May 26, 2012
Are you ready?
Take in a deep breath.
And here we go . . .
Recently I spent nearly a full day and a half in our garage re-organizing my cookie cutters. Before the big overhaul they were in these same storage boxes in basically the same categories they are now except that they were just tossed into the boxes loose which resulted in a couple annoying problems.
- By nature of being the alpha dog of cookie cutters, the copper ones were crushing the weaker ones. The carnage of mangled tin cookie cutters was heart-breaking.
- The cutters were becoming so tangled I couldn’t close the box lids.
- I couldn’t find anything.
What finally pushed me over the edge to get out there and just do it, was when I spent an hour looking for one single cookie cutter. I was absolutely certain that my Harley-Davidson emblem was kept in the box marked “Transportation” but after shuffling through the box for more than 10 minutes it was no closer to being found. That’s when I started to pull down one box at a time, shifting through each in search of the renegade cookie cutter and only after going through every box one or twice did I finally find it . . . on the very top of the stack in . . .that’s right . . . the “Transportation” box.
So last weekend I set up a folding table in the garage and got busy.
A good place to start is creating categories for your cutters by looking over the categories on any cookie cutter store page. If you have a reasonable number of cookie cutters, rather than excessive, then you can go with broad categories like “Animals” but as you start collecting more and more (and you will collect more and more because you’re weak just like I am) it helps to create more specific categories like “jungle animals,” “forest animals,” “farm animals,” and “cats and dogs.”
In combining categories into one box I don’t do it the obvious way by putting similar categories like all the animals together because I have far too many animal cutters to fit in one box. Instead, I combine one big category with a couple smaller categories. That’s why when you read the labels on my boxes there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to why I grouped certain categories together.
Let me show you what I mean.
There are four categories in this one storage box; sports, play, toys, and Star Wars.
And here’s how it looks inside.
Inside every box are two layers of boxes. The boxes I use are cardboard boxes with a clear display lid so I can see the cutters inside. I can usually fit a couple layers of cookie cutters in each box. I’ve been working with this system of storing cutters for the past couple weeks and so far it’s working great. Even though it takes a couple extra minutes to put the cutters away than it did when I was just popping open the lid and hurling them in, I save that amount of time and then some when I head out to the garage to get the cutters I need to play with next.
Here’s another little thing I do that works for me. I keep two clear plastic shoeboxes in my work space. When I have a couple sets of cookies coming up on my calendar I’ll take the “Upcoming” shoebox out to the garage and pull out all the cutters I’ll be using so that on my cookie baking days the cookie cutters are all ready to go. The other shoebox is your basic “to be filed” drop site. I tend to be
a wee bit significantly lazy and so after a day of baking and decorating, landing my squishy behind in my favorite chair usually wins out after heading out to the garage to sort the used cookie cutters away. To accommodate this particular character defect I’ll clean my used cutters and then drop them in the plastic shoebox before heading to my favorite chair. The only caveat is that I have to sacrifice a few precious minutes in my comfy chair for the garage once the shoe box becomes so full I can’t squeeze another cookie cutter in to it.
So that’s all I’ve got for you today but before we say goodbye let’s take one more look in the garage because there’s something I know you didn’t miss that we haven’t talked about yet.
That’s right. You see them. E-M-P-T-Y storage containers. Nine (9) of them to be exact! This is what happens when you get organized. You free up space that allows you to have more space to put more stuff. Stuff like . . . oh . . . I don’t know . . . more cookie cutters perhaps.