Thursday, January 24, 2019

After the Purge, Part 1

Perhaps some of you will find it useful for me to write about how my hoard supplies are organized and the thought process behind that organization. Maybe you'll find inspiration to purge your own hoard supplies or re-organize in a way that makes it easier to find and--surprise!--actually use your stuff.

Of course, some of you may be avid collectors who enjoy having rather than using. To each her/his own...I'm not preaching, just sharing what works for me in the hope that you'll adopt, adapt, modify, or discard my suggestions as suits you.

I'm a practical minimalist of a sort. This doesn't mean I don't have a lot of stuff or buy new stuff. It means I try to curate my hoard in ways that eliminate what doesn't turn out to be useful to me. Over time, my ability to try new stuff and discard what doesn't work for me quickly has improved enormously. It's an evolving process that suits my mild an*l-retentive, obsessive-compulsive tendencies. During this particular purge, I found myself letting go of some stuff that I've held onto for far, far too long.

So let's take a look at one before/after area of my craft space.

Here's the final result, which certainly looks tidier.


Let's work from the bottom up.

1. The three-drawer unit on the left contains markers. The top drawer is StampinUp/Memento markers, which might end up going away eventually as I hardly ever use them. The second drawer contains scrapbook markers, which I use regularly for things that don't get posted on the blog, like my signatures on the back of cards for Karen's Card Shop. The bottom drawer contains a bunch of Sharpies, which also get used. (At one point, I gave most of my Sharpies to the preschool at church, and then I had to buy them all over again because I kept needing them and didn't have them and ohmygosh how frustrating. Live and learn.)

 Sheets of craft foam rest on top of the unit. They are perfect for popping up larger panels on cards.

2. The middle three-drawer unit contains watercolor stuff (watercolor crayons, pencils, Peerless watercolor sheets, Twinkling H2Os) and colored pencils. The black folder on top of the unit holds my watercolor brushes. I'd love to start using these supplies more, especially now that Tim Holtz has a pure white watercolor paper that coordinates with my Papertrey white cardstock. 

3. The three-drawer unit on the right contains inking supplies such as stipple brushes (a favorite!) and sponges in the top drawer, a bunch of spare ink pads in the middle drawer (I purged about half of these, mostly Memento dewdrops), and odd ink types that I use, but rarely (Staz-On, StampinUp craft inks) on the bottom.

4. The six-drawer unit to the right of the bookshelf contains punches, mostly themed ones (hearts, stars, snowflakes, ocean animals, leaves, etc). I purged just a few of these because I really like and use most of them, but I got rid of (or moved to my basement storage) the two white bins full of basic shape punches in the before picture. My plan is to buy a set of circle dies to replace all but the 1" and smaller circle punches (which are too useful to let go). I haven't used the scalloped circles and squares in years, and my Creative Memories oval cutting system is far more useful and used than the oval punches ever were. And I'm not sure why I ever bought the larger square punches as squares are a cinch to cut. The smaller square punches (especially the 3/4" square that's fabulous!) joined the smaller circle punches in an empty drawer on the baker's rack for now. I'll show that later. 

5. On the top shelf, one of the white photo boxes houses my reinkers (replacing the purple box in the before picture). The photo boxes are handy for storing cards I make far ahead of time, like Christmas and Thanksgiving. The second box is for Thanksgiving Crusade cards. 

6. Baby wipes (always useful), magazines, notebooks, and my birthday card storage book complete the top shelf. 

7. On top of the bookshelf rests my adorable Cuttlebug, a gift from my friend Eva. I felt cramped with the baskets of dies and Cuttlebug accessories on the top of the bookshelf, so I moved them to the large bookshelf to the left of the smaller one. I am intentionally keeping my dies limited to this one basket. It would be too easy for me to go crazy and buy LOTS of dies that never get used, which would violate the simple, minimalist vibe I try to cultivate for myself.

And that's one section of my reorganized and purged craft space. Any questions? I love answering hoard-organizing queries!

Mercy, grace, peace, and love,


  1. Thanks for before and after photos. That always helps us get a clearer vision. Now to get myself in the right frame of mind to do the necessary purge.

  2. Purge? Ummmm to me that means: move it to another room....ya know, just in case you NEED it later!! LOL Your space looks awesome now!

  3. It's always great to get organizing ideas from other stampers -- thank you! I am curious about your birthday card storage book. Please tell us more!

  4. I recently re-organized my kitchen cabinets, because I came to realize the items were no longer efficiently organized. I'm trying to look at a my stamp room the same way. Your view of your work space is helping me to better see mine. How do you store your paper? What items do you keep on your desk? Do you keep unfinished projects in storage boxes/job sleeves? Birthday card storage book-yes,please.

    1. I will answer your questions in the next few posts!

    2. I'm looking forward to your upcoming posts. I too would like to hear about card storage and unfinished project storage. Also, what do you do with things you punched, cut out, colored, etc that you ended up not using on your current project. Those are my trouble areas.

      I need to embrace a more minimalistic style. I only had an hour to create last night and wasted it searching for a stamp set that wasn't where it should be. I was surprised how much stuff I shuffled though that hasn't been used or very seldom used.

  5. Oh Susan! This is so timely; I am in the process of reorganizing and making my room work better.
    I love the idea of having all the water color stuff in one place. I am constantly searching for my paper. And I bought some watercolor crayons that hide on me so I forget to experiment with them.
    I have two, three drawer wire basket thingys, (yes that’s a real word) that I am using for storage for my punches. But I am only use two of the six drawers because the other drawers have “stuff” in them that need to be culled and donated. I could actually organize those punches if I could just clean out. And yes, I need to put some of those punches in the donate pile.
    I too use photo boxes to store cards; why the heck have I never thought to store them by type? Doh.
    You have inspired me to take some before and after pictures too!

  6. I love seeing how you organize your studio. Common sensical suggestions with many ideas, so thank you!

    I do have one question, but it's not related to organization. I like your idea for the craft foam to back up the card panel, but what adhesive do you use?

    1. I use Scotch tacky glue or Tombow mono adhesive. Both are liquid glues that won't wrinkle paper. They are my go-to adhesives for all cards.

  7. "Practical minimalist" and "curate my hoard" — these words speak to my soul.


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