Thursday, March 10, 2011

23 Reader Raid: Scrappin' Up A Storm!

How many of you plan a day with a friend or group of gal's to get caught up on your scrapbooking?  Although I do that every once in awhile with a couple of different fabulous friends, one gal in particular seriously amazes me each and every time we get together!

My good friend, Sarah, is an avid scrap-booker.  If scrap-booking was a business, she would be CEO.  She is incredible.  Her pages always look different and built perfectly and unique.  And I know there are many amazing scapbookers out there, but something else stands out with my friend Sarah....

She can whip through one of those amazing pages, in minutes.  Quick doesn't begin to describe her efficiency.  We get together, I finish one page, she finishes four.  Or more.  Sure, it doesn't help that my yapper doesn't stop gabbing.... but for reals, I feel like I have the hardest time picking out a layout, then putting it all together, making sure I don't forget certain embellishments and analyzing it to death!  Which is also why I sort of gave up scrapping to head the Project Life route, but that's another story!

Not her though!  Why?  Because she is ORGANIZED!  Organized and efficient!! 

So, when I went to visit her this last weekend, I had to know her secrets, and then I thought I would share with you, since I have been informed that many of you like to attack a scrapbook every once and awhile as well!

First off, she has her own space to use for her favorite hobby!  And oddly enough, more EXPEDIT shelving is keeping another individual organized!  {Ikea, you can start paying me some commission anytime!}

Her great workspace, really helps her when she is home to enjoy her time working on her books, and she has it set up to keep things right in arm's reach and easy to find, which is so important when you think about ALL the things that come with the hobby!  From glues to scissors to brads and cutting machines!  So many things!

But I just had to know, so I asked, "Can you tell me your secret to speedy pages?  What are the things you have done that have given you the most scrap-booking success?"

So here are some of her tips!

She uses a canvas bin paired with 12x12 hanging folders, to organize all of her paper!

I am pretty sure it's an ITSO bin, {which I think can also be found at Target} but I was in complete AWE that I had never thought of such a solution!

She has each file folder labeled with the type of paper she can find inside, by colors and patterns!

Her next tip was to have an inspiration binder.  Many of you may have something similar for saving organizing and decor ideas, she uses her for scrapbook page ideas and layouts!

She tabbed each section of the binder to easily find different layout ideas for different scenarios!

When she has an idea, or when she gets her photos, she pre-plans her pages by quickly drawing up a layout that she has in mind, on some scrap paper, and then tucks the pictures inside!

Of course it doesn't end there!  Many scrapbookers may purchase specific paper and embellishments for specific page ideas/events.  Plus, personal effects are collected over time as well, such as ticket stubs and special notes.  To keep these things together, yet divided by page category, she uses an expandable file!

It's the perfect solution to have paper, stickers, photos, stubs and anything else she wants to include on a page, in one divided spot!  Then, nothing she has purchased for a special purpose, get's forgotten!  So smart!

Of course, last but not least, labels!  This one seems so obvious, but once again, when a space like this comes with so many "things", labels are a dream come true!

Having a cute furry friend by your side is a nice effect as well!

So there you have it!  When she comes to visit me, she just snags her pre-planned folded in half piece of paper with some photos, along with her specific paper/embellishments set aside for that page, and she can get SO much done in the couple of hours we are together.  Even while listening to me, going on and on about life with three boys and running a fun blog!

It was SO much fun being nosy!  I want to start crashing more spaces, so I can see and touch and feel the organization in person!  And find out why they are working so well for individuals!  Anyone near me want to volunteer to let me invade your space?  You can fly me out to your home too if you really love me but are too far away {wink wink!}.  What do you think of these "Reader Raid" posts, would you like to see more?

How about today's awesomeness?  What ideas did it spark for you?  Inspiration found?  Thoughts?  What's your favorite part of her system?  What other tips and tricks do you have for an uber organized craft space?


  1. She is blessed to have a designated space in her home to get it all done. Does she realize that she could do that for a living if she wanted to? People could pay her by the page or by the book. It's great to get paid to do what you love!

    I enjoy these peek-a-boo posts. Keep 'em comin'. They're very inspiring.

  2. I am so jealous of her space! I'm trying to carve out a little piece of space for myself at home but haven't quite got there yet!

