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The Practical Witch: Storage Solutions


ArcticWitch

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I was surprised that I couldn't find a thread on this topic.  One of the challenges that's been mentioned on various threads is how much stuff we can accumulate over the years of collecting tools, books, herbs, etc.  Anyone care to share tips on how they keep their witchy items stored and organized?

 

Ultimately, I hope to get a beautiful cabinet- but until that happens, I'm using a huge antique steamer trunk that I got a garage sale for $2.  I recommend it!  I don't have to go hunting all over the house when I need certain things for a working, and it fits neatly wherever I choose to keep it.  I also recommend either canning jars (Mason, Kerr, Ball) or swing-top jars (I get decent-sized ones for $1 each at Michael's Arts & Crafts) for storing herbs- I used to use plastic bags, but they seem to preserve their potency far better when kept in a glass container.  

 

 

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The trunk sounds like a great find, especially for that price, AW! I do have a cabinet in which I keep anything witchcraft related that doesn't have another designated spot in my home. For storage empty (and thoroughly cleaned) peanut butter or marmalade jars are a favourite. 

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1 Dram and 2 Dram glass vials are cheap on the internet. :)

 

I also use Mason jars, many of them actually antiques.  The new ones I buy are for my farmer's market stuff.  Those range from half pint to gallon.  I keep having to buy bookshelves so I started getting small 3 shelf ones for $16 each at the department store.  Sure they're pressboard, but they're easy to assemble and are rather sturdy.  I have several small hand carved wooden boxes and soapstone boxes for storage and also use leather pouches.  For simple closet storage those plastic storage bins with the drawers and wheels come in handy too. 

 

I say all of this, but in reality I'm very very disorganized...but I know where everything is!

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Since I have kids & a partner who is unsupportive of my practice, I keep everything on my bookshelf, as "decorations", or in my sewing box. The herbal concoctions are on "my" shelf in the pantry. I don't have an indoor altar.

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I currently, unfortunately, use boxes. I used to have a set of shelves that had a door, and I preferred having shelves that way everything was sort of visible when I opened it, and didn't have to be stacked... It also helps keep the sun away from herbs and oils and prevents them from being oxidized.

I've used a trunk before, but I didn't like having to rummage..

You can buy storage boxes at michaels and the dollar store.... even huge grocery stores like Meijer here in michigan. I also recall buying a lot of glass storage at the dollar store! :).

 

Small glass vials/dram vials, eye droppers, etc. can be found on amazon for cheap though! :). If you're already buying them, buy all different sizes... larger jars that olives come in can be washed extra hot/in the dishwasher and "cleaned" to be used even for incense: if you start storing all your incense together, they pick up the scent from their neighbors, which I dont like... and be careful with jars that used to have vinegar in them. I'm all for re-purposing things that are able to be!

 

For smallish things that need to be hidden, I was checking out those small safes that look like dictionaries...

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I use mason jars and repurposed glass jars of different sorts to store herbs in as well. Trouble is, as a collection grows, where to store all your jars? I like to keep all my working items separate from the common areas of the home, since I have kids who get into everything. They don't even go near my sectioned off area I use for working. They know better. I already have a great deal of shelving and storage space in there, but it is starting to get a bit cluttered.

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I use mason jars and repurposed glass jars of different sorts to store herbs in as well. Trouble is, as a collection grows, where to store all your jars? I like to keep all my working items separate from the common areas of the home, since I have kids who get into everything. They don't even go near my sectioned off area I use for working. They know better. I already have a great deal of shelving and storage space in there, but it is starting to get a bit cluttered.

Is it getting cluttered because there is so much stuff or because it needs a good organizing .....? I'm not that organized naturally and it takes a second eye some times to see how to reorganize things... :) if you already have a lot of stuff, is there are way you can use what you have instead of acquiring new things ....? :)

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I organize my space regularly, I hate to work in a disorganized space, when you end up spending more time looking for items then you spend working. So no, it is not that it is disorganized. I do have a lot of stuff, but I also use it. The thing is you just never know when you will need  something for one working or another, and I like to have it on hand. Saves me running around trying to find it. The growing season is short here and there are not many places to buy certain items. I also craft a lot, and keep quite a few odds and ends for that. It is the glass jars of herbs that seem to take up the most space though. I am thinking overhead shelving maybe? 

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I used to have everything stored in my bedroom in a cupboard and scattered here and there, but since moving out with my partner into a shared house it is more difficult. I have had to leave some things behind and fight for space with him :rolleyes: he doesn't mind my things about as long as they are extremely tidy and not taking over his stuff space.

