Thursday, April 13, 2017

How Do I Organize All of My Bullet Journal Supplies?

How I Started Out Organizing My Bullet Journal Supplies

If you're anything like me, then once you start working on a bullet journal, you start accumulating fun supplies to personalize your planning and journaling. Well, as you amass a collection of stamps, inks, writing utensils, stickers, etc., there becomes the issue of organizing and storing your supplies.  Ideally, whatever system you choose to use should allow for at least some of these things to be portable so that you can bring them with you to journal and plan on-the-go. 

I am going to share my organizing ideas with you so that you can get more ideas of what system it is that you wish to use to organize your own bullet journal and creative planning supplies. I will show you what worked for me, and what didn't...well, I'm actually going to begin with what didn't work the best for me and then show you how I improved my system.

When I first started organizing my supplies, I didn't want to have to spend any money.  I would rather have spent the money on the fun supplies!  They add up quickly!  So, this is what I had around the house to start with:
Creative Planner Supplies

The large, clear carrying case was something I got from Michaels.  The two containers with green lids were originally from the dollar store, and the small pink and purple cases were from Staples.  Those small cases were perfect for me to store my tiny rubber calendar/appointment stamps in. Some of those stamps are as small as your pinkie nail!  You don't want to lose them!  The containers with the green lids had two purposes.  One of them was used to hold all of my mini stamp pads, as well as my small acrylic stamp blocks like this:

The other container became a catchall for my pencil sharpener, eraser, tape runner, and fun doodads like small, colored clothespins, my post-it flags, scissors, etc. 

I borrowed my daughter's pink and black leopard zipper pouch to hold my pencils, markers, and pens.  I sort of felt like I was in elementary school all over again!  As I started to accumulate more writing utensils, that case wasn't big enough anymore.  And, although quite large, the clear Recollections case very quickly became too small to use.  

What I had liked about the clear case originally was that it held everything I had at that time, including my creative planner and the hole puncher I had purchased to go with it. I also liked having a handle on the case to carry it with me.  The case became quite cumbersome, though.  I mean, the thing is ginormous!  If you aren't planning to take it with you anywhere, it is a great case to store your supplies in, but I really needed mine to be portable.  And as my supplies grew they no longer fit in the case...at least not in this way. 

I realized I needed something else to use, and saw these pouches on clearance for 75 cents a piece, so I gave them a try.  They weren't the cutest pouches in the world, but I figured I would just add a vinyl decal on them with my Cricut, and that would increase their curb appeal for me.  

Carrying Case for Bullet Journal

So, one of the pouches I used for my writing utensils, and the other one I tried to fit all of my office supplies, doodads, and stamp pads in.  Well, they became too bulky and I just felt like they were disorganized! This Type-A lady couldn't handle that!  So I was on the search for a new system!

After quite a bit of contemplating and searching, I came across this bag:

When I saw it at Michaels, it was $29.99 and there was absolutely NO WAY this frugal momma could justify spending that kind of money on a case for my journal.  But, as we all know, Michaels has coupons!!  I had a 50% off one, and I decided that this case would make my bullet journaling much easier, so it was worth the $15!  And let me just tell you that I LOVE it!!  The thing is a workhorse.  Let me show you how I use it.

How I Set Up My Bullet Journal Carrying Case
This is my actual bag, loaded with all of my crap!

Creative Planner Carrying Case

I didn't take a picture of it, but there are actually two large zippered compartments that are separated by fabric in the middle. The fabric on the outside is a smooth fabric that feels like one of those kinds you can wipe clean.  I haven't spilled anything on it yet, so I can't say for sure if that is true, but it definitely feels like that kind of fabric!

I love that everything is completely enclosed in the case, and that it seems pretty darn sturdy.  I have that thing packed and can just barely zipper it closed, but it doesn't feel like it's coming apart anytime soon (if at all)!  The same thing goes for the handles.  They're pretty strong, as well!

When I first open up my case, the large compartment is big enough to hold my creative planner. On the left side of the case, you can see that there is a large pocket.  It doesn't have any way to close it, which is sort of a downfall, I feel.  But I'm thinking I might add some Velcro to it so that whatever I store in it won't fall out.  Currently, I am using it for papers.

When I take my journal out, there are two detachable, zippered, see-through pockets.  This is what finally sold me on the case, actually.  I liked that I could remove them and place them in front of me to easily remove supplies as I am working.  I like that they're see-through so that I can easily access the particular item I want.  And I like that they are zippered so that my supplies stay put! You can see in the photo that I use one of the pouches for my sketching pencils, and one for my office supplies.

Organizing My Bullet Journal Supplies

On the other side of the carrying case, there is the second zippered section.  When I open that up, I have an elastic pocket on the left, which is large enough to hold my sketchbook! Behind that pocket is another large zippered pocket, where I store my washi tape along with my little cases for the mini rubber stamps and stamp pads. I actually ended up buying two new ones that were a little bit longer and flatter, though.  I found them at Wal-Mart, in the office supplies section and they were pretty cheap ($1.25 I think??).  They're a much better size for my mini stamp pads and stamps, for sure!

The right side of this section is a giant, see-through, zippered pouch.  This one is not removable, but I still love it!  It is big enough to store all of my pens and sharpies!! 

Creative Journal Carrying Case Interior

As you can see, this carrying case holds a TON of supplies!!  Everything I really need to journal and plan on a regular basis is in this thing.  The only thing I couldn't fit in it was my hole puncher.  Oh, and the kitchen sink.  The kitchen sink will not fit!

Does anyone else have this case?  Do you love it like me? Or do you have a different opinion? What other organizing systems do you use for your bullet journal supplies?  Write a comment below and let me know!

Until next time...

Organizationally yours,

Marathon Momma

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