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.
- You want to access your supplies more easily.
- You just have way too much stuff.
- You don’t have enough space.
- You have trouble managing in-progress projects.
- 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.
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.