Monday, January 25, 2010

Organize your Stuff Challenge: Week 4 Paper

Week 4: Paper. Arggghhh! I think that the theory with last week (Clean Slate) was to make us come to terms with and confront our Inner Hoarder. I think that I failed...

Instead, there was a small turf war between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Me... or OCD Me, and Procrastinators Anonymous Me... or PA Me (I think that they will be visiting a lot over the next coming weeks), finally both ended up giving way to Plays Well with Others... er... Plays with Others Well/Follows Directions Me... or POW Me. I used pink square post-its, which made OCD Me happy, and really we didn't clean anything- we just shuffled it around a bit so that it looked neat, making PA Me happy, and we did as we were told and completed our task as any POW would.

Inner Hoarder Me and Creative Me were totally shut out and not allowed to play. Creative Me is OK with that... she gets to peek in the boxes during the week and make a layout. This one was made with memorabilia from 2007 unearthed during Week 3 and set aside. Inner Hoarder me was rocking in the corner in denial... and that is where she stayed until this week...

...Because, as a grown-ups, we can only be a POW for so long and then something snaps. It could be that broken "No" button gets tested one too many times, or that "work flexibility" to cover shifts is taken advantage of one too many times, get the idea. When the pile of papers went down stairs to be measured for posterity before the Big Purge, Inner Hoarder suddenly perked up, made a bee line (no pun intended) for PA Me and began a coup against the POW! (I need help... got a good therapist? Anyone?)

Anyways...Week 3 was finished by Monday, when I posted last. I walked by that stack-25 inches high with another 18 inches in Cropper Hoppers, many times, every day. Yet, I did not touch that pile of paper until Friday...Friday!, and that was only due to some grumblings on the couch by Fabulous Spouse, who had been out of town since Monday and noticed (to OCD & POW Me's horror!) that nothing had been done. I was sensing that the native was getting restless and with just two weeks left of football, he might fight for the territory that I was claiming. This dining room is MINE!

So, Friday, I made a real concerted effort...with the stuff that I was keeping no matter what. For four hours I sorted solids and patterns and florals and plads. Every time I came across something that I was not prepared to deal that QVC color block paper that I thought was SO cool in 2002...You know it, its in your stash too...That stuff from 1999 that I got on clearance from JoAnn's because it would be perfect for...but never did....all those got set aside. Inner Hoarder had her heels dug in, and PA me was enabling. However, by 11 PM, this is what I had... (just under 10 inches left!)

Saturday, Inner Hoarder and PA Me were loving life! I had a noon to midnight church crop planned for Creative Me, and with all the organizing and packing required by OCD Me, nothing got done on my remaining 9+ inches.

Sunday, was horrible. Not really. The POW and Fabulous Spouse teamed up to help me through those last few inches. Fabulous Spouse turned up the TV, giving up video for audio only, and camped out in a chair with me to cheer me on, and get me back on task if necessary and OCD Me and the POW could not handle things. He even figured out my new toy that I got for Christmas 2008 (and was still in its original packaging)! It was a P-touch labeler. Wookiemouse, I can so understand that affair now!
So...This is my After- Paper, and my P-touch. Honestly, paper will be ongoing, because I purged 3 inches *gasp* (to the eternal delight of Girl Friday, who had been banned from the room), but cheated and put at least 2 into the kit category....& I ran out of Cropper Hoppers...and space.

To answer this weeks organizational questions from Zen Master Wookiemouse...
I store paper vertical, not horizontal.
I sort first by company, then by solids, patterned, graphics, plads, etc.
There are misc files for those papers that do not belong to my favorite companies, but there isn't too much of those.
Christmas has its own file, no matter the company.

In 7-10 weeks I may or may not finally finish that last inch...ok 2!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Organize your Stuff Challenge: Week 3 Clean Slate

Ok. So far, not so bad. Create a layout, make some lists, win the imagination lottery and create the Scrapbook room of your dreams.

