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Taming Of The Tools


Oh tools of mine you cut divine,
you slice through paper like butter
on projects you save me such time
but on my workspace you create such a clutter.

In the never ending battle of workspace clutter, our tools are often the number one culprit. There are scissors, trimmers, hole punches, paper piercers, bone folders, craft knives, decorative punches, rulers, templates, etc., etc. The list goes on and on; if you add adhesive dispensers to the inventory you are soon up to your neck in loose tools. What is the best way to tame all these indispensable tools? The solution.....drum roll please, ORGANIZATION!

Uh oh, there it is, that dreaded word that makes most of us cringe. It takes away all hope of midnight elves coming in to put away our tools and clean up leftover scraps at the end of a long day of scrapping. It means (gulp) I have to do it. Take heart! the process can actually be quite enjoyable. The trick is start with something really fun - SHOPPING! For those of us with limited budgets, finances do not need to be a deterrent. There are ways to shop that wonít cost you a cent. One of those is to shop through your own home for what you need; another is to shop at momís or any other willing family memberís home.

Your shopping mission is to find containers that can be adapted for tool storage. The containers need to be compact enough so as not to take up valuable scrapping space, yet roomy enough to store bulky tools. The trick to finding a suitable container is to look at each vessel and imagine your tools inside. To help you decide if a particular container will fit your needs, ask yourself these questions: will my tools fit inside? can I get them out and put them back in easily? will it fit well at my workspace without getting in the way? The containers should always offer easy access to the articles stored inside; otherwise you will be tempted to leave them laying loose on the workspace. Some options for slender tools, could be wide mouth canning jars, short flower vases, clay or metal pots, or any other container that would allow tools to stand up right. For tools that are a little bulkier, vertical bill sorters make for a nice storage solution. File racks that hang on the wall are a good solution for cutting mats, rulers, stencils, and templates. Over the door canvas shoe hangers make for great tool storage when your scrapping space is limited. You are only constrained by your imagination, when it comes to creative tool storage solutions.

Once you have found the containers to suit your needs, the fun begins in earnest. This is a great opportunity to use your scrapping supplies to bring beauty and functionality together. Paper, stickers, and ribbons are great for decorating found-containers and bringing to them a little beauty. Material, ribbon, and a little spray adhesive can turn a shoe box into a gorgeous storage container. So go ahead! Get creative! Tame all those loose tools.

I would love to see your creative storage solutions post a picture to our layout gallery showing your favorite, functional piece.

Submitted by:

Tina Parker

Tina Parker is a member of the design team and contributing writer for http://www.craftyplaces.com. She is also a certified SDU instructor for EK Success.







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