Monday, November 4, 2013

Cottontail Cottage Studio has moved

Welcome to my new studio room.

My daughter moved out this past month and that freed up a room to make all my own.  No more did I need to take up space in my bedroom.  (I had about a third of it.)  You can see pictures of my old spot here.

Having a whole room, I knew that I was going to be spreading out.  After cleaning the carpets, I moved everything from the old space to the new room.  My hubby said it looked like my studio exploded in the new space.  Maybe I was over eager as I did have to move stuff more than if I had set it outside the room. 

We moved the shelves on railing from the old space - leaving some rails and a shelf in the bedroom for the tv accessories.  TV may be mounted to the wall but still have extras connected to it. 

Over last week, I got everything in place and I started sorting some things that were in multiple places.  It was truly tons of fun for me as I felt so inspired by my move.
One thing I was inspired to create was the sign for the room.  (Shown above)

I started adding new labels to boxes and drawers. 
Then my daughter comes over....  She said she had found some shelves.  She found out a business was closing and was selling everything including the fixtures.  So I got two new shelf units.  Used, but still good.  That meant I had to do more arranging. 

Finally here it is - my new studio room....

This is the view from the doorway.  To the left (where the snowy house is sitting) are two drawer carts.  Between them and the wall the black shelf is on is a closet door.  That closet now stores all the Christmas decorates and more. 
The black shelf was one of the shelves I got from the store that was closing.  The only bad thing was only one shelf is adjustable, but for the price I will live with that.
All the boxes at the bottom - got new labels and is where my future projects are stored.  Above that is some other projects in process and also various things (especially rabbits) that I like.  Top shelf is where I have various containers that may one day be a project container. 
Next to the black shelf is two cardboard chest of drawers.  These all got new labels as well. 
Beneath the window is a box for storing scrapbooking things - but because of the new shelves it is empty - whoo-oo!  I added a throw for the kitties to lay on.  Which they do.
To the right of the window is a card table that I have used for scrapbooking - in the living room mostly.  Now it has a permanent home.  The black shelf was the second shelf unit that was recently purchased.  I have room for both my saw and also scrapbooking supplies in the shelf.  This frees the table to be used for what I need at the time and not stuff on top of it as I had originally planned.  This extra chair provides a second spot for a kitty to lay as chosen by my Juni.

This view shows where the railing shelves went.  I had to rearrange half of this area when I got the two new to me black shelves.  In organizing this room I tried to put things I was likely to use most often as close as possible to the place that would be used.  In this case - many of the miniature making supplies are there next to the desk.  Under the desk to the right - there is a third cat spot available taken currently by my Logan kitty.  That corner is all my wood stuff and tall materials. 
Here's my desk in its new spot.  The rabbit shelf on top had been in storage.  I guess I thought I didn't have room for it here but I like have more of my rabbit collection on display.  The TV tray my netbook is on, makes a great side table.  I can have it out or not. 

So there you have it, my new studio location. 

Still organizing...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Storing Swaps and other finished items

This was previously posted on my smallpackages blog.  But after participating in the recent Quarter Connection online convention, I thought it was appropriate to revisit it here (with a few updates) on my organizing blog.

