Category Archives: Scrapbooking Organization

Arrange Your Space for Optimal Christmas Scrapbooking

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Do you rearrange your table or space in any special way for scrapbooking during the Christmas season?

Is your setup working optimally for you?

This is a hectic season, so now more than ever I want my supplies easy to find and access. I only pull out my Christmas supplies once a year. They come out between late October to early November and then go home to sleep some time in January.

I typically only scrapbook Christmas and Nutcracker Ballet stories between that period of time, and once I put it away in January, I never touch the Christmas stuff again until October, (though, the Nutcracker stuff might come out to dance a time or two).

Here is how I’ve got my space set up this year and what’s making it work for me.

A Planning and Staging Area

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I don’t know about you, but I often need to spread photos out and look through the album I’m working in as I figure out how to best tell my stories.

Remember that five-page layout I made last month with old photos and Santa letters and a secret lucky penny?

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You can’t easily develop a story over several pages like that without some space to spread out that is separate from the actual scrapbook crafting spot. Sometimes I use the floor for this, and that is A-Okay. For optimum use of your time and to avoid the crazy confusion and lost items that inevitably happen if we’re not ultra-organized, it’s best to actually DESIGNATE that space, whether it’s the floor or not.

These days I am fortunate to have a table specifically for this.

What if you don’t make five-page layouts? Well, normally I don’t either. For single and double-page layouts, a Planning + Staging Area still does a lot to keep it all organized, especially if you want story-centered albums.

I use the above table this way all year long no matter how simple or large my story is.

The Scrapbooking Area

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Of course, I have a separate table for the actual crafting of scrapbook pages (though I’ve scrapbooked many, many pages on the floor, too!).

The main supplies for the season are set up strategically around the table. They’ve stayed in these spots through all of my November scrapbooking and will continue through January until I decide I am ready to put Christmas to bed until next fall.

Since we all scrapbook a little differently and with an emphasis on different types of supplies, your optimum table should be a little (or a lot) different than mine. But the principles that guide the most helpful setups are the same, so I hope you get a few ideas to improve your own space, based on the underlying principles behind my own choices.

I’ll do my best to explain those principles as I describe how and why I’ve arranged my supplies the way I did…

Separate Any Paper Types You Most Often Look For

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Over the years I’ve learned that while I like a variety of colors on my Christmas pages, there are two types of staple papers I especially look for while Christmas scrapbooking. They’re the stable, consistent threads among the variety in my pages.

And so it makes sense to separate them.

Anything you find yourself looking for again and again should have its own special spot.

So I divided my patterned papers into three piles:

  1. Textured white, sheer, or screen-printed transparencies.
  2. Red, red, red.
  3. All other Christmas patterned papers of any other color.

I like to have some red on pretty much every Christmas page, so giving the reds their own special space saves me SO MUCH hunting time.

What characteristics of paper do you consistently look for to use on most of your pages?

Separate them and give them their own spot!

Embellishment and Detailing Supplies

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Directly across from me on the table is where I like to put all my supplies for adding detailing to my pages.

This includes favorite embellishments, other embellishments, punches for decorative edges, etc.

Favorite Embellishments

Our newest embellishments tend to be our very favorite, so they’re in their own pile, (on the right) separate from the rest (on the left in the white box).

Now that I’m looking at these pictures I have an idea for making this even happier. We tend to like our stuff more when it’s contained nicely so I have a pretty dish I sometimes use temporarily for items like this and I plan to grab it for the embellishment pile on the right next time I scrapbook. :)

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Punches

I use decorative edge punches and my scalloped circle punches more than usual for my Christmas pages, so out they come on my table for easy instant access.

Red Detail Additions

I pulled out some red glitter, washi, and jewel stickers and set them right in front of me because they are especially useful for adding pops of vibrant Christmas red to any (and almost every) page.

Remember, anything you do or look for regularly should have its own special spot for easy access!

Less-Used Items and Miscellany

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As we move farther left on the table we get to items I use less often.

Did you notice I have things set up right-to left, instead of left-to-right?

Why would I set it up opposite of the way we do most things?

Right to Left

I’m right-handed and this right-to-left orientation prevents me from having to cross my right arm over myself and my page to grab things. It’s easier to lean right with my dominant right hand.

If you’re left-handed it would be easier for you to put your most commonly used items on the left and your least-used items on the right.

a) In the box I have my other embellishments, some more likely to get used this year than others.

b) The weird-looking items to the left of the box are for video shoots: a video monitor, some pressed powder, and post-it notes. These are not related to Christmas scrapbooking. ;)

c) The tray on the left is a combination of two needs:

  1. Project Life cards.
  2. Glittered items.

The Project Life cards are glittered, so while they’re not designed for Christmas, they are a great addition to my Christmas supplies, since glitter is another must-have on all my Christmas pages. But once I put Christmas away, these will go back to their regular spot with my Project Life supplies for year-long scrapbooking.

