Sunday, April 9, 2017

Storage options - cabinet vs enclosed boxes

 I am continuing my re-organization of my studio...

Storage options - cabinet vs enclosed boxes

First let me say that I use what I have as much as I can. I also try to make something work, but as I have said numerous times on this blog, its ok to re-evaluate your solutions.

One evaluation I had most recently was to decide that the metal and plastic cabinets have issues I was no longer willing to deal with. These were made for use in a garage environment so concern about dust was probably not considered at all. But for a crafter, dust is an enemy and to be avoided if possible. One way to deal with it I was already doing was just being selective in what I was storing in these cabinets. But when I evaluate what I was storing in them and how it was causing me to divide where I store things, so I was forgetting what I had; I felt I wanted to think of getting rid of them. Not because they don't work at all but just I can find other ways to store items. 

There were three metal tall cabinets and two shorter, wider ones. The tall ones I really used and the shorter ones I didn't. The main reason I didn't was because I couldn't get to them. Mostly I didn't use them because I didn't ever get around to finding just the right items to store in them because they were hard to get to.
Mounting them to the wall was an option but one I wasn't willing to do. These cabinets didn't fit too well in the black shelves and I wasn't prepared to move them to the white ones either. Once I decided to get rid of my desk and move the black shelves I also decided to get rid of the storage drawer cabinets.  But what to do with the items actually stored in these cabinets?

My solution was to purchase more photo boxes. In 2016, I decided that for my project boxes stored in shoe boxes I would replace with photo boxes. I planned that I would do this over time by buying only when they were on sale. I had done so, but used this as  time to buy more. There is nothing wrong with shoe boxes. But the photo boxes provide consistent sizes and that is what led me in that direction. 

I decided that I would also use the photo boxes for storing supplies as well. 
  • Ribbon/Trim - keeping the bags I had in the big bin, the only change was to have them 'filed'. But it did take two photo boxes to store all of it. I love being able to quickly find the color I am looking for without having to dig in the big bin. Another thing I did was to give up on the case binder. I really loved the case binders I have but I don't have enough of the pocket pages to fill up. I re-purposed it to another task.

  • Flower making - I'm not totally happy with this box, but for now the items from the storage cabinets are moved inot one photo box. I plan to get these 'filed' as well.
  • Kits - rearranging things from my tall plastic drawer cart to the photo boxes, I split them into Furniture and Misc. and I 'filed' them using the dividers that came in the photo boxes.
  • Electrical - got it's own photo box. I think I may use some smaller boxes inside to help organize this as it is a mass jumble. Another solution I may consider would be the plastic divided boxes.


I visited the thrift store and found 6 divided boxes - these are the plastic fishing tackle type things. I've used some for years for my swaps
For the swaps, I had significantly reduced what needed to be stored by making and furnishing my Swaps Mall. So my first step with the divided boxes was to consolidate swaps into fewer divided boxes. 

I even pulled other items like my resin rabbit collection into these. They were previously stored in the drawer cabinet so they needed a new home. Now they are altogether waiting for a new home in a mini project.
Another step was to use only the smaller fixed section boxes for swaps (I have gotten these used at thrift stores, but usually get them from the local craft dept store) and use the ones with flexible divided sections for supplies. 
  • Wood strips and bits - all my wood except some wider pieces are now sorted into 3 divided boxes. Yes, 3 because I had them available and also because I had that many scraps in assorted places. I now have wood in 3 places, these boxes, a drawer for larger flat pieces and a large cardboard box for the remaining long pieces. 
  • Pencils and pens - these were in the cabinets and needed a new home. A divided box worked and a second smaller box for my permanent markers.
  • Glitter and sequins - spent a couple of evenings sorting my sequins by color. I know silly, but therapeutic for me. I just love color but prefer it to be organized. The sorting paid off later when I just needed silver and could go quickly to the silver section.
  • Plastic bits - I previously had most of all this in a shoe box size cardboard drawer. But this way I can find things easier. Larger bits (that I am less likely to use for smaller scales) are still in the cardboard drawer.
  • Screws and such - I previously had two drawers in the storage cabinet. Oh and various other spots around. So I consolidated it all into one single divided box. This one was an odd ball compared to the others.
  • Previously, I had a divided box of doors and windows for 1:48 scale but added a second one for other building components. Mostly I spread out the stash into two boxes because I had them, but I also found some of these stored somewhere else so now everything is together.
Moving all this around I freed up some other boxes and wanted to find places for more things.
  • Tape - it is in a plastic shoebox. (shown above)
  • Clay - these was moved from the plastic shoe box I just mentioned into a 3 section snap together box. This way all the clay and tools are together.
  • Kid art - I keep on hand some kid friendly art items like markers, scissors and glue. These all are in an additional snap together set box.
  • Small boxes - literally little boxes. I keep these from when I unpack my swaps or other purchases. These then are used when I need to ship something or for the clear ones I will use for display.
  • Stamps - I can't seem to part with these (or these pink boxes), a leftover from other crafts. These could easily go in a photo box instead.
  • Punches - these needed to move from the cabinet drawers and have found a new home
  • Glue and bulky paint - these, for now, are on the bottom two shelves of a black bookcase. I still need to decide if this will be their official home. Can also see the stuff stored in the corner. I left a gap between the book shelf and the wall just for the storage of large flat things.
  • Paint bottles - I have been collecting small mail boxes to use to separate by color. I like this better than the bigger bins I had, but I wish they were deeper to fit the depth of the shelf.
  • Scissors - the fancy kind and my handle hole punches - these all fit in the top of the medium rack tool box (see below)
  • Tools - the extra tools I had stored in the drawer cabinets needed a new home. I finally succumbed and purchased the medium size tool rack system. I decided on the medium size because I felt the larger one was too big, especially since I had the smaller one to hold most of my regular use tools already. I got this one from Michael's with a coupon. I choose to elevate the small one to fill room on the shelf. I do tend to leave my tools out and so the two bins below make for quick clean up. The little shelf was a thrift store find. I also added a piece of foam-board under the toolbox so support the front cover that is sticking out. This is so a divided box has something to sit on. The medium rack box has the front cover removed. These are easy to remove or take off. The shelf above was left that far up to allow the top portion lid to be opened. All my tools including a small hammer (except rulers) are in these two boxes.

That's all for now.

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