Studio Update: Spring Cleaning 2014 Part 1


You know, the life of a craft product reviewer and blogger is  busy- and messy- one. New products coming in, packaging things up for our #TeamCTD reviewers, tutorials in process, and then piles and piles of things that need to be put away or discarded.

I took the bull by the horns and had a crafty yard sale last week. It felt great to thin out my shelves and sell off extra machines, tools, paper and kits. But then I was left with an even bigger mess. So for the past two days I’ve been trying to reorganize the studio AGAIN (does it ever really end??) and make new, more efficient spaces.

I’m not totally done yet, but here’s a peek as to how it’s looking so far….


NOW. Before you all start commenting with how bad it still looks….have pity on me, okay? I’m trying hard here.

Studio Update

This is my main work area. The card catalog to the left holds sprays, inks, dyes, stamp pads, gelatos, punches, and more. On the main table are a set of markers, papercrafting tools, adhesives and ephemera. The table to the right is my cutting station and there is also my stack of stamps. I still love rubber stamping!

Studio Update

Just beyond my main desk is my secondary workspace. It serves for my sewing, polymer clay, and resin area. It’s also my guest table. In this photo you can see my AFS daughter Cristiana (from Italy) working on blinging out her prom shoes. They don’t have prom in Italy, so it’s a new thing for her!

You can also see my daughter Bailey- or at least her back- in the new card table I put in. This effectively makes three stations in the studio!

Studio Update

I’m excited to have a space for Bailey back in the studio. For the past year or so she was in another room and frankly that just wasn’t much fun. I’m hoping to keep the table clear so that I can use it as an Operation Write Home station, too. You can see boxes of cards up on the radiator that I’m slowly amassing to send out.

IMG_5748 Studio Update

Then we come to the die-cutting station. The blue table previously held my Cricut machines and all of my carts. But now that I’ve gone digital, I’ve repurposed that space for my manual machines. I’ve been keeping my dies on magnet sheets on the closet doors, so it just made sense to “rezone” the space.

By the way, behind those doors is a treasure trove of additional machines, paints, adhesives, mediums, and “kits” – boxes that contain my quilling, metal working, foils and films, wire work, mold-making and more. But we’ll leave those photos for another day!

For now, I’m glad to have the floors cleared and table space reclaimed. The next project is to thin out my copious paper hoard and to sort some more of my “piles”- items that don’t seem to have a home or category. I’ll make sure to include that in Part Two.


Before I go, I’ll ask you this- what is the most challenging thing for YOU to organize with your crafting? Please let me know that I’m not alone……


About Jenny

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.


  1. says

    Oh my, Jenny – you are NOT alone. It IS a never-ending journey. Just as I get the adrenalin rush to sort and organize, I come across a product that I haven’t used in awhile, then, uhoh, I’m making another mess!!! Probably my biggest challenge is paper – do I sort by color, by theme, by company – I tend to sort by color but then I just start stashing packages of paper on the shelves. :-( At least I have most of my drawers labeled so some of the “stuff” has a home…..they just don’t go home regularly :-)
    Have fun!!

  2. says

    I am just jealous of the space. I only have a small work area so everything goes on the floor when I work on it.

  3. Christy says

    I think once you have an organizing scheme in place, it’s easy to stay organized. The problem is that I would rather scrap than organize! So it is much easier to let all those new products pile up because you are too busy working on your old stuff. So organizing isn’t the problem, finding the motivation is!!!

  4. Nicole says

    Yay!!! I love it. Forme the problem is “out of sight, out of mind”. Since I didn’t want clear storage, I’ve started putting labels on anything that will stand still. :) I also made a huge desk out of a door and some saw horses, this give me a lot more space to spread out while I’m working.
    Good luck with the rest, but as long as it works for you and is a happy place to work, who cares what it looks like! :)

  5. Colleen says

    I find stamps to be the biggest challenge. Most of my older wood stamps have been unmounted to save space. It just seems that once I get a holder that I really like for stamps —- the next time I go to buy another 1 or 3, they are discontinued. So, now I have ended up with about 4 different systems. I just can’t afford to buy all new organizing products for my WHOLE collection.

