Incredibly Organized (Miss Nicky) – Part One

Happy Thursday!  Today we are so happy to welcome Nicky to the blog.  Nicky lives in Adelaide, South Australia, started scrapbooking about three years ago and is willing to try anything related to the craft whether it be layouts, cards, off the page, altered items, mini albums, colouring with copic markers and her latest addiction – Smash books!   Nicky’s craft room is amazing, and she has so many fun details to share she’ll actually be back tomorrow as well! Let’s give her a warm welcome!


Hi my name is Nicky and I’ve been following the Craft Storage Ideas blog for around 18 months now so first I’d love to say a big thank you to the girls on the blog and everyone who has contributed to the blog along the way as I have been given such great inspiration from you all and without you I couldn’t have made my room what it is today. Which leads to the reason that I am here with you today…. Welcome to my Scraptopia! I have spent a lot of time over the past 9 months organising all the bits and pieces in the room and am so pleased to be able to share it with you all now!

My room is located in the middle of the house and is an open area that would normally be used as a second lounge room or as my darling boyfriend likes to remind me, a perfect place for a pool table! But he has his music room so it’s only fair that the space is used for my scrap room. It is around 4.1 x 4 metres and has a nice big window that lets in lots of natural light. The room isn’t enclosed as it only has the 3 walls and is part of the hallway as you walk through the house so I had a bit of a challenge when I set it up to start with. I must have moved all my furniture around at least 4 or 5 times before I settled on the current set up! I’m glad I did as I am quite happy with it and really enjoy the space that I have in here.

This is a view of my room from the hallway:

In my room you will find A LOT of product as I have saved my money and carefully thought through the items that I must have for my craft as well as lots of other impulse items. I was quite a fan of the Kaisercraft brand when I first started scrapbooking so have most of their collections and accessories from their first releases up until around 4 months ago. I am also a huge fan of Teresa Collins, Graphic 45, October Afternoon, My Mind’s Eye and most recently have started collecting monthly kits from local Australian stores that contain a selection of papers and embellishments to match. Lately I have jumped in to the Smash Book phase of my craft so my room contains a lot of different embellishments, tapes, buttons and collectibles that work well with layouts, cards and my Smash Books. The other features of my room that you’ll notice are items that belonged to my Mum. She lost her battle with ovarian cancer 16 months ago and I have some of her items in my room to add that extra little bit of pretty and also so that I have little pieces of her near me when I create.

I have organised the items in my room physically and also recently created a spreadsheet to document them and help me manage them better. I still have a lot of work to go with it but basically I have created a tab for each type (eg. a tab for Stamps, Paper Pads, Dies, Embossing Folders, Inks, etc). I plan on using snippets of time along the way to go through my room from one end to the other and note down everything I have in my room. I am doing this mainly for insurance purposes so that I have the right amount listed for the room ‘just in case’ but also to stop me from buying the same item twice! The reason I created it in excel is because I can email the list to my email account and view the file on my phone. So if I am at a scrap store and I can’t remember if I have already purchased a particular item then I can check the spreadsheet and go from there. I have also started a habit in the past few months where I put items I have just purchased on my desk next to my laptop and they stay there until I have time to update the spreadsheet. Once I have they can be put away where they belong. Once I have been through my room and added everything into my spreadsheet all I will need to do is maintain it and keep the updated version on my phone. It’s a lot of work but will be worth it in the end.

I have trawled many blogs over the past few years searching for storage and organisation tips and added a lot of these ideas to my room. I have spent a lot of time thinking through different ideas for my scrap room storage and in some cases, tried a few different options before settling. I prefer to have everything organised in the relevant product type in the one location and if possible, in a box or container of some kind so that when I need to use a product on one of my projects I can pull it out and put it next to me on my desk to go through and work out what I’ll use. Once I’m done the box goes back to where it belongs. When I started my ‘Operation Scrap Room Utopia’ project around 9 months ago the first thing I did was work out the colour scheme that I wanted. I have always liked damask patterns so decided my theme would be black and white, damask and a touch of purple which is my favourite colour. After months of mini projects, making lots of labels and going to so many different places to purchase boxes, containers or re-covering items I had already made I have found my Scraptopia! Are you ready for a tour? Let’s go!

