Grams Image

Grams Image

Friday, February 6, 2015

This is the third installment of my Bits and Pieces category.  I have been thinking about lots of different topics that I could add to this category and I have decided I would do a little about office, craft and school materials to add to preparedness supplies.  I will break it down into the three sections.  Remember that you may have other things you need to add and just take this as a beginning for you to ruminate over and then make your own lists and complete your own supply items.

Office and school supplies  -  I will consider that I may not have electricity or electronics that work in the future for many possible reasons.  So I will talk about the things that will not require the parts and refills that computers, printers, and electronic notebooks may require.  Paper will be something that would be hard to make so I would like to have 2 cases of copy paper, a roll of butcher paper which is a quite inexpensive way to have paper and Sam's has it in 1000 ft. rolls for less than $16 a roll.  Notebooks such as composition notebooks, spiral notebooks, legal pads, loose leaf paper and notepads could come in handy as well.  The time of year to buy all the notebooks and loose leaf paper would be in late summer when the big discount stores and drug stores put the school supplies on sale for pennies on the dollar.  Pens and pencils are super cheap during back to school sales as well.  Dollar store sells about 10 to 12 pencils for a dollar.  I haven't had good luck with there pens but the Bic pens are good for the most part so buy them during the sales.  The Dollar store sell calculators for a buck and they work well as well as paper clips and mini staplers aud staples.  Rulers are only about a quarter each and the crayons are about the same. I find lots of book bags and lunch boxes and notebooks for loose leaf paper at the local thrift stores.  Also yard sales are a good place to find these type of things.  I also found quite a few homeschool workbooks and hard backed text books.  Now, you may wonder how to store all these things.  I have the cases of printer/copy paper in their own boxes and then put all of the other supplies filed on their sides but packed tightly in cardboard office file boxes.  Then the pens, pencils, rulers, crayons, staplers and staples and paper clips in a plastic sweater box and if you need more room then use a plastic shoe box or two. All together all of my supplies which I suspect will last for 2 to 3 years take up a 18 inch by 24 inch area that is about 4 ft. tall.  It is easy to fit in the back of a closet in the corner or on the floor of your closet under your hanging clothes stretched out one layer deep and then you could put your shoes on top.

Now craft supplies are a completely different story.  Depending on what type of craft you do, you will have lots of small things usually.  My specific hobbies are varied.  I make beaded jewelry, I do scrapbooking, and I sew.  I am not including the cooking that I do because my hobby of cooking is blended with necessity of cooking daily for my family. 

Hobbies like beading require large amounts of beads as well as other supplies.  I find it is really hard to find that were portable and would keep the beads separated according to color and size.
I finally settled on baby food jars for the beads.  If it was a small amount of beads then I used prescription bottles.  I taped with clear scotch tape on the lids a sample of the beads in the jar.  The jars were kept in a plastic sweater box because it was large enough to hold the other tools I needed as well, including the velvet or fleece for working on.  The one thing I learned was that all of the supplies in the sweater box were not safe without having something tied around the box.  When my box got knocked off the table and everything came crashing out I cried.  So please if you use my method then tie a ribbon both directions around the box and then you can put it on the closet shelf and it will be safe. 

Scrapbooking is also a hobby of many small items.  Paper, stickers, stamps and stamp pads, scissors, pens, pencils, ribbons, paper cutters, templates, glues and tapes.  Many more items than I can mention.  I ruminated on what to use for these things since I didn't have a craft room and I use my dining room table for my crafts.  Then one day I was watching Martha Stewart on the show she had years ago.  She was showing some of her organization of craft items and she was using a roll cabinet and tool box.  Of course she was using an expensive set which I couldn't justify but I looked around and talked to my husband about it and he came home one day with the perfect set from Home Depot.
They were having a sale on an inexpensive set that works beautifully for my scrapbooking.  The tools and paper cutters have their own drawers and the paper fits in the cabinet below in boxes and the scrapbooks in progress have a home there as well.  The tool chest sits on the roll cabinet and the roll cabinet is on casters and can be moved from the closet to the dining room near the table.  I tend to leave it out when I am in the scrapbooking mood and the put it away when I burn out for awhile.

My sewing hobby is even more hit or miss.  I don't get into the mood to do it very often.  I have 2 electric sewing machines, a serger, and a treadle machine.  At the moment both of my electric machines need to be serviced.  I am not really going to talk about the machines themselves but about the other supplies that take up so much room.  I must admit my sewing supplies are scattered at the moment.  I recently bought several sterlite containers to keep my fabics in.  I plan to buy plastic sweater boxes for other supplies and then a file box for my patterns.  I haunt the thrift stores for patterns when I am in them.  The patterns only cost 10 cents or so.  I buy only very basic patterns that never go out of style.  I have patterns for most sizes of childrens clothes.  I have patterns for my size and the sizes for the other women in the family as well as for the men.  I have not bought patterns for mens dress clothes or jeans.  I figure if things get bad I will patch clothes until they can't be patched any longer then I will make basic drawstring pants and simple pull over shirts similar to scrubs but to be made with sturdier fabrics.  I have patterns for needed in the house as well like slipcovers for furniture, kitchen necessities, and aprons.  The aprons might be for butchering meat or cooking in the kitchen or gardening or hanging out laundry depending on what is needed.  Aprons should help keep clothes clean and tools needed close at hand. I always have my sewing box with all of my hand sewing tools and needles as well as patches, buttons, elastic, and threads to accomplish small tasks such as patching, sewing hems or sewing on buttons. I have started doing what my Grandmother did.
I keep all the buttons off of clothing that has been ruined and will be discarded.  Also if it is the right type of fabric you can keep good sections of the fabric for making quilts, pot holders, doll clothes, etc. 


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