This storage solution works because I am storing 1/48th scale items. These are from mostly from online swaps or purchases from miniature shows.
I used to do a lot of swaps (make 10 same items - send to central point - get back 10 different items) and I still do the online convention totefavor swap ( make 50 items ... get back 50 different) for Quarter Connection. ( I don't so much enjoy making the multiples, but it is all worth it to get the different swaps back.)
The first big swap I did was for the first Quarter Connection online convention and I did 125. So I got back 125 and real fast I figured out I needed a way to store them. It was fun to look at them and read what the sender had written in their packaging but when it came to finding something to use, it was a nightmare. So one day I decided to do something about it.
Temporary storage for show and tell
For the recent convention - I made 27 swaps - received 24 back.  3 were donated to the convention to raise funds to cover the costs of mailing.  I also participated in a table swap.  I made 9 items and got 9 back. I also could have done 1 larger item, but ran out of time.  If I had - I would have gotten 1 larger swap back that would have been different than the rest of the swaps. 
So I have nearly 40 items that I want to show people.  Instead of taking them out of their packages individually to show and then re-wrap them, I will put them together in a divided box.  I hold them in place in the box with mini-hold, a waxy like product that is non-permanent, if I am worried they might get damaged moving around.  I can take that one box with me to show off and then later, I will transfer them to be with the rest of my swaps as discussed below.
Store Swaps or finished items in Divided Boxes -
I had purchased some divided boxes from Hobby Lobby. These boxes are the kind without the moveable dividers and that works. I still use those, but I prefer the ones made for fishing tackle (or whatever) that have the moveable dividers.
In this photo, the swap box contains furniture.
Store them by Theme or Type
In the cases where I was in a specific theme swap, I have them grouped together by the theme. However for the most part I do have them grouped with similar type of item.
Some of my other boxes are Kitchen, Garden, Building components, Holidays.
I also have a few boxes that are totally themed, like ME and fairy. These were swaps that were themed and although there might be a bed or a chair in them they have a special theme and I want them together by that theme/style.
Go 'Shopping' for a project
When I get ready to build a kit such as a house, I 'go shopping' in the appropriate swap box. I pull out anything I think might work with the house kit.
With regards to larger scales, I didn't have this volume issue that needed a storage solution. In that case, I generally stored furniture in a box together by room as well, I just didn't have so many. I also might have used a single box (probably a shoebox or other similar size container) per project.
Record who made what with detail
As for the names of who made the swaps I got, well, I write that down and then log in my computer. I have a excel file that lists what I got, when I got it and who it was from. My first list was lost so I don't have all the original makers unfortunately. One thing I have learned about doing that is this. Write it down and be detailed. Example, white bench by abc is not as good as white wood bench with painted purple flowers by abc. Because I have swapped so much I found it was important to be more detailed. I also write the initials on the bottom if I can. This helps to decide if it was by ac vs eg, unless made by two ac's. At least it gets me closer to recognizing who made what when I go to use it.
Yes, I like to record who made what that I use, so that is why having the database is important to me.
By recording it, I have no problem with separating that item from it's packaging which goes in my swap boxes by type or theme.
Alternative to divided boxes - make your own
Another idea for storing items where the divided boxes aren't available is to use mini muffin wrappers in larger tray type box (1 inch deep and cut the wrapper if needed.) Or make your own wrappers by folding into boxes to divide the tray. Just make sure the trays go into something with a lid.
Another person mentioned having some boxes with plastic lids. She said she could add the muffin type wrappers. I like that idea as you can see what is in the box without opening.
Another thing I like about the idea of trays, whether divided boxes or the just mentioned ones it that they can be stacked on a shelf and by labeling the ends you can pull out the box you need to 'shop' in at the moment.

This photo shows these divided boxes stacked on a shelf. The two boxes on their side on the right contain embroidery floss so no problem to have them on their side. Because I do not have the swaps in packaging I do not turn them on their side.
The slightly wider ones are the 'tackle' box type with moveable dividers. The shorter and narrow ones are from Hobby Lobby that do not have moveable dividers. If you can pick one or the other, I prefer the moveable dividers.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Review that Storage - You might find something you forgot

Camping Organization
My family has been going tent camping for ten years now. For several years we used storage tubs to hold our kitchen supplies. The tubs were rain proof but it was no fun to dig through the tub to find what we needed.  Nor was it fun when everything had to be put back just so.  My organizing solution was to use drawer carts instead of the tubs. The drawer carts make items so much easier to access.  We still use some tubs for food items and bigger kitchen supplies. To make the drawer carts rain proof, we purchased a vinyl grill cover that fits over them.

How Camping relates to Minis
Drawer carts aren't expensive but when every dollar counts, so temporary repurposing saves money.  The drawer carts I have are all used normally to hold miniature supplies.  Part of my camping routine now involves removing miniature supplies from a drawer cart and then filling it with the camping supplies.  I don't use the miniature supplies while camping so I just store them in whatever I have on hand.  When I return and unpack from camping I refill the drawer cart with the miniature supplies.  

Here is a pic of the filled drawer carts for camping: 

If you look closely at the pic you may see there is writing on the front of each drawer.  My family frequently asks me where is …? and this was my answer to that.  It didn’t stop the question, but it did reduce its use.

Labeling drawer carts
Since these carts are used for minis and only temporarily for camping, I use clear packing tape that I stick on the front.  Then I use a permanent marker to write the contents.  I have never bothered doing this labeling for the miniature supplies, but I should.   

Removing labels
I remove the packing tape label when we get back from camping so the mini supplies can go in instead.  If I ever buy a set just for camping then I would leave the labels on. Removing the tape/label is really easy and if any residue remains then I would use one of the citrus based cleaners which really work. 

