Thursday, March 5, 2009

Organizing Embellishments

Since everyone is too sick to function, I've been occupying the down time with doing little jobs I find too menial when I'm running full speed. One of those tasks is getting my embellishments under control.

About three years ago I sorted my goodies by color family; this suits the way my brain works to a T. When I create projects I think, "wouldn't a little red something look nice here" not, "Wouldn't the newest Prima look cute" and I found this approach has me using my stash, old and new, more efficiently.

But, an organizing system is only as good as it's upkeep and I'd developed a bad case of ziploc-bagitis. Between prizes, shopping and de-kitting, the piles and baggies were multiplying- it was due time to sort my stuff.

The first step was looking at the current system and deciding what worked and what didn't. In general it worked well except having one box for black/white/metal/clear and another for brown/cream was too confusing. A lot of products overlapped. So I made two neutral boxes, one for fibers and another for everything else.

Step Two was to gather up all the baggies and piles and sort them by color.

Step Three, the eternal step, was to wrap ribbon onto chipboard ( I cut the back of a notepad into strips), sort eyelets, brads, buttons etc and to put them away in fishing tackle boxes. I bought my boxes at Cabelas ( a sporting goods store) for $2.95 each and the dividers are repositionable. Here's the results:

The one downside of this system is that it is hard to remember the brand of your products, information you need when submitting work for publication. My work around is that I almost always buy the same brand of staple products ( like brads or flowers) and for something unusual I can either label it with a small piece of masking tape in the compartment or like this:

See the bow there? I had tied it for a card and didn't like how it overwhelmed the design. Not one to want to tie a bow twice, I just attached it to my chipboard strip and it's ready for when I need it.

If you have kids in your life, they will enjoy helping you sort. Even my big boys enjoyed taming a pile of stuff in the middle of the table into manageable groups.

Hope this gave you some ideas on managing your craft supplies. These containers are cheap, stackable, light weight, easy to bring with you and adaptable to your needs. I highly recommend them.


Angela said...

I like the way you organized your stash.
Great idea on marking what the brands are.

Barbara said...

You are just too organized!! Great way to keep track of what you have.

amberhelga said...

good organizing i need to get more of the smaller containers i have stuff everywhere.

Lisa L. said...

Great job! Maybe some of this will rub off on me.

MaryC said...

You are so orderly! Doesn't it give you the warm fuzzies to see all those colors so lovingly gathered together?
I bow to your greatness.

fchild313 said...

Everything looks so pretty organized. It makes me want to actually get my scrap space back into shape.

CathyR said...

Nicely organized stash. I organize my stuff by color too. It makes it so much easier to find thing.

Etha said...

oh boy, I think I actually drooled on my keyboard looking at all your beautiful embellies :) what great pictures, and SO organized, ugh LOL

Kristen Hermanny said...

Great ideas!
(My Maiden name is Maki!)
Olen Suomolinen, or is your husband???

Have a great weekend.
thanks for checking out my blog!

Kristen Hermanny said...

We were Rajamaki. I just got invited to swap with a girl in Finland (some ATCs). I am real excited. The name was changed to Maki when my family came through Sioux Ste. Marie (not sure if I spelled that right. I have the boat logs and history going back to the 1500s.
The family settled in Upper Michigan.

Kristen Hermanny said...

ps. we get the japanese american phone book alot, and travel discount packages to Japan!! LOL. My niece's name is Kia Maki and can you imagine the surprise of new teachers who get a 6'2" blonde kid coming in the classroom and not a little Japanese girl??
The funny thing too is that there is a sushi roll called a Kristen Maki. (My maiden name) There is actually a recipe for it.

Kathi said...

Must be something in the air. I've been organizing since last week. I'm currently on the embellishments that don't fit a specific category.

Great job getting your stuff organized.

Kathi said...

Wow. Those look like great containers. I use the locking dealies that I got at Mikes.

I also just label "Source Unknown" when I forget what's what.

LittleMissFabulous said...

Wow, your organizational ideas were awesome! Thank you:). I used to keep all my stuff in freezer bags, too, and I had to dump everything out just to get one tiny item!

Where did you get all your containers and multi-compartment items?

You should put those places on and help other moms organize!

I so await your next blog!

Trying to declutter my cluttered craft life,

Ann said...

Just looking at your after pics made me say, "Ahhh." SO nice when everything's organized, isn't it? I organize by color, too.