There’s Air In There – Maximizing Your Craft Storage Space at Home and Away

Hello everyone Tiffany Spaulding here today on the Creative Scrapbooker Magazine blog.
The most important thing about maximizing storage is using ALL the space you have.  I know you’re thinking, “of course, I’m using the space, it’s full”.  But if you take a look around your room, your closet, even your crop tote, you may find that your space is filled with air.
Open Shelving
I started with this shelving unit from IKEA, it’s called Fjalkinge.  Maximizing Your Craft Storage | Creative Scrapbooker MagazineTo maximize your storage space, you’ll want to fill that space from left to right, top to bottom and back to front – L2R, T2B, B2F – that means going vertical if you can and when you can. It’s easier to do than you think.
If you have items sitting on your shelf that are different heights, you’ll have a lot of wasted space.  In this image, the box on the left nearly fills the shelf, but as the boxes get smaller the “air” space gets bigger.
The solution to filling the space is a simple one.  Add more shelves, drill more holes, and store “like-sized” items together when possible.  Maximizing Your Craft Storage | Creative Scrapbooker MagazineWhen I modified this shelving unit, I had my husband drill more holes in the shelf frame.  The frame of this shelf is metal, so it was just a matter of choosing the right type and size of drill bit.

Learn from my mistake
Measure your storage products first, whether your using Fab Files (as shown on the shelf – 8×8, 6×6, & 5×7) Desk Maid Storage, Paper Handlers, or some other type of storage. If you measure and plan around those items, you’ll be able to do an even better job of maximizing your shelf space and adding holes to your shelving units.  Remember to include the thickness of your shelf in your measurements.  My shelves were ¾ of an inch thick, so the space for a 13” tall Fab File required holes drilled 14” apart.

One nice thing about scrapbooking is that many of our supplies are similar sizes – 4×6, 5×7, 12×12, etc., this makes it easier to fill shelves with like-sized items. As you can see in the photo, there is very little “air” space left after modifying the shelving unit.  Maximizing Your Craft Storage | Creative Scrapbooker MagazineFilling your cube style storage shelves
Cube shelves are popular for craft room storage.  Personally, I like the IKEA Expedit or Kallax, (no kickback from IKEA, I just believe you get a very good product for the price). I know the major craft retailers sell similar cubes, so it really is a matter of personal choice, since they all work well.  Maximizing Your Craft Storage | Creative Scrapbooker MagazineThe challenge with cubes is how to arrange your supplies so they’re visible and accessible without wasting space. When you stack things into the cubes you either have to unstack everything to get to the items on the bottom or you knock over everything in the front trying to get to the things in the back. Not only is it difficult to get to your supplies but it is difficult to know what’s on the shelf.  You also have to leave a certain amount of space around your supplies, just to be able to pull things in and out of the cube. The whole situation can be very inefficient and frustrating.

Go Vertical
To fill these cubes from L2R, T2B, & B2F and be able to grab what you need quickly – your best option is to go vertical.  Choose storage tools like Stash and Store Boxes, Paper Handlers or Fab FilesStash and Store boxes will give you the small drawers you need to store everything from ribbon to washi tape, teardrop inks to glitter glues. 3 Stash and Store Boxes will fill a cube, but you can mix and match them with other vertical storage tools to fill a cube that’s perfect for your supplies.  Maximizing Your Craft Storage | Creative Scrapbooker MagazineVertical storage is great for paper, but it’s also a perfect way to store things like WeR Punch Boards, punches and wood mounted stamps.  You may already have some storage items that can be turned vertical. Take a look around your room, what’s laying flat that could be turned up on its edge? By going vertical, you’ll save space and increase accessibility too!

Cube hack – add a shelf
If you find you’ve got extra space above your supplies, consider adding a shelf below them.  At first glance, it doesn’t look like there’s much empty space in this cube, but when you add a shelf and turn your vertical storage on its back, you gain a few more inches of space. Maximizing Your Craft Storage | Creative Scrapbooker MagazineHow to create this simple Shelf
What you need:
2 pieces of ¾” x 3” trim board
¼” MDF shelf size will vary based on the Cube system you have in your craft room.
Measure your cube length and cut the trim boards to fit.
Glue the trim boards to your existing shelf if you want the shelf to be permanent.
My supports stood on their own in the shelf.  I didn’t use any type of adhesive, so I can move them if I need to.  Maximizing Your Craft Storage | Creative Scrapbooker MagazineCrop Tote
If you pile supplies on top of each other in your tote, you’ll have to dig down through them to find what you need.  You’re probably tired of hearing me say “Go Vertical” – but if you can do it in your tote you’ll be sooo happy!!!  You might already have the perfect organizers for going vertical, but you never thought about standing them on their end or side.  It’s helpful if you have things that are similar in size and/or that stack together.  All of these items can fit neatly into a Craft Crate and remain visible and accessible.  Maximizing Your Craft Storage | Creative Scrapbooker MagazineItems like 4×6 Fab File boxes can be turned on their ends and be stack on top of each other, if you need the one on the bottom it’s simple to lift out the one that is on the top.
Clear vinyl Buddy Bags will help you contain a variety of products, These can be packed into your tote vertically, and labeled on the ends.
Other tools and supplies can be stacked vertically as well. Try using open-ended boxes to create the perfect spaces for your tools and supplies, without interrupting accessibility or wasting space.   Maximizing Your Craft Storage | Creative Scrapbooker MagazineIf you’re considering buying a new crop tote, think about what you have and what you carry.  There are many totes to choose from, but I prefer a completely open tote, like the Craft Crate. This is because an open tote allows me to customize the interior, so it can work better with my unique combination of supplies. I don’t have to worry about things fitting, or not fitting, into particular pockets sizes.  I also don’t spend my crafting time unzipping pocket after pocket, trying to remember where I stashed my washi tape – with an open tote I can see everything.

Thanks so much for spending a little of your time with me today.  I’m happy to help you find solutions to your organization challenges if you’ve got a question please leave it in the comment box below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Tiffany Spaulding | Creative Scrapbooker Magazine
Tiffany Spaulding

To get more great storage ideas be sure to visit Tiffany’s website – Totally Tiffany

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