I also have some wooden pieces there from Crate Paper that have glitter, but were not designed for Christmas. These will go back into my store of everyday supplies, as well.

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What’s Not on the Table?

First — Purposely missing from my table this year are my die cuts and inky, mixed-media, technique-driven supplies.

I have so many great new Christmas products I’m inspired to use this year that I am highly doubtful I’ll feel the urge to pull them out this time around (other than Christmas Red Stickles).

In past years I have pulled out dies, stamps, inks, embossing powders, etc. that are Christmas-themed and put them in their own space. My die cutting, stamping, and mixed media supplies are so easy for me to get to anyway, that I won’t be in any way inconvenienced if I do end up want to use some of them.

Second — Also missing from my table are Christmas products from the past that are not currently inspiring me at all. I might get rid of these. For now they are sitting in a container and out of my way!

Third — My Nutcracker supplies are in their own separate container. I am scrapbooking fewer of these pages right now, and plan to scrapbook more of the Nutcracker stories AFTER the holiday is over when I’m winding down on my Christmas album scrapbooking.

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Did you know we spent an entire season last year on organization tips for setting up your scrapbook space, in general? CLICK HERE for lots and lots on organizing for scrapbooking.

And finally…

Do you want to see some Christmas scrapbooking in action? The four November and December video tutorials are all Christmas-related!

CLICK HERE for info about a Paperclipping Membership. :)

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For videos on Christmas scrapbooking, everyday scrapbooking, organization in scrapbooking, and much more, CLICK HERE.

You made it all the way to the end! Good job! ;)

Happy holidays and shine on…

Love,-Noell

Binge-Cutting, Experimenting, & Staying Organized – Paperclipping 273

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Are you a binge-cutter?

If not, what is preventing you? Is it the question of where you’ll put all your resulting cuts?

Is it possible that a lack of binge-cutting has kept you from using your die cuts and cut files as much as you would like?

What is binge-cutting?

It’s when you make several cuts in one sitting, usually from an electronic cutter like the Silhouette Cameo, even if you’re not sure if and when you’ll use all of them. You could also call it blind-cutting.

I know from my own experience that I rarely use my Cameo to make cuts once I’ve sat down to scrapbook, even though I love it, and I love my cut files. But if I already have cuts that I made in the past, I easily find uses for them when I’m scrapbooking. They don’t sit in my stash for very long.

Electronic cutting requires you to get on your computer, look through your library or the store to find a cut file that will go with your scrapbooking, and then pull it up, size and adjust it, and then cut. I tend not to even think about it as an option.

But if I run into pieces I cut some time ago, I very, very often use them immediately.

If you’re like me, then you will get much more use out of your electronic cuts if you cut a bunch of them ahead of time, too (I choose white cardstock if I don’t have a specific idea in mind).

What is the drawback of binge-cutting?

Well, the big one is having a bunch of unused cuts and not knowing what to do with them, which means they often end up in piles on our work space.

Not. Good.

Don’t worry. In this week’s video tutorial I did some binge-cutting and experimenting, and shared some different ideas for what you can do with all those cuts that you can’t possibly scrapbook with right away.

I also put a layout together with some of the pieces, and did quite a bit of playing (an example in images above and below).

I hope you enjoy the tutorial.

The video is available now in the Member’s Area and on iTunes.

You must be a member to watch.

Click here to learn about a Paperclipping Membership!

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Organization for Your Workflow – Paperclipping 263

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Three questions for you…

  • How well do you know your scrapbooking process?
  • Do you know your process so well you’ve arranged your supplies and space in a way that facilitates it?
  • Does your setup help you flow through your scrapbooking, moving you along from one step to the next without much pausing to find or move things?

Continue reading Organization for Your Workflow – Paperclipping 263

The Alternate Destiny of a Scrapbook Page

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This page almost became something else.

Two weeks ago on the Paperclipping Roundtable, each panelist shared a scrapbook layout and I was going to share this one. But we ran out of time, and as the host of the show, that means I opted out of sharing.

Paperclipping Members got to actually watch me assemble this page start-to-finish, but what they did not know was that there was one major turning point in the middle that I did not share when this page almost spun in a wildly different direction.

To keep the video a reasonable length, I did not share that part of the process. Instead I was going to share it on the Paperclipping Roundtable.

