Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Organization - Cardstock & Embellishments

My crafty area is nearly clean now, so I thought I would wrap up by sharing my storage solutions for the rest of my crafty stash.


The first step in wrangling my cardstock was figuring out how I'm going to store it. I have a rather large collection of cardstock from several manufacturers, and I needed a good storage solution. Since paper is very heavy, I couldn't just throw all of my cardstock into one container - as it would then be impossible to move, as well as go through to pull out specific colors.

So, I went to my local office supply store and got some letter storage boxes (I don't have a link, though they are similar to these - only a lot less expensive). These boxes measure 10½" x 13½" x 3½", and there were several color choices. I was able to organize the cardstock by color, and I used a white box with a color label for any colors I was missing (ex. orange or purple). I stacked these boxes under my storage shelf, where they're perfectly out of the way, but still within reach if I need them.

Before I put all of the cardstock away, I grabbed 3 sheets of cardstock out of each package. I cut 2 of them in half and folded them to create A2 card bases (4¼ by 5½"), two top-folding and two side-folding. And the 3rd sheet was cut into four 4¼ by 5½" panels that I can use for layering or die-cutting. That was quite a bit of work, but it left me with a lot of ready-to-use card bases and gave me a very good idea of all the different colors I had in my stash.

There are a few packs of cardstock that I didn't put away:
-- My basics - white, cream, kraft, grays, navy and black -- I use them all the time, and I needed to have them within reach. I also needed to know just how many I had left, so I can re-order before running out of an essential color (like white).
-- Rainbow and sampler assortments. -- I kept these out just in case I run out of card bases or need extra of a particular color to die-cut.

I'm really pleased with this system, and glad I took the time to pre-cut those card bases. I'm already noticing that it makes card-making quicker and more convenient.

The first step in organizing my embellishments was to put them in categories. I divided them by type, such as sequins, flowers, enamel dots, etc. After that, I went through each stack and took out any pieces I didn't think I would use immediately -- things like duplicate colors/back-ups, seldom used metal charms and ephemera, etc. I put them in a clear plastic box with a lid. I'm going to make an effort to pull something from that box at least once per month and find a way to use it.

The rest of the embellishments were stacked in photo boxes I got from Ikea. I used small plastic bags for embellishments that were open or had a lot of small non-adhesive pieces (ex. die-cuts, buttons, wood veneer).

I gave enamel dots their own separate box, both because they're my most frequently used embellishment and because I have such a large variety now. I organized them by color/color families. I still kept them in their packaging, just so they wouldn't get dusty.

My sequins are stored in the Craftmates Pop'nLock (and smaller version) containers I got from Amazon a few months ago. They're organized by color and by size if I have multiple sizes. I have a few fun mixes in there, too. Winnie and Walter always sends a little envelope with free sequins if you order them directly, so I've got a few of those packs to have fun with.

Lastly, my flowers are all in large basket. I kept them in their original packaging or in Ziploc bags to avoid getting them dusty. The flowers were the most challenging to organize because they're the biggest. I need to try using them on projects more often, I think.

And that's it! Everything is neatly organized and should be much easier to find (and use).

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