Saturday, April 28, 2012

Packing for a Retreat: Part 2 - Packing Prep

This is part 2 of a series of posts about my plan for packing/prepping for a crafting retreat.  See my previous post for information about picking a Venue.


Packing - its definitely a mix of art and science.  How do you pack so that you know where everything is?  And dear Lord, how do you know what to pack/leave behind?

Believe it or not, retreat packing has actually affected the way that I store and organize my crafty supplies at home!  Over the years I've found supplies that are in easy-to-close and easy-to-pack containers already accomplish a few things: 1) they look cleaner at home (where I have all my crafting supplies out on display); and 2) it s a breeze to pack up the boxes and load them up for a trip.

Here's an example: These three boxes are always on my craft desk (under a small shelf).  They hold: all my adhesives, acrylic blocks for stamping, pencils, watercolor crayons, stamp scrubbers and a few misc. products.  They are hands down my most-reached-for tools.  All of these boxes are from Ikea.

When it comes time to pack for a retreat, all I have to do is put the lids on and stuff them into bags or boxes.  They even have a little extra room for me to stuff in any product I recently purchased or remnants of supplies I keep in my go-to glass jar.

Other products I tend to store in ready-to-pack boxes include: all of my inks; paints; Sizzix dies and embossing folders; spray inks/Stickles/alcohol inks; and ribbon.  I try to always buy containers that have lids.  The fact that they're all black is also a personal choice - again, since my crafting supplies are always on display (right in my divided living room) I tried to pick a theme that also looked classy.  I love the all-white products, but they just don't work for me.

If you don't have the ability (or interest) in re-organizing all of your storage, here's my second tip.  Start saving shoe boxes!  They are the perfect size for organizing product so that you can quickly find it once you're at the retreat.  There's nothing worse than trying to throw everything into a tub, then go digging for 15 minutes before you find it.

So maybe it isn't really a surprise, but if you're going to do retreats somewhat often - or even if you frequently travel to a friends house for craft time, its worth planning this into how you store your supplies on a regular basis.  The supplies that aren't normally in boxes can be quickly grouped together (by topic) and packed in small boxes temporarily.

Next time we'll finally get to talking about actual packing and transportation :)

What tips/tricks for packing do you have?

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