Saturday, February 7, 2009

Where Women Create - Part II

Hello friends,

Recently Jan Marie shared her space with you, and today it’s my turn! My room will not be the biggest or most beautiful you will see, but I’ve recently made some changes to it and am happy to share it with you.
I’ve been stamping for almost 12 years - for years my stamp area was my kitchen table with everything stored in a bedroom closet. I’m fortunate now to have a room to create in, but a larger space does not mean you stamp better or more often! I’ve made every organizational/space mistake there is but along the way I’ve learned some important things I’d like to share with you – it doesn’t matter whether your space is small or large – these things can be applied to any creative space. Further on is a video of my space and photos of how I store some items.

1. Safe – Is your area a safe place? Technology is a wonderful thing, but in looking around the room I realized there are at least 16 pieces of equipment needing power and many were using the same outlet! A little re-arranging and now the devices are more evenly distributed to the 4 outlets in the room. If you have high cabinets are they properly mounted to the wall; do you have piles of stuff on top of each other that may fall; are things piled on the floor that you trip over (more on the “pile system” later on). In looking around is your area safe for children, pets, friends, and if you are a demonstrator, customers?
2. Sturdy work surface – you don’t need a large desk or table, but it needs to be sturdy and accessible.
3. Good Lighting – the small window in my area is woefully inadequate. I have two overhead lights and one very good task light on my desk.
4. Comfortable chair – Have you ever spent time stamping then you stand up and your neck, back and shoulders ache? If you are going to spend hours stamping, get a chair that is comfortable and ergonomically appropriate. Take time periodically to stand and stretch.
5. A place for everything and everything in its place. Has this ever happened to you: you spend an hour looking for that perfect embellishment; you put a stamp down on the desk and a minute later you can’t find it; you buy something and later realize you already have it; you clean your area and find that perfect item you were so desperately looking for last month. If you are guilty of any of these (I am guilty of all of them!), then find a system to organize all your stuff. Whether you like everything visible or behind doors there is a system that will work for you. Group similar things together, contain it and label it.
Do you like the “pile system” – you know piles of things on the floor, chair, table? I was a piler for years and let me say this: replace the “piling system” with a “filing system”. Give each and everything in your craft space a home so they will not be constantly moving around like nomads! Another thing – floors are for walking on, chairs for sitting in and desktops for working – they are not appropriate storage and file systems.
Consider your stamp area “real estate”. The high rent district is your main work surface. Its prime location means you want to place frequently used items close by. Keep the least used items in the closet, or on the lower or very upper shelves. If you don’t have a designated place for everything, those “homeless” items will end up in your high rent district – so give them a home! And if your area is small, then every square inch of it is even more valuable.

Finally, does your space work for you – or work against you? Does it stimulate your creativity or stifle you? Sometimes the smallest changes can have the biggest impact – moving a desk, adjusting the light or finding a place for inks. It doesn't have to be expensive - just take a little time to evaluate what you want out of your area and don’t be afraid to change what does not work!

Now – here is a link to a short video of my space, and following that are some photos of how I contain some of the items in my craft room.

Clear boxes store my Flourishes Stamps

Unmounted Rubber stamps are stored in 3 Ring Binders

Labels are easy with self stick labels found in office supply stores and computer generated fonts

Craft Mate Storage tubes (from Wal Mart) are perfect for all those embellishments. Take your embellishments out of their packaging and you will be amazed at how much space you will have!

These large trays are perfect for twinkling h2o's, ink pads and refills and so much more!

Nestabilites are stored on 8 x 10 magnet sheets that have been adhered to chipboard - they lay flat in these boxes and can be easily pulled out for use.

I hope you've enjoyed the visit to my creative space - thanks for visiting!


StampinCathy said...

Great tips on organizing. Thanks

Julie Koerber said...

LOVE those magnetic sheets for the Nesties--- cool! I might have to try that myself! ;-)

Carol Southern said...

Loved seeing your space and reading your article.
I also like the idea of the magnetic sheets for the Nesties. Mine at present at all loose sitting in an old video case.

Rachel V. said...

Nancy - I really really enjoyed the video. Your space is just wonderful!!! Mine is much better than it used to be, but still could use a great deal of tweaking.

You can the overall view of it here