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Thursday, December 29, 2005



A hinged swing desk for Maddie that lifts up from the wall and a chair with built in storage underneath seat for her to place her school stuff in.


If you have the heart/stomach for it... http://www.flylady.net . Seriously.

It can smack a bit of the Stepford Wives: "My prayer for all my fellow SHEs (Sidetracked Home Executives) is that each finds happiness and pride in ourselves and our accomplishments. That we raise our children to be good, productive, and happy people. And that we light up a room with our smile." But it works beautifully for some people. Flylady emphasizes decluttering - if you don't love it or need it, get rid of it.

Even if you don't go for the whole kit-n-kaboodle, check out the website - it has a lot of good tips and tricks to ponder.

Good luck!


I think a lot of us are on the same page here, needing and wanting to clear the clutter and organize our creative spaces. Yours is the second or third post I've run across this morning on the subject. May have something to do with the new year and starting "new". I've been working on my craft/office spaces for months, it's an ongoing project, and one that never seems to get done. Sometimes you just have to completely clear a space and start over. Maybe you need to do a "clean sweep" type of thing here.


I have the window problem too - short file cablinets and bookcases are helpful, and I can even fit a file cabinet under my desk. And file boxes on the shelf help too - there are such pretty ones now! The container store has wonderful stuff, including lots of stuff that you can hang on the wall that might help in the "shipping" area - baskets and shelves to hold supplies. Pier one and JoAnn's have all of their baskets on sale now! Good luck, can't wait to see what you come up with!


The problem with the Martha Stewart/Real Simple/TLC layouts that looks so beautiful and organized is that there just isn't that much stuff to organize. The first thing they have you do on "Clean Sweep" is throw out absolutely everything you don't need. And that's something that just isn't what I'm interested in. If you look at the pretty pictures, you see they have shelves with just a few things on them, so it looks all nice and neat. But in the real world, or at least my world, I have a lot of supplies and I don't want to get rid of them. Maybe you'll find the magic helper, though - if so, post about it!!

Mary Collins

Be realistic about the procedures you actually do. Not the ones you think you will start or wish you could adopt. Just the real ones. If your shipping table must double as a desk, then put all the shipping items in a large storage container underneath and keep the table clear for other activities.

Also, just realize that real life isn't MSE. Hugging our children, cleaning our dishes, and smiling at the world, beats an over organized office anyday.


Here's a couple of links:

organizational tools:


A show that I find so inspiring every time I see it... I don't know if you get it in the States or not, we might just get it in Canada. She even gets my husband psyched!

Good luck - and I am sure we would all love to see the after pics!



Could you do a rough drawing of what this looks like from above? I'm having visualization problems here. :)


Hmmm..what about two short file cabinets and a peice of counter top across them under the windows. Put your patterns in the file cabinets.Use the desktop created for Maddie's school desk!
Would shoe box size boxes with lids fit on the shelves with the stamps? Then perhaps they could be stacked in double layers on the shelves and give you a little more shelf space.
Other than that.. run away.. really fast!


Definitely get the stamps into smaller boxes and stack things on top - put pictures on the front or a label to identify. I think you want more low shelving or cabinets (rolling file cabinets?) underneath some of your workspaces. It sounds like not seeing the mess is partly what you want.
You might also have to consider some open backed shelving against one of the windows for more storage space. Good luck!


I am also a stamper, and I see a lot of "unused" room on the shelf with your stamps. I am assuming you have them laid out by the stamps that you offer to make them easy to "pick" and ship. Instead of using a bookcase for them, I recommend a DVD/CD shelf. I got one that is wide enough to hold about 100 DVDs or 250 CDs (Office Depot or Office Max) and the shelves can be adjusted. That way, your stamps would be stored more efficiently.

I also have a rolling plastic file cart (my 8x10 scrapbooking paper is in it) from Target.

Hanging baskets or the toy organizers from Ikea might be a good place to stash some of your goods.

Can anything move to a new room? Like the swift I think I see?

My latest organizing trick? PURGE, purge, purge. Sure, not an option with business items. (If you feel the need to purge patterns or stamps, you can send them to me. *wink*) But anything else, evaluate if you would miss it if it was gone, and throw it out!


I have sent you an email with my ideas. I got going and realized that it was going to be too long for a comment! :)


Ooh, an organizational challenge!

-You can hang/mount/place glass shelves in front of the windows--they'll still let in light, but will give you some space. As long as you don't fill them up with visually-heavy things like books that would block the light.

-Make a desk out of a door on top of filing cabinets. That will take up the same space as the tables you have, but with storage space underneath. And you can get below-the-desk keyboard trays for the computer or just pens and stuff.


-Do the stamps have to be in sight, or just available? Because one of those map-storage cabinets (large, shallow drawers) might work, but that's not exactly a cheap option.

-And, yeah, purging! I'm sure you do need a lot of what's there, but there's bound to be Something that could go!


Check out the winter Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication called 'do it YOURSELF' - it's out on newstands now. The front cover project is a double sided desk.

karen w

Hi Julie~
I feel your pain!!
Take a look at http://www.organizedhome.com. There are lots of good ideas there.
I would second the idea of a piece of countertop on top of a pair of 2-drawer filing cabinets to make a desk.
Also, maybe your stamp inventory could be housed in "parts bins" used by auto parts stores/dealerships which can be labeled on the end. They come in varying widths and depths. This is where my shipping/receiving guy gets them from. http://www.uline.com/Browse_Listing_302.asp?desc=Corrugated+Bins
There are also pricier plastic stackable kinds. It looks like there is quite a bit of space on those shelves for the taking if the stamps are rearranged.
And file buckets are your friend. For shipping supplies, for pattern inventory, for school supplies, the list goes on.....
Good Luck on your transformation!! Can't wait to see the *after* shots!


i would say boxes, boxes boxes. i noticed a lot of unused space on your tall shelves, and clear plastic boxes/bins definitely would help with that (it's somthing i'm trying to implement in our house, but admittedly, it's going slowly). looks like you've already got a few on one set of shelves. you could then make simple curtains for the shelves to hide the boxes-maybe they could attach to the shelving units with velcro? or maybe smaller curtains attaching to the shelves theselves? do you have anything that a peg board might be useful for organizing? or sets of small hooks? perhaps wall baskets?

i thinks that's about all my post holiday brain has to offer. i'm not even sure how much i'm duplicating others sugestions... good luck with the organization!


My husband and I recently reorganized his art studio/office, so I feel your pain! Since space is limited, we used lateral file cabinets underneath a table top for organized storage but with a functional work top. You also may want to consider a corner desk. You gain computer plus work space and can hide small file cabinets or supplies under it. We also made our own custom (but very simple) shelves to fit the nooks and crannies.


Baby, you need this link: http://www.containerstore.com/browse/index.jhtml?CATID=74539
Think shallower drawers for all the stamps and taking out a bookcase or putting clear bins in for papers/woolies/etc

I also suggest taking the far bookcase out and moving the desk around to take advantage of that built in and window.

Step 1. Draw out the room on some graph paper and make some paper cutouts of your furniture. Rearrange some of it. You'd be surprised what you can do with space and furniture "reclaiming". Try out the configs that you think wouldn't "work" like putting two desks together so their longsides meet to create a workstation. You never know what might work until you try it.

Think of your favorite stores like Papersource and how they're able to display and store so much in a very organized manner. Copy.

Good luck!

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