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Topic: Miniaturists/Shrine makers: How do you organize tiny things?  (Read 4772 times)
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CamOovas
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« on: July 19, 2012 01:19:29 PM »

I have a huge problem. I have a whole craft room and NO IDEA how to organize it.   I dabble in everything, but mostly fiber (needlefelting, fiber processing) and making tiny things.  And anyone who makes miniatures knows that that hobby involves everything from clay to paint to scrapbooking to woodworking to junk collecting.     How do you organize your stuff, particularly found objects that don't have a purpose yet?  I'm looking for something a little more creative than just tossing everything in a box.  I'd like to organize somewhat by project idea, but as for trinkets I've collected here and there, out of sight usually equals out of mind.  I need my things to be accessible and visible so I know what I have to work with.   Does anyone have a genius organization system?? If you do, pictures would be greatly appreciated Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2012 01:35:27 PM »

This is a great thread!  I have a few organizers but seem to have stuff everywhere.  I'm also curious how folks store  stuff so as not to completely forget you have it.
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microjivvy
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2012 03:35:59 PM »

I mostly throw stuff in a box.  Cheesy

I do have many divided boxes (I think they were made for beads? got them at Target or Michael's or Joann's).

I also have an old desk with nine drawers. My jeweler's bench with many drawers.

However, I do have an organization tip -- those hanging shoe bags and/or jewelry organizers.  If you have a place to hang it and you get one with clear pockets, it's a fabulous help and requires little space.

Jewelry bag example: http://www.amazon.com/Household-Essentials-80-Pocket-Accessories-Organizer/dp/B0010XX7ZQ/
Shoe bag example: http://www.amazon.com/Honey-Can-Do-Clear-Organizer-Storage-White/dp/B001F51AHG/
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2012 04:06:03 PM »

I also use divided boxes.  I love your hanging organizer suggestions!
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2012 06:43:25 PM »

I saw a brilliant idea once. No photo, but it's simple so you can surely imagine it:

You collect some same sizes jars with lids. They can be from baby food or up to spaghetti sauce sized jars, or I guess even some of each if you like. 

Screw the lids to the underside of a shelf you're using in the room, then fill the jars and screw them into the lids securely. That way you can see the contents, they don't take up extra space, and you're organized for batches of small items.
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2012 01:22:28 AM »

I'm just posting so I can see the ideas people have - because my stuff is randomly placed and I'm unable to find most of it.
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2012 06:52:28 AM »

I have a huge can that Christmas popcorn came in that I toss things into...I also need a better way to organize those special things so that I remember they are there!

Can't wait to share ideas!  I might work on my wee house more if I knew what I had without digging around!
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2012 08:47:49 AM »

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with this problem!  I've started collecting glass jars.  I was thinking about putting up some shelving in my craft room and I like the idea of screwing the lids underneath... I have a system like that in my garage for screws and things.  I also use tackle-type boxes for organization, but I run into the problem where they are not very see-through.  I guess I am needing everything to be clearly visible for inspiration purposes Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2012 08:59:46 AM »

Me, too...I just scored some free shelves from work!!!  My boss is in a redecorating/cleaning up mode and is throwing a bunch of stuff out!

I got a whole box of see through cd cases, see through plexi shadow box frames, and see through plexi flat frames...I bet I can use them to store some stuff...
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2012 09:39:30 PM »

I am a preschool teacher/director and for the kids, we organize by color and with bins. We put a photo or drawing of the stuff in the bin on the outside of the bin which makes clean up a snap - cars? They go in the cars bin. People? They go in the people bin, and so on.

I just started organizing my sewing stuff in a clear plastic shoe holder. My apartment is so dark that I have trouble seeing the black versus the navy, the maroon versus the red thread. So after I take a lamp-making class next month, I'll still have the organized sewing things hanging on the door. (I live alone so I really don't care if my apartment/craft palace ends up looking like a preschool classroom!)

I also LOVE the shoe and sweater bins from the Container Store. Again, I label or put a picture of the contents on the end - even though they are semi-transparent. I have also decided to make my life a bit easier and sort by simpler labels - wood stuff, metal stuff, plastic stuff. Those supplies are in the Container Store sweater bins which are about the size of a case of wine. The medium size bin, which I think is called a mens shoe bin, is good for flat storage - about 9" x 12" so they're  good for all papers, except 12" x 12" scrapbook paper. And I have many sets of shelves, and I have just started putting all the paper stuff on the same shelf; the assemblage and found objects together; electric tools and hand-held tools on the same shelf; and so on.

