Small Scrapbooking Spaces: Organizing In Any Size

by Lain Ehmann on December 28, 2011

tiny craft room organizationGot a tiny craft room? Organization can seem tougher when you’ve got less space to work with, but you can still make small scrapbooking spaces into lovely areas for your crafting. Trust me, in the almost-15 years I’ve been scrapbooking, I’ve scrapbooked at the kitchen table and in a closet before finally getting my own scrapbook room.

It may seem like the more space you have, the easier it is to organize. But not necessarily; I’ve discovered that when you have more room, you can hold on to things longer and make bigger messes! When you scrapbook space is small, then you have to keep things picked up and organized or you can’t work.

No matter how big (or small) your craft room is, here are some tips for getting things in order:

  • Purge, purge, purge. You can’t organize clutter. The less stuff you have, the easier it is to keep it organized, to make it look pleasing to the eye, and to find what you need quickly. Added bonus: When you keep only what you love, you will love your pages more – I promise!
  • Organize how you work. No two scrapbookers work exactly the same, so be careful when you organize according to what you see in a magazine. For instance, I love the concept of Stacy Julian’s “organize by color” approach, but that’s not how I look for my supplies. I don’t look for “something orange,” I look for a brad or a rhinestone. That’s why I organize according to item type.
  • Containerize only after you’ve purged. Once you’ve gotten it all down to a manageable amount, you can hit the Container Store and find cute boxes and storage solutions. But beware – you may find you forget what you have if you cannot see it, or that you are overwhelmed unless everything is out of site. The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker helped me realize that I like to have a variety of different storage devices for my goodies. For instance, I like to have my ribbon scraps in open containers where I can paw through them, while buttons belong in closed, clear containers. Brads and small embellishments, and rub-ons and letter stickers, are in closed drawers — out of sight until I need them.
  • Take advantage of ignored space. Hang your projects in bags on skirt hangers, or put items in shoe bags on the back of your door. Think vertical, upside down, or side by side.
  • Purge. Did I say that already?

Organizing, no matter what size space you have, is an ongoing process. It’s not a “one and done” kind of thing; you should spend some time weekly or even daily to get everything back where it belongs. It will pay off in time saved looking for that perfect button that you just KNOW you have… somewhere!

P.S. If you’re looking for more guidance, professional scrapbooker Aby Garvey has a fabulous class on “Organizing Small Scrapbook Spaces.” The 30-minute video includes lots of tips and suggestions for any scrapbooker. Check it out here (it’s about halfway down the page). 


  • Sassynagle

    I started my purging process by calling a local nursing home and spoke to the activities director.  She was happy to receive my over abundance of supplies.  Then I kept a box handy and as I sorted through all my stuff I placed the things I just don’t love so much anymore inside.  As you have said, Lain, when you know the things are going to a good place, it’s easier to let them go.  It really felt good to donate the supplies and clean out my space!

  • Anonymous

    That’s fantastic! Great job! :)

  • Barb in AK

    I started reorganizing in October, as I let my space go to pieces over the summer.  Then company came, Thanksgiving came, Christmas came….. well, you know.  The space never got together and seems to be more topsy-turvy than ever.  I started with one box, placing unwanted, unneeded, unusable (to me) items in.  I was going to give the “un”s to the girl scout troop that meets at my workplace.  I’m up to three boxes now— and as I said, the room is still in a complete mess!  New Year’s Resolution:  Clean it up!  Get it out of the house!  or else, Put it away!
    I really do, REALLY DO want to get some scrapping done in 2012.  Thanks for your little nudge, Lain :-)

  • Anonymous

    You can do it- slow and steady my friend. It’s not a one-time deal. Hurray for the progress you’ve made!

  • Lynne

    me too about color. I once organized by color and realized it wasn’t working because I love the type and not the color. I find I can work with any color as long as the texture is what I wanted…

  • Anonymous

    So glad i”m not the only one! :)

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