Organizing to Save Money

We've all done it, bought that "must have" embellishment only to stash it somewhere really special and uncover it years later, having forgotten where we stashed it. Supplies aren't cheap, and keeping them organized can help you use them better, and more often.

Years ago I found a great system for myself, and have had much better luck using my stash because of it. I can't say the same system will work for everyone, but there are some guiding priciples that can help us all to stay organized, and keep us from buying the same thing over and over only to find we had it already.

The keys to great scrapping organization are Visibility, Portability, and Accessability.

Let's first talk about assessing your personal organizational needs. Start with a few simple questions:

- What kind of scrapper are you? Do you use lots of embellishments, paint, stamps, inks, etc.? Or do you like to keep things simpler?
If you answered that you use lots of embellishments, you'll want to find a system that will keep your embellishments easily accessible, and always in sight. If you use other mediums in your scrapbook like paints, inks, and stamps, you will need storage for those items that allows you to search them - probably by color. Those things don't necessarily have to be visible to remember to use them. Those items tend to be something you will use regardless, but accessability and portability may be important.
I used to keep my pages very simple, mostly just paper, because it was a hassle for me to find anything else. But I found that organizing all my embellishments into a system that allowed me to see everything I had made me more likely to use more embellishments. Now I can easily find a trinket or two that I may not have used before.

- Do you often travel with your scrapbooking supplies? To retreats? To crops?
Because I travel a lot and take my scrapbooking with me, I chose a system that would easily travel with me. I chose the ScrapRack because it suited my needs of portability, visibility, and accessability. I keep a small amount of each embellishment I have in my ScrapRack pages, and the rest in backstock if I have that much of it. It breaks down easily into rubbermaid tubs to take to retreats. I only take certain "spinders" if I'm going to a short crop, though.

- Are you a pre-planner? Do you pre-plan pages to take with you to these retreats and crops? Or are you more comfortable taking everything you own with you? (like me!)
I'm not a pre-planner like some. I have to have everything around me for inspiration while I'm scrapping. But if you're able to pre-plan, kudos to you! You'll have less to travel with. But are you able to find things when you're doing the planning? Make sure you have your supplies visible, and accessible so that you can make them portable in your pre-planning.
And if you're like me, and have to take it all along, you've got a bigger job in front of you. See the next step.

- How do you search your supplies? Meaning, when you're doing a page do you look for embellishments by color, brand, theme, type, or style?
This may be the real key to your personal organization style. I personally organize by both color, and theme. Most of my embellies are done by color, all organized into my lovely ScrapRack where I can easily see and access them. Things that have themes are separated into several categories that I developed over the years that work for me. Alphabets, for instance, have thier own binder spine in my rack. Yes, I'm an alpha-junkie. Other things like sports, outdoors, birthdays, holidays, baby, and other themes are divided and marked as their own sections. I find it makes things easier on me when I'm working on a page to just flip to a theme or a color and see what I have that I can use.
So, when I'm working on a boys soccer page that is brown, green, and blue, I may start by flipping to "Sports/soccer" and seeing what I can use from that section. Then I will flip to the color sections to see what else I can add.

It has worked well for me, and in the long run has saved me from wasting money on those "must haves" and losing them in the vortex of my craft room. Now, when I spend money on those items, I know where they are, remember I have them, and actually USE them.

So, when designing your personal organizational system keep in mind the key factors; Visibility (so that you won't forget what you have, and will actually use it), Accessability (so that it's easy to find and use), and Portability (if you're traveling to any crops or retreats).

I'll be posting more tips on organization in the future.

Here is a pic of the first part of the "red" section of my overstuffed and much loved ScrapRack just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. Love all those little flapped plastic pouch pages.

1 comment:

Huckleberry said...

great ideas. thank you for the information.