Taming the Scrapbook Monster – How To Organize

If you scrapbook, you know what this title is referring to without much hesitation. What started out as a simple little pack of supplies to help you get your photographs organized and into a scrapbook with a bit of style, has seemingly overnight grown into piles and stacks, overflowing drawers, and various other shaped masses of scrapbook supplies. If someone, such as an unsuspecting husband or mother-in-law were even to mention reducing the amount of gear that you have assembled, that monster has been known to come out into the open and confront the very one who dares suggest they, ahem, lose a little weight!

Have a bit of faith in yourself and know that not only are the scrapbook supplies of this world abundant and growing, so are the tools to help you get it all organized and still take into consideration room for even more supplies! If that is not reason enough to get that monster under control, then nothing ever will tame it.

First step in taming the massive monster is to take a realistic inventory of what supplies you own. Supplies include paper, all forms of embellishments such as stickers, rub-ons, ribbons, brads, etc., and tools. If you keep your computer, printer, digital camera, or scanner in the same space you scrapbook, do take inventory of all of these items too, making note of their sizes if they are anything other than standard fare. For example, I own a Wishblade cutter. Similar in size to a small-footed printer, product inserted into it must be able to flow both in, and out, the front, and back of it freely. Due to the way the mat moves around as materials are being cut, I had to make a special exception in my scrapping space as to where it was situated, with clear room on both sides.

As you take inventory, make note of any organization products you might already own and if they are of use or not. One problem I find that many Scrapbookers have is the adverse reactions they have been known to exhibit when they are asked to toss anything; even something, they have never used, or not used it in a way that benefited them in any way. If it helps you, come to terms with the organization, as you identify such pieces, do not trash them immediately, but do set them aside. This has a twofold reason behind it, with the second reason being, that once your gear is orderly, you might find you actually do have a use for such an item.

Once the inventory and assessment is completed, claim a space that is going to be exclusively designated as scrap room only. This might be a tote made for organizing supplies, or it might be a whole room. A closet can be commandeered, or even a nook in the family room. Whatever or wherever it is, the rule that goes with it is: Nothing else may reside in the same space. This means if you use a tote to keep order, do not tuck kids homework, your PDA, or any other occasional item into the fray. Only scrapbook supplies may enter. If you are fortunate enough to have a dedicated spot within the household, it may not double as a phone center, a place to cut out your child’s science project, or do double duty as your makeup center. Yes, you can share a spot, but the space that you have your scrapbook supplies must be exclusive to them, no exceptions.

New supplies always seem to sabotage any organization that we have within our scrap space. The simple answer to this is if you are already organized, then new supplies just need to be categorized and placed into their proper spaces. Sure, it is nice to gloat over a new pack of stickers or the patterned paper you have wanted for a while, but putting them away means you will actually be able to find them and use them the next time you sit down to scrap. No more wandering around asking everyone if they saw the bag you carried in from the scrap store the other day!

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