Are you ready to organize your scrapbooking area? Before you begin, check out these scrapbook organizing mistakes to avoid. (Alternate title: Things I’ve Done Many Times).
Mistake #1: Buying containers before you begin.
“If I only had the right organizing products, my space would be perfectly organized.”
Ah, the lure of the pretty containers. The Pottery Barn dream.
When I’m in the mood to organize my craft space, my first instinct is to run out and buy a bunch of organizing products. But after I purge and sort my supplies, those containers end up being either too small, too large, too tall, too narrow, too few, too many, or the wrong color.
Buying containers is not going to make you organized.
Simplify 101 explains the difference between storage and organization:
In a nutshell, storage is the container you put things in; organization is how you divide your things among your containers. Why is this important? Because you can’t solve an organization problem with storage container and you can’t solve a storage problem by re-categorizing your stuff. Understanding the difference between these two concepts, and approaching storage and organization as two separate decisions, will help you create an effective and organized scrapbook space.
Start sorting and purging first, then determine what organizing containers you actually need.
Mistake #2: Spending too much time looking for inspiration.
“As soon as I find the perfect craft room, I’ll know exactly how to organize mine.”
Yes, it is motivating to look at organized spaces, but if you’ve spent six hours looking at craft rooms on Pinterest and zero hours actually organizing…. well, that’s not productive. See 32 Signs You’re Addicted to Pinterest (you might need a Pintervention).
By the way, I have a scrapbooking organization board on Pinterest.
Know when to stop looking at other spaces and start working on your own space. Getting started can be motivating, too!
Mistake #3: Not addressing the room’s function.
“Every time I clean my scrapbook area, it gets messy again the next day.”
Are you constantly opening containers to retrieve what you need? Are you buying more scrapbooking products with nowhere to put them? Are you trying to store products from 10 other hobbies in the same space? Do you have enough room to actually scrapbook?
Getting organized means more than just separating your stuff into neat piles. It’s about figuring out what system is going to work for you. If you’re taking lids off containers several times while scrapbooking, you might want to try using open containers (such as a 3-tiered wire basket) – supplies are easy to grab AND easy to put back. For a multi-purpose room, try grouping the different hobbies/products, storing other hobbies elsewhere, or purging.
Think about the room’s purpose and how you want it to function.
Mistake #4: Keeping things you don’t use.
“But I paid $40 for this unicorn punch and I might need it someday.”
Yes, that is a possibility. If you are hosting a unicorn-themed party or sponsoring Unicorn Day at school, you will indeed be sorry you got rid of that punch. But when was the last time you actually used it?
When was the last time you used those decorative scissors with the faux-ripped-edge from 1998? Or the scrapbook paper with hot dogs? Or more recent purchases that ended up not working out?
When looking at your supplies, think of what you DO use. Everything else might just be taking up precious real estate.
I think the main reason we scrapbookers hang onto supplies too long is simply because we paid for them. Try to let go of that guilt. Some scrapbookers sell their excess supplies at a discounted price to get some of their money back. I donated many of my supplies to an elementary school art teacher.
For more donation ideas, see Creating For Causes (scroll down for a list).
Less stuff = more space.
Mistake #5: Expecting to organize everything in a day.
“I’m going to get my scrapbook area totally organized today!”
Hooray for enthusiasm!
But then two hours later when you’ve barely made a dent in the mess, you feel defeated and want to quit.
Try breaking up the task into sections. For example, concentrate on sorting and purging paper. It’s a good focus and an attainable goal. (Most likely).
If you start out with realistic expectations, you’re more likely to finish your organizing goal.
For the story on how I got rid of most of my supplies, see The Scrapbook Diet.