Saturday, September 5, 2009

Starting with shelves

For any space, especially a small one as I have, shelves are the alpha and the omega of organization.
Shelves are an easily obtainable addition to your creative space. They can be found (sometimes even for free) on Craig's List or Freecycle, but are absolutely worth purchasing.

I purchased mine at Staples they aren't the greatest quality, but they are inexpensive. These tall ones run about $50, but go on sale for 50
% off every other month or so. They
also deliver for free!

As you can see here, I have built shelves to utilize the dead space up above my work areas. I have shelves like this on both ends of my room. It is amazing how much storage space you can find if you really look, and get a bit creative.

Building this shelf cost me less than $40. It took a sheet of plywood, a couple of 2x4s, a few brackets and a handful of screws. For the 2 hours it took to put up, I have 35 square feet of "found" storage space. That is about $1 per square foot!

This is the second "found" space shelf that I have. It is above my sewing table. This is the hardest to get to shelf in my sewing room so it houses things I rarely use as well as holiday ornaments and other household items that have made their way into my sewing room.

If you look closely you can see that I even have storage boxes under my sewing table. They only take up the back half so that they don't get in my way when I sew.
I use the cork board behind my sewing table to put photos that give me inspiration, quotes and order notes. At the moment it has a bunch of my girls' artwork which I always get inspiration from.

Friday, September 4, 2009

***Random tips to stay organized***

Get a cheap kitchen timer and set it for 5 minutes before and after working, use that time to straighten your work space. You'll be amazed at the difference those 10 minutes make, especially as they add up!

Put up a dry erase white board, I got mine at Office Depot for $4. Use it to keep track of stuff you are low on, phone calls you need to make etc.

Clean when you are in a bad mood. Seriously if I'm really grumpy I clean out closets and drawers, I'll throw away or donate completely useless items I would have kept if I hadn't been in such a foul mood.

Keep a garbage can within reach, and DON'T be afraid to use it!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Storing beads.

This photo and storage method is from Floor Kaspers, a bead collector and frequent contributer to Bead Collector Network.

She took plastic cylinders used for buttons they have small holes in the cap of each. With wire she attached one bead to the outside end of the cap, she then filled the tubes with that particular bead.

You can also hot glue the bead on the end, this works much quicker and is great for inexpensive beads if you aren't worried about needing that last bead on the end cap.

"My collectible beads are not in there, but my more common beads are. A good thing compared to boxing them is that I can see exactly which ones I have at a glance"

She has a fair amount of her smaller beads colour coordinated in this picture with her larger focal beads in a separate spot.

She says it took quite some time but in the end the convenience was more than worth the effort. She stores the tubes in inexpensive CD shelving.

You can see some of her larger beads in this shot. What a great way to be able to quickly survey what you have to work with, especially when you have as many great beads as Floor does!

I don't know about you but I am totally rethinking my boxes of beads in little ziplock baggies...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Organizing your shelves.

Once you get your shelves in (everywhere you can cram them in my case) it is time to think about how to organize what you put on them.

For this, I am a HUGE fan of see through boxes. Most of mine are Sterilite, though there are many brands to choose from. Clear containers are the only way to go. You want to be able to see what is in your boxes with as little work as possible!

You can buy these boxes anywhere from grocery stores, to big box places (they have the best prices) I purchased many of mine online here, buying in bulk you get the best price. Try to choose the squarest boxes you can find and make sure they "nest" well. Boxes with large round corners or domed lids may look "prettier" but take up much more space than the plainer ones, and worst of all, they hold less!

After learning the hard way, I now have 2 boxes I can't live without, you can see them in the photos. I use these small boxes for storing the tons of bags of rhinestones I have, things like snaps, and small tools. The medium boxes hold everything from spools of ribbon to completed pouches, my children's art supplies, patterns, fat quarters etc.

You can also see in this photo there are some very inexpensive (.99) hinged lid pencil boxes with colored lids that I picked up at my local big box store. I use these for sharpies, buttons, rotary cutters and their blades etc.

I also use some larger boxes up high to store light stuff like yarn, fiberfill, faux fur and fleece. You don't want to be on a ladder taking down really heavy stuff!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

But why be organized?

* You will be in control!
There is nothing worse than feeling out of control in your own space.

* You will have more time!
Think of all the time you spend looking for stuff you put "some place safe".

* You will have more space!
When everything is where it belongs you have more space for other stuff.

* You will have more money!
How many times do you buy something that you have because you can't find the first one?

* You will impress your friends, family and neighbors!
Ok, this may not work on everyone, but an organized room does make a good impression.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's easy, after all, not to be organized.

It's easy, after all, not to be an organized .
Most people aren't organized and very little harm comes to them.
based on a Julian Barnes quote about writers.

I created this blog because when fellow artists and crafters see my "lair" for the first time they almost always comment on the organization before anything else.

The first thing they notice is not the myriad of color from the thousands of yards of fabric or hundreds of spools of thread... Nope, it is the row of shelves and dozens of clear plastic boxes.

I will be posting pictures and tips on taming your creative spaces, after all there is nothing more frustrating than having a brilliant idea and not being able to find your materials! Often when this happens the moment is lost, you've spent to much time looking for what you need to be inspired anymore.