But to keep the Roundtable a reasonable length, I had to cut that story yet again.

Since some of you asked, I decided to share that part of the story here.

Continue reading The Alternate Destiny of a Scrapbook Page

Organizing Cutting Supplies – Paperclipping 262

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What is your biggest challenge when it comes to cutting supplies and organization?

For a lot of people, it’s how to store the extra leftover cuts you don’t end up using in a project.

Do you struggle with where to put them? Or do you have a place for them, but find they never get used?

Maybe your biggest problem is that the cutting tools pull you out of your flow, so you don’t even use them much. Do you find that you neglect your electronic cutting machine, or your die cutting machine?

The reason could simply be that the location of these machines and their supplies breaks up your workflow.

So what is it for you?

When it comes to punches, die cutters and their dies, electronic cutters and their accessories, and all other related supplies including the leftover cut pieces, which of these gives you troubles?

Leave a comment and let us know!

Then if you’re a Member you can watch the episode we just released this morning that shows how I set up the cutting area of my scraproom. You’ll see how it supports my workflow, and you’ll see what I do with my leftovers.

Lastly, you’ll see me assemble the layout in the image above as I share lots of design tips for creating a unified page.

Are you not yet a member? Please CLICK HERE to learn about a Paperclipping membership.

Organizing Embellishments – Paperclipping 261

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How long does it take you to choose the items you use on a page?

Someone recently used the word, “audition” to describe their long drawn-out process of picking and choosing items to use. That is a fitting word for the task of looking at lots of possibilities until you finally find that right one.

I’ve almost eliminated the audition process.

Only once in a while do I need to spend even five minutes “auditioning.” Now I just play and create.

And on top of that I have very little cleanup time because of my setup and process.

Really, it is an absolute dream.

I want to share it with you, and today I’m specifically sharing how I’ve organized my embellishments.

Here are five things you can do to make it easier to choose and then put away embellishments:

  1. Sort your items by the categories you regularly search for.
    Some of the categories of items I regularly search for are red items; flourish items for a ballet album; bright and sunny items for outdoors Arizona pages; neutral items; brand new stuff; love-related items for relationship stories; house-related items; enamel dots; etc).
  2. Store your items by these categories you’ve identified.
    If you’re always looking for mint-colored items and it takes you more than a minute to find and gather them, it makes sense to have a store of mint items waiting for you. But that doesn’t mean you must also have containers for every other color — it would be unhelpful to have a store of items in a category you don’t tend to look for. You will rarely or never end up using those.
  3. Eliminate a category once you stop going to it.
    Believe it or not, at some point you will no longer be looking for mint-colored items, or enamel dots, or embellishments that will look good on ballet pages. Once a category is no longer serving you and you find you’re not looking for items that way anymore, take those items and divide them up among your other stores of embellishments.
  4. Eliminate the overwhelm of too much stuff by categorizing.
    Grab only one or two of these stored categories when you’re scrapbooking and bring them to your table. This will allow you to keep a decent sized stash overall, but give you the benefit of having fewer items to choose from. Too many choices leads to cognitive dissonance and overwhelm, which stop creativity.
  5. If an item sits unused too long, re-categorize it and store it in one of your other spots.
    By dividing your embellishments into categories, you can choose to re-categorize any items that aren’t getting used. I find that just by re-categorizing something and storing it in a different way, I breathe new life into that item.

This has made the process so fast for me.

You have to see it to believe it.

And you can, because we just shot a video that shows me using a lot of different embellishments on one page without the “audition” time of trying to pick and choose what will work best. I share even more tips and solutions to share on the video, too.

Plus, my table was clean when I was done. I just had a few containers to slip back into place and my table was clean and ready for the next page within a single minute.

But you need a Paperclipping Membership to watch the video.

It’s in the Member’s Area now. CLICK HERE to learn about a membership.

Shine On,
Love,-Noell

Organization for Mixed Media – Paperclipping 260

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Today we dive into four of my cube drawers, a basket, and a shelf to see how I organize and store all of my mixed media supplies (minus the organization of stamp-related supplies).

We also look at how I situated my entire mixed-media area to work together, including this cabinet of cubes, my painting easel, and my mixed-media scrapbooking table.

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And lastly, we see how fast, easy, and convenient it is to find and gather the supplies and use them on a scrapbooking page. Because it really doesn’t matter if your room is beautiful and looks organized if it does not make your process flow.

Our spaces should help us create more.

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This video is for Paperclipping Members. You’ll find it in the Member’s Area and on iTunes.

Not a member?

Check out why this is just one of 260 videos that could enhance and support your scrapbooking life!

