Thursday, January 9, 2014

Boxing Day

Hello Gypsies and Happy Boxing Day!

No, not the UK Boxing Day that's celebrated on Dec 26 - I'm late but not that late - it's the "Getting Organized by Boxing Up my Stuff" Day.

Every January I get bitten by the organizing bug. My family cringes and hides their junk valuable treasures while I purge the closets, do an exorcism under the bed and evict the contents of the kitchen catch-all drawer. 

I decided to start organizing early this year and tackle the Creative Corner. My Creative Corner is a small bit of space in the family room, and currently features piles of junk interesting project ideas and ephemera stacked in every available space. I decided to tackle my growing pile of Sizzix dies, before they toppled over and buried me while blogging.

Tim Holtz recently launched storage boxes for his Alternations line and I bought 2 each of the 2 different sizes of Die Storage Boxes. I was super-excited about these boxes when he sneak-peeked them for CHA-Summer 2013. My local store finally got some in stock and I ran right down and bought some. I found some great and some not so great features for both.

The boxes are very sturdy, they have a good solid feel and are covered with a very thick beige linen. Since most of my craft supplies are exposed to the public, these boxes will look nice while storing!

Not so great!
The boxes came chuck full of plastic die holders. There went my New Year's resolution to reduce my carbon footprint. The die holders adhere to the bottom of the boxes to hold the dies. I found the die holders completely unnecessary for most of my storage needs. In the box for the BIGZ dies, the holders actually cause you to store fewer dies than if you just stack the dies in the box.
The box on the left has the die holder and fits 8 dies. The box on the right doesn't have the die holder and fits 11 dies while still allowing for space to get my fingers in to actually take one out. 

You'll note that I keep my dies in the plastic. I like being able to quickly identify my dies visually. I don't work with them enough to have the title memorized so I keep the dies with the label in their plastic. By trimming away the top closure and leaving the top open, I can quickly slide the dies in and out of the sleeves when needed. 

The plastic die holder that comes in the long box used to hold the Decorative Strips is actually necessary and very helpful. I don't have enough of the strips to fill a box, so the holder keeps them upright and nice and tidy. The same long box also holds the smaller On the Edge Dies. Again I don't have enough to fill the box, and it comes with the same space-taking plastic die holder which I immediately "recycled" threw in the trash. *My carbon footprint just went up a size. 

I chose to also store my little Movers and Shapers Dies in the Decorative Strip/On the Edge Die Storage Box. The box on the left has my Decorative Strips as well as the cutting pads and extended platform - nice and convenient in one box. The box on the right has my On the Edge and Movers and Shakers as well as my mini Texture Fades - more on that in a sec!
Not so great!
The Movers and Shapers Dies are meant to be stored in the BIGZ Dies boxes, using metal trays - sold separately - that fit into the plastic die holders. **Carbon footprint increases 2 sizes on this one, one for the additional metal trays needed, and one for the plastic holders.

Instead I chose to store my Movers and Shapers in the longer box - the width of the box is perfect for the Movers and Shapers packaging. Again you'll see that I keep these in their packaging with labels for fast visual reference.

Not so great!
Storing the Texture Fade folders means buying heavy plastic storage envelopes that are sized to fit in the BIGZ Die Box. ***There goes that carbon footprint again, I'm going to give up counting how many sizes at this point.

Instead I decided to stack them upright in the front of the BIGZ Die Box. That left my mini-fades, which I stored in the long box, using the plastic holder that is actually supposed to fit in with the Decorative Strips, filling that left-over space in the front of the box. The box is longer than the strips, so something has to go in there right? Have a plastic holder!

Anyway I used that holder to hold my mini-fades and it works perfectly. The only challenge will be remembering that they are there, when the big folders are in the other boxes. It would be great to have all my folders in one box……I might have to buy those envelopes.

My dies now take up a substantially smaller space than before and the boxes look awesome. I went from a huge pile under my desk, to a trim footprint of 7" wide x 15 1/2" deep.

Not so great!
No insert is provided for the lovely metal bookplate on the front of the box. There's no template to make one either, leading me to guess, cut, swear and recut until I got one that fit. A small detail, but if cheap binder divider sets can come with little cardstock inserts, why can't these?

And call me anal picky, but I really love when sizes match up. It would have been awesome if the length of the long box, equaled the length of 2 BIGZ boxes. For people with limited storage space, having the box sizes coordinate for easy mixed size stacking would have been an awesome design feature.
Overall I do like the boxes and will be buying at least one more (ok and maybe a metal tray and an envelope or two don't shoot me). But I can't help wondering if there were some better design decisions that could have been made with them.

Come back soon as I clean the heck out of the Creative Corner, battle the dust bunnies, and finally settle down to crafting.

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