Thursday, April 23, 2009

Organizing Recycled Art Supplies

Everyone had such great ideas to add to the list (which I did) and I thought of several more items to add as well so the list keeps growing :) Funny thing is...all that stuff that people suggested is in my stash already - LOL!!

Magpie, pack-rat, whatever you want to call it, I've got it bad ;)

It's so good to hear that I'm not the only one though! Dh thought it was funny because he knows never to throw anything away without asking me first. He's even started bringing things home from places he goes because it looks "interesting" and thinks I could use it for something! LOL!!!

I've gotten lots of questions on how I store these recycled supplies after I've saved them from the dumpster so today I thought I'd share a bit about some of the things I do.

First, lots of people mentioned acetate packaging.

Most of the time it's very bulky and takes up sooooo much space. That's very true, it really does. If you keep too many packages like this you'll end up with a house full of "stuff" and you won't be able to craft or move for that matter.

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That's why I always trim away the bulky parts and keep only what I know I will use. It's usually the edges of the packages that have the large molded areas that take up so much space. I always trim those pieces away...

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So I'm left with only usable parts that are far easier to store and take up MUCH less room....

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Ephemera (labels, post cards, ads, postage stamps, etc.) is hard to keep track of. How do you know where everything is when you need it?

This is what I store most of my paper/flat ephemera in...o.k....not just one of these but that's another story ;)...

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I keep things by what they are or specific categories....this way I know exactly where to go when I need something.

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When it comes to larger items I keep them in recycled boot boxes that the guys boots come in. They are pretty big (14" square x 6" deep) so they hold lots of stuff, they are very sturdy and stack nicely. You can't see in them like the clear plastic boxes but I can't see buying those types of boxes when these work so well. I label the ends and sides so no matter how I have them stacked I can see what is stored in each one. I've got a box for game pieces, vintage/junk jewelry, buttons, found objects, etc. It works very well!

Now for smaller items I like to use the clear boxes that stamps come in... These are nice because the snap closed so I don't have to worry about things falling out and they stack nicely as well. The added benefit of this is you can see into them of course. Again, I label the end so I know which box I need.

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I also have several tackle boxes that have the slide out sectioned drawers that I keep all of my smaller parts and pieces in. I have some small buckets that I hang off my wire cubes (with "S" hooks) for tall skinny items; clear plastic jars (with flip top lids) for ribbon, fibers & trims; apothecary type jars and muffin tins for assorted "Stuff" that I like to rummage around in.

I hope these suggestions give you a starting point for finding what works best for you.

The most important thing when storing recycled supplies is organization....

If you don't know what you have or can't find it you simply won't use it. It will just clutter up your life for no good reason. So if you're going to keep it around you might as well know where it's at so it's actually useful other wise you're just a crazy lady with a house full of junk - Or at least that's what dh tells me ;) LOL!!!!


  1. What good ideas! I now have quite a large box of the acetate/plastic...I even started saving pasta boxes as they already have the SEE THRU WINDOW on the front..ok Im a pack rat too! I keep any sort of box I get and label it too.Many of my stamps I keep in those clear plastic containers that are sorta med to large size that fruit comes in at Sam' wood mounted ones. Then I can see the stamp too, but I label the container too. I invested in a label maker 3 years ago...PRICELSS! We have a store here called the Flower can get storage things very inexpensively. I picked up a bunch of tins (small) cuz of course I never thought of using my muffin tins that I rarely use now that the kiddles are at college. See why we need u? LOL ok back to the laundry room...just dont know why my washer calls MY name and not HIS name! Cher

  2. Great ideas. I just got started on converting the Oil of Olay packaging into a brush/pencil holder...I just couldn't see throwing it out and the top is flip it and it's a nice, angled holder. I also passed on the pop top buckle idea to a friend today...she though I was collecting the tops for some school thing...crazy woman!! Thanks for sharing all the great storage ideas.

  3. I like to keep my small items in tins on a magnet board that I made by putting up metal flashing on the doors of my cupboard in my craft room. I used quilting tacks on the outside edges and it looks really pretty. I too use the plastic stamp boxes and I store them on end so I can see the labels...So much stuff so little time. Guess what one of my recent finds was? Knitting patterns from the late 60's for "HiP" Guys and Gals (That was the title) They are hilarious, I know that the best decoupage projects will come out of them!

  4. Thanks for sharing these great ideas to store the stash, Roni!

  5. Wow Roni, you are SO organised I can't believe it! Some great ideas in here.. thanks again!

  6. I need to go off to work now. I would much rather be making stuff out of acetate!

  7. Very clever! I'm rethinking some of the items I typically throw away and being more green ws one of my goals for this year.

  8. Hi Roni, What great ideas. I really need to organise my stashes lol I have left something for you over at my blog here

  9. Thank you for all these ideas. I'm not as organized as you are and I keep "losing" things and wasting time looking for them.

  10. Me neither, Murial!

    Roni said:
    "If you don't know what you have or can't find it you simply won't use it. It will just clutter up your life for no good reason. So if you're going to keep it around you might as well know where it's at so it's actually useful other wise you're just a crazy lady with a house full of junk"

    Gack! *blush* Hey, Roni... so if I trade in some of my miles for a plane ticket to fly you out to Seattle, d'ya wanna spend a week cleaning and organizing my studio for me? I'll buy you all the pizza you can eat!
    LOL *grin* *wink*

    Great ideas! I'm inspired. I'm gonna spend at least an hour today working on my mess. If i do a little each day it should be done... oh, say by 2012!!! Gaaaaaaah! LOL

  11. Love your storage ideas. They are very helpful as my stuff is scattered around. Thanks!
    bigsister_val at hotmail dot com

  12. Okay, so when you have all your stuff organized, where do you keep it all?? My craft room, and bedroom, and family room, and garage (lol) is crammed with boxes of stuff, and I keep forgetting to use it all!


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!