CLICK HERE for info about a membership. :)

Shine On,
Love,-Noell

Organization Solution: How to Use Supplies that Never Seem to Go Away

We all have a certain supply type (or two) that taunts us whenever we come across it.

It was the supply we thought we’d never have enough of…Until that time came that we very much did have enough of it because suddenly there was a new kid in town, and we definitely could not get enough of that new supply.

So what is your old scrapbook supply that never seems to go away?

Mine was hot circa 2005 and fills two jars: ribbon.
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My Organization Theory: Move It to Use It

I discovered this truth after having changed my supply setup a number of times.

When supplies get stale and lose their enticement there is a simple way to make it attractive again: Re-categorize it.

In other words, Store it with new companions that help you to see your supply differently.

Let me show you what I mean…

In 2005 or so, ribbon was hot. So I stored it as, “RIBBON” in ribbon jars because at that time, whenever I made a page I thought, “I need some ribbon on this page!”

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But now it’s 2015. I never think, “I need ribbon!” anymore. More like, enamel dots.

I’ve been looking past and around these two jars of ribbon, no longer even noticing that they’re there.

You see how quickly an organized space can become unhelpful to us? As our interest in products change, so must the way we organize them if we want to keep them relevant and helpful in how we create.

It no longer makes sense for me to store my ribbon as “RIBBON.”

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Above: A drawer for embellishments I do think of whenever I scrapbook. At this time, enamel dots, decorative tapes, and sequins work great when organized by what they are because I think of them that way. When the time comes that I no longer automatically think of them, I will move them to a new spot that make them easier to use again.

If I re-categorize and move my ribbon to a place where I’m going to easily see how it will help me on a page, then I will actually use it again.

Here’s how I moved my ribbon today so that I will better use it agin…

The Most Awesome Way to Find Supplies Ever

I funnel my scrapbook supplies into kits that I make for my various album stories and themes, and I store them in a way that is easy and exciting to use them. But you could also do this with kits you purchase from kit clubs.

I have now dispersed all my ribbons among my various kits…

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Above: Kit embellishments drawers for the ballet stories (left) and for relationship stories (right).

When I decide to do a ballet layout for Trinity, for example, soft rosette ribbon that I once ignored will call to me from the ballet kit.

Because I re-categorized and moved my ribbon, it no longer matters that I never think of using it. I’ll run into ribbon every time I scrapbook now, and because it’s with other supplies it matches, it’s easy for me to see how I can use it up.

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Above: Kit embellishments drawers for stories about myself (left), stories about my boys (middle) and stories from my life in the Philippines (right).

Organization isn’t just about making the room look tidy. It should help you to better use your supplies and your space, and facilitate your crafting.

What is your lingering supply you forget you have, and never use? How can you store it in a new way that is more likely to help you use it?

Paperclipping 259 – Organization for Stamp-Related Supplies

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In this today’s episode I show you how I organize all of my supplies related to stamping — including specialty papers, embossing supplies, Perfect Pearls, Stickles, and much, much more.

You’ll also see how this assists in my process as I scrapbook a layout from these supplies.

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Come away with three big general organization concepts that will benefit anyone, and lot of specific organization ideas for supplies you might have.

The video is available now in the Member’s Area and on iTunes for Members only.

Not a member? Why the heck not? ;)

Check out membership information here.

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Shine On,
Love,-Noell

Paperclipping 258 – Organization for Making and Using Kits

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A Season of Scraproom Organization Videos:

Do you love content about organizing for scrapbooking?

What about scraproom video tours?

Whenever I watch videos of people’s scraprooms I always wish I could look in the drawers and containers and see how it all works, down to the little details.

I want to see them use their space and know how it helps the actual process of scrapbooking.

Doesn’t this sound like a dream?

No single video really has time for that kind of detail.

Plus, a good quality video with that kind of detail is not easy to shoot.

It requires a level of expertise…

Wait!…expertise that the producers of Paperclipping have.

Yeah, that’s right.

We are starting a season of videos that combine scraproom tours with organization help and a view of the process of using the organized space for easier, faster, and more inspired scrapbooking.

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My room is not quite ready for a general overview tour.

When we do that video, we will share it for free for anyone to see.

All the rest — the ones that really dig into the drawers and containers and the process — will be Paperclipping Member videos.

In fact, the first one is already waiting for you!

We added it to the Member’s Area on Saturday.

We’ll continue to add two more every month and, for this season, with a special focus on up-close and
extra-personal organization and process.

I cannot wait for you to watch the first one.

Click here to learn about a Paperclipping Membership so you can see all the videos and be a part of the detailed tours of my scraproom.

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Shine On,
Love,-Noell