This week started Week 3: Clean Slate. So, I went to Wookiemouse's blog, read all about this week's challenge...and the fact that we were going to hate her by the end of it, and was left with the really easy decision... start small or go for broke. No Brainer! Go for broke! I need to be firmly and irrevocably entrenched in this dining room before my fabulous spouse realizes football season is over and he can more easily move my stuff up stairs, then I can move mountains and get the rest of my scrapbooking supplies downstairs. I do not hate you Zen Master Scrapbooker. This is not hard.
As a bargain with fabulous spouse, I have promised to do a minimum one layout a week during this hostile takeover of the dining room, along with the week's organizational is like that fine print with Rumpelstiltskin... and next time I get your first born child... Ok, I have been a mom long enough to realize that might not be such a bad thing (just kidding oldest child. Really.). But, fabulous spouse knows that in addition to being a member of the Scrap Addicts Guild, that I am unfortunately also a member of Procrastinators Anonymous (hello, my name is Scrappnbee and I have a...oohhh, shiny object...anybody see that show last night...) I digress. He is afraid that I would use this challenge as an excuse not to create, or creating as an excuse not to organize. But that is why I have you all!

Here is my layout for this week (done before clean slate-ing, because I know where everything is, even if others would need tracking dogs). I even got to use my new glitter rub-ons (yeahh!) ...That was Friday night.

Saturday, fabulous spouse "sent me to my room" with the promise of no commercial interruptions by children, and a cup of coffee. Wow. Um, yeah. Can I have a hall pass? ...I'll get you Wookiemouse. YOU and your little dog too. This is WAY too overwhelming. Ok, now I know officially know how my kids feel when I say "Just go upstairs and clean your room."... and I get the look that says, I will do anything, anything...just don't make me do THAT. I'll eat vegetables...please!
I am a big girl. I AM wearing my big girl panties. So, I girded my loins, cowboy-ed up, picked a corner and started. Ten minutes later I stopped.
You see I had run out of space to put things in piles. This is bad. Then I looked at my piles...


...whoa Tiger! Put that inner OCD away! If I remembered correctly (and trust me, my mantra is: If I knew I would lose this many brain cells having children, I'd have had more fun in college... so my memory does not always serve me right), there was an embellishment and a ribbon week in my future, but not a flower week or a bead week.

So, downstairs I went, and I found some post it notes and the master week list from the message board and decided that I was only sorting by Wookiemouse's categories... at the appropriate time OCD Scrappnbee can have full reign and go to town. However, today is not that day, else it will take me to week 7 to complete week 3!

All right! Back to work. Pile by pile I had a plan and I was ready to go! Fabulous spouse would come up and check every so often, just to make sure I hadn't started doing something inappropriate with the decorative scissors, and to ply me with caffeine.

As work progressed, I did come to the realization that some things were category-less...

1. Adhesive. I mean seriously! I have at least 3 sizes of Xyron (and their cartridges), Zip dry, Tombo, Hermafix, glue dots, dry adhesive, wet adhesive, refills. So, I created a bonus post-it for this (and will tackle on a non-event week for templates (sorry template lovers, I missed that craze)).

2. Mini-albums. These are not projects/kits/ whatever... that behemoth has already had to be moved twice as it has grown. These are small, blank Chipboard books, tag books, Target $1 books, you know the completely blank little book for when you are either drafted by co-workers, or compelled by school/ scouts to "create" something scrapbook-y. Wow. They have been busy in the dark and multiplied like bunnies....fertile bunnies.

3. Misc/other/ etc...what category do shrinky dinks go in? Unused page protectors? album protectors?

Like the Karate Kid following Mr. Miagi (I am sorry if this dates me and makes me old) I toiled all day long. I even got to the two boxes I had not even opened since moving in 2008...which meant moving the Scrapbook Room TV...which was actually in my bedroom, as I never worked in my Scrapbook Room, and would watch my DVR in bed!

It was boring. It was tedious. It was not as I thought when I went up in the morning, definitely not as bad as giving cool drugs afterwards though....In the end, I had proverbally waxed on, waxed off... I could not yet do the crane... but I was progressing. Oh! and in my piles of memorabilia (I totally plan on taking a bottle of wine up with me for that week....) I did find a baseball (yes a baseball) that my then 4 year-old oldest child caught in SC, and American Express travellers checks from a vacation in 1999...yes $40 from 1999. It is a good thing that American Express didn't go down in the banking crisis... oooh scrapbooking money. If only it was a fertile as those mini albums *sigh*.

Ok, Wookiemouse. You are still fabulous, your dog is safe. This is doable, one piece at a time. I am still a neophyte in the world of Scrapbooking Organization. Oh, and here is my After... Original Scrapbook Room post-clean slate!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Organize your Stuff Challenge: Week 1 & 2 (Part 2)

201o! Happy New Year!!! January 1st marked the "official" start of Week 1: Space Audit of the Organize your Stuff Challenge at In order to do this, I needed to plant my flag in the fertile land that I was to call my own, and figure out exactly what it was that I did...or didn't need.
The first thing to do was remove the large masculine office desk from our dining room (seen in Before-Dining Room).... you know so that I could replace it with another large, er...functional, scrapbooking desk! Out too went the dented filing cabinet (on the right)... and in went the dancing little girl (my self-appointed Girl Friday).

