How do you organise your stash?

As a craft dilettante I have supplies for many crafts and they are all shoehorned into my craft room which is about 9’x13’. Currently my fabric is all on display and accessible. But I’ve been realising that I’m not effectively using my papery stuff, because it’s a PITA to rummage through it and get inspired.

So any suggestions? I need to organise 12x12 papers, lots of offcuts, a few small stacks, rubber stamps and pads, and various do-dads and whimsy’s.

One thing that’s impossible to get here is shelving that takes 12x12 paper. I managed to get one plastic storage box for that size.

These things I need

-a way to organise paper offcuts
-a decision on what’s too small to save (I make journals and more recently ATCs, a small bit of scrapbooking)
-a way to organise stamps and ink pads

I have shelf space that I can clear by moving some lesser used stuff to other places, and I’ve a few three drawer plastic units, drawers are about 10x6"X3". They currently have unsorted small images and do-dads.

Pens are in labelled boxes and scissors etc are all to hand.

Tell me what works for you?

Calling @geekgirl @magpie @jemimah @JoyfulClover @kittykill @racky


I was having the same problem with my 12x12 paper. Since I was looking at shelving units anyway, I found one with big enough cubbies. Target’s website had one.

For storing my stamps and misc papers/scraps, I use one of those multi colored 10 drawer units that Michaels sells.

I’m in Ireland and unfortunately we don’t have target, Michaels, Joanne’s etc :frowning:

Scrapbooking and paper crafting are not big over here, so even in the places that so these supplies, they don’t have any 12x12 storage.

I might have to resort to making my own.

IKEA Kallax units are large enough to house 12 X 12" papers. I also bought some boxes that fit on the shelves- some are short, and some fill the whole space. The larger boxes have a spot for a label, so I know what’s in each bin. I’ve been working on organizing each bin because I’ve just been tossing stuff in them. For now, I’m sorting things into ziptop baggies, when possible. It’s made a huge difference!

I also have some vintage mason jars (the kind that close with the wire) that I’ll eventually be moving some supplies into and lining up on some old restaurant liquor bottle shelves.

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IKEA Expedit series is 13" too! I’ve crammed it all into one of the cubes and put a little door in it so nothing falls out. The Expedit storage bins are also the right size.

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Is there Ikea there?
I have limited big sheets of paper, I buy it for specific projects so it’s usually cut up right away which makes it small enough to fit in any folder. I keep most paper in plastic drawer units, one is smaller cuts. Cut out words, faces, tiny scraps, can go in small zip bags or envelops.

Here’s the desk, paper bins beneath & all the random things in baskets on the book shelf to the right.

Here’s the sewing space, I have scraps in Kallax bins sorted by colour, the bins are about 1/4 full spot’s easy to find stuff.
The biggest organizational move I’ve made was massively destashing things so there’s a reasonable amount for me to work with. I found having to play Tetris to begin or end a project was eating my crafting time & I didn’t like it.

I’ve seen DIY paper storage built from taping rectangle style shipping boxes together in stacks that are slightly bigger than 12 x 12. Then you could paint or decoupage over it to make it your own.


We do have IKEA, but according to our government plan, I won’t be able to travel to it until 20 July :scream:. Destashing is definitely key, I’m currently moving stuff around, but once I get into paper stacks, I’m going to be ruthless. But rather than throwing away smallish pieces, I’ll make a big stack and give it to a friend who runs a crèche. For when they grouped. Re-open. If it’s going to have a use, then it’ll be easier to remove from my stash.

@sheepblue, that looks great.


Along the lines of what SheepBlue posted I saw a video recently where a woman used the sturdy poster board (foam maybe?) from the dollar store to make a shelf system like that.

I also had a thought that isn’t quite as accessible but…

If one had a strip of wall space could one get those Vinyl LP display boxes and do a mounted display of favorite papers, or a rainbow wall? You could keep like styles/colors in each case and change them up as the whim strikes or seasons change? Idk, in my head it looks cool.

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Store bought 12x12 paper storage is kind of crazy expensive in most of it’s manifestations! I bought a couple sets of these on sale awhile ago and they are quite handy, if not flimsier than I’d like. Most of my pads and packs go into these as well as my “fancier” open stock cardstock weight open stock. My scrapbook paper-weight and solid cardstock open stock go into these which are also kind of expensive, but frequently go on sale for about 1/3 the cost at some of our chain craft stores. I have 3: warm colors, cool colors, neutrals. They aren’t as convenient because they stack from the top, but they can be stored on their sides.