This is a view of my room from left to right: 1.2 Room View Left to Right (1)

1.2 Room View Left to Right (2)

1.2 Room View Left to Right (3)

1.2 Room View Left to Right (4)

My favourite thing about the room would have to be my desks. I love sitting at the desk on the left to scrap away then slide over to the desk on the right to look something up on the internet, chat with a friend via Facebook or edit photos for my blog. I also love how organised the room is and the feeling I get when I’m sitting in the room creating something and being able to relax as there is no clutter and I know exactly where everything is. I know there are a lot of people out there in the scrap world who have desks full of stuff with a small 30cm gap to scrap on but I can’t work like that. I like to know that everything is in it’s place and would prefer to spend my time scrapping rather than digging around to find stuff. Don’t get me wrong, my room can be a little messy at times but I won’t start a new project until I’ve cleaned up.

This is the desk that I use to create on:

2.1 Scrap Desk

A few of the things that have worked in my room the most are the custom items that I’ve added along the way. There are some products that I bought one or two of and before I knew it, had the whole collection. I blame Tim Holtz for this! I have his whole collection of Distress Inks, Distress Ink Refills and quite a few of the Distress Stickles, Paint Dabbers, Distress Stains – the list goes on! Being I use the Distress Inks quite often I wanted them to be close to my desk and organised in a way so that I didn’t have to mess around with them too much when I needed to use them. I came across a really talented man on the internet one day who made some really cool craft storage products and after a few months of drooling over them I decided that I was going to spoil myself and buy one! It was a really good decision as I have stored all of my Distress Inks in it and it sits right above my desk so I can reach up and grab whatever colour I need at the time. I have also placed a velcro dot on the bottom of each ink pad with an ink blending foam pad attached. This makes it so much easier to keep track of my foam pads and keeps everything together. The last step I took for this was to label all the Distress Inks and put them in the same order as Tim Holtz has on his colour guide as I have a copy of the colour guide with each colour filled in sitting close to my desk so when I match a colour for a project I am working on then all I need to do is reach up and get the colour I need and my ink blending tool from the right and I can start working with that colour.

This is what I get to see when creating on my desk. My Distress Ink storage unit, my pretty Tinkerbell statues and my photo inspiration hanger.

2.2 Distress Ink Storage & Photos

To the left of my desk is a drawer unit that holds lots of little bits and pieces and my TV sits on top. To the right is the little unit of jars that hold all my buttons. The beautiful lady sitting on top of them belonged to my Mum as did the little tiger egg that is under the TV. The little book that is next to the jar unit is the photo album that I store all my coloured copic images in until I figure out what project they will be used for.

2.4 Doll & Bits Pieces

To the right of my desk within easy reach are my most used tools, a glass vase that holds all my double sided tapes and a layout stand with my favourite layout of my darling boyfriend sitting on it. The orchids that you can see in the vase were from my parents house. They were part of a flower arrangement vase type decoration that Mum used to keep on the dinner table until one of my nephews accidentally broke it one day. The vase they were sitting in smashed and she wasn’t able to fix it so she gave the flowers to me. Whenever I look at them they make me giggle as it makes me remember how many of her pretty ceramics that my sisters and I used to ‘accidentally’ break when we were little!

2.3 Tools & Tape

Under the desk on the right side is where I store the tool kit that I take to scrap classes or when I’m going to a friend’s house to scrap. I also have my two Tim Holtz cases in here. One has all my Distress Stains, Alcohol Inks, Paint Dabbers, etc in it and the other has all of the trinkets from the Idealogy range. On the bottom shelf to the left is where I store all the Distress Ink Refills, my christmas embellishments box and paper trimmers. On the right I store paperwork items like instructions for tools, techniques, manuals and my spare cutting mats for when my friends come around to scrap with me.

2.5 Storage

The desk on the right is where my laptop sits. At the back is a desk organiser that holds my Copic Refills, some journaling pens and mists then to the right of that is a little shelf that I keep my external hard drive, small camera, iPod and pretty pins on.  3.1 Laptop Desk

Check back tomorrow – I’m going to share details of how I organize specific products!

Nicky xo

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