Scraproom Decluttering 101: Storage Ideas

I have found that the process of storing scrapping stuff, like most things, is an ever evolving one. New products come into being that spark inspiration and creative fire in us but also require a solution on how to store them where there was not a need before. Our preferences change over time and those things which we once used every time we scrapped somehow stop being the one we reach for and we favour something new. Along with that, those things which we do frequently reach for seem to be ever expanding and the things that took up only so much space now require a lot more. Meanwhile other supplies dwindle, that once saw a lot of use and required a lot of storage, now have a much roomier existence than is necessary.20150323_1ScraproomDeclutteringStorageDuring my Question Everything phase of decluttering I found quite a few things that needed re-homing or additional solutions to make them work better and easier for me. Like I stated in my last decluttering post one of those was doing away with the Elements for Embellishing binder and putting what remained in my paper/flat embellishments drawer. By doing so I then ended up with a bunch of plastic pockets and a binder that could be used for something else. The plastic pockets were just what I needed to replace some that were beyond falling apart in my scrap paper binders and the folder itself proved useful for my ever expanding collection of Alphas, which had the previous binder bursting at the seams. Now, split over two, it works much better and I find fits on the shelf easier too. Another solution that I arrived at for that particular drawer was to add an additional cereal box divider so that I now have one for chipboard; one for photo related embellishments, like photo corners and overlays; one for tags and labels; and one for other small paper embellishments. The movement of items in these spaces was fairly minimal but resulted in a much better use of what I had.20150323_2ScraproomDeclutteringStorageAn area that saw a far more significant overhaul was the lower cupboard in my buffet. Previously in this area I had a set of drawers on the top shelf with decorative scissors and overflow items like pens, erasers and extra adhesives taking up more space than it needed to. The lower shelf held a box of card-making kits, another of cross-stitch patterns and two baskets of handcrafted merchandise I’d made for a very short lived market stall a few years ago. The stationary items & scissors were moved to a drawer I emptied when sorting my ribbon stash and the adhesive made much more sense to be kept in the one box with my xyron and wet adhesives. The top shelf worked okay but I rarely used or even considered what was on the bottom shelf and I thought that given the proximity to my scrap table the cupboard could be used for a better purpose than it currently was. My solution was to use it to house some ephemera and photos on the top shelf and my in-progress project supplies on the lower shelf. The ephemera is from my wedding and while its something I might dip into every few months to do a layout, it’s something I would like to do a lot more scrapping with. Previously it was hidden away and as the saying goes out of sight out of mind. The black box (which funnily enough was the one my professional wedding album came in) was just the right size to hold larger photos and ones that I’ve printed off for scrapping already. Previously these were in a photo envelope in my die-cut basket. I liked that I could reach for them when I wanted to scrap but the envelope was falling apart and photos were getting damaged, also I just really hated looking at the mess of it every time I scrapped. Win-win I say, having the photos in here still means proximity is close but now I don’t have to worry about things getting damaged. The only things that stayed were some baby-wipes and tissues that I use when stamping.20150323_3ScraproomDeclutteringStorageThe solution that I am happiest with though, is gathering all my in-progress and long term kit supplies together in one place. All of these items used to be in about five different locations in my scrap room and it just makes so much more sense for me to gather them together into one place. The 12 x 12 plastic envelopes are ones I use for single layouts or small projects that get done relatively quickly, they used to live on my bookshelf and it would drive me batty that every time my boys came to hang out in my scrap room they would pull them out and the envelopes would end up all over my floor. Hopefully having them behind closed doors means I don’t have to pick them up and rearrange them on a crazy regular basis. The larger green boxes were underutilised in my storage room for holding extra page protectors and ziplock bags. Now they’re a home for larger projects that I am working on making continual progress, holding supplies for my Epic Exchange Album, my Wedding Album and a bunch of stash to scrap my 30th Birthday as well as one that holds my Use it or Loose it stash. This is stuff which I don’t entirely love