Monday, April 16, 2012

what I'm up to

Gah. Martha would not approve. No one is going to be pinning beauty shots of my studio anytime soon. Unless it is a 'hoarders' board. Just keepin it real. I'm trying to organize. Feeling down in the dumps is not helping.

One of the things that would help: marshaling my ludicrous pile of art papers. Way back when, my Schmoopie bought me this great vintage wooden flat file. It's so huge. I love it for my large sheets that need to lay flat, plus portfolio pieces and tissue paper, cardboard, mat board and bristol etc... But the bulk of my paper stash is smaller sheets and it is getting crazy out of control. Every time I open the drawer I can hear some sheets at the back becoming freeform origami. I've got to do something.

I have so many 12 x 12 inch and letter sized pieces (plus tons of small scraps) and I can't find anything without just emptying the huge drawer. That's when it starts looking like a paper explosion  (first photo). I'm trying to figure out a good way to:
  1. keep it all easily accessible and separated into colors
  2. while at the same time be visible at a glance 
  3. arranged so that small scraps do not get lost from view
  4. it must fit easily in my space-poor craft disaster area
I haven't seen anything yet that seems to answer all those problems without knocking out a wall. But I think this Sterilite cart might mostly do the job (image courtesy a screen capture from I like that I can roll it out for my project, then roll it back out of the way into a corner when I don't need it, and that the drawers lift out and have lids. I just ordered two of them and I'm hoping I can stack them.

I looked at a bunch of stores online and this is the best price I have found. Have you noticed that if you add the word "scrap" to a storage item the price doubles?


  1. Hi hear you! I'm in the midst of gutting my whole house. Only, I'm not brave enough to take a before shot.

    But you know, with every bag that goes to the garbage, every box that is for donation, every box that is to give away that leaves the house... it's a good thing.

    As you wash your hands of all the dust from cleaning, feel the clutter flutter.. :} (yeah, corny) breathe.... What ever it takes mama, whatever it takes.

    best to your endeavour.

  2. That sterilite cart looks amazing. I think I would need one too.

  3. You're brave - I'm would never (well no time soon) post a picture of the WRECK that is my craft/sewing/sometimes-playroom. Or the garage either - you would seriously think you'd seen me on TLC (or needed to). Paper is a toughie, I hope your carts work out! I was wondering about hanging file folders, maybe legal size, in their own cabinet? Maybe not as visible as you'd like though.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  4. The first step to recovery is admitting there's a problem. You're on your way, girl! ;) Keep hangin' in there... it'll all get better. You'll have a beautiful working environment again, and a much brighter mood. Each will help the other.


  5. I have a very similar paper storage issue. And that was my solution as well. Well, not exactly the same, but pretty close. I have loved it. I organized mine into color groups too, with an extra for solid scraps and an extra for colored scraps. (Though now that I see that written down I might go back and just put the scraps in the color boxes. Duh. It's taken me 5 years to think of that...) But I have loved it. And I love that the drawers pull out and I can take them with me to the dining room table. Mine are on a shelf in my closet, they don't have wheels. But in my next crafting life I'd love a crafty space with hardwood floors so I could wheel stuff around. Casters are an amazing invention, truly. Good luck with the organizing!

  6. The drawer carts are the simplest, but I found it was difficult to look through all my papers (I have an addiction to paper!). What I found works the best is a box I found a few years ago that is about 14 inches high and 13 inches square. I stand the paper upright and can flip through it like in a filing cabinet. It holds tons of paper! Here's a link to one something like mine.

  7. Oh Larissa, I feel your pain. My sewing room has piles and piles of fabric on every surface, drawer, and floor. I find that the chaos interferes with the creative process, hence, no sewing lately.

  8. Oh, good luck with your project! I was up in my "sewing area" (ahem) until midnight last night, moving things around, putting things away.... and then moving them around some more. I just rescued a wonderful glass-front pantry cabinet from the trash room in our building! I thought it would be the answer to my organizing nightmare. Funny: the new cabinet is full and lovely... and I STILL have piles of fabric and notions everywhere!!
    Sorry to hear you are feeling down in the dumps. I'm SURE that corraling some of your supplies and feeling like things are where you can find them again will be a huge lift! And then you'll have such fun pulling things out of their new homes and crafting some fun!! :)

  9. Looks like my craft room this winter! Seems I never find the time to tidy it. I have my scrap supplies organinized in an IKEA Expedit shelving system. The paper is sorted into clear folders I bought on sale at Michael's craft store similar to these: I can sort the paper by color or project, making it easy for me to grab a folder for scrapnight. I had my paper in a drawers system before we moved to a home that accomodated my craft obsession. It worked, but I like the folder system more. Good luck with your cleaning - remember, every ONE thing we put away gets us closer to EVERYTHING being put away, so a little at a time is a-ok!

  10. I use 12 x 12 file folders which i found at joanns, they are brilliant. much faster to flip through and find things than the sterilite thing (which went to my kids :)). later my mom gave me a "rolling file cart" she was done with and the folders fit in there, i sit it right next to my chair, love it!

  11. Hey, everybody. I see I am not alone. Several have suggested 12 x 12 hanging folders or upright boxes, which I'm sure work great if you don't have a metric ton of paper like I do. That photo above? Yeah, most of the paper is out of the drawer and sitting in piles off camera. LOL. Plus small scraps would stay out of sight at the bottom. REALLY looking forward to the carts.

  12. I have lots of different things. I have the cute store rack that you made the cozy for (ty again) I have 4 12 by 12 three drawer things from walmart and i do the hanging file for smaller than 8.5 by 11 scraps. Of course, I have more space than one woman should be allowed. I like the cart you showed and that the drawers have lids. No origami that way and you can take the one you want out at one time. I say look at joanns with a coupon! and check out

  13. All those craft rooms that are pinned are BS, if you ask me. As a crafter/sewer/artist mess is an inherent and necessary part of the process. So thank you for being brave and showing us your REAL studio!


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