Crafts · Organization

Finding order in the disorder

I’ve mentioned before that I like to organize, and specifically, I like to organize my craft supplies! Organizing supplies is just as much of a hobby to me as crafting itself. When it comes to ink pads, paper and coloring supplies, I like to keep things consistent to make it easy to find coordinating products to use in my project.

To accomplish this, I put everything in the same general color order using this chart (above).

My ink pads are first sorted by brand and then by color (on the shelf I keep them on). I use this handy ‘color swatch’ album (above) to see all my inks by color, which helps me find the right color ink pad out of the many that I own. Since I often color my stamped images, I’ve coded the book to know what kind of markers to use with what inks. If the name of the ink is in ‘blue’ pen, that means I can color my images with water colors or water based markers. If I used a ‘purple’ pen to name the ink swatch, it means that particular ink is Copic friendly and won’t smudge if I color over it with alcohol markers. An asterisk indicates I own the re-inker. <<Credit to Jennifer McGuire for the ink swatch book idea>>

Paper is also sorted by color, followed by metallics, glitter paper, and prints.

I even use my color order system to sort paper scraps in this handy Cropper Hopper storage folder (above). I only keep scraps that are big enough for a card mat – pieces that are smaller than 4″ x 5″ get recycled. I make an effort to use some scrap every time I craft – even if I cannot use it in my project, surely there is a piece that I can use to sketch a design on, or to stamp extra ink onto while cleaning my stamps.

Update June 2019: I’ve moved my scraps to a filing cabinet but they are still in this order.

Lastly, my beloved markers! I keep my Copics and Zig Real Brush Pens out in the open where I can grab them quickly. They are also organized by color and I keep color charts of both sets to help me decide what colors to use in the moment. I keep all my color charts in the same binder I use for my ink pad color swatches, so it is right at my fingertips every time I craft.

How do you organize your supplies? Does it work well for you? If not, try putting everything in the same color order and the next time you are trying to find the perfect ink color, I’m betting it will be easier to find!

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