My stamps and stamp pads go into plastic shoe storage bins such as these. I use these bins A LOT for stuff, because they are a good size for shelves and can’t get crammed with too much stuff. I use a label maker on all these things. I use them for dyes, clays, paint brushes, pens/pencils, embellishments, metal junk, wood pieces, etc. They tend to go on sale in January for about $1/each so I get like 20 at at time! They’re also great for sorting items for a particular project if I’m going big on multi media.

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I like metal boxes/tins, so whenever is see them I pick them up (Target, thrifting). I also try to buy things in metal and glass jars, so I get more use out of it (and if I have enough, they’re recyclable).

Stamps and pads are in a tin, and then in a folding fabric bin I can slide out and move to my workspace. Small paper bits are in large metal coffee canisters, and 2 rectangular boxes (I think they where for legos and GI Joes). I did buy 3 12x12 paper storage, but won’t let myself buy more. Fabric scraps are in several different size jars and baskets. Fabric is in stacking bins, organized by color - pollen in the south is no joke, and needed to be enclosed. Yarn is in a cedar chest, and overflow is in bins.

I recently have started working more with paper. Pens, supplies, brushes, are all in ceramic or metal christmas tins. I’m on the hunt for a better acrylic paint solution. But right now they are in Samsonite train cases. Tissue in salvaged bins. I have committed to not bringing more shelving in (thus limiting what I will save). But I LOVE organizing things - I feel less chaotic when items are corralled and neatly put away. It also frustrates me when I am mid project and can’t figure where item x is. I want to grab it quickly.

I don’t know if this helps. Mine isn’t easily repeatable as it’s mainly hodgepodge. Sometimes I wish I had a more uniformed, designed system, but I cant justify it. The storage specifically purchased are the bins, though. I hate they are plastic, but I appreciate stacking and being able to see what’s in them.

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I love the idea of tins and tried it, but I just have too much and I need to be able to reliably stack them up and pack them in tight! So I had to go with modular bins. I also have some that two of the show size fit on top of and nestle into the indentation on the lid for bigger things like interfacing, Cricut vinyl, and my Bind-it-all machine.

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I’m loving all the descriptions of your systems. And I’d also love to see pix?

I am trying to gather the enthusiasm to clean my craft studio space. Currently many of these storage bins are scattered in stacks around the floor, some open, some not, When they’re back in their closet, I’ll try to remember to get a pic. I have definitely been thinking a lot about your shelves-over-workbench setup lately. Someday when I can remake our squirrel infested shop into a studio, I’m going to include some of that!

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Did you know, squirrels are exceptionally territorial. They will relentlessly pursue re-entery to a home they’ve been barred access to. Our neighbours recently had to do some major repairs to their attic where squirrels had come in and started nesting, they’d done some terrible damage. The repairs were solid but the squirrels simply didn’t give up until they’d torn entryways and have now reclaimed the space. Our friends have tried everything but it’s impossible to keep them out for good, or even for long.
Best of luck friend.

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That doesn’t surprise me one bit. I know they are cute, but I kind of hate those MFers. I am sort of resigned to having to tear off and replace all the siding and drywall. Maybe that will help. Perhaps I’ll invite a family of North American-style badgers to live in the attic where they spend most of their time. They seem to use the shop space for storing food. Sigh.

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Y’all need brick walls.

@magpie I did not know that about squirrels. We don’t have enough of them around here to be a part pest. Our native red squirrel is shy and usually only in woodlands. We don’t have grey squirrels in this part of the country.

I love them, they are so fun to watch outside. But any that come into my house are going to meet with a rat trap. They ate the water pipes running up into the attic. Disconnected, thank goodness, but they ATE them, like the plastic was gone. Feet and feet of it. Walls needed tearing out, and the nesting and POOP, omg. Stay outside wee beasties and we will get along just fine. Their house is brick, 3 layers deep on the outer walls. They got in by tearing holes in the attic.

Ours are Red Squirrels, but they ain’t shy! I have been known to stand outside the shop which at it’s closest is about 2 yards/meters from about 900,000 acres of National Forest, and say (shout?) “You have hundreds of thousands of acres of habitat that you spent many many thousands of years evolving to live in RIGHT THERE! [points at forest] Go live there!!!” Sigh. Buncha a**holes.

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Our red squirrels
and your red squirrels are different beasties!
Ours are cute with big, fluffy tails and definitely not the type to attack houses!

I’m reading this thread with interest because I need to organize my stash too. I’ve decided that only fabric or paper craft supplies can be in my craft room, which will leave me with space to breathe, as well as move. However that means finding space for all the none fabric/paper crafting supplies (like yarn and doll house bits) as well as all the stuff that has just been ‘dumped’ for want of a better place. I’ve done a load of destashing, before lock down, but totally lacking energy/ enthusiasm/ space elsewhere to continue.
I have made progress - I have table & chair & shelves now when a year ago there was just stuff and a bed!

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