Monday, November 16, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - Week 26

Helllooooo, scrappers! Can you believe we only have 4 more weeks to go? You all are doing GREAT! This week we're going to tackle 2 completely unrelated topics, but it will be fun and easy. One will deal with the boring, organizing side, and the other will be a little more creative. So you can get your fix and make progress at the same time! What could be better than that? Other than David Duchovny pulling weeds out of your front yard, but that's another post entirely.

A quick update for all of you riding my tail about those negatives - I have not fallen as your leader. I now have 92% of my negatives labeled and filed. The rest will be done this week....I got sidetracked by the Cowboys losing this weekend, let me mourn a little and I'll get back to work.

Ok, let's move on before more distraction sets in.

First topic this week - now that our spaces are lovely, labeled, dust and clutter free - how are you going to keep it that way? If a personal attendant and maid are out of your budget, then my first suggestion is to look around your house and your life. We are constantly bringing things in from the outside - mail, groceries, things from work, things from the kid's school, you name it. Scrapbook supplies are just another thing on this list. Now, if your home looks like it should be on the show "Hoarders," then this exercise may not work for you. But if you DO have some of the areas above under control, what's the system that works for you? Figure that out, and then apply it to your scrapbook supplies! For me, there are 2 things that work. First, I have a designated space for all my papers that enter the house, whether they are things for school or bills. They each go in a certain bin to be filed at a later time, which is in my day planner on a bi-monthly basis. I applied this same system to my scrap supplies - and for me, this is key: the new supplies DO NOT ENTER MY WORKSPACE. Unless I intend on immediately using them on a project that is currently on my desk. Instead, they enter a file system that is located right by the door to my room:

I got this particular one at the Pottery Barn outlet, but you can find them at office supply stores and lots of catalogs - I've seen some nice ones at Ballard Designs. There are 2 units stacked here, and all are labeled (of course). I have spots for paper, magazines/ideas, stamps and embellies, and stickers and die cuts. When I get a package or go to the local scrapbook store, I immediately place my supplies into the proper files. Then, in my day planner, I have "clean scrapbook room" listed for every other Friday. It's no different than doing laundry, or cleaning toilets, or watering the plants. It's a chore that needs to be done, and by making it part of my usual weekly tasks (or bi-monthly in this case), I know that my scrap space will stay clean. It's been almost 2 years now and it WORKS.

Another option I've seen many scrappers do is have a goody basket - a large bin where you put all your new supplies for a while so you can bask in their glory and drool. Set a time limit, maybe a month or so, and use what you want from your new stash. Then recycle the bin - either on a time schedule or whenever you get even newer goodies. Put the now older items in their proper homes and make room for the new stuff. But make sure you do this regularly - you don't want this bin to be a catch-all that starts a new trend of disorganization!

One final tip on keeping the clutter at bay - and I will admit, it's the most boring task in the world but it makes all the difference. If you finish a project, clean it up. Completely - file your scraps, clean your stamps, put away your tools. Have a completely pristine workspace before starting your next task. It will prevent the clutter from snowballing and you hopefully will not have to re-take this challenge. Because - although I do love you - I don't want you back here again.

On to the second part of this week's Challenge - organizing your albums! I'm sure most of us have a hodgepodge of albums going on - mini albums, 12x12 in different styles, 8.5x11 albums from 1991, books, you name it. It can be tough to find a storage solution that accommodates them all. There are really 2 options here - keep them in one place or separate them. If you choose to have them all in one place, it doesn't necessarily need to be your scrap space. The living room would work just as well, a bookshelf in the hall, wherever you'd prefer. But it would be nice to have them in an area where family and friends could access them and appreciate them! Small baskets are another great option for mini books - I know many scrappers who keep baskets around the house and just rotate the books through as they make new ones. Kids love looking through the mini books as well. If you want to break them up - maybe have the newer or incomplete albums in your scrap space, some personal albums like wedding ones in your bedroom, some family albums in the living room - that works just as well. With hodgepodge albums, you can choose the album to fit the space and the decor - anything goes.

If you decide to have all your albums together, you also have the option of creating a unified look. I took this route myself and got rid of a lot of older (mostly postbound) albums that the love just wasn't there anymore. I replaced them with the American Crafts cloth albums for my main albums, and any specialty albums (especially trips) are in the modern line. I love how they take up the same space on the shelf and just look so darned neat together! (Ignore the postbound album on top that is NOT put away, it's a friend's album and doesn't reside in my room!).

Ali Edwards uses this same approach, but in a little more extreme: - she also shows how to make those cool little circle tabs, they are SUPER easy to make.

Which brings me to the next topic - labeling your albums. There are so many ways to do this, the easiest is using a computer template so whatever new label you need, it's automatically identical to what you already have - no trying to find matchy-matchy supplies from a line 3 years ago. Keeping it simple helps too - not only in saving you time for more important projects, but also in maintaining that unified look.

Some other options:
If you're into Creative Memories, you can have the albums etched or use a spine charm:
More ideas:

That's all for this week! So go figure out a good way to handle any future incoming supplies, decide what you want to do with your albums, and get labeling. I'll see you back here next week to tackle fonts - your computer will thank me. :)



  1. you have an amazing organization blog!! I need to come back here more.
    I switched to AC cloth albums too and used a MM tag rim to label them. I used my children's initials for each one using an alpha stamp from SU!

    Thanks for all your ideas!

  2. I am a workaholic. I usually carry my office stuff to home labelling office and home stuff helps in keeping difference between both domains.