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March 9, 2013

It's been quiet here.  We've got a contract on a house and should close on March 18th, so I've mostly been in waiting mode.  It's a big, lovely house, almost twice as big as our townhouse.  It's going to feel bare for a while until we begin buying more furniture.  We're going to need a lot of seating - and more bookshelves!

There's plenty of bedrooms.  I can have a guest room AND a craft room.  I had been planning on combining the two so I'm really rather excited.  I won't have to share the space with storage items since there's also a basement!

So while I've been waiting, I've been planning.  Subtle cowboy/western themed guest room in earth tone colors.  Probably a stagecoach valance. Not sure about the rest, but I want to make it so cozy that even I would want to sleep in it.  It will all depend on what I find.  Hopefully the movers packed the duvet cover I had in my old room - I can reuse that and finally use my Indian blanket, too.  The walls are white in there, I'll keep it that way for now.

The craft room is what I've been obsessing over.  How do I do storage?  I have a lot of items that are unrelated, will definitely need more shelves, and may have to rethink the storage I have now.  I have to write it down at this point, so you're going to get my thought processes here.  Firstly is an inventory.  Of what I can actually remember.  Feel free to skip the next section until I get to my conclusion, if any.
I have a lot of fabric.  I packed it in big tubs for the move, but I need it to be visible so I'll use it.  I have a mix of scraps and fat quarters for mini related, and then yardage for full size items.  At first I thought cube shelves would be best, but now I'm thinking that would be awkward in extracting fabric, and would want cubes with a shelf in the middle, which is hard to find.  Bed, Bath, and Beyond carries a cube storage set with additional drawers and dividers, but I want to go up high with storage, and they're not stackable.  (they had them in store, there's an option to buy the shelf with some storage items.)  So maybe a regular shelf would work better.  The problem with THAT is most bookcases don't come with enough shelves for my needs.  I may have to write and ask the company to send me more, or have some cut.

Another option would be to hang the bigger cuts of fabric.  There's plenty of closet space!  There's also plenty of hangers at the thrift shop, 10 for a dollar.  I could also rig up a clothes pole inside a bookshelf.

Before I moved, I shoved a lot of stuff into Michaels scrapbook bins.  They're plastic with a hinged lid, about 14.5" square, 3-4" high.  I think I bought 6.

2 of scrapbooking paper
1 of wood scraps
1 of felt
1 ribbon and trim
1 of beads and jewelry findings

They work best for the scrapbooking paper, and I guess for the felt, although I bought some larger pieces that take up a lot of room.  The wood scraps could go in anything, but the ribbon doesn't really work very well in it.  I wasted quite a bit of time rewrapping some of my ribbon onto smaller spools to get it to fit!

I also filled 2 plastic shoeboxes full of acrylic paints, and 1 of various sized bottles of glue.  I have a small wooden box for my Xacto knives, and I think I also filled 1 shoebox of scissors and other cutting devices.  (I'm going to need to buy a new mitre box.)  Rulers and tape measures have always floated freely in the chaos.  I never found a home for the rubber stamps I impulsively bought.  There is plastic canvas and large stencils that will also need storage.  I left the fimo clay in the sterilite drawer, which would fit in another shoebox, along with the clay/pasta machine.  Which reminds me, I also have the clay oven.

And then there's all the miniatures stuff.  Hair, stuffing, chenille stems, porcelain parts, etc for dollmaking, a ton of furniture and accessories, electrical supplies, wallpaper (currently saran wrapped to the basement floor of my turnabout house attic) and lots of finished dolls.  I also have dolls that need to go on display, ranging from 1/12 scale to 1/6 scale to whatever scale Gene is.  I sold most of my Genes but I still have the one whose face I repainted.  Mainly because I still want to design doll clothes.

Oh yes, and two dollhouses that both need work.

I'm not done!  I have a sewing machine, and all the accouterments that go with it.  Needles and thread, bobbins and feet, the iron and board and hams and so forth.  Fortunately most of this is really tiny (I threw it in a bag in a Sterilite drawer) or else really big, and already has a designated home on the back of a door.  (I can't tell you how glad I am that I didn't bother to throw away the sewing machine box and packing.)  Also a shoebox full of sandpaper and a hand sanding machine.

Michaels sells a shelf set to hold up to 7 of the scrapbooking bins, but at $80, I can't justify the cost.  (for $89 I could get a 6' Closetmaid closet shelf that's roughly the same width but twice the height, plus three clothes poles, which would be great for wrapping paper and ribbon.)

I bought the shoeboxes en masse at the Dollar Tree.  I don't really like them as the lids aren't secure, but since I was taping them all shut for the move I felt it didn't matter.  I also don't like that they're more designed for stacking inside each other and I feel that's a lot of wasted shelf space.  I want something squarer!

Also random stationery and office supplies, wrapping paper, and computer related stuff that maybe I can sneak into Brian's office supplies, as I haven't touched it in three years.

I have two 7 drawer Sterilite drawers.  I HAD three, but gave one to my mother before the move.  I had been storing things in there, like the wood and the beads, whose collection had grown too much to fit in the drawers, and I wanted to keep them in a single container.  One of them I managed to empty for the move, as they were mostly holding miniature accessories.  If I can get my houses back together all of those items can go in the houses and free up the drawers.  That will take a few months at least.  In the meantime, all the mini stuff is in shoeboxes.  I also have a couple of mismatched drawers, one that's three drawers for paper and two others that are just single drawers, and a Closetmaid type shelf that's 12"wide by 24" high.  And a banquet table.  A choice of two different sizes, technically.

Oh, my craft books.  I want those on hand.  There's a lot, but I'm not sure exactly how much, as I also had my comic books mixed in.  (Those can go in the guest room.  What better way to spend the evening adjusting to a strange bed in a new location than with Calvin and Hobbes?)

So, my storage is mostly shoebox sized, scrapbook bin sized, lots of fabric, and stuff that can go in a few drawers.  Are there shoebox cubbies?  I don't think the cube shelves are the right size, and I'd like to avoid spending extra money just because I don't like the angled walls of a cheap shoebox.

I'm wondering if it would be easiest to go back to my old standby of hanging shelves.  Y'know, those metal strips you attach to the studs in the wall, and then slip in the metal brackets for the boards?  I didn't do that in the townhouse because we didn't trust the walls, which were literally shared with the neighbors due to stupid building, so I totally forgot about this option til now.  This leaves me floor space for the dollhouses and/or the banquet table, or the sterilite drawers and the option for hanging fabric.  It's inexpensive compared to floor standing shelves and highly customizable.  They can take quite a bit of weight, plus I can also add more work space!  Not the sewing machine, of course, but I was hoping to jut that out into the center of the room under the light anyway.  I can also add lighting.

OK.  This will work.