Do you feel like you’re always crafting in a mess? Here are 5 easy peasy tips to help you organize your stamping space.
#1 – What Project are you going to make?
If you go into a crafting session with an occasion or project in mind, it simplifies your choices. No more pulling out ALL of your stamp sets to make one project!
If you’re not sure where to start, try pulling out a sheet of Designer Paper. (I personally believe that all of the world’s stamping problems can be solved by Designer Paper. *Ü*)
Pull out the colors of ink that coordinate with that Designer Paper. (All of the Stampin’ Up! Designer Papers list the coordinating inks in the Annual Catalog.)
Then decide on what stamp set(s) you want to work with and pull any acrylic blocks you might need. Grab your adhesive, bone folder, etc. and sit down & start designing!
Bonus. Keep your every-time-you-stamp-tools all together in a box or bag. This might include adhesive with refills, scissors for cutting paper & ribbon, bone folder, glue dots & stamping dimensionals, etc. By keeping them all in one place, and putting them away when you’re done, it will make it easier for you every time you sit down to stamp.
#2 – Clean as you go.
Darn it – mom was right! If you clean as you go, it will make things easier in the long run.
Let’s say you’re designing a birthday card for Aunt Sue and you wanted to use some Real Red ribbon. Instead of pulling out ALL of your ribbon, just pull out the Real Red ribbon. If that doesn’t work and you think Baker’s Twine would look better, put the Real Red ribbon away when you pull out the twine.
These types of little steps can make a huge difference at the end of a 3 hour crafting session. Ask me how I know. *Ü*
#3 – Plastic Shoeboxes are your best friend!
Every stamper should have at least 3-4 plastic shoeboxes – with lids – in their craft room at any given time.
When you start a project, pull out the supplies you think you’ll need (see Step #1 above) and carry them to your work station in the plastic box. If you get interrupted or have to leave in the middle of your project, you simply put everything inside the box, snap on the lid, and you’ll be ready to go when you have time to craft again.
Why Shoeboxes? They’re inexpensive (the Dollar Store or Wal-Mart always have them in stock), they’re clear (so you can see through them and know what projects are in each box) and they stack (so they don’t take up a lot of extra space.)
If you like to craft in front of the TV so you can be with your family while crafting, shoeboxes make it easy to move your project around your house & still stay organized.
(If you’ve ever stacked cardstock, ink pads and other supplies on top of your paper cutter and tried to get from Room A to Room B — without dropping half of it — you know what I mean….)
#4 – Save time by pre-cutting your cardstock.
If you tend to always use half-sheets of cardstock to make an A-2 card (I have an entire post on cardstock & envelope sizes here) then consider taking an entire package of the cardstock you use the most and having it cut at your local office supply store.
For example, I can take 5 packages of Whisper White cardstock into my local Kinko’s/FedEx store and they’ll cut if for me for under $3. This will give me 400 half-sheets of 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ cardstock or 400 cards!
It’s a huge time saver and will allow you to quickly pull out the cardstock you need for any project.
#5 – Micro-manage your crafting.
We creative people often tend to work on more than one project at a time. The result? A crafting area filled with several unfinished projects that are all taking up space. Consider working on one project a time and not starting a new one until you have the old one finished. (I know, this is easier said than done!)
If this just isn’t realistic for you & your lifestyle, then maximize the use of your Shoeboxes.
Instead of just shutting the door on your messy stamping space and walking away, take 5 minutes (seriously – it won’t take more than 5 minutes!) and put everything you need to complete that project in a shoebox and snap the lid on it. If there are other items left on your crafting table, PUT THEM AWAY and then close the door on your craft room. You’ll feel so much better the next time you walk into your stamp room and don’t have to clear a 6″ space to start crafting again!
And one final word of advice for keeping your crafting area clean – “done is better than perfect.” This is a mantra I live by! Don’t worry about sending that “perfect” card or creating a “perfect” card design. Just get it done and give it to the person who was meant to receive it. Trust me, they’ll appreciate your stamped work of art just as much!