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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!


Scrapbook Organization: Are You Doing it Wrong?

Do you have trouble getting (and staying) organized? While there are many possible reasons, you might just be doing it wrong!

Are You Organizing Scrapbook Supplies the Wrong Way?

A lot of the information available on organization is related to storage. You know the kind I’m talking about, beautifully tidy workspaces full of containers all in a row.

Storage is actually the very last step in organization. That means when you start with “oh, that looks pretty”, you might be organizing in a way that hinders rather than helps your process!

To develop a system that works for you, you must first understand exactly how YOU use the items you’re organizing. There are so many approaches that work, but matching an approach to how you work and where you work is key.

The right approach makes it easy to find what you need because it follows you brain’s preferred, natural pathway. That’s why someone else’s “amazing” solution might not work for you at all.

To help you begin, I’ve developed a flow chart that can help you tease apart many organization challenges. It only goes to the highest level, but should shed some light on making sure you’re doing only what is necessary. (You don’t want to over-organize either!)

Are You Organizing Scrapbook Supplies the Wrong Way?

Click image to enlarge.

To get the most out of the flow chart, here’s an exercise that will help you compare what you’re doing now with what makes the most sense for YOU. But remember, don’t get bogged down in exceptions, sometimes and maybes. This is just a place to understand yourself better and begin.

Set a timer for 2 minutes. Close your eyes and imagine the process of creating a layout. What do you do first? What do you reach for next? How do you make choices? Use the flowchart to then identify organizing approaches that best match your natural habits.

Below I’ve elaborated more on what those high-level solutions might look like for you. With a first layer in place, you can get into more details. For example, you may not need to tag digital supplies by color if you never search for items by color.

Options for Organizing Your Way

Digital Photos
Use a date-based folder system – If you use a photo (or set of photos) as inspiration for a new page, you probably don’t need to over-complicate your system. Generally organizing by folder (especially in a visual program like Lightroom) will help you stay minimal and practical.

Use a tagging system – If you commonly look for photos of individuals or places across dates and events, you’ll probably want to add tagging on top of a basic chronological organization. If these types of cross-comparisons are not common for you, then you probably don’t need to tag photos.

Digital Supplies
Use a kit-based folder system – Many digital scrapbookers are tagging when they don’t need to be. By organizing by kit or product with well-labeled folders, you should have no trouble finding what you need. If you need to be able to browse the previews, tag ONLY those or copy previews only to a new folder for viewing by slideshow.

Use a tagging system – If you hunt for the perfect items for each layout, collecting along the way, then you should be devising a tagging system that fits how you hunt. Make sure to only tag to the level at which you actually search, not for maybes and might-be’s.

Paper Supplies
Organize by theme – If you frequently are crawling your stash for everything birthday (or sports or baby), then make your system work for you. Don’t fight your natural inclination.

Keep kits together – If someone else has pre-coordinated your supplies, the most practical thing to do is keep them together until the useful life has passed. Don’t make scrapbooking any harder than it needs to be. This can also work if you tend to get overwhelmed by too much choice and need to pre-coordinate your own working kits.

Organize by product types – If you don’t have any particular habits that necessitate and alternate approach, then organizing paper supplies by general types (paper, embellishments, tools, stamps etc.) will help you scrap faster and put away faster. If you have a small space (or no space), make sure you plan to pare down to what you really need and use often.

This big picture perspective on organization is the best way to get started. Knowing how you naturally work offers a clear lens with which you can evaluate the next great organizing solution.

Want help teasing this apart? Feel free to leave a comment on this post and I’ll be happy to offer my advice.

Are you ready to use up, declutter, and organize your supplies? Simple Scrapper’s “Stash Bash” organizing party returns September 17-21, 2014.


August Membership Reveal + Free Calendar Printable

Our Simple Scrapper members are already enjoying brand new content for simple scrapbooking, but you can join today to get immediate access to the following:

  • The new issue of Spark, our membership magazine.
  • Membership in our active members-only Facebook group.
  • A suite of must-have planning tools for scrapbookers.
  • Five new sketches and layered templates, plus a huge library.
  • Access to our Focus scrapbooking productivity program.

August Membership Features at Simple Scrapper

Membership is the best way to receive support in your journey to simplify and focus on what matters most, in scrapbooking and in life. Our community is supportive and welcoming! Click to learn more.

This Month’s Inspiration

Thank you to Jamie Leija, whose layouts inspired two of our sketches in this month’s collection.
Adventure by Jamie Leija | Inspiring August's Membership at Simple Scrapper

NSD by Jamie Leija | Inspiring August's Membership at Simple Scrapper

This Month’s Free Calendar Printable

Each month at Simple Scrapper we’re sharing a new free calendar for you to download and print. Use it to jot down memorable moments and make creative time a priority. We’ve even included Simple Scrapper events, so you never forget!

New! The planner now has fill-in fields so you can type and print.

August Scrapbooker's Planner: Free Printable from Simple Scrapper

Download ]


Around Here | July 2014

On the last day of each month I’m sharing a personal recap that will also be included in my Project Life album.

Around Here | July 2014

See more of my July on Instagram.

Around here I’m working hard now so that I can play later.

Around here we’re celebrating the end of diapers.

Around here I’m obsessively listening to the Begin Again soundtrack.

Around here I’m shifting my focus from eating well to moving more.

Around here she’s turned into a mama’s girl. #nocomplaints

Around here I’m excited to start reading Essentialism.

Around here I’m wishing there were more hours in a day.

Around here we’re totally creeped out by Extant.

Around here she’s started to ask “why” all.the.time.

Around here I’m looking forward to some pool time soon.

Around here I’m celebrating finishing a project.

How did July treat you? I’d love it if you shared one highlight, challenge, or realization in the comments.