More organization in drawer carts
This year I added some smaller bins in a drawer to help contain the silverware.  I am even thinking I want to look at a thrift store to find a used utensil drawer liner.   

Second drawer cart organizing solution for camping
This year I decided to take this idea one step further.  We normally use a bag of some kind to hold our clothes.  Packing a bag is one thing but living out of one is another.  I have tried using multiple smaller bags, but it was still a hassle.  I decided I wanted to store my clothes in drawers as well. 

Here it is view of my first choice which normally holds miniatures supplies: 

I removed all the miniature supplies and began packing my clothes in it.  Then my husband comes in an questions whether or not it would work.  His concern was would there be enough room for both our clothes – yes, and would it fit in our tent – no.  Our tent has sloped sides and we usually put the bags of clothes at the end of the bed where it is quite low. It can’t go there, but it could fit in the middle.  However that space is usually taken by beds.  So hubby convinced me this one wasn't going to work.  But I wasn't defeated about using drawers for our clothes yet.  
I had some other storage drawers around the house that I emptied. These provided my husband and I with two narrower drawers and one wider drawer each.  

These actually worked out way better than even the two carts I use for the kitchen things as we were able to stack them however we wanted.  In my hubby's case he uses a battery powered fan so he can sleep at night.  The fan always before sat on the bag of clothes and each night had to be adjusted so it would sit right.  This time he was able to set one drawer separately for the fan to set on.  These drawers also acted as bed side tables.  Another thing was that the combination of two sizes the drawers weren't straight up and down as in wider at the bottom and that worked great with the slope of the tent.

One serious advantage to the drawers is that when our tent was being flooded from the bottom up - our clothes were staying dry unlike a cloth bag would.  When it rained before, we would set the bags on the air mattresses, but didn't need to do that with these plastic drawers.

Storage Review
Finding that second camping storage solution had me emptying out current solutions for miniature supplies.  I rediscovered items I had forgotten I had. I found an unopened box of small plastic boxes that I thought had all been used up. It occurred to me that going through my storage could be a really good idea to help me be more organized. 

My suggestion is this: once a year, go through every box of storage, especially those spaces that don’t get opened very often.  Don't just open it to get something out.  Instead take everything out and look at what is stored in that space.  Even if all that gets done is putting everything back into the same storage box/bag, fresh memories of what was there will be created.

If doing this all at the same time is too much, do a few boxes each month or an area every other month, or whatever, but the point is to look at what you have so it becomes fresh or new.  This may even help for remembering not just what one has, but where things are. It may even help you decide to pay forward something to someone else, whether you sell it or give it.  It might help you to avoid buying two (or more) of something you already have.  It could spark a new bout of creativity.  At the very least, it will remind you of what you have.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tool Storage - my newest solution

Art supplies in a tackle box
When I was in college I took several art classes.  Art classes require supplies.  I purchased a simple tackle box - the single cantilever tray type.  This worked fine.  However when I switched to making miniatures I found this box to no longer fit my needs.  It was mostly the tacky glue bottle.  Most bottles did not fit into the box.  Secondly if the bottle did then it had to lay on its side.  This might be ok if the bottle was really full as the glue would still come out but if not, then the glue would take too long to come out. (Tacky glue, unlike plain white glue, is not thin and doesn't run to the end; instead it settles making it harder to push out when it is not at the tip.) This meant that if I used that  box I was pretty much left with carrying the glue bottle separately.

Oh No! Glue Disaster
My replacement for the tackle box was a simple plastic box - similar to a shoebox.  Only problem with this was everything was jumbled together. 
Then one day, I didn't have the glue bottle in the box - it was a new bottle and I laid it on top of a project I was working on.  I left it in a car and the heat from the day caused the glue to expand and the lid to come off - out poured glue all over the project.  That was the last time I ever considered placing a glue bottle on a project - even unfinished.

Traveling Solution - wicker baskets
For many years, I would travel (by car) to mini club and so I needed to take my tools and other supplies with me.  So a traveling tool solution was what I wanted.
For many years - 20 +, I would say, I used a wicker basket for my tool storage.  Here is some photos:
In the front of this basket I had glued together two clear cosmetic organizers.  The kind that have various sections. 

Most of my tools fit in this section, including, scissors, tweezers, knives, small rulers, extra blades, toothpicks, pencils, sanding sticks and whatever tool I used regularly.  In the back area I stored glues, boxes with clamps, a small cutting matt, and a small plastic gluing jig.
The back was also a catch-all area for a bottle of paint or whatever if I was traveling to miniature meetings.  I usually kept a small glass bottle that the glue bottle could sit in with the tip down.  If the bottle leaked then it would leak into the glass, not my basket.

