Fellow blogger Leslie (aka The Crooked Stamper) refers often to what she calls "creative avoidance" - avoiding mundane tasks (like housework or grocery shopping) in favor of doing something creative. Over in the Sue-niverse (thanks again for that, Lauren) that term means something else entirely. I'm not quite sure what my deal is, but I can avoid doing anything even remotely creative by constantly rearranging and reorganizing and tweaking my stamps and supplies into a more workable system.
In my defense, I'll just throw out there that I can't function in clutter or in an area where I feel claustrophobic. Since my studio is also my workroom (where I sew and do upholstery), it is VITAL that it be organized and have as much clear space as possible! This post will show you two recently finished tweaks to the organization and storage of some of my "stuff". Warning: LOTS of pictures!
I previously had my punches on a scabbed-together rack composed of an upcycled/repurposed DVD rack and miscellaneous tidbits that I had on hand, and was crammed between a wall and a shelf next to the closet:
There were several reasons that I wanted to change this: I want to get rid of the bookcase and it is supporting the rack on that side, it's in full view at all times from the hall (and the dining room) unless I close the door to this room, and the really scabbed-together mess of an upper section bothers me every time I look at it.
I wanted something that would fit behind the door that you enter this room through, so it would be hidden unless you were actually in the room with the door shut. This is what the new one looks like, and then I'll 'splain:
Much more orderly and functional and all! I took the old DVD rack and basically cut it in half down the entire length of it, so I only had the back row of dowels. I cut one leg shorter than the other so it would clear the baseboard and screwed that side to the wall that the door is hung on:
I also notched out the other leg to clear the baseboard but still leave a leg to stand on (hee hee), but I used two L-brackets to attach this one to the wall:
You can see one of the L-brackets in the above pic (above where I thought I wanted it - doh!). The other one is near the top of this leg. Since there was quite a bit of space between the dowels, I had room to add other components, so I made a couple of shelves with yardsticks for some border punches:
I use yardsticks for a lot of different things. They're cheap (about 60 cents at home improvement stores), they're sturdy, they're easy to cut without power tools, and they're a nice size. I used 1/2" staples in my staple gun to attach the "ledges" that support the shelfdirectly to the legs of the rack. The shelf isn't attached, so I moved it forward a bit so the deck of the border punch could slide between it and the wall, and the punch part could rest on the shelf. I also used some sash rods:
These are typically flush-mounted on doors to hold shirred curtains over the window, etc. I side-mounted them, screwing into the legs of the rack again, and placing them closer to the wall than the dowels, so smaller punches could sit comfortably. I also put a couple of them at the very bottom for my Martha Stewart old-style border punches (that don't have fold-up "wings" like the new ones):
I alternated which way I placed them because I was running out of space and they would interfere with each other if I didn't. I also finally have a spot for that gigunda scallop circle punch!
The top of the unit is still kind of a mish-mash of items, but they're more uniform and MUCH more stable than the old mess:
I joined two CD crates (single-section style) together by screwing two mending plates to the bottoms (they're basically flat strips of metal with four screws - I put two screws in one crate, and the other two in the other crate, then repeated the process with the second plate). I screwed that unit to the wall (you can see the screws in the crate on the right), with the crates resting on top of the rack for extra support. Then I stacked a tangerine crate on top of that for some border and corner punches:
The shelves were made with wood blocks intended for mounting rubber stamps (as if!) and some slats robbed from other crates (previously the sides of said crates). If I get more of these punches, I'll just add another shelf. One one side of this crate are a couple of oversized Martha Stewart punches:
and on the other side are three extra-large Stampin'Up! punches:
On top of the tangerine crate is another CD crate (a two-section one this time), and a couple of pencil boxes turned on their sides on top of that:
These are Martha Stewart Punch-Around-the-Page border and corner punch sets and some other miscellaneous punches. That weird little black thing under the MS heart border punch and between the two pencil boxes is my Rolodex punch - good place for it, eh?
Everything on top of the two CD crates that I screwed to the wall are unattached - to the wall or each other - they're just sitting there, but they're very stable. I'm going to screw cup hooks down the outside leg for my hand-held punches. I started to do it but the screw twisted off, so I will have to pre-drill the holes, apparently. I wanted to post this NOW, so you don't get to see that part (sorry!). And that's the end of the punch rack tour!
The other tweak is part of my ongoing attempt to wrangle paper into something other than a stack of chaos. I really, really like 6" x 6" paper pads, but - since they're in a pad - I have to tear out the paper that I want every single time I want to use one, and that's crazy-making for me, plus there's no good way to store them without losing all the odd little bits that I put back in the pad last time I used some of it, and I forget that I have them because they have to be put in something and I don't see them! Here's my tweak for that:
I was cruising the Dollar Spot at Target and spied these boxes that looked to be about the right size, so I brought two of them home with me, and they are! They came in colors, too, but I didn't want to limit myself to lime green or fuschia, so this neutral one was my choice...
I tore every single page out of every single pad that I currently own (not a lot of them, but still...). The file folders are cut-down-to-size from legal-size file folders that I had laying around from a previous organizing extravaganza (don't ask, please). I just hand-wrote the manufacturer and name of the collection on each file tab and there they all are!
The two folders at the back are actually "Mat Stacks" from DCWV, and are 4 1/4" x 6" or something like that, but they still fit in here just fine, thank you very much! At the very, very back are the cover sheets for the pads, just in case I might need them for reference or something. The cardboard from the backs of the pads is in with my other cardboard and chipboard stash, and the smaller bits cut from previous uses of any of these pads are just in the front of the appropriate folder. I may tweak that further if it proves problematic...
And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to carry on with the tweaking of my stamp organization and indexing project (which has been ongoing for at least two years now) *sigh*... Have a great night, and thanks for stopping by!