Organization: The Key To Easy Scrapbooking
When I first started scrapbooking, my supplies were everywhere. I had a shoebox crammed full of my scissors, pens, stickers, die cuts, my one and only template, and my pictures. My paper was stuffed in an expandable folder so haphazardly that it took me 10-15 minutes just to find the sheet of paper I was looking for.
Eventually, this disorganization discouraged me from scrapbooking. I would get my pictures developed, run to the scrapbook store, buy all the stuff to make great pages, and that is where it ended. By the time I got home and put my pictures and die cuts and stickers and paper away and saw the huge mess, I just didn't have the desire to make pages.
One day I decided that this had to end. I went to the store and I bought organizational tools. My first big purchase was something I could sort all my supplies into. I bought a 7-drawer chest that was made for craft organization. Now, I would have individual drawers for my scissors, die cuts, pens, punches, adhesives, and 2 drawers for my pictures. The large top drawer was the home for my templates and album pages. I purchased a toteable file box and acid free file folders to sort my paper, labeling all my folders into neat categories. Then I bought some sheet protectors and baseball card protectors and sorted all my stickers. Then, before I began working, I made sure that the dining room table was completely clear and I had a trashcan handy.
Once I began a page, I could sit down and find all the things I was looking for with much ease. My diecuts were semi-sorted by category in their drawer. My scissors were just a drawer pull away. I knew if I needed a pink piece of gingham paper that I could find it in a folder marked "Plaids, Checks, and Ginghams". All my stickers were in see through pages in a binder so I could easily find the theme I was looking for. This made a drastic improvement in my desire to create pages. The first week of organized scrapbooking, I created an average of 3 pages a day! I was so happy to see my pictures become pages.
That was three years ago. As time went by I found better ways to organize my die cuts. I created a different system for holding my (now dozens of) templates, I collected more scissors than my drawer could hold and more pens of varying styles that needed different storage options. My pictures are now kept in 2 large cardboard photo sorting boxes rather than their original 2 small drawers. And I'm now blessed with my own hobby room. But the important thing is that I took time to get organized. That made scrapbooking fun again.
Periodically I have to step back and do a review of my organizational needs as I gain new supplies and reference books, but I try to keep things in order, together, and readily available. This way, when I need a certain tool or supply, I know exactly where it is.
If you're having trouble organizing your work space, take a day off from scrapping and evaluate how you might do things differently. You may find that you gain more ideas just from knowing where things are. And take pictures while you organize - they could make a great page!