Friday, May 2, 2014

Storage Solutions: Paper & Card Stock


As promised, I will be sharing all my organising and storage ideas in my craft room. I thought I'd start with paper & card stock.
This & this will tell you about my journey so far...

**Edited to add: This has actually ended up being one super long post! I realised I'd actually rambled quite a bit! So, if you'd rather get straight to the important bits, then please just scroll down until you find some text in blue and read starting there. On the other hand, if you're up for some virtual (one-sided) chat with a girlfriend, then sit back and read it all, maybe with some coffee? :-)**

I'm a paper hoarder (actually I think all we paper crafters are big time paper hoarders!) and this is kind of an important area for me. It's always been a problem area for me, to be honest. Back when we used to live in a two-bedder, I had crammed all my craft supplies into the closet in the spare bedroom. I had these canvas hanging shelf thingies from Ikea and had stacked all my paper and card stock on one of them. It got to a point where the cubby holes started sagging and everything was just one big mess. I hated looking at it! Well, not as much as I hated the state of my paper and card stock in the study in our new home before the big transformation! You see, on a mini organising whimsy I went and got a couple of those bog-standard white storage cubes. I didn't even think for a second if the cubby holes were deep enough for my 12x12 patterned paper and card stock to fit. I think I'll safely blame it on baby-brain, I was heavily pregnant at the time :-) So when we got home and found out that the paper wouldn't fit, hubby gave me a big fat "Oh, you didn't do your research" look. But there was no way he was going through all the trouble to return them or buy more stuff. So, as ghastly as it sounds, all my paper and card stock sat in there, pathetically hanging off the edge of the shelves! Such an eyesore! And not to mention a potential threat of them getting wrecked. So when we decided we were going to re-organise the room, one of my big priorities was finding a practical solution for all my paper and card stock. I wanted them to be neatly organised and easy to access.

My friend (Linnie) suggested stacking them horizontally - either on storage cubes (ones that are big enough, heh!) or tucked away inside deep drawers (the Alex series from Ikea are a great, great size). I ended up getting two units of Expedit from Ikea. The cubby holes are big enough to hold 12x12 paper. While stacking paper and card stock horizontally was a great idea, I still wasn't very sure. Of course, it could work well for some people, but for me, I find it rather difficult to get to a particular sheet of paper somewhere in the middle of the stack. I'd either have to pull it out carefully (imagine the table cloth trick!) or pick up the rest of the papers on top. Also, I'm the kind who likes to flip though all my paper and muse over the patterns and colours before I pick one, so horizontal wouldn't really work for me.

The other option, of course, is storing them vertically. I had seen quite a few craft room tours on YouTube where people had stored their paper & card stock vertically in magazine holders. "Now that's a brilliant idea!", I thought. Soon I realised the magazine holders available locally weren't big enough for 12x12s. Aaargh! Then I saw the Cropper Hopper paper storage folders and thought they were great, only they were 40-something dollars a piece, and before shipping! Never mind.
Then one day, I left the kids at home with hubster and went shopping, alone. If you're a mum to two little ones, you'd know the magnitude of that sentence, LOL! There's just so much peace and quiet that your brain can actually process better :-)  And at this fun Japanese store called Daiso (where everything is $2.80, by the way!) I found some plastic bin-like things that looked a lot like the Cropper Hopper paper holders. I was so thrilled, I can't tell you! $2.80 a piece, sturdy and big enough for 12x12s?? It was like I won the Lotto! Well, almost...because I did measure them (see, brain functions more efficiently when kids aren't around) and it was a teeny-tiny bit smaller than 12 inches. Ah, never mind, they were an ugly cream-ish white colour anyway.

Then I went into a Dollar King store and after a casual look-sy around I was just about to leave when something caught my eye. There were these clear plastic bins on the lower two shelves, in the far left aisle, some place I almost never get to. They had actually used them to hold some page protectors and other stationery that were for sale. And luckily, they were for sale too. (Even if they weren't I was quite happy to negotiate with the pretty Asian lady at the checkout counter!) They were strong and big enough for my 12x12 paper, I checked :-) Now, I'd won the Lotto!

See I would never have been able to find hidden gems like these with a screaming toddler, a fussing baby in the pram and an impatient husband in tow! And at $7.50 a piece, these babies won with a big, big margin over the Cropper Hopper ones :-) (Oh yes, not a dollar. Here in Aussie not everything in a Dollar Store is $1. Makes you think why they'd name it that! Anyway.)

Them and my paper & card stock - a match made in crafters' heaven :-)
Look how they sit pretty, all snug in the cubby hole.
I got 4 of them and ALL my 12x 12 paper & card stock fit in nicely.

Next, A4 card stock. This was easy peasy. I just got a couple of magazine holders from Ikea. problem solved.
Okay, last but not the least - paper scraps. Did I say I'm a hoarder? Yep, I can't part with all those small bits of paper or card stock leftover from projects. I save them for other projects so I can get best use of all my pretty paper :-) But things were getting out of hand when I had too many of these saved bits and no organised place to put them in. For this I had a clear idea in mind. I got these B5 size clear folder cases from Daiso.
One for each colour, labelled and neatly stood up, how cool is that?
A good word of advice here, if your leftover piece is anything smaller than a 3x3 piece, chuck it in the bin. Not worth saving, only adds to bulk.

So, that was all about my paper & card stock storage. Hope I didn't bore you? Did I cover everything? If you have any specific questions please ask :-)

Next up - Stamps!

Until then, happy crafting!


Satch said...
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