Blog Index / Chat Room / Team Gallery / Member Login

Time-Lapse Video of My Closet Transformation | Workspace Wednesday

Before this room became my office, it was a teenage boy’s bedroom. The walls were navy blue and the closet an odd shade of peach, no doubt a relic from the past. And because teenaged boys don’t use hangers, there were dozens of nails pounded into the walls of that closet.

When I moved into the room, my objective was to create a functional workspace as quickly as possible. That included using whatever random furniture I could find as good-enough shelving in the closet. For two years I crammed my albums, memorabilia, shipping supplies, and books onto one sagging shelf, one tiny bookcase, and what was actually the top of a media cabinet.

I knew there was plenty of space in that closet, but it wasn’t being used effectively. I needed shorter, but deeper shelves – and more of them. I needed more baskets and bins (from elsewhere in my house) here in this space, to contain the stuff that couldn’t sit upright.

I needed a closet makeover! 

In the video below you’ll see how I transformed my craft closet into a simple and functional storage solution. My only purchase: two shelving units for a total of $100.

My closet project took just a weekend. I went all-in, focusing my attention on getting this done. Nearly everything was repurposed. Even the paint was leftover from my daughter’s room.

How to Transform Your Closet

Yes, this was a huge project. It was totally doable because I took it step by step and I continuously envisioned the end result. I was ready to have a clean and functional closet that would help me get things done.

Here are five steps to follow for your own transformation:

1. Empty – If you can, remove everything from the closet or workspace. Make sure to keep an eye out for trash.

2. Clean – Dust, sweep, wipe, and mop every surface. Dirt accumulates and you want to start completely fresh.

3. Paint, if needed – A fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive and easy way to dramatically transform a space.

4. Set up storage – Prepare your clean slate with whatever furniture is returning to hold your stuff.

5. Fill – Finally, add items back to the space one by one. Take care to group like with like and remember to leave room to grow.

Does your craft closet need a makeover? Click here to access four free videos where you’ll learn the simple way to get organized.


The Simple Way to Get Organized

Last year I put together as series of video lessons for the first Stash Bash event. These were a favorite of participants because they a.) were helpful and b.) featured cats as demonstration aids. Yes, cat videos!

I decided to update the best of that content, creating a free video series called The Simple Way to Get Organized. This is foundational stuff you can refer to again and again – and it will make you smile.

Free Video Series: The Simple Way to Get Organized

To get access to the first video, click here to sign up. You’ll also receive an email from me when subsequent videos are released. There are four videos in the series!


The Top 5 Organizing Challenges (Solved)

Earlier in the summer I asked our Facebook fans about their biggest organizing challenges. The response was fantastic!

Recently I transferred all of the comments to a spreadsheet and began categorizing the issues you face. While there was a good diversity of interests, the vast majority of the responses fell into five categories.

  1. You want to access your supplies more easily.
  2. You just have way too much stuff.
  3. You don’t have enough space.
  4. You have trouble managing in-progress projects.
  5. You can’t get around to organizing.

In this post I want to offer some of my best advice for tackling these common challenges. Then, later this week I’ll have a free video series that teaches you the fundamentals of getting organized.

The Top 5 Organizing Challenges (Solved)

1. You want to access your supplies more easily.

The most common organizing challenge you face is efficiency. Whether on large or small scales, you have trouble knowing what you have and how to get to it quickly.

Tackling this challenge requires looking at both how much stuff you have and how you’re storing it. The more you have, the harder it will be to find what you need and to store it effectively. Before you look at streamlining your workflow you’ll need to streamline your stash, even if only a little bit.

Next, imagine yourself in the act of scrapbooking. With each category of supplies you want to organize, consider how you identify and use the items. How can you reduce the number of steps it takes to find what you need?

2. You just have way too much stuff.

Let’s assume you’ve decluttered and parted ways with the supplies you’ll never use again. And you still have too much stuff! There is hope.