When I traveled to mini meeting and needed extra space such as for a project or additional tools or items to work on this project, I would use an additional larger wicker basket that I kept for that purpose.  I still use this basket as needed.

Downsizing meant I needed smaller tools
A few years ago I downsized my miniatures, I decided I would focus on smaller scale miniatures.  I downsized by selling or gifting anything in larger scales that I didn't have definite plans for.  I also did the same for supplies that were excessive amounts - who needs yards of fabric in a larger scale when focusing on smaller ones?
This downsizing also included my tools.  For my tools this meant I was no longer trying to carry larger tools.  I didn't sell or gift any tools unless they were duplicates, I just found a place to store them until needed for a specifically. 
I limited what I put in my tool basket to only small sized tools.  So instead of a 12 inch and a 6 inch ruler, I only kept the 6 inch ruler.  The 12 inch ruler was left behind in my studio unless I knew I was going to use it specifically. 

smaller is not necessarily better
On a side note - smaller is not necessarily better.  I purchased a small handled plier set.  I couldn't use them as they were too small.  I did sell or give those away as I knew they were of no use to me.

Overflow tool storage
All of my overflow tools remain in my studio area and are stored in a drawer cabinet. 
I have them sorted by type of tool.  So there is a drawer for punches, fancy scissors, spare paint brushes, pliers, sharp tools and other misc, tools.

Time for a change
Recently I decided that I was ready for a change.  My basket was starting to be too full.  This was due to both adding things I don't necessarily need in my tool box and also a change in what I wanted to store there. 
I decided I would search for something different.  My search turned up many options.  I was actually surprised by what I found.  This surprise was both good and bad.
First the good...
I was leaning towards an enclosed box - most likely in a tackle box style.  I have a stacking caddy with the latches on the end that has a lid. These snap together and has three layers and the lid. I do have one of these I use for a particular set of tools that I carry with me to somewhere. 
There are two things I do not like about this style of box.  One is the latches.  Seems like a good idea at first being able to add levels to the lid, but they are a pain.  Maybe it is this particular brand which is a knock-off.  The second thing I don't like is that the sections are too open.  It is fine for the use I have it for which is teaching crafts to kids, but not for my mini tools.

Next I looked at tackle boxes.  Tackle boxes today come in two basic styles.  One is a box with trays that cantilever when the lid is opened.  I had one of those.  My problem with this style was two fold, the  issue of wanting my glue to stand up.  I could never find a box that allowed my glue bottle to stand up as the area it might sit was never deep enough unless I went to a very big box, which I didn't want to do. 
The other type of tackle boxes I see is the ones with plastic divided boxes in a shelf like set up.

How I solved my glue bottle problem...
First I have discovered that I really prefer a small glue bottle.  One solution was the tip bottle in the glass holder.  Only problem with it is that it was often dried up and I had to clean it out.  Doable but not fun every time I mini.  My problem is that I too often would think I was going to come back and mini a day or two and then real life kept me from it.
My favorite solution is a glue pen, but even it has issues. The type I use has a lid with a pin that fits into the tip.  This pin has a tendency to get broken. Secondly, the glue dries up.  Of course this is true for many glue bottles.  I have found that it is fine if I leave it on its side as I am working. 
Another answer I have found is to buy the smallest bottle I can find.  I figure if I throw away half a bottle because it is dried up, then there is no savings in a bigger bottle.  Smaller bottles also fit into my tool box much easier.

Hard sided tackle box with divided box
Searching for a hard sided tackle box that has the divided boxes, I found several choices in size.  I was leaning towards the smaller one, but was open to a medium size one for the difference in the style of divided box that was offered in the bottom section. 
My first choice became a Plano 1354 4-By Rack System 3500 Size Tackle Box.  I went with a cranberry colored one, but I did find this same style in different colors.  One in particular that is marketed to the craft industry is called Creative Options Creative Options Grab 'n Go Rack Storage System.  This one is same just a different color and different price.  I am more a red person and I didn't see paying more just because it was called something different.
My second choice was a Plano 1364 4-By Rack System 3650 Size Tackle Box.  This one was slightly larger than the 1354 and provided two different style divided boxes.  This one can also be found in the Creative Options colors and is called a Creative Options 13-Inch by 10-Inch by 14-Inch Grab and Go 3-by Rack System.  These two variations were similar in price. 

