Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Let me start by saying that I am an obsessively organized person. A place for everything, and everything in its place. I'm not sure exactly how it got started but my mother was a neat freak, very organized and a bookkeeper/accountant. I've always loved the office supply store. I could spend hours looking at the files, binders, folders, dividers etc. Unlike some craft people, I do not organize my supplies by color groups. I can't even get the hang of using colored file folders or paper for specific groups either. My fabric stash is organized by project, such as the plaids I am collecting for a log cabin quilt, or by type of print such as floral, or also by amount of fabric. All my fat quarters are together, all the 1/2 yard cuts, all the multiple yard cuts, etc. I even have strips organized by width (1", 1.5", 2") in bins. The 1/5" strips are actually sorted into 3 bins, one for red, one for lights and one for darks. Again a collection for a log cabin quilt. I've been working on organizing my jewelry supplies and tools. I asked my husband to make me something to put my tools on that would be on the workbench but easy to reach. I am a very small person, I'm 4'8" tall so what would be an easy reach for most people is too far for me. My workbench is a good 3 or 4 inches lower than desk height, but that way I can put my feet on the floor. He went out in his workshop and came up with this.

It is on a lazy susan and turns very smoothly. The upright boards have small holes drilled in them at an angle so I can put my dremel bits, small files, etc in them. The top has a hole in the middle that he put a glass in to hold pencils, brushes, emery boards, and the like and around the edge of the top are holds for the handle of my pliers to fit into. It is absolutely fantastic. It works great and I have some space around the bottom to place small objects. I"m also including a picture of my worktable. As you can see, its a bit cluttered. And its not as dark as the picture makes it look, I just didn't force the flash on the camera and it was fooled by the light over my desk.

Tonight I also took some advice I read about in the Wire Wrap Jewelry group about storing your wire. I had all my wire in separate bags all in the same drawer. I was always searching for the gauge or type I wanted. I was reading about using a 3 ring binder so I did that and I had some plastic dividers with places for labels. These went in the binder but also have pockets on the front and back of them. So I put my wire in separate divider page pockets and then printed labels with my label maker for the tabs. I have them labeled by type of metal (copper, SS) then by gauge (18G, 22G), hardness (HH or DS) and then type of wire (round, 1/2 round, square). It all fits nicely in the binder and will be easy to find. Now, you don't really think I will be geeky enough to post pictures of the binder too do you? Well, of course I am. And here it is! :) Just so that you are perfectly clear on how my wire is now organized. Is there such as thing as a professional organizer? That would be a perfect job for me!


Mei Tan said...

Oh Wow! Thank you for sharing how you organize your stuff. I am a bit like you --- everything in its place kind and everything within reach kind :)
I especially love the rotating pliers/tools holder ur hubby made. Wish my hubby can make me one! :)
Love your work area...I wish..again but that will not happen as with 2 little boys, I can't have working space like that. I will spend more time looking for my beads and tools..LOL.
And finally on storing wire. You just revealed to me such great idea. I have few DVD/VCD albums at home that are just lying around but never thought of using them. And what did I use?... a simple paper photo album and plastic spools. Thank you once again. That will the first thing I do once I get home.


Inspired Designs by Teresa said...

Michele, I really enjoyed this post. I like reading about how other artists organize and work. That tool holder is fantastic. Kudoos to your husband. I might have to try and make one.

Teresa M./Inspired Designs by Teresa

Stefani said...

National Association of Professional Organizers

I was a member a few years ago because I actually had some crazy thoughts that I would be able to get my art business up and running, then start a professional organizing business. Between the 2 businesses I figured I'd have enough income to quit my day job. Oh silly me.

Things work out they are supposed to and my art business is going pretty darn well. Certainly keeps me as busy as I can manage. Still have the day job and that's okay too.

You would enjoy Mission Organization on HGTV!