/Kathy's Solution

Last Updated 10/14/09

From: Kathy Hankinson [katmouse@suddenlink.net]

My DH calls me the "Queen of Organization"! I have SO MUCH STUFF that if I didn't employ a lot of organization tools/ideas, I'd never be able to get anything done because I'd be spending all of my time looking for what I needed!

I'll try to be brief, but here's how I've organized my room. FYI, we moved across Texas about 10 months ago and I spent over a month setting up my new scrap/hobby room because I had so much more space than I'd had in our other house and I was determined to set this new room up right, well right for me at least, from the get-go. It did take some time, and some money, but it has proven well worth the time and nominal investment!

PAPER:

I'm ashamed to admit just how much paper I have, it's shameful! Because I do have so much, I opted for Cropper Hoppers as my storage device. Yes, they are kind of pricey, especially when you have to have 20ish of them, but they are SO worth it. I'd tried a few other methods before I settled on the Cropper Hoppers and I wouldn't go back! I have my papers broken down multiple ways - first, cardstock vs. patterned of course. Cardstock is sorted between 8.5x11 and 12x12, then broken down into color family (browns, whites, pinks, etc.) and are stored in my Hoppers from lightest to the darkest shade of any color family.

The patterned paper was a little trickier - do I sort my type (stripe, floral, etc.) or by dominant color, regardless of pattern?? It was a real dilemma for me, but I finally opted for a little of both.

First I sorted on type - stripes, florals, circles, etc. Once I had them sorted into the broad categories, I then re-sorted each category by dominant color, so what I ended up with was FLORAL: Pinks, Reds, Blues, etc. (based on the dominant color); if there was no dominant color, it went into a MISC section, still within the pattern type. I repeated this process with each of the different pattern types. Sure, there are some papers that are just nearly impossible to categorize, and I do have just a blanket "MISC PATTERNS", but I try really hard to find a fit and keep that MISC section to a minimum. In addition to the Cropper Hoppers full of papers, I do have 2 of the DCWV big packs that I haven't sorted yet. Even when I buy those 120-180 DCWV packs, I don't leave them in the pack; I remove all the papers and then move them to the appropriate Cropper Hopper.

My DH installed a ClosetMaid system for me, so I have 1 section of shelving that is 4 feet wide by 5 shelves high, with the first shelf off the ground just enough for me to slip a Rubbermaid bin underneath for the tubs I keep my flower arranging supplies in. The Cropper Hoppers fit nicely on these shelves and make for really easy access when I scrap. Oh, duh - on the spine of each Cropper Hopper is a label indicating what that Hopper contains.

STAMPS:

I have a 10-drawer rolling cart (that's too heavy to roll) where I store my stamps. I sorted them by category (Christmas, Greeting Card Expressions, Baby, Clear stamps w/blocks, etc) and put a label on each drawer. After reading someone's suggestion about the binder book, I'm definitely going to do that because some of the drawers have the stamps stacked 2 deep, so having that binder book with a stamping of each of my stamps along with its location will be invaluable! Sitting on the top of this cart is a plastic 5-drawer bin thingy I got from Wal-Mart and that's where I store my stamp pads (upside down of course!), alcohol inks, and other miscellaneous stamping supplies.

DIES:

I still haven't decided if I'm going to keep or sell my Sizzix and the dies, so for now, the majority of the dies are in 2 of the Sizzix spindles which sit on the floor underneath the Cropper Hopper set of shelves; my Sizzlet sets and some miscellaneous Sizzlits are sitting on one of the shelves.

EMBELLISHMENTS:

Well again, I have way too much - I'm a glutton and it's shameful! I broke embellishments down into many, many categories (rub-ons, brads, staples, Soft Spoken, Jolee's, snaps, etc.).

All of my packs of Soft Spoken's are in a small bin that sits on a shelf above my work area - it's an open bin and the SS are standing up in the bin, and are grouped as best as possible.

Jolee's - Again using the plastic drawer bins from Wal-Mart, I sorted all of my Jolee's/Paper Bliss type embellishments by category and store them in 3 or 5-drawer bins, labeling each drawer as to its contents. These bins reside on the same set of shelves where my Cropper Hoppers are. With the labels on the front, I can easily see which drawer to go to when I want a dimensional embellishment.

Misc. Dimensional Embellishments (guitar picks, acrylic domes, etc.) - these are stored in another WM plastic drawer bin, drawers labeled and on the same shelves as above.

Any other small embellishment (excluding brads, snaps, buttons, etc) are in more of the Wal-Mart plastic drawer bins and labeled as to contents.

I have another 10-drawer rolling cart where I keep stickers, stencils, shape templates, and some other non-scrapbooking supplies. Each drawer is labeled as to its contents. Stickers (I don't have many) were sorted by theme before going into the drawer.

I have a double-cart that has 10 of the skinnier drawers on one side, and a row of 5 deeper drawers on the other - it's also supposed to be a rolling cart, but like all the others it's way too heavy to roll! Besides, we didn't have time to pull up the carpet and install a wood floor in here yet, so even if they weren't too heavy they just don't roll on carpet! Someday, when I feel like killing myself, I'll pull everything out of here and we'll address the flooring issue! Anyway, back to this double-cart.

