Monday, July 31, 2006

When you Need Help Organizing your Hobby Supplies

By Christina VanGinkel

Sometimes, to see through the mess of a crafting room, you have to hire someone else to organize the disarray for you. This is where I found myself last week as I struggled to make sense of what I refer to as the spare room, a.k.a. scrapbook room. No matter which way I turned, I could not bring myself to even begin to make a semblance of organization. Piles of what I am sure looked like nothing more than scraps of junk to someone other than myself, looked like a pile of possibilities to me. With this in mind, I realized that I could not bring in just anybody to clear the mess, as most people would just want to scoop it all into the trash and announce mission accomplished. I had to find someone who could look through the obvious clutter and see much of what was there for what it was, scrapbook supplies, from embellishments to tools, paper is various sizes, and a wide assortment of various other scrap related broo haa haa. Here is where my plan came together.

Find Someone Who Understands the Hobby and Respects it as much as you

A friend who I have known for years commented to me that she was in dire need of some spare cash. With school starting in less than a month, and two teens in need of every item imaginable to get them going this coming school year, she was very receptive to an idea I had for her to make a few extra dollars. An idea that would work to both of our benefits, for me to gain ground on my never ending ordeal to reclaim some much needed workroom in the scrap room, and for her to earn enough to at least make a small dent in her kids list of school supplies. To make it all work as well I hoped I was relying on the fact that she is a scrapaholic herself, and sees the worthiness of those tiny scraps of paper and fibers as much as I do if not more. She is also an organizational wonder, with her home, from inside of cabinets to underneath beds, dust, and clutter free.

Therefore, today, she arrived early at my house to organize a space that I was beginning to think would never be organized. We walked through the room, discussing a few points of storage, but overall, I allowed her free reign as to what she would do. I promised not to interrupt, yet stick nearby in case she had a question or two. In the end, she did call me into the room three times to ask me specific questions about a couple of items she was unsure if I wanted to keep. She told me why she would toss the items in question, and in the end, we tossed two of them and kept the third. At the end of the day, I was blatantly amazed at the room's progression from a mess that looked to be in the middle of some major upheaval, to a space that was not only clear of disarray, but that was arranged in such a way that I could actually sit down to work on a layout, and see at a glance almost every supply from tool to paper, embellishments, and all right in front of me. She organized it all in a way I never seemed to be able to do, and in a way that will make it easy to work and still keep the supplies organized, as everything has a place.

If a family member is willing to help, this might also work out well, as they often know how much your supplies mean to you. They might also have a good understanding of the costs of replacing supplies that to others might look like nothing more than just a pile of trash in need of a good dumpster.

If You Hire a Cleaning or Organizing Agency, Plan to Work Alongside of Them

If you are a scrap booker with a dedicated space to scrap, or some other type of hobbyist whose hobby supplies have suddenly seemed to overrun the space you have for them, maybe it is time to call in some help. Because the supplies normally equal fun, the thought of spending time to organize them, to actually work amidst them, might seem almost sacrilegious. If it has come down to this though, and organization is necessary, it might be time to call in some help. If you do, try to find someone you can trust to handle your treasured supplies with as much care as you would were you to be able to sort through it all yourself. I lucked out finding someone who I knew, and it demonstrates that it can be done. If you belong to a group that is related to your hobby, consider someone from the group that understands the importance of the supplies you are trying to bring order too. If all else fails, hire someone to help, such as a cleaning agency, but work alongside of them so you know that nothing of importance will be tossed. Bringing someone such as this in will make you spend the time to get it done. Organizing hobby supplies en masse can be a job that is easier put off than tackled, but when it is all done, you will reap the rewards of an almost like new crafting space!

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