New Years brought a boon for me, with 1/2 price scrapbooking storage at Michael's (Yeah!!!!). As a frugal, dining room expansionist... I knew that this was my chance to acquire all at once, that which would take me months of 40% off coupons to acquire. I channelled my inner "Kid in a Candy Shop" persona, and was off to shop!

When I got home, Girl Friday was at the door! While my boys had slunk off to the play room muttering something like "this is not the helper you are looking for", my daughter saw a chance to "help". I had my first inner zen moment about jetmax cubes, then. The Cube itself, is so easy to put together that a preschooler could do it (and I have the photos to prove it). It just takes a lot l-o-n-g-e-r...
Also, the inner drawers are SO tedious with their teeny screws, that if it wasn't for the previously mentioned fabulous spouse (and college football bowl games!!), I doubt that I would have gotten past drawer #2.
. two days, I got 10 jetmax cubes (for the price of 5) done and was ready to redo Week 1: Brainstorming (officially), and complete a layout.

It was actually nice to sit in the dining room, listening to my fabulous spouse help lead his teams to victory on the field through mass male ESP, share punches and oohhh over the creations of Girl Friday, and break up what ever the boys were doing in the play room that had me convinced that a herd of wild rhinos had been smuggled in with the cat from the back yard.
This time I got a real list...
What Works:
1. Solid Papers in Cropper Hoppers
2. Clear Stamps / Acrylic Blocks
3. Inks
4. Digital Photo Organization
5."Must have"/easy reach sack of tools
6. Cricut cartridge storage
What Doesn't Work:
1. Ok... the obvious...1/2 my stuff still upstairs
2. Counter space too small
3. Embellishments in too many places
4. Ribbons not organized
5. Patterned Paper
6. Pre-digital Photo storage in bulging plastic shopping bags

Here are my cubes in place, with 12 photo boxes (for photo week... also gotten for 1/2 price.

This leads to Week 2: Brainstorming (officially). Wookiemouse challenged us to think of what we would envision of our space, if money were no object. For me, that meant that if in fact fabulous spouse was transformed into non-philandering millionaire spouse, then my Scrapbook Room would be Martha Stewart/ New England Colonial. You know, fabulous trim, fluted moldings, cool pewter labels with antique, hand written labels that can only be reproduced if you are MS and own your own quill making ducks and geese and crush your own berries for ink... I know, not realistic, but Wookiemouse never said anything about realistic...
Back in reality, fabulous spouse was on travel, and I brought down my two Ikea Expidit bookcases and scrapbooks. Also, I came to realize that stacking boxes on carpet is not the most stable of it was off to my other store (besides Michael's and JoAnn's) that I am usually banned from without supervision...Home Depot.
I built a platform for my jetmax keep them stable, not because my inner OCD makes me overdo everything...
Here is my middle child on the platform (I did manage to get my oldest to help...briefly). My boys are like rare, endangered species that are not often photographed in the wild, as they have been over exposed by my maternal paparazzi instinct.
And finally, my transforming room for Week 2. No, I am not sharing the devastation upstairs... I forgot to photograph that. (It is a part of the letting hmmm....).

Monday, January 11, 2010

Organize your Stuff Challenge: Week 1 & 2 (Part 1)

Ok. Here we are at Week 1: Space Audit.
We were challenged to create a layout, any layout, and to do so with pen and paper to write down both what works and what does not work. So, back in December (before I knew that Crisann would revive the Challenge for 2010) I grabbed my box with my project, a handmade book about our trip to visit Ohio this summer, I grabbed my bag of "essential" tools, I grabbed the two boxes of punches I had accumulated, hauled them to the coffee table, where my husband was sitting and watching football... and 20 minutes started...

What doesn't work?

1. 20 minutes to bring down stairs the things I need to finsh 6 pages to complete my book.

