The Small Stuff

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If you are like me, when you make a project, or even take apart a kit club kit,  you are left with the ‘craftermath.’ The big stuff has a designated home and gets cleaned up easily but what about all that little stuff? The perplexing little pile of bits and pieces; buttons, extra stamped images, die cuts or tiny fussy cut pieces that you decided not to use but can’t bear to throw out. These items used to pile up at the end of my desk and the pile would grow with each new project made or kit dismantled. Here’s how I manage this little stuff…

As I’m working on a project, I sort them into a variety of little boxes and containers (new and vintage) that fit in the work space of my desk. This step helps to eliminate the pile before it even starts:

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Here’s a view of how they fit onto my desk– I keep them close where I can see them and use them. I’m an out of sight/out of mind scrapbooker. If I put these in a drawer, or even a box with a lid, I’d never use them:

The white stacking boxes are Martha Stewart. They stack up and conserve valuable desk space. There’s even a long tray component that would be perfect for those patterned strips that get cut from the end of 12 x 12 sheets. I’ve got a huge collection of those!

If there are tiny parts that I’d like to set aside, I use these clear tubes to separate them from the pile.

VMtube storage

I love them because they can stand on their own, you can see immediately what is in them and the opening is wide enough for big brads and buttons. I don’t label them because they are constantly getting emptied and refilled. I love having a stash of these clean, simple containers on hand.

Another related ‘small stuff’ area that I like to organize this way is my journaling spot/tag and tiny envelope stash (aka the ‘whatever trendy item I am in love with at the moment’ stash) I sort and store these in a similar fashion and keep them where I can see them and hopefully use them:

VM tag envelope storage

As with any storage system, it’s got room for growth and change. What works right now might not work in a few months when my obsession du jour is some other craft item. One of the keys to managing the little stuff is to purge regularly. If you do this every month or so you re-familiarize yourself with the stuff at the bottom or back of the containers – maybe even inspire yourself to make something new!

Stack Fit Boxes by Martha Stewart for Staples

Ceramic peach and fruit baskets from Sur la Table

Plastic Tubes by SRM Stickers

9 thoughts on “The Small Stuff”

  1. Good idea! I am also an out-of-site-out-of-mind scrapper….there is only so much room to keep things available….stacking trays are a great idea for those smaller items

  2. Your work area looks just as neat as your projects! I wish I was as organized as you! Right now I am busting at the seams in my crafting area. I just bought 2 huge IKEA shelves I am hoping will alleviate some of my disarray. I am afraid pretty soon my husband is going to blow it up! 🙂

    BTW, I spotted that cool little carnival man stamp you have. Who makes it? He is too cute! 🙂

  3. If you could see it today, Amy – you would not say that LOL. It’s currently a disaster area. Will check on that stamp manuf. and get back to you. Picked it up at The Ink Pad in NYC.

    Thanks for all your comments!

  4. Valerie, I love this so much, I’ve been working on implementing something like this the last few days! I think/hope that being able to see more of my bits and pieces will help me use them more. Great tip! 🙂

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