but am not quite ready to part with yet. I put a limited time frame on stuff in here so if it’s not used up within that amount of time it gets added to my donate box and sent on its merry way. This cupboard was also the perfect place to put my December Daily supplies. Because they get pulled out on an annual basis and used intensely for a short period of time I like to keep them together but the rest of the year they mostly just take up space. This solution means that I have both proximity for the period I use them but that they are hidden away for the rest of the time when I don’t need to even look at them.20150323_4ScraproomDeclutteringStorageMost of my other storage options are ones that I put in place during my last big declutter in 2013 and just needed a little tidy up, I purged a limited amount of supplies from these because they are working as intended and some have already had a little declutter in between to make room for new supplies or simply because it was just easier to get rid of things as I went along. The cupboards either side of the hutch hold four nappy boxes with my Technique items – paints, mists, chalks etc; Title & Journaling supplies – alphabet stamp sets, paper & metal alphabet sets, date stamps; Mini book supplies – coils, cardboard, tins, booklets etc; and now all of my Adhesive supplies in one place – bottles of glue and sealer, spray adhesive, my xyron, rolls of double-sided tape etc. The Mini Book box was the one that saw the most go, because I really don’t use anything in here all that often. I’m going to show you how I revamped those ordinary nappy boxes to make them suit my space when I show you how my scrap space got a little spruced up. Aside from the boxes most of the other shelf space in those cupboards is used for reference materials and memory books.20150323_5ScraproomDeclutteringStorageIn the centre of the hutch I have 6×4 photos housed in four photo boxes and stamping tools, inks, dry embossing/diecut supplies and wet embossing & acrylic blocks in the other four. Loose ribbon is kept in jars in the centre hutch cupboard and makes a pretty display by using various heights and styles. I also have rolls of ribbon in middle draw beneath just kept on the spool. The right-hand drawer is where I consolidated the stationary items from the lower cupboard. But embroidery floss and small ribbon have been wound onto cards and sorted by colour in of all things bullet containers in the drawer to the left.  Which just goes to show you can never underestimate the usefulness of re-purposing random containers for storing craft supplies. All of my binders fit wonderfully in the open centre portion and hold my large collection of sticker, scraps, alphas, stencils, planning pages and inspiration material. Aside from getting rid of some inspiration pieces I kept most of this the same too.20150323_6ScraproomDeclutteringStorageFinally I want to share the storage solutions that live on my desk and contain my most used items. I think I could possibly narrow it down further to a few less of these things if I really tried but for now this is what it is and I’m not really motivated to move any of these items off here, even though the prospect of more space on my desk is rather tempting. Three IKEA baskets contain my Essentials – Scissors, xacto knives, paper piercers, most used pens; Adhesives – double sided tape, vellum tape, glue dots and foam adhesive in various sizes; & Journaling items – Decorative paper pads, journaling blocks & favourite project life cards. A glass apothecary jar holds a happy collection of washi tapes and on the other side of my lamp I have my awesome diecut basket and some much loved supplies in a lantern with the hope that seeing these beauties means they actually get used on layouts and not loved until they’re no longer useful. One of the best storage purchases I made in my last declutter was this Kaisercraft Desk Organizer that is the perfect spot for my 6×6 Paper Pads, embellishment books and some other small paper cut-outs that I regularly like to rifle through to add finishing touches to my layouts. I did remove a photo box from here and put it in another location in my house, simply for the fact that it contained photos that other people in my family could be enjoying but weren’t seeing the light of day sitting in my scrap room.20150323_7ScraproomDeclutteringStorageMost of the storage options in my scrap room are pretty basic or made from re-purposed materials as you can see. Ideally I like to keep things simple, accessible and not containing too much. My hope is that through regular decluttering sessions, tweaking storage options and more than anything else – actually using my supplies I bring the overall level of stuff considerably lower than it currently stands and more useable as time goes on. Perhaps sharing my take on storage has given you some ideas for your own space or maybe you have some ideas that could make mine work even better for me. Drop me a line in the comments below and share some of your go-to storage ideas.

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