Hmmm....that was it. I had my Epiphany! Yes, I needed to organize, but the real problem was that where I wanted to be and where my stuff lived was not the same space. It was like going back "into the closet"... that one thing I thought I'd gotten away from by expanding to a Scrapbook Room. I had just exchanged one closet for a bigger one.
I did complete my book for my husband to take back to Ohio the day after Christmas, and took my first before pictures, which is actually Week 2: Brainstorming.
Before-Original Scrapbook Room
w/desk that came with home

Before-Dining Room

Yes, its indeed messy,
messy, messy...

...but soon it will be transformed into my new functional Scrapbook Room. The desk will be moving out and some 12x12 jetmax cubes will be coming in!

Organize your Stuff Challenge:Intro

There comes a time in every scrapbooker's life when they need to literally put their foot down and "come out of the closet" so to speak. This is usually because the closet can no longer hold the mass of gadgets, embellishments and paper. ...and in lieu of a catastrophic death by scrapbooking supplies when a guest inadvertently opens said closet, a choice must be made. Purge or Expand.
As luck would have it, I have a fabulously wonderful spouse, who humors me and my addiction (yes, no matter what anyone tells you, it is an addiction). I think that step one is acknowledging you have a problem: Scrapbooking. It is kind of like a 12 Step Process...and no, I do not yet know what all of those steps are yet...when I become a zen master scrapbooker I'll share. But, right now I am a neophyte... but this is what I have learned so far....
Step 1: Acknowledge the addiction...your addiction... Scrapbooking (and it is about you).
Step 2: embrace this addiction... after all it is not about me, I am creating a record for my decedents, recording history, preserving it if you will (yes, back to step one, I lose my addiction, it is about me).
Step 3: Collect the necessary tools to "create". Mastered!
Step 4: Find a storage area. It can be a shoebox under a bed, a shelf on a closet, or (*cue the pearly gates, rays from heaven, ah-ha harp music*) a scrapbook room/ dedicated space.
Step 5: Find a place to create.
This brings us to the purpose of this blog. Step 4 and Step 5. ...and as I said before, fabulous spouse. Yes. When we were looking for a new house in 2008, I asked said fabulous spouse for a room of my own- a Scrapbook Room. It would make me ...happy, more productive, more know...all that. He, of course, wants me to be happy, is hoodwinked into believing that I am in fact helping to preserve memories for the future, etc, and as far as addictions go, this is definitely on the milder and less destructive end. So, we were green lighted for a house with a scrapbook room (if it was in our budget). We (I) found one with a master bedroom and attached nursery, perfect for (a) babies (NOT happening. I am perfectly ready at this point to wait for grandchildren), (b) a study/ office, or (c) Scrapbook Room!
Yeah! My own room- a Scrapbook Room! Since June 2008 I have been the proud owner of my own space! Upstairs, tucked away from the bustle of family noise... er the family. My Family. So, the euphoria did not last. I am a working mom of 3, with a travelling husband. So, I kept schlepping my stuff down stairs to scrap at the kitchen table so that I could spend "quality time" with my family which I only saw until 7:30 AM and then from 5:30PM-8PM (and husband until 10) and weekends. OK, I know that scrap time is not quality time, but at least there is intermittent banter... the occasional face that is not frozen with that "please just take the darned picture and stop embarrassing me" smile... the ability to stop children from escalating to the global thermal nuclear war phase of fighting... you know quality time.
I kept telling myself that my lack of scrapbbooking was due to the kids schedules- no not it. My lack of organization- my room looked like it was at the loosing end of a bar brawl. That had to be it. I kept dumping and rummaging , and it had to be organizing. One of my scrapbooking friends told me about a website for scrapbookers that might help: and I discovered their message board with the last week of a 29 week Organizational Challenge. Agghh!
I missed it!!! I was this close and I missed it!!! ...Luckily, while I joke that my family stepped on a leprechaun on the way off the Island, and that is why if it weren't for bad luck I'd have none at all... it was not so this time. The fabulous Wookiemouse (scrapbooking guru, I am sure), who moderated the challenge, posted all of her information for those weeks here on blogspot!
I read this opus of organization and realized what my problem was (besides myself). It was the space itself. What good is a Scrapbook Room where you never scrapbook?
So, I have decided to perform a hostile takeover of our dining room. It has never seen a meal (it has white carpeting for goodness sake!) and is an eyesore due to its current function of catch all. One of the TwoPeas members (Crisann) decided to revive this Challenge for the New Year! Thank you, Crisann. The next 29 weeks I will be posting my progress for any and all to see...warts and all. And, Hopefully, by the end it will be both organized, and using my space... creating again.