I am DETERMINED to be completely clutter-free (the floor and desk tops) by September 1st. Then I will truly be the Crafting Queen!

I'll be back to pick up tips from the rest of you.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012 09:41:21 PM by Smmarrt » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2012 06:10:30 PM »

I have those divided boxes meant for bead work which are great for the tiny items.  I also use Ziploc bags, label them with a Sharpie, and then organize them into plastic storage boxes that I can stack on the corner of my desk.  I found that is the best way for me to keep track of random wood pieces, findings, and found objects!
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2012 10:52:55 PM »

I have a couple of ways that I organize things. I has some pictures, let me show you them!


This is the wall opposite the door of my craft room. There are three bookshelves with an amalgam of crap. Please don't mind the dog bed on the floor......That the 18lb cat lays on too. My computer desk and printer/scanner are to the left of the bookshelf on the left.




This is the one on the left. On top I have the plastic divided containers. There are 11 with beads, 2 with charms/pendants, 1 with vintage buttons (mostly glass), and 1 with "miscellaneous crap". I also have two "books" with small containers for Swarovski, and two containers for seed beads. I use a Dymo electronic label maker to label EVERYTHING! On the second shelf is my plastic box with drawers. Again everything is labeled. This is mostly jewelry making things, with some random stuff in it.  Third and fourth shelves are office supplies.  Bottom is books and magazines, divided into magazine holders and labeled. I only keep crafting books and magazines in here.


This is the middle bookshelf. On top are ikea jars that I used chalkboard paint on. There are markers, some art supplies etc. There is a square jar that has ribbon it in. I wrapped the ribbon around clothes pins. Works well for short pieces. Second shelf is snap together tubs by snapware.  More ribbon, feathers, measuring cups, punches, moss, paint pens, colored pencils, dominoes, etc.  Then what I did is remove the last two shelves. I then stacked sterilite drawers on the left and then the 12x12 sterilite drawers on the right. Again, labeling is my friend! In the 12x12 drawer area, drawer 1 and 2 are tape. Drawers 2, 4 and 5 are rubber stamping supplies. Drawers 7,8 and 9 are paper and embellishments. This does NOT include the 8 drawer scrapbook tower that is stuffed full lol. OH! and on top of the 12x12 thing, are these awesome things I found at Michael's made by Tim Holtz. They are like printers trays but made of paperboard so you can embellish them, and have removable containers inside. I cut paper to fit and podged it into the different little sections and use them for flat and small things.


This is the bookshelf to the right. The top 4 shelves are fabric. I just fold and stack. The bottom is just random crap that finds a home in here.


This is my super awesome ikea desk. I love it because it has a glass top and it's easy to clean. To the left of it, next to the fabric bookshelf is a stacked set of white mdf drawer things I got at Michael's. These have poly clay, pasta machine, altoid tins, my glitter and glitter glue etc. My desk has regular glue and other crap in the left. In the right side cabinet is sewing supplies. To the right of the desk is the like 8 drawer scrapbook storage that is full. lol.  Oh and please excuse the mess on the desk, I was making miniature something!


This is in my closet. I found them at Walmart for $10. There were 4 cubes to a box, so I got two. I ended up epoxying the joints together cause it kept falling apart. This section is for yarn and tools. I may move the fabric in here too and the tools out to the bookshelf.

That's my area! It's usually pretty messy, so you got to see it on a good day! haha, my DH calls it "The Room of Death" because of all the halloween decorations/skulls/skeletons, which just makes me happy cause I love that stuff! Hope that gave you some ideas!

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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2012 08:35:49 AM »

I see some good ideas in your space!

I also use my label maker for everything...Cheesy

I am pretty organized when it comes to supplies and common stuff, like beads, yarn, etc.  What I need ideas for are for those special things that I collect that I don't want to forget about...

I have a clear "bead" box that I keep special buttons in...maybe I need one of those to keep those special items in...I also like the idea of using small baggies and marking them...putting them in a basket on my workspace...I just found a " metal Doo-dad" next to my car when I came out of the gym...things like that...how do you keep track of them? Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2012 10:44:36 AM »

Wow, lots of good ideas. I think I may need to invest in a labeler. Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2012 11:36:15 AM »

I also keep a notebook with a list of supplies I have and where they are located...

