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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Organizing Your Minis

Happy New Year everyone! I finally got around to organizing my minis and my house is no longer an embarrassing hodge podge everywhere. It's actually presentable to guests. This is how I did it.



This is my work table and where I work on my minis. It's actually a dining table in our eat-in area of the kitchen. The table wasn't always clear of clutter. For two yrs, it was FULL of unfinished or in-progress minis. It got so bad my hubby would ask me to clear off a little space so he could eat his dinner.

This is a built-in hutch next to my dining/work table. It finally occurred to me that I could turn the hutch into a SUPPLY CENTER for minis. I kept the top shelf clear of minis because I can't reach that high anyway.

The middle shelf I used inexpensive containers in the Hardware section of Walmart to hold things like pens, Sharpies, paint pens, stain pens, scissors and rulers. You can also use coffee mugs for the same purpose. I also use one of these containers as my TRASH receptable when I work on minis. Notice that I did not fill the entire shelf ---it gives it a neater appearance and it makes it easier to locate things if you can see everything that's on the shelf.

On the bottom shelf I placed a multidrawer cabinet that you get from the local hardware store. It holds things like paper clips, binder clips, nails, quarter scale minis etc. I also keep a supply of ziplock bags readily available so I can sort and organize whenever I need it. I have ziplock bags in all sizes and save all the ones that come my way when I order kits because you never know when they will come in handy.

These drawer cabinets can be found in your local hardware store (Home Depot, Lowes, Menards) and are great for holding all manner of mini stuff.


The bottom half of the hutch holds more supplies like paint bottles, no hole beads, glues, tape, sand paper etc. You can double your shelf space by using cabinet helper shelves (kitchen section of Walmart or hardware store)

Small baskets from the kitchen section of Walmart can help organize items like paint bottles, no hole beads etc.

This storage box has 56 compartments! I have one for beads and another for my tools.

I keep a supply of baby wipes at hand to clean up my work/dining table.



The doors of the cabinet can be used to hang rulers. Use the 3M Command small wire hooks.


More tools and supplies are in a kitchen cabinet.


I included a small flashlight so I can see in the back of the cabinet.
This is a small bedroom that is partially a craft room, storage for my son's toys, and ironing room. A 6 foot long table holds a printer, scanner, Xyron Wishblade, and various paper types.
This is an inexpensive shelf I got from HobbyLobby (unfinished wood section). I used the pegs for my collection of gift bags.
You don't have to spend a fortune on shelves and cabinets. Buy 3- or 6-drawer plastic drawer cabinets, don't use the wheelies, and stack them on top of each other and voila! Instant see-through drawers/cabinets. Cardboard, foam boards, mat boards are stored in the space between the wall and drawers.
Open bookcase shelves hold unfinished mini projects. Sad to say, I have THREE of these bookcases of UFOs.

You can use an over-the-door shoe organizer to hold stuff.

This is a closet. You don't have to use any nails in order to get shelves. Buy an inexpensive resin shelf unit(s) and place it right in the closet for instant shelves. You can also remove the individual shelf units and place them in the closet for instant shelves. Gift wrapping organizers can be used to hold long items like stripwood, wallpaper without getting them bent. Small drawer cabinets can be used to organize fabrics, lace, dolls trims, etc.


See through shoe boxes can be used to hold kits.
This is a built in bookcase in my bedroom closet. It holds my mini magazines and books.

Closing thoughts:
  1. It's never too early or too late to get organized. Goes faster if you start earlier than later.
  2. You may have to give away or throw away stuff, but don't be afraid to let go of things you don't need, already have, or will not use. You can donate items to Goodwill, give to friends or a mini club, or sell them off at a garage sale.
  3. Label, label, label. This last step is really important. I've organized in the past, but I didn't label my stuff. I thought, "They're in see through organizers." Wrong!!!!! Label even if you can see the contents from the outside. Having labels helps you see what you have in the box/drawer, makes it easier to locate items, and makes it easier to stay organized.
I recommend using AVERY 8167 address labels. You get 2000 labels per pack and they are REMOVABLE. The removable labels don't leave a sticky residue when you take them off.
Just make sure you download the AVERY 5167 template to use on these. The Windows Office 1997-2003 version doesn't have the correct template to use with these and when you print out the labels, they will not be aligned correctly.

I hope this helps give people ideas on organizing.