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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.


  1. FANTASTIC!! I love what you've done with your items.

    It must be wonderful to have a place to work in and one that's organized, even better!.

    I too use the wrapping paper holder for storing long items or fabric.

    I use the clear over the door shoe holders, shoe boxes, trunks, three drawer stack-ables as well as the larger three drawer ones which you can also stack.

    Clothes hamper for larger items.

    They also have one with drawers that is thinner for smaller spaces.

    I use the metal or plastic tool boxes for sorting things as well. Also the ones with all the small drawers and compartments used for fishing hooks, nails, screws and things.

    I use one that is clear and holds wall paper. I found these at the scrap book section. They hold lots of 12x12" paper.

    You can put baby food jars under shelves for small items such as beads, bits, feathers, glue, paint etc...

    All I do is take the tops off and screw or nail them to the under side of a shelf leaving a little space for the next top and the next and then fill the jars with the items and screw back in.

    When you need something all you have to do is un-screw the jar you need. You can also use larger jars such as sauce jars for example.

    Keep a cheapo paper towel holder under the table or near by. You can screw one under the table at hands reach or on the side of the table and so on.

    Utensil holders to sort small items. Paints, glue, scissors, tape, pins, pens, pencils, etc...

    Use bean/soup/juice cans for storing pens, pencils, small rulers and such.

    Use trunks and hat boxes for fabrics, trims, stuffing etc...

    Show boxes make great little toy/doll, nic-nac holders.

    Tupperware in various sizes for holding items.

    Night stands with drawers maybe from a flea market, yard sale or thrift store. These can go under tables too or if high enough you can put a few side by side add a piece of long wood to the top and make your own table.

    Pencil holders for pens, pencils, markers, glue sticks, tape, pins, beads etc...

    Towel racks for folded fabric.

    Loose leaf binders with clear plastic pockets sleeves for holding printies.

    Photo boxes for kits and un finished items.

    Foot stool to store stuff in.

    Kitchen canisters for storing items. I found some of the older square tin kind at a yard sale and also at a dollar store. I have them on top of a hutch with glue sticks, glue gun and things like that.

    Well, this is all for now but i'll keep adding more on the group as I think of them.

    I hope I have given you some ideas as well.


  2. Oh my Gosh!!!!! I love the fact that you have used house spaces so creatively. I hate the thought of starting, but I think I'd better get going on my stuff. Your blog and pictures have inspired me.

  3. Wow Thuy I'm tired just looking at all the hard work you've done. Great job.

  4. Thuy, congratulations on starting a blog! I am sure in a short time you will get a lot of followers! Great gob on organizing your craft room! Good luck to you! Mini hugs, Natalia

  5. Wonderful- I can't believe that kitchen table! I have to keep my mini work downstairs to keep the piece . I'm a little like a mole anyway, and it is a walkout basement. I'm inspired because you have kept it this way! Jennifer B.