  6. says

    My greatest storage challenges are things I only have a few of, my stamps because my collection is so large and anything that is an unusual size compared to the average product of that type. I have just a few ephemera bits and bobs. No idea where to keep those so I’ll remember to use them.

    As for stamps, I have wood mounted tho only a few as most have been unmounted, clear, unmounted and EZ mounted. I started putting them in CD cases and while I had space that was great. Now I could really use the extra space they take up but the packaging is gone so I have nothing to stick them to. And buying clear envelopes for them and labeling them all is a daunting task as I have probably over 4000 stamps. At least. And I only count alphas as 1 rather than 26! And when I get a sheet of chipboard shapes or stickers that’s 12×12 I am thrown for a loop as my current storage system doesn’t allow for those.

    Oh, and I thought of one more. When I get a card kit, what do I do with those? Keep them together? Sort them out into Cardstock, paper and embellies? And I have no place for the 6×6 loose papers if I do separate them. Ugh.

  7. Traci says

    Tee hee! You are SO not alone! I have a small studio that is bulging. And I try….I really try…to stay organized. The problem is that I have a buying problem. And the new stuff doesn’t always fit where it needs to. I am about to take some time a clear out, then list grab bags on Craig’s list. I absolutely cannot throw anything out! (rolling my eyes)

  8. Rhonda M says

    Why is it that at least my work space always ends up to be a 4″x 4″ area to do my crafting? Because when you see it you use it…… Your area is much more organized that mine…..

  9. Betsy Cosmos says

    Paper! I have problems utilizing my existing space to maximize my paper storage and not have it end up wrinkled, corners turned back, etc. I think your craft space is amazing…would love to just “tour” it in person to look at items and see them “in person.” Thanks for peek and keep up the good organization!

  10. Cynthia F says

    My problem is the paper crafting vs. the jewelry crafting. Also, I don’t plan to buy any paper other than plain neutral card stock for the next 5 years. I have enough to last that long and I tend to mostly use the neutrals these days.

  11. says

    I don’t have an official craft room. I share my passion for crafting and jewelry making with a pop up table and a guest room that needs to look tidy and presentable. So I utilized all the space that I can to hide all of my crafting goodies, literally everywhere in the room (inside dresser drawers, you name it), and still have it appear as a guest room. The only problem is once I get started on a project all the totes come flying out of there places and into the bed and the floor!!! Then the room suddenly starts to take on its own disorganized look minute by minute, hour by hour, until it no longer looks like a guest room anymore. It’s funny how it always takes more time to clean up your projects then it does take time to play and have fun! There’s a saying that goes “A creative mess is better than tidy idleness.” I say YAY! Creative Mess! YAY! It was for a noble purpose! It was not in vain!!

  12. Rufus says

    Oh, you certainly are not alone! You name a craft and I probably do it or have done it, needlework, knitting, crochet, spinning, dyeing, weaving, ceramic jewelry, candle making, quilting, basketry, stained glass and of course, Paper crafting,( rubber stamping, scrap-booking and all that goes with it) I’ve got the supplies for all of this and more! What’s more, I’m NOT parting with any of it! While I’m lucky enough to have 2 studios…I’m always trying to find a better way to store and access (and therefore USE) my supplies. At the moment I actually have “stations” for certain operations and my “work area” for paper crafting is about 12 x 12…but as soon as I sit down and get working the next thing you know…I’m lucky if it’s slightly larger than the A2 card I’m making! I too, make lots and lots of cards for Operation Write Home.
    I don’t care if it gets messy, as long as I can find what I’m looking for, that’s all I care about. When it gets to bad I clean, put away, and start over! In fact it’s when I clean that I have a problem, cause then I can’t find anything.

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