Keeping Organized

10 Frugal and Thrifty Tips to Keep Organized
by Anne-Marie Faiola, Teach Soap

Not all of us can go to The Container Store and get their $967 crafters organization system (but wouldn’t it be nice if we could?) With that in mind, here are things we do at Bramble Berry and our retail store Otion to keep organized that don’t cost very much money and will help you save time and frustration in your crafting:

Tip #1
12 x 12 Decorative Paper Solution: At Otion, we often have larger sizes of paper that we use to wrap soaps with. The decorative paper often comes in sheets too large to fit into normal filing systems. We’ve found that the 12 x 12 sized pieces of paper fit perfectly in those countertop dish draining racks!

Tip #2
Ribbons: We make lots of gift packs up at Otion and to keep our ribbons organized, we’ve cut (alternately, you can break it) a plastic hanger and slipped all of our ribbons on the hanger. Then, we just tape the hanger back up, hang the ribbon-laden hanger back up and voila! ribbons are easy to unspool, organized and out of the way!

Tip #3
Random Crafting Items: At Bramble Berry, we use file boxes with a ‘V’ or ‘U’ cut out of the front of them (to allow for easy access inside) to store random items (such as bagged lavender, molds, beeswax etc…) Because the file boxes have flat lids, they allow for easy stacking. With the large holes cut out of the front for access, this proves to be an inexpensive, moveable and customizable storage system.

Tip #4
Pegboard, Pegboard, Pegboard: Sure, pegboard doesn’t look as nice as a smooth wall but it’s a lot more effective at storing things! Paint your pegboard the color of the wall it’s mounted on prior to hanging up. Once your pegboard is up, you can find a way to hang almost anything – from tools, to molds, to bags of supplies to extra fabric.

Tip #5
Excess Fabric and Trim: You know those little pieces of trim, ribbon and fabric that you never want to throw away? We get them here too! Believe it or not, Ziploc Freezer Bags are a great way to keep these organized by color or type. You can see through the bags for easy sorting and finding what you need and Ziploc baggies are inexpensive, reusable and easy to find anywhere!

Tip #6
Fragrance Bottles: Being a fragrance company, we have thousands of little bottles. We organize all of our little bottles in an old card catalog from a library. You can purchase them for about $100 – $250 and they are easy to come by as libraries computerize their systems. For larger bottles, we pick up the displays from convenience stores that are used for storing their pop and drinks in the refrigerator section. They are perfect for holding round bottles because that’s what they’re designed for! You can normally get these for free.

Tip #7
Soap Storage: You can’t find anything better than good ol’ Rubbermaid containers for storing soap. We recommend storing individual scents in boxes but if you just don’t have enough boxes for your soap, make sure to store ‘like’ fragrances with each other. We like to put a cotton ball, saturated with fragrance, in with the soap to make sure that the soap stays fresh and strong smelling.

Tip #8
Herb storage: We have quite a few dried herbs at Bramble Berry and we use clear bottles to store our herbs in. Put your herbs in the bottle, label well, and then store them upside down in a drawer. You can instantly see what’s in the bottles, while saving space and keeping organized!

Tip #9
Fishing Tackle Boxes: If you’re into any sort of craft, you’ve got a billion little odds and ends around. We find that fishing tackle boxes help to keep the little strange odds’n’ends organized. This is especially nice to use if you are into jewelry or bead making.

Tip #10
Storage as Tables: We’re a pretty frugal bunch at Bramble Berry so you’ll find us using old doors for tables. We use fruit crates stacked end on end as the ‘legs’ of these tables and store supplies in the crates underneath the table.