I keep supplies for a particular craft all in one box: flowermaking, small crochet projects, yo-yo-'s, etc. "Kits" like these are kept under the desk next to my computer and TV...I can just grab a box and make something while watching tv...

I will take a picture of an idea I am trying for my special little "finds"...
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kstaron
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2012 11:30:26 AM »

little bags, boxes, and jars are your friend.
First I keep all my papers together, all my yarn together, all my clay together and such.

For little pieces I do tend to throw them into boxes marked "found items" "trash to treasure" or "whimsies" I do a couple other things too you might be able to use:

I found a pill dispenser with 56 compartments in it. I use it to put my smaller finished minis in before I'm ready to use them in a project. That way I can make a few dozen candle sticks, potion bottles, or loaves of bread and still find them later.

I have a set of jars that used to hold spices that can hold things like old bottle caps, small dominoes, little shells, watch parts and other goodies.

I have a large mason jar I keep all my buttons in. If I have a matching set of buttons I string them onto a large safety pin first so I can find them if I need things to match. The mason jar was painted a translucent purple to match my sewing room and the top is decorated as a fairy habitat.

I have decorated boxes for my lace, ribbon and paper embellishments.

I'm also in the process of decorating one of those little display cabinets shaped like a little house to show off the minis I've done but not used yet.

Hope that helps. Happy crafting!
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« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2012 12:12:29 PM »


I found a pill dispenser with 56 compartments in it. I use it to put my smaller finished minis in before I'm ready to use them in a project. That way I can make a few dozen candle sticks, potion bottles, or loaves of bread and still find them later.


This is the best idea ever!!!
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CamOovas
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« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2012 09:07:17 AM »

Well I have had a week of discoveries, mostly in my garage Smiley  I have been hoarding small shelving units and printer trays for like 5 years and pretty much forgot they were in there.  So I plan on painting the walls, spray painting my shelves and filling them with random sized jars and handmade/swap-received miniatures that don't have a home yet.  I also found a bunch of organizational things, some that I've received in swaps and just not had the right place for yet (or the organization!).  AND Michaels has all their bead organizers 50% off this week so I invested in a few of those and also found scrapbook paper sized files on super clearance.   I'm so excited to actually be formulating a plan... although my plan keeps making this project bigger and bigger!
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« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2012 10:21:56 AM »

Great finds!!  I do use the large paper files to store my large sheets of papers...come to think of it...I know I have some printer trays and silverware trays out in my garage as well...but where do I store them--where will you put yours, CamOovas?

I threw out a lot of cans and non-see-thru containers...sometimes too many containers is not the answer!

I had to get into my paper crafting and painting room last night and decided that I really need to find a better organization system...I had four huge bins to get through to find what I knew was in there for a project...I think I am going to use up all of these old clear paper sheet protectors and a few notebooks to see if I can at least put some of the best images and papers in...nothing like spending two hours looking for the right head to glue onto a project...grrrr
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« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2012 12:54:10 PM »

I know I have some printer trays and silverware trays out in my garage as well...but where do I store them--where will you put yours, CamOovas?

I'm planning on hanging them up on the wall.  For those times when I think "I need to make a miniature cat/flower pot/fruit basket/etc." but then have no actual project to use it in Smiley  I also get lots of cool handmade mini things in swaps that should be displayed until I am ready to use them, instead of tossed in a box or something. 

I'm trying to get as much as possible into vertical storage rather than taking up valuable work space on the desks- I get too messy that way.  It would probably be fairly easy to turn them back into a under-desk drawer though, if you are wanting to lay them flat.  At least it sounds like it should be easy.....
« Last Edit: July 25, 2012 12:57:14 PM by CamOovas » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2012 01:56:20 PM »

I am with you--I am horizontal space challenged!  I need to go up!
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« Reply #21 on: July 26, 2012 11:38:25 AM »

Clear plastic bins.
And these, though most recently they've been used for small vials of seed beads.
http://cn1.kaboodle.com/hi/img/b/0/0/65/5/AAAAC6HiocMAAAAAAGVY-w.jpg?v=1249966134000

Also, when I find I've got too much stuff I make up a parcel of goodies and mail it to another craftsterer, lol! I just sent two off today actually, ha ha ha!
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