    Love this post! Another vote for "Keep 'em comin'!"

  3. Such a great post! I love using the hanging 12 x 12 folders too. No matter how organized I am though, I think I am the slowest scrapbooked in the world. I so envy your friend's speed!

  4. I've been struggling with how to organize my 12x12 papers so I love this idea! Any idea where she got 12x12 hanging file folders? If you ever get a chance I'd love to see the inside of the binders and how those things are organized. Great post!

  5. I am also an avid scrap-booker! However, I get distracted by other projects around my TTC {teeny tiny casa} and other craftiness that I put my #1 obsession on the shelf for a bit. I just recently {after about 2 months} got back to some scrapbooking and found this post soooo inspirational and motivating! Now, I'm off to re-organize my scrap space/office =)!!

    I love your blog and follow it religiously! I would love it if you checked out mine sometime! =)


  6. Can I borrow your friend? Or maybe both of you? lol I love the itso bin idea. I really need to take a roadtrip to IKEA too! Why won't they build onein St. Louis? I would be their best customer!

  7. I second Erin ! We need an IKEA in St. louis!

    Great post Jen, loveeeeeeeee your blog!

  8. Hello ladies!

    Sarah let me know that she found the 12x12 hanging folders by doing a Google search and picking the ones at the best price from an online an online shop, but it was also 4 years ago so she couldn't recall which store. She did another search today and mentioned there are many options, as well as some instructions on how to make your own. The ones on Amazon look comparable to the ones that she has.

    Feel free to let us know if you have any other questions!


  9. I'm interesting in the actual desk space...please share more about that.

  10. She should get paid as an organizer. I've been trying to organize my crafts, work, office stuff for a long time and after a while I hit a "dead end". Her organizing system is just amazing!

    Thanks for sharing. Katharine

  11. Oh I wish I had a space like that for my scrapbooking!! I'm working on it. Here's some blog posts I did recently on my scrapping space:

    Thanks once again Jen, and yes please! More reader raids :)

  12. Jen, I love the reader raids. Also your friend's dog is simply adorable. Seriously, stinkin' cute dog and scrapbook space. Thanks for posting.

  13. I LOVE these reader raid posts - keep them coming, if you will :) Love them!


  14. We have scrapbooking retreats every 4 months! Just us girls and we get a lot done! In fact I am going to one next weekend! They are always so much fun! I am in the process of making my scarp room work for me! I just love how organized all her stuff is! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Wow, she is so organized. I need to work on getting my stuff organized. Looks great.

  16. This is unrelated but where did you get your glass coffee table? I love it.

  17. Hi Amanda!

    It was actually a Walmart find:

    Don't forget they offer free shipping to the store! Wahoo!


  18. But what if you don't have the extra space? My husband is so mad at me because my scrapbooking materials have been sitting out on a card table for a month. I am nearly caught up on my scrapbooking, but I know that as soon as I put the materials away, I will be another six months behind!

  19. Love the idea binder. I had started one but hers makes more sense. Why save the whole page from a magazine - clip the picture. I had just recycled all my catalogs and old magazines to save space the day you posted this. I dug them out, clipped my favorite layouts and started my own binder. Brilliant! Thanks for sharing.

  20. I just found your blog a few days ago and I have fallen in L-O-V-E!!! I have been so inspired by you! You've given me so many great ideas for around our house.

    Your friend and I would get along well b/c I scrapbook the way she does - but I don't get as many pages done! I have 2 idea notebooks - one is for one page layouts and one is for 2 page layouts, both organized by the # pics on the layouts. I always use the notebooks to come up with my page layouts (depending how many pics/pages). I also sketch the layout on a piece of paper but I love your friend's idea of gathering all the other supplies and memorabilia in one place. I'll have to add that step to my process!

    Thanks for all the inspiration!!! I'm so glad I found your blog! And if you're ever in the Madison, WI area, feel free to make a raid at my house!

  21. Love everything you do Jen, you have inspired me on so many projects, big & small. You can find the 12 x 12 folders at michaels too they actually make a file cube that they are made to fit in, love them!

  22. I live in Australia and have never heard of or seen 12x12 hangers I will have to hunt some down as I am trying to sort my papers.


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