At a certain scale of stash, it’s just going to be more difficult to have everything within easy reach. (This goes for digital as well as traditional supplies!) It’s at this point where I recommend coordinating your own kits.

Treat your stash like a superstore and go shopping. I like to create kits for one layout at a time, but you can even gather items in larger quantities to create mega kits for multiple pages. You’ll be far more efficient by selecting supplies in a different instance than actual scrapbooking.

3. You don’t have enough space.

Most of the time, literal space constraints are not easily fixed. However, you can make the most of what you have by scaling back on quantity and looking for optimization opportunities.

Small space scrapbookers do best by shopping with space in mind. Try to become pickier about products and avoid buying duplicates. Make sure to match your shopping rate with your scrapping rate!

With less coming in (and maybe even more going out), you can also seek out better storage solutions. Look for opportunities to use spaces under tables or up the walls. Can a closet be configured with shelving?

4. You have trouble managing in-progress projects.

I am not surprised this was a common challenge; I totally face it too. You’ve got several things going, maybe even not excessively, but there never seems to be enough flat surfaces. And if you have a small space, oy vey!

If you’re like me, you also resist putting an in-progress project in an envelope or box because you might (or you will) forget about it. I get it, but there’s a trick. For each item you put away for now, add it to a list.

Seeing this list growing will deter you from starting new projects and help you see everything “on the table”, even if not literally. You can even use our Quick Start guide to make decisions about what to work on even easier!

5. You can’t get around to organizing.

Organization can sometimes feel all or nothing. I either takes up all your time or you let it go, to overwhelming consequences.

To combat this cycle I plan organization sprints into my year, intensive periods where I work hard on getting it all together. Then, the rest of the year I do my best and don’t stress.

Knowing that I’ve reserved time to get organized helps to appease the part of my brain that craves order, while making sure that managing my stuff doesn’t get in the way of using it!

Did you resonate with this list? Leave a comment sharing one step you want to take to tackle your own toughest organization challenge.


How Does Your Creative Workspace Make You Feel?

When you walk into your creative workspace, how do you feel?

Tired or excited?
Confined or open?
Tense or at ease?

While some find it easy to always be organized, most of us have to work at it. That means some of the time our workspaces can feel overwhelming – and not conducive to creating. Even a cluttered computer screen can feel as overwhelming as a cluttered desk!

During our springtime Stash Bash event I overhauled a closet that made me sigh and shrug every time I looked at it. It made me feel guilty and exhausted, so I avoided using anything in it.

Transforming the closet required a short-term burst of energy and focus (a sprint), but then it was done.

How Does Your Creative Workspace Make You Feel?

Now when I look at my closet I feel full of energy, spaciousness, and peace. It not only invites me to create, but to continue my organization journey.

You, too, can transform how your workspace makes you feel. Here are three of my best tips:

1. Commit to the task - By setting specific dates to start and finish the closet, I gave myself permission to really dive in. I also eliminated procrastination and excuses from getting in the way of starting.

2. Break it down – Look at getting organized as a series of small tasks or challenges. From start to finish I treated the closet as a checklist of doable projects, so I could see my progress and feel accomplished every step of the way.

3. Enlist cheerleaders – It would have been a lot harder to take on this closet project without the encouragement of the Simple Scrapper community. Sometimes what you need most is a high five and motivation to keep going.

To begin, your first step is think about what could be possible with your own organizing sprint. Leave a comment sharing one word to describe how you want your workspace to make you feel.


Community Show & Tell

Each month our team works with the new membership materials to create inspiring layout examples. You can see their favorite layouts in the monthly team gallery.

Community Show & Tell at Simple Scrapper

To celebrate each month’s gallery reveal, we’re hosting a Community Show & Tell. The team will be linking up additional layouts posted to their blogs and galleries. Their entries will be noted with (CT) after their names.

You’re invited to join this monthly event by sharing something of yours. It can be any scrapbooking or card project you’ve recently finished and want to share.

Welcome to the Show & Tell

P.S. Don’t forget to leave some love in the form of a comment when you visit other blogs and to pin your favorites!