I’m getting myself ready for the Organizing FUNdamentals workshop at Big Picture Classes (which starts tomorrow!). There are a few fun pre-classroom assignments to get prepared, which I’m totally excited to start doing today, but I thought I’d first take a trip down memory lane through my past work spaces. Hopefully, reflecting on these spaces will help me decide what’s worked and what hasn’t, and hey! You get to see my big embarrassing messes.

I’m breaking this post down in three parts, the second of which I’ll post later today, because otherwise it would be a mile long! This post is about my workspaces pre-Holly House. Here’s a trip down scrap space memory lane.

Entertainment Center Scrap Space | Megan Anderson

I technically started scrapbooking and keeping art journals in high school, but I’m going to start the story in 2006, when I knew what the whole scrapbooking thing was about and decided it was the best thing ever. At first, everything I owned for scrapbooking was in one suitcase. I’d pull the suitcase out, spread out and work on the floor, and would dump it back in again. But by the time we were living in our first little apartment, I was hooked. The first indication that my craft stuff would take over our living space can be seen in the background of these photos of us hanging out with our friends. I used a free entertainment center in our small dining space to store all of my supplies in cute little containers.

Entertainment Center Scrap Space | Megan Anderson

I’d use the kitchen table to scrapbook, which meant in reality a lot of eating standing up or in the couch. If there’s one thing I’m bad at, it’s actually putting things away when I’m mid-project.

(Side note: Ahhh! Teeny Eliza!)

First Dedicated Scraproom | Apartment Den | Megan Anderson

Then I started working at a local scrapbooking store and my supply collecting got a little out of hand. I took over our little den, which was previously homework space (Jake and I were both in college at this time). You could never see the whole floor, and getting to the chair to sit was like an obstacle course.

I sure liked that ribbon / clothes hanger idea for embellishments, though.

First Dedicated Scraproom | Apartment Den | Megan Anderson

From this space I can learn two things:

1) I will spread out and make a mess in whatever space I’m allocated, no matter the size.

2) Cute storage that takes up a lot of space isn’t worth it if there’s no room to actually work.


After the teeny apartment was the loft, and with the move came other changes: expansion of craft madness. Now I wasn’t just trying to figure out how to keep scrapbooking stuff organized, I also had stuff from several other craft genres (sewing, painting, knitting, etc.). We also had all of the inventory for our Etsy shop to contend with, including tons of hard-to-store vintage products and a silly amount of packing supplies. I don’t have a lot of good workspace pictures, but basically everything was shoved in a giant (and non-functional) closet.

Crazy Closet | Megan Anderson

Like that.

There was stuff everywhere: along the tops of our walls (because they didn’t go all of the way to the top of our ceilings), topping the kitchen cabinets, and stuffed in closets. We moved stuff around a lot trying to figure out how to manage it all, but never quite did. And, surprise, surprise, not a lot of scrapbooking happend those years.

Loft Office | The Nerd Nest

What did finally (sort of) work was having a work table in the form of an old butcher’s block, which was much more space efficient than the giant desk with no storage that we dragged from the apartment and having the computer and printer in a separate space for homework (still in college at this point), Etsy shop stuff, blogging, and photo editing / printing.

Loft Workspace

Notice that in the photo the work table is shared with a bookshelf and a kitchen table. Our loft was laid out weird, and there weren’t any spaces that only had one function.

From the loft space, I need to learn that:

1) I can’t hold onto everything with the hope that I’ll eventually use it.

2) Not everything needs to always be visible, but there does need to be dedicated space for in-progress projects.

3) Take the time to break down boxes, dude, or that closet avalanche is not helping anyone.

4) If I take pride in the way that a space looks, I’m much more likely to keep it mostly clean.

5) SERIOUSLY STOP IT WITH THE SPACE WASTING STORAGE SOLUTIONS. (I still do this, but looking through these pictures I’m realizing that it’s a big problem in every space.)

I totally miss the loft, and I wonder what it would have looked like sans Etsy explosion / with actual money to buy furniture. I bet we would have rocked it.

I’ll be back later today with post two out of three and then I’ll be ready to MAKE A PLAN for my current space! I’m stoked.

How have your spaces evolved?

Organizing FUNdamentals

I’m taking Organizing FUNdamentals workshop c/o Big Picture Classes. We are BPC affiliates, so if you take this or any other class at Big Picture, use these links to support the Nerd Nest!