Monday, March 15, 2010

Where the Magic Happens

I spent the entire past weekend completely reorganizing my work space. You may look at the pictures and think "this is organized?" but trust me, it most definitely is! My life is highly organized chaos. We are a family of five living under one small roof, so utilizing EVERY inch of available space is a must. My work area is set up in a corner of my bedroom--the secret to making it all work is going up, up, UP!

I feel the most creative when I am surrounded by the things that I love. I have pictures of my kids and family displayed throughout the area along with drawings that the kids have made for me and my favorite little knick-knacks. My cd and mp3 players have prominent spots as well as the tv that is in the opposite corner of the room. As I write this my Princess is coloring a new series of animal pictures to hang above the spot where the map is on the wall. Can you tell what the two animals are that I collect?

The map on the wall indicates all the different places that I have shipped to in my four years of selling online. I wish now that I had bought a world map, but I never in my wildest dreams thought I would need one. We write the names of the foreign countries in the margins with their star and then look them up on Google. It's a great mini-geography lesson for the Princess. I love Google Maps! We've even been able to zoom in and see the actual street where some of the packages will be delivered before. At this time we've shipped Tilleyjewels to 48 US states and 18 foreign countries!

On the left side of my work area sits my laptop so I can keep a constant eye on incoming orders and inquiries, along with my Twitter and Facebook pages while I work. The black filing cabinet holds shipping supplies. There is another file cabinet underneath it which is accessable with a quick rollaway of the plastic drawer unit my computer sits on--that cabinet holds catalogs and jewelry making books and magazines. The containers along the back of the desk hold metal components, wire and my luscious Swarovski crystals. Even the space under the desk can't be wasted--there are about 20 embroidery floss boxes full of colorful seed beads stacked underneath against the wall.

The wooden shelf on the right side sits in the corner of the room. The open shelves at the top hold my scrapbooking supplies, current business paperwork and miscellaneous supplies. Behind the pull-down door is where I keep my more "dangerous" tools (dremel, glue gun, mini iron, etc) safe from nosy little fingers. There are two more shelves on the bottom that are a little harder to access, but I can still use them to store things that I don't need to get to very often. On the top of the shelf are dozens of boxes holding Czech fire polish beads, polymer clay and lampwork beads, and boxes of gemstones divided by colors--they are stacked as high as I can reasonable reach so I don't have to ask hubby to get things down for me.

My very favorite part of my organization setup is my big red mechanics' tool chest. I bought one of these several years ago for my husband's birthday and the more I stared at it the more I realized how perfect all those little drawers would be for sorting beads! All the drawers in the top section hold my extensive Czech glass bead collection with a different color in each drawer. The long drawers on the bottom half hold my yummy freshwater pearls. The large pull down door at the very bottom hides my "real job" supplies so they don't stare me in the face when I'm trying to do other things. (For those who don't know me as well, in addition to running my jewelry & accessories business I also work from home as a designer for a locally based bridal manufacturer.)

Phase One of my reorganization project is now complete. Before I started I had so much stuff piled up on my desk that I had a clear spot about the size of a piece of notebook paper to work at. I realized that a lot of prime real estate was taken up by things that I wasn't even using anymore. Many of those easiest-to-reach drawers on the desk were full of supplies I hadn't used in months if not years. I cleared all of that stuff out and moved it to the basement--a lot of it will eventually get listed in my Etsy destash shop . Phase Two will follow in a couple of weeks or so as I attempt to organize my fabric/ribbons/lace/flowers. I've already bought a ton of clear plastic boxes, but I'm waiting on another shipment of supplies to arrive first so I can decide how much space I will need. Believe it or not, most of those items will get stored in slide-out boxes under my bed. I told you I was into using every available space!

If you want to see the workspace pictures bigger and in more detail visit my Facebook Fan Page


  1. Ohmy-- I wish I could magically have you come and organize my office space here!! *poof* You have quite the knack!!

  2. Love getting to see where you work, Mere! And your batty collection! ;o) Lotta love coming from a very tiny, well-organized spot. This should give everyone who uses the excuse, "But I don't have enough room to be creative..." second thoughts!


  3. I nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger Award. Here is more info:

  4. Love the pics. i just found your destash shop. Love it too.