Find Focus with a Clean Slate with Olatz Garaiyurrebaso

Amy Melniczenko

July 18, 2015

As part of our Simple Tip Saturday series, we’re inviting fresh voices into the mix. Today we’re hearing from Olatz Garaiyurrebaso with her simple tip.

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What is one way you simplify scrapbooking?

When I start a project, my first step is picking the photos I want to work with and then gathering a relatively small kit that would suit the project that I have in mind. This kit isn’t a commercial kit or a collection. It’s a “handmade” kit composed of various things from my stash. In order to pull together this kit, it is very important for me to start with a clean desk and with a very well-organized stash. While building my kit, I separate the supplies by type rather than by manufacturer. It is easier for me to reach for an item based on the type (a wood veneer, a sticker, a paper, a die-cut, a tag/label, a bulky embellishment, etc.) rather than remembering what collection it is from or what manufacturer made it.

What problem does it solve for you?

Having a well-organized stash and a clean desk, with just a few basic tools, helps me to focus on the project and the story I want to tell and to create my project in a short period of time. Once I have all the items in my “handmade” kit gathered, I focus on sticking mostly to those items in order to avoid getting lost in my stash while searching for that one item that might be the perfect addition to my project. And when I really need something that isn’t in my kit, my supply organization (by type) makes is easy to find a particular item without having to do a lot of searching.

Why do you think it works so well?

One of the best things about this method is that it allows me to keep my desk relatively clean.  I only take out what I think I will use. Once I finish a particular project, all of the bits and pieces remaining in the kit I’ve created can be placed back in my stash easily and quickly using my ‘organization by type’ method. When I am ready to start my next project, my desk is clear and I can easily build another small kit to work with on that project. This system helps me to effectively work with my stash without being overwhelmed.

How can others get started with it?

The first step is to clean your desk and keep out only the supplies and tools that you would like to have on hand for every project. For me, those basic tools are double sided tape, a trimmer, a black pen for journaling, black ink and a date stamp. I recommend keeping all of the other items in your stash organized in drawers or boxes that are easy to reach but out of my immediate working space. For example, I have one tray with all my stamps organized in clear plastic pockets, another tray full of mini bottles with my wood veneers (separated by type as well), a drawer with my small collection of washi tape, a box with my alphas, a bottle with all my clips and so on. The great thing about this method is that you can separate your supplies into as many categories and subcategories as you may need based on your stash. My final advice – be aware of your stash and keep your desk space simple! 😉

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