The Peaceful (not so Easy) Feeling of Organization

Organization…

That word can strike terror into the heart… or bring peace and tranquility.  I feel like I’ve spent my life trying to be/get organized.  I remember as a kid making lists for everything.  My husband made fun of me for the detailed schedule I had for our wedding day.  And my kids get frustrated with ‘The Board’ – a white board that lists the responsibilities & chores they need to take care of before they can touch electronics.  I have meal plans, I have a scrapbook plan, and I have to-do lists for family, work, scouts, me… I like plans – but yet, I know they have to be flexible.

Organizing ‘things’ is a little more difficult for me.  I never realized there was a physical feeling attached with organization or disorganization until I cleaned & organized my pantry one day. Later that evening, my crazy boys were bouncing off the walls & I was feeling the stress of bedtime. I went to the pantry to get something and as I opened the door – I felt at peace by the sight of neatly organized cans, boxes & containers. Am I odd? It wouldn’t be the first thing that makes me weird! After that day, I became more observant of how clutter makes me feel physically on edge. There are times if I have things spread out in my office, I will take a few minutes to put away/straighten up the piles so that I can focus on my work rather than the clutter that is closing in on me.

I think the biggest problem I have with organization is getting everything in the same place. I often end up with things spread out in different areas because I forgot where I put them the first time & find a new home. Here’s how I try to tackle organizing my craft things.

Workspace – I try to keep things that I use often close to my workspace. Since I’m right handed, I generally have those things placed in containers to my right (so as I reach for something I’m not crossing my body). I also like a ‘grab-n-go’ approach for things like pens/pencils, stamp sets, rulers, scissors (I don’t have small children & my scissors are up higher) and my favorite scrapbooking adhesive, so these are in open containers. Other things I use frequently are under my crafting table – paper/cardstock scraps (in plastic drawers, sorted by color), paper trimmers, paint and journaling pens.

Paper & Embellishments – I keep my papers & embellishments in a scrapbooking cabinet with slots for papers (organized by color) and cubbies for cardstock (I have these in magazine holders so they don’t sag). I used to have my stickers in a 3 ring binder, but decided I prefer to be able to flip through them to find what I want, so I’ve moved them to bins. I’ve organized my stickers by theme – kids, sports, season/holiday, outdoors, shapes, etc.

Things I’m going to Scrapbook (eventually) – I keep things like ticket stubs, school work, play/concert programs, etc., in a file cabinet with a hanging file for each child & year. This works mostly well, except I still have a few straggly things that for whatever reason didn’t make it into the file cabinet. Also there are those things that are larger than a standard file folder. I’m thinking about taking a picture of these things and then getting rid of the oversized item.

Other… – these are the things I struggle with.

-Things my kids use for school projects – I try to keep all together in the closet – but then there are general ‘kid’s craft’ supplies that I keep upstairs.

– Wood crafts, ribbon/washi tape, unfinished projects – They just don’t quite fit nicely into my world because they are odd shapes or don’t stack. I’m still working on these, but for now, things are manageable.

I know different people like to organize things in different ways, but I think the key – whether you organize things by color, theme, or some other option – is to have what you use often easily accessible, the things you don’t use as often available, but out of the way, and the things you use very infrequently can be tucked away where you can remember you have them & still get to them when you do want to use them.

Good luck with your organizing. I’d love to hear what works for you.

Enjoy!

Gerri

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