Organizing A Creative Space

cutting table

Since moving, I have to rethink my organization and layout to fit my new area and current storage options. After my assembly debacle in the last post, I purchased some screws and assembled the storage piece. While assembling the piece, I was analyzing how I wanted to use the space I have. I used part of the afternoon brainstorming and running through creative process ideas – what do I want to accomplish? How will I use the space? What do I want closer to me as I work? What is less important to have at my fingertips? What areas will need space to grow as I add supplies and are there things I really don’t need anymore? All these answers affect the way I want my space organized and the layout that will be most efficient for my creative process.

Think about your space and the way you have your supplies organized. Think about your creative process. Do you look at a project and think – hmmm….I need a tag/label/button right here…. Or do you look at it and think – I need something blue/red/green…. Knowing your own creative process and how your brain works and what your eye looks for will help you to be more efficiently organized. If you tend to look for color vs supply type can help.

I used to be organized by color – all my red items were together. I had one divided organizer that held all my red brads, clips, buttons, glitter packs, ribbon, twine, etc. After a few years I noticed that my creative process had changed. I found myself often looking for a specific shape or type of supply – regardless of color, or rather less specific on color. I could choose any tag that coordinated with my layout, but I knew I wanted a tag in that one spot. As a result, I reorganized my space to fit my creative needs.

As I keep tweaking my new space, comment below… How are your supplies organized? Do you notice that your creative eye tends to look for a specific color or item? Has your organization style changed over time?

Some Assembly Required

missing bag

I’m putting together a piece of recollections storage furniture. I purchased two identical pieces a week ago. First one went together without issue. Opened the second unit’s box…..missing one of the bags of screws. The main bag of screws to assemble the whole piece! (no bag #1 in photo above!) I called the number on the directions – it was a recording saying the number was disconnected but gave another number to call. I dialed and a woman answered the phone: “Hello?”

I was taken by surprise – I totally expected a professional business type greeting! I said, “um….I’m trying to reach Recollections?” Yes, it was a question… She said “Yes?” So I explained that I had purchased a piece of storage furniture from Michaels Craft Store and was missing one of the bags of screws included in the hardware. She asked my name, phone number and email address. Then she said I needed to EMAIL them my address and request the screws!! I told her that the instructions clearly stated I could call to get the parts, and could she please take my info over the phone. She seemed a bit put off by my request, but said she could. I gave her my mailing address and the item number of the product I purchased. (and clearly I did not think this through before calling because….) She then said it would take about 48-72 hours to process my request, then they would ship them out and it would take 5-7 business days to be delivered. That’s maybe waiting 10 business days to receive the part. While I have all the bits and pieces scattered around ready to be assembled…… So I’m headed out to go buy some screws.

My “to-do” Wish List!

It seems that I’ve always got a running list going in my head. A list that I’m going to start writing down. The items on that list are the things I want to do or try in my cardmaking or scrapbooking. That new technique. A new color combo idea. Using that ‘thing’ you’ve been hanging on to. Those things. The things that I tend to not think of when it actually comes time to sit down and spend some time being creative. I’m sure that many of you are like me, and I tend to fall back into comfortable patterns when scrapping and papercrafting. I like my box sometimes. 😉 BUT, I also want to spend more time outside that box, and so I’m gonna write down my list! Then, I will do my best to start checking things off that list and share them here with you.

One of the things at the top of my list is to participate in more challenges. I know I issue a challenge every Monday, but it’s rare that I submit to other challenges. So, today, my goal is to sit down and make something for a challenge, and post it here. Today. Yes, my goal is to do a second post this Wednesday! I’m still on the mend with this respiratory junk. I am surprised at how quickly I tire out these past several days. My general daily list of chores is pretty short due to this, so I think I can do this today. (We’ll see if a nap wins out!) Wish me luck!

(on a side note – I keep a notebook near by that has all sorts of stuff in it. All those little pieces of paper that I used to write down short lists? It’s in the book. That meal plan? The book. Christmas gifts yet to get (from this past season’s shopping list). Yep, in the book! I found I was constantly looking in a pile of little papers and post its beside my computer for those tidbits of information. Now I know that the running lists that used to be on those are in my book. It’s been working beautifully for me for quite a while now – probably close to two years. I just start a new notebook when I fill one up. So, I’ll be making a new list in that book. Because, I believe, there is little more satisfying than checking off items completed on a list!)