I ordered the Plano 1354 first because I liked the price and also it matched with my overall size desires.  I figured if I decided it wouldn't work, I could send it back.  Although when it got to the house both hubby and daughter said they would take it if I didn't want it.

Before I share pics of the Plano 1354 and my set up, here's the bad stuff I feel about the craft organizers I found.
First tackle boxes are designed for fishing lures.  The shapes of compartments are not made for craft tools or supplies even when they are marketed to craft industry.  The manufacturers have simply made them in different colors and relabeled them.  I found this to be true of the boxes marketed to the art industry as well.  This isn't a deal breaker but it is still sad.  Maybe I shouldn't complain and be happy that we can now find boxes that are in different colors.  No, I am still sad.  But I will still buy them.  LOL
So here is my new toolbox

Let me be clear - this is small.  I had to make some choices in what I could put in this box.  I also made some modifications.
I started putting different tools into the boxes.  I grouped them together by type.  I discarded tools that wouldn't fit or were redundant - really I don't need 6 emery boards, 4 different knives and 2 of each kind, etc.  I had to make some hard decisions on things I felt before were essential, but maybe I can work around that.

Once I decided what I wanted in each box I labeled the boxes.

I decided that I wanted to have my small cutting matt in my tool box.  This was something I could have bought another one that was smaller, but it nearly fit and I determined that I did not have to have the full size that it was.  I only needed to cut off a small section about one inch on one side.  I debated having it in the top section.  In order to do that I had to configure a way to hold it so it would not get warped.  I may still do what I was considering, but for now I did not.   I cut the cutting board so it would fit between the divided boxes.

I also added funny labels to the top of each box.

This last one also shows the cutting matt and how it was trimmed to fit. 

I did make some modifications to the boxes once I decided what needed to go into them.
I used my multi-purpose tool to cut away the two center walls so that the scissors would fit.  Then I used the dividers provided to close off the top section.
In another box, I also modified cutting away a wall to allow bigger items to be in the box.  Without the modifications, only narrow (1 inch) tools would fit.

In this one the same modification - removed a portion of two walls - was done but the divider is inserted in the center section to keep those items housed.

Oh and that pesky glue bottle - I now have two in my toolbox.

My most recent purchase of small glue bottles was a cross between a small bottle and the glue pen.  There were two bottles or tubes of glue in the package.  The smaller one is shown in the left side of the above picture.
The other bottle I have in my toolbox is in the top section (shown below).  At least until I know I can count on the small pen anyway.

The top section is a catchall area and I am using it to contain certain larger items and also as a open space to add to as needed.  That is one advantage to working in smaller scales. Some kits will fit easily in this section. 
This a section where I may yet modify. I am considering drilling holes in the ribs; then adding a thin sheet of flexible plastic cut to fit that can hang via thread or elastic bands from the lid.  Being flexible would allow items below it to bend it if needed, but contain some items that can fit up inside the lid.  This divider would help make this area more organized as well and not just a jumble.   

What I really like about this toolbox
I really like the flip down front - it can be flipped up and the lever like latches don't have to be latched in order for the divided boxes to stay.  Although for travel of any kind, I would latch them.
I like that the boxes are divided which allows flexibility for the various items I might wish to store there.
I like that is small and compact.  There really is no wasted space. 

What I don't like about this toolbox but none are deal breakers for me
I don't like how hard the latches on the divided boxes are to close.  Fortunately they don't have to latch for what I am storing and also the outside flip front latches just fine if the boxes themselves are not latched.
The divided boxes are all the same - would have been nice to have same size but different configurations of the divided sections.  I did search to see if could find a same size box that would fit the slot but haven't yet.

I am still considering adding either of the next size, but don't really need it as all my secondary tools are safely stored in the drawer cabinet.  Course if I get it from one of the hobby chain stores and use a coupon....

Monday, July 22, 2013

Inaugural post of The Organized Miniaturist

For my inaugural blog post I want to clarify that my title of organized is a goal not an achievement.  I think that in some areas/ways I am more organized, but in others I know I am not.  I noticed recently that a major theme on my mini-smallpackages blog has been about storing and organizing.  I decided I wanted to separate that theme, so I have started this blog: The Organized Miniaturist.

I am a perfectionist and I love to rearrange and reorganize my life.  This is true for both my minis and everything else in my life.  I think I have a rearranging/reorganizing gene as I can’t leave well enough alone.  This started early in my life.

