Hi, I LOVE to scrapbook but cannot stand endless searching for items I know I have but cannot lay my hands on. (Only to find them after I gave up & finished the LO!) But, organizing materials are pricey (!) unless you catch a good deal or a piece on clearance. The paper + packs are great, I get frustrated searching thru each one, so I cut the letters/alphabets loose & covered a sturdy empty shoe box with paper I liked (I wrapped it just like you would a package) that coordinates with my space, & put all my letters in it. The length of the box is perfect! I placed it on a shelf nearby & it works great. I also took an empty container that holds single packs of hot chocolate, again covering with paper, & I use it for holding smaller embellishments like packaged jewels. It's the perfect width & it was free! Look around your house: I found small long baskets that are super for holding all my glitter glues & the small tag pads. I got tired of sorting thru all my loose flower embellishments, so I started saving smaller glass jars (olive, fresh parmesan cheese, pepper rings) & used one for each color. They work awesome, as I can see immediately what I have. I also use them for buttons, etc. A mesh letter divider I have works great for packaged punch outs, etc. At my office, a clear tiered phamphlet holder hadn't been used in years. It works great holding my gel pens, & all my scissors. A clear, hard plastic lided CD disk holder my kids no longer wanted works awesome for holding pretty cards I've received & want to use sometime. Hope these ideas help!
I also find stuff in the $bins and at the dollar stores!! I use all sorts of stuff for storing my stuff. I also shop with coupons and hit the sale bins. Anything marked clearance is a bonus!!! People at work are always bringing me things and because they know I can repurpose it. Also, don't be afraid to do a little dumpster "diving". I look for things that are sitting beside the dumpsters and then we have a friend who owns a resale shop that puts stuff aside for me. Goodwill is always a great place to find inexpensive stuff.
My biggest frugal organizing tip is that you can't organize clutter! So downsizing FIRST means...
...less space needed...
...less $ spent on organizing supplies...
...better chance of using what I've already purchased!
I am a drafter for an engineering company and our paper for the plotter comes on sturdy cardboard tubes. I took 2 home, cut them to size, covered them in pretty paper and hot glued them together in a pyramid to hold my pens markers, etc. I love it!
I solve my storage problems at garage sales.
Examples; bought a funky bookcase for $5, and she followed me to my house with it in her truck. I turned it sideways, nailed it to the wall above a work table, added some pieces of wood and had a custom storage unit.
I got 2 paper sorters with wood outside and cardboard shelves. It was late Sunday and she just wanted to get rid of them ... she took $3 for both. Went to Paper Zone and bought 12 9X12 lidded chipboard boxes (half price $1 each), added scraps and drawer pulls to one end of each box and lid, and had a 24 drawer storage unit for my stamps. I sold the other one for $5 at my garage sale.
I've been going mad on this topic lately, too, & found that there are tons of ideas to be had by searching videos on Bing or Google. Amazing how clever some of the crafty ladies out there are. Start by thinking of everything as being potentially storage or a storage divider, & the possibilities are endless, it seems.
I started out with a big craft shelf my fiance built for me, but that was 5 years ago and my supplies have expanded rather dramatically since then, so I'm always looking for ways to control the chaos. When my daughter (she's 15) goes off to school, I am taking over her room for my scrap room, but until then, I use anything I can.
I love glass baby food jars...you can find them for nothing on Buy, Sell, and Trade lists on Facebook in most areas.
I use shoeboxes a lot!
I go to auctions and look for odd size containers - I found a mini Coke crate that holds all my adhesives.
Anchor hocking glass containers come in about 5 sizes - you can buy a 3 pack of any size for about $8 where I live. I love them to separate my metal embellishments from buttons from brads.
I also like to repurpose containers. Clear shoeboxes from the dollar store work really well, and you can see what is in them, so you don't have to open all the boxes to find what you need. I store rubons & stickers in spiral bound plastic folders with sleeves. (Take sticks/applicators out of packets however you store them!) Flowers are in zip seal bags according to colour and hung from underside of a wire shelf. Stationary holders with drawers are great for stamps, embossing powders, or small items. Stamp pads are in an A4 plastic document box. Ribbons are in a basket with holes for ribbons to poke through. Cheap mesh magazine racks store papers - just remove one screw so it accommodates 12x12 paper. New pizza boxes are useful too.
I love to organize and if it's free then I love it even more. Supplies at my fingertips seem to work better than if they're stored out of site. I love paper pads too and always wondered why they didn't put pockets on the inside of the covers for storage. It's a great place to keep those little pieces handy. I made my own pockets out of transparencies. It works so great I did it to all my paper pads.
Paper Pack Storage Pockets By Olleharr
I also saved up all my Crystal light containers and made this nice holder for my markers and pens. Keeps them right there at my fingertips.
Marker storage By Olleharr
I love the idea of putting pockets on the covers of paper packs. I just put all the scraps in the front of the pad and then store it upside down. When it gets so old that the adhesive falls apart, anything left goes into page protectors or plastic bags.