Monday, August 2, 2010

The Evolution of Cartridge Storage

It felt like a never ending quest: find the right storage solution for my Cricut cartridges.  I don't have a whole room to myself, I only have a craft space.  I am always reorganizing my things, trying my best to fill all my supplies in a tiny little space.  Sometimes I even feel like I am organizing and re-organizing more than I am crafting!

It started out simple enough when I had just a few cartridges.  I had them on a shelf in their original boxes behind where I sit:

Then my cartridges somehow multiplied and outgrew the shelf.  I had this space on the side of my table that my husband built me and it seemed like such wasted space.  We had some leftover foam core board from the ink pad holder the same wonderful husband built me, so he also built me a shelf for my cartridges to store them in that wasted space:

All was fine and dandy for a while, but as you can see, the bottom kinda gave out and somehow my cartridges multiplied again!!  They just keep doing that! ;)  So I again ran out of space.  This began my latest search for a way to store my cartridges.

Now, I am picky when it comes to the way I store certain things.  I know how I work, and I know what would get on my nerves in terms of using something!  So when looking for ideas I had certain criteria:
  • It didn't necessarily have to stay in the original boxes, but everything had to stay together: handbook, overlay, and cartridge.  There are a lot of wonderful ideas on how to store handbooks/overlays together and then cartridges seperately.  However, for me, I knew this wouldn't work because I didn't want to have to go to one place to grab the handbook or overlay, and then open up something else for the cartridge.  Also, even though I have a Gypsy, I still use my cartridges in the machine and wanted ti keep everything together.
  • I had the idea that my new storage would involve keeping the cartridges in alphabetical order, but the storage had to be something I could easily add new cartridges in alphabetically, without having to move everything around all over again
  • Last, I wanted the new storage to be something where I could store the seasonal and solution cartridges along with the regular cartridges.  I hated having those types seperate from the others because I would forget about them and hardly used them.
So the search began....  I did google searches, and message board searches, and ended up on You Tube trying to find videos on organizational ideas.  And that's where I found it!  So, keep in mind, I am not the one you came up with this idea, but once seeing it, I knew it would fit what I was looking for perfectly!

While searching You Tube, I found this video, which also led me to her fabulous blog you can find at Scrappin with My Bug.  She apparantly go her idea from this video!  So now you can add me to the list of those who've adapted the idea!  Here is a picture of my system:

I bought the Clip it Up Mini by Simply Renee, but didn't get the upper tier because I didn't think I would need it just yet.  HA!  Silly me!  I should know by now how these cartridges love to multiply!  I also bought the zip top bags in size 5x8.  I created the labels with the cartridge names in Publisher and made it so the name would be on both sides of the bag.  I also color coded the labels as well to help identify what type of cartridge they were at a quick glance:
  • Shape cartridges: blue
  • Font cartridges: orange
  • Classmates: green
  • Solutions: pink
  • Seasonal: yellow
  • Licensed: red
  • Lite: purple
  • Cake (which I don't have any yet): white

I really love this system because it seems to fit each of my criteria I was looking for.  I have 50 cartridges on this one clip it up and they are kinda smooshed in there, so I know I will have to get the upper tier for any more cartridges.  I'm so happy I finally got this project it's off to the next project - stamp organization!

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