Growing up in a small space
Growing up it was common for my mom to have tell me to clean my room.  More often than not, when I did this it involved rearranging and reorganizing.  These two go hand in hand in my mind, as when you rearrange furniture and the like, it is often I find a new way to organize as well.  In my teenage years this rearranging included not just the furniture, but the posters as well.  Maybe not every time were the posters rearranged, but certainly if I got a new one, I had to find a place for it.  I recall quite vividly once rearranging all the posters on every wall.  This particular time I removed them all.  We had very dark paneling on the walls and it was quite amazing to see the difference that those posters had made to my room.  They lightened the atmosphere very well.  There was no doubt that those posters would all find a new place to be hung (by thumb tacks or staples) as the room was just too dark without them and my mom agreed.

My mom was always amazed with the new ways that I was able to come up with to rearrange my room.  She is a arrange-it-once-type person.  I had a very small room growing up, but it was my own.  I am very thankful, I didn’t have to share. Being small didn't stop me from rearranging and I feel it helped mold me into a more organized person.  If you collect things like I do - the more organized they are the more that will fit reasonably into a smaller space.  Although fitting into smaller spaces does not automatically make it more organized. 

Married life with me includes my rearranging things
My husband was initially amazed by my rearranging the furniture.  He has learned over the 20 + years of marriage that it is just something I like to do and might as well go with the flow as it will make me happy and he might just like the new arrangement better.  Over the years some arrangements got used again as they did indeed work better.
When we moved to this new house, I was so excited not just because it was a new house but my kitchen presented me with all sorts of opportunities to arrange the kitchen stuff.  I am very thankful for all the cabinet and drawer space.  Even that is not immune to my rearranging gene kicking in.  Although in the kitchen’s case it wasn’t the entire kitchen just a few cabinets that I decided would be better suited to have certain things in a different location which afforded those items more space.  On the other hand the bathrooms have been the bigger challenge for organizing. 

My family understands my need to be organized and they certainly try to stick with the program, but they sometimes don't understand how my mind works (unless I have explained a particular location) so they do put things away in the wrong place occasionally.  I have considered taking a picture of my cabinets and drawers as I have them organized and then putting the pic on the inside of the cabinet.  Cabinet pics would be great, but not sure about the drawers.  But I have not done that, YET! I haven't taken the time nor I have decided if that is more organizing OCD than I really am.

When things get put away incorrectly I do try to be patient about it.  After all the reason they were put away wrong was because someone besides me was doing the dishes and that is something to be thankful for.  I also realize that not everyone has as good placement memory as I do. 

Christmas is the most likely occasion for me to want to rearrange.  Bringing a Christmas tree to the living space may require rearranging or at least require small changes.  My husband was actually shocked that when we moved to this new house five years ago that I didn’t rearrange the living area as often as before, but I think I am back into the swing of this as the past two years have brought the rearranging gene back in full force.   

Why I like organizing and rearranging
I just get tired of the same old thing.   I want variety in every aspect of my life.

One distinct advantage to rearranging is that pieces of furniture or collectibles can be shown in a new light.  It makes things seem fresh.  Even when I wasn’t rearranging the living area furniture I was rearranging my miniature collection.  I talked about that on my other blog.    I do that, not because I want to get rid of everything or maybe even anything, I just enjoy change.  For example, I prefer the warmer months, but I really like the changing seasons.  Change can be a good thing.
Another reason I rearrange is I don't like the way something is working.  I get a new something that I want to use.  I might have gotten the new thing at a thrift store and in that case, I had a spark of this might be useful or it comes to me later how I want to use.  Or I could have decided my current solution is not working for me anymore and I buy a new solution.  One reason a solution may stop working is the items needing stored has grown or for traveling.

I want to be very organized as I realize how helpful it is to me to be able to find exactly what I need without searching.  I have found that searching for things can be a big time waster.   My philosophy on organizing is to use the smallest container that works for the items storing.  This means I am far more likely to only pull out that one container.  I tend to use smaller containers within larger ones.  However the smaller in larger attitude must be workable.  I don't want to dig in those containers to find the smaller.

One advantage to rearranging things is that it forces me to examine why I still have something.  I am given a choice to find a new location or decide to get rid of it.    I don't make the choices lightly, I will often think about it for a considerable time.   I am more than willing to make these choices as I have found it to be very freeing. 
Until my next organizing post, feel free to check out my previous posts on organizing minis.  They are all listed on my Organizing Index page.