Check in with Sam to see what she’s working on, and don’t forget to upload a project for our Make Something Monday Challenge #12. This week we are looking for doilies on your projects! See you later today (fingers crossed)!

Feels like Monday

The kids were out of school yesterday due to the remnants of Gustav. Today is a normal school day, but after the long weekend and the extra day out of school, today feels like a Monday instead of Wednesday. Logan is home today, since he was up last night with his belly hurting. He thought he was going to be sick, but never produced anything. We kept him home since he was up during the night. I sorta wish I had sent him on – he seems fine. 😛 Ty is at school, so I’ve only got three at home today.

My first battle of the day was with the stupid ants. With all the rain we’ve been getting, first from the normal rainy changing of the seasons (you know, from “hot as blazes summer” to “why is it hot as summer when it’s called FALL”) and second the extra rain from tropical systems, the ants are looking for higher ground. I guess my house looks like the welcoming ark in the high water flood, because this morning I entered the living room to find ants setting up camp. No, not the little annoying sugar ants – the big, mean as ever, fire ants. Yeah, I found out when one bit me on my toe! THE NERVE! I grabbed the vacuum, and sucked all the little guys up. HA – I WIN THE BATTLE. Um, nope….every 15-20 min, I was sucking more of them up – I swear they were coming in by the hundreds! There is no food in my living room, so they weren’t congregating in one specific place, they made a trail for a little space, along the side and front of the couch, then split up into a million directions – scouting for yummies. After a short while of this (I have *no* patience), I was googling how to stop ants from entering my home. I read that you can use dry laundry detergent to stop them! So I grab some of my cheapie laundry powder and sprinkle it liberally on the step. It seemed to slow them down, but certainly didn’t staunch the flow. I kept vacuuming them up, and waited to see if they would get the message. Apparently I am still not fluent in ‘ant-speak’ because they weren’t getting it. Ok, I tell the kidlings to get their shoes – off we go to Wal-Mart to buy some ant spray. Back home, I vacuum up the persistent (persistANT?) ants, and the powdered detergent. Then I spray the entrance liberally with pesticide. I LOVE THIS STUFF! LOL, it’s sad that killing ants should give me such joy. 😛 The ants are gone – except for the ones in the vacuum canister – but DH will have to empty that one!

My next project is my kitchen. Ever since I’ve moved into this house (almost three years ago) I’ve been tweaking how I have my kitchen set up. It’s a smallish galley style kitchen. Smallish is being generous. If we are ever lucky/brave/stupid enough to go through the house buying process again (and that will entail also selling THIS house) I demand a beautiful, large, open kitchen! Anyway, I digress…. I’ve been tweaking the set up. I read something recently – perhaps in the past few months, that said to get more out of limited cabinet space, to move appliances to the pantry, if you have one. We have two closets in the hall, and one is a traditional coat closet. (complete with several cases of #10 cans stacked in one end) And the other is a walk in closet. When we bought the house, one side was shelves, and the other was a hanging bar. We used this closet as a pantry for canned/dry food items. About a year ago, now, we added extra shelves, so the shelves wrap around, and it pretty much doubled my shelving space! At first, my pantry looked SO bare – all my squished up stuff was spread out and organized. Then more things moved in, and it filled out nicely. :)

Another problem I faced was the storage of my plastic containers. (tupperware, gladware, etc) In our last house, we had a large open shelf area under the microwave, and I threw all the containers into a large rubbermaid tub, and the lids were in a smaller rubbermaid tub. This worked well for that space. Here in this house, there is no where for my plastic-ware. SO, the plastics have been living in the rubbermaid tub in the dining room. This is really not working for us, but I’ve sorta had a block as to how to remedy the situation. When I read that you can move appliances to the pantry, a light went on in my head! I already had the crockpots in the pantry, why not move some other things in there? Today, I have moved the food processor, blender, hand held stick blender, and hand held cheese grater to the pantry. I also moved some glass casserole dishes to another area, since I wanted to put the plastic ware in a specific location that was occupied by those casseroles. I moved the “kid plates” to the back of the shelving with the sipper tops we rarely use, to free up a little space in the front for those dishes. (We have plastic dinnerware in the bottom cabinets, so little hands can set the table!) Now I have room in the bottom shelf of the upper cabinets for my plastics! I’m SO excited! I get to organize those and get them in a location that works so much better for my family! Right now I’ve got the empty room, and I just need to get the plastics organized in there.

I’m going to go make the kids lunch, and then load up the dishwasher, and organize plastics! I’ll try to post some pics later of the new organization!