The 5 deeper drawers contain my punches - the bigger, larger punches are in one drawer, labeled of course; the smaller punches are in the next drawer down. Now I didn't go to the trouble of listing each punch on the label - just "Large Punches" and "Medium & Small Punches". Another of the bigger drawers contains most of my chipboard - the pre-cut shapes, the sheets of uncut chipboard, etc. The last drawer is spilling over with recipes that I'm working on/testing for my 2nd cookbook I'm writing.

The skinny drawer side of this cart contains all of my rub-ons, small rolls of ribbons, border cutting tool, etc. I also have 2 drawers devoted to solely Christmas stuff. The rub-ons were sorted between alphas, words, and phrases. There are a couple of non-scrap related drawers for other crafts completing this section of drawers.

Hanging on the wall over these non-rolling rolling carts is a piece of pegboard on which I have my heat gun, rotary cutter, a pack of markers, and

2-12x12 plastic pouches that hold scraps in one and photos I'm currently working on in the other. There's a couple of random things up there that I can't see well enough from here to identify :)

Over my work surface, there is another section of shelving. These shelves are 8 feet wide and I have 5 of them. This is where I keep my go-to; use all the time type things.

On these shelves are:

Smaller things like brads, snaps, hinges, etc. are kept in those divided plastic storage boxes, I think there's 12 little compartments or so in each one. Each box is labeled, of course, indicating what is inside (Regular

Brads: Black, Red, etc., Patterned Brads: Color, Color, etc). Another of these storage boxes holds all my more decorative, metal brads, labeled naturally. I have 2 more of these boxes that hold buttons and my shank remover (Jo-Ann once had these HUGE bags of miscellaneous buttons for like $4, I bought several so I'll never need to buy another button for sewing or scrapping!).

For snaps and mini-brads, I bought this container that has smaller containers inside of it - they're flip top and kind of remind me of a Tic-Tac bottle. Labeled, of course, and sorted by type, color, etc.

Also on the wide shelves are my go-to tools: 3 Xyron's (9", 5", 1"), MM Tag Maker, Notch Tool, Setting tool, Fastenater, etc. I also keep my bottles of silk & paper flowers, a small plastic flip-top bin with most of my adhesives, some additional chipboard embellishments in these little purse-like boxes, my quote books, 4x6 mat pads, small circle cutter, etc. - most of my "need within an arm's reach" type things. On the top shelf are all of my photo storage boxes. The bottom shelf is for my polymer clay and PC tools. On the work surface itself are a few more containers with scissors, small tools like straight blades, H20 pen, etc. Of course my Silhouette is on my work surface and when I'm using it, my laptop is there; when I'm not, I move the laptop to any horizontal surface I can find open :) Mixed in among all these tools and embellishments are a few knick-knacks that are special to me: a photo of my Dad, his 8 siblings and his parents when he was 15 (he's now almost 81!), a Boyd's Bear resin figurine about scrapbooking, a koosh ball I've had since I worked for Microsoft (we were required to have "toys" in our offices, lol), a couple of candles, just little things that make me smile.

My work surface itself is great, too - DH built it for me. We bought unfinished base cabinets (kitchen height) from Lowe's - 1 cabinet has 5 drawers, the other is a double-width cabinet that has 2 small drawers at the top and then 2 doors that open to a large cavity, which is where I store my collection of trimmers I hate! He then bought a section of kitchen countertop, 8 feet wide, and adhered it to these base cabinets after he stained them to match the office desk I already had. The desk wasn't as tall as I wanted, so he got a 6 foot piece of kitchen countertop that matched and screwed it to the existing desktop, which raised it about 2 inches or so, and replaced the 4 inch feet with 6 inch feet, so all in all we raised my desk about 3-4 inches. The desk is on the opposite wall from my crafting work area and on the wall in between them is where the 1 window is and that is where I have my sewing machine cabinet and my sewing machine. Next to that is a TV so I can listen to my shows while I work.

The room has a giant closet - a pass through type that has 2 doors but is all one closet. I have the closet organized somewhat - all my bins of fabric, quilting and sewing supplies are one 1 side, and the rest of my floral supplies and all my painting supplies are on the other side (I paint unfinished plaster craft, mostly Christmas things). On the inside of each closet door a custom paint bottle holder is mounted - again, a hubby build.

It's made to hold the smaller bottles of acrylic paints, each holder will hold 100 bottles, which isn't quite enough for all my bottles of paints! I do way too many crafts!

Wow - sorry this turned out to be a little novel, but I do have so much organization in here, I couldn't pick just *one* thing - it's the totality of all the organization I have that is my favorite. Everything is labeled, sorted, organized in some logical way, the things I need are right there at arm's length - it just works really well for me.

I have lots of pictures of the room, just after it was completed and before I got it all messed up if anyone would be interested in seeing pictures of all the things I've described! Katmouse / Kathy

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