 

I have a small chest for herbs, glass bottles for powders and mixtures and a bag for cloths, wool and crafty things etc. anything else is just "tidily" placed on a shelf with my books. It is hard when you keep adding more stuff and running out of room though..

 

I am dreaming of the day when i get my own house. :sleep:

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For smallish things that need to be hidden, I was checking out those small safes that look like dictionaries...

I love those book safes, and I can find them fairly cheap at discount stores like Ross. I bought a plastic container with 4 drawers & hide it in a closet.

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It takes some patience to cut out all the pages but you can make your own book safe...just pick up an old copy of something common like War & Peace at a yard sale for like fifty cents and cut a square out of the inner pages of the book.  It's an old prison trick--they do it with bibles because guards can't mess with religious materials in prison.

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It takes some patience to cut out all the pages but you can make your own book safe...just pick up an old copy of something common like War & Peace at a yard sale for like fifty cents and cut a square out of the inner pages of the book.  It's an old prison trick--they do it with bibles because guards can't mess with religious materials in prison.

Excellent idea...... I have plenty of yard sale books, why didn't I think of this earlier?

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Excellent idea...... I have plenty of yard sale books, why didn't I think of this earlier?

 

Yeah I made one out of War & Peace since it's so common to find in hardback, otherwise I shudder at the concept of destroying books.  Actually I don't know if I still have that thing either...I may need to make another one.  It helps when you have a nice fat hardback to leave a good couple of hundred pages at the beginning so when it first gets opened it still looks legit.  Unfortunately there is no easy way to do it but I found it helps to make a template with cardboard and cut it a little at a time with a boxcutter razor knife page by page if necessary.

 

 

There was a guy at the homeless shelter where I used to live who had a book with the precise space to fit a pack of cigarettes cut into a paperback book.  Sometimes there was a big problem with theft there and no one ever wanted to steal books--who knew?  Such a simple storage tool but quite effective.

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I use an antique chiffarobe (inherited from my great-grandmother) for a lot of my storage, but I have outgrown it.  (Too much stuff.)

 

I did find some spice racks, the kind on a wooden pedestal that spins, on sale for less that $3.00 which included all the bottles so I bought several of those to use.  I keep these in the closet on a shelf.  I used a label maker to label all of the lids and bottles and even went a little crazy by putting them in alphabetical order.  So, when I am looking for something it's easy to find.

 

I love to go to thrift stores and yard sales for finding things for storage.  Bottles. boxes, etc.

 

And yes, those book safes are wonderful.

 

I have some deocrative cookie tins that are narrow and tall which I use for stick incense.  They are actually quite decorative without any adverstising on them so I can leave those out as decoration.  I also leave some other things out around the house as decoration.

 

I would love to have one of those sewing boxes, the kind on legs that accordians outward (if that makes sense) to use.

 

It would be nice to have an entire room to use only for crafting where I could store everything in one place, but I tend to use my kitchen for my workings, so I guess I would still have to move things form one room to another.  What I'd really like would be an extra kitchen to use for crafting.  I know someone who had a house built where she has her regular kitchen and an extra kitchen just for canning.  That would be perfect for crafting.

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I have a cabinet in my kitchen devoted to witchcraft supplies, a couple of shelves in the bookcases for reference books and that seems to be enough. save jam jars for storage, hang herbs to dry in the laundry room- where my alter is as well. It seems to be enough space. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

For far too long I've had all my things hidden away cos I've not had my own space. As of last month though, the fiancé and I finally got our stuff sorted and we moved into our own little flat. This freedom has gotten to me though cos now I have everything everywhere. He does not practice and just lets me get on with whatever I'm doing. He'll just say, "well, as long as you know what it is" whenever he notices something strange in the flat. Mostly I keep things in the kitchen as most of my tools have other uses.

I do have a little wooden box that I've had since I was a toddler that I put my really "special" items in; like my plague victim ashes.

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I have a cabinet in my kitchen devoted to witchcraft supplies, a couple of shelves in the bookcases for reference books and that seems to be enough. save jam jars for storage, hang herbs to dry in the laundry room- where my alter is as well. It seems to be enough space. 

Holy crap I have so many of those it's not even funny! All different shapes and sizes...Pickle jars, salsa jars, pretty much anything glass with a decent amount of space. Not every herb I have is in bulk so I wind up using all of the differing sizes (and I still don't have enough!).

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I use mason jars and repurposed glass jars of different sorts to store herbs in as well. Trouble is, as a collection grows, where to store all your jars? I like to keep all my working items separate from the common areas of the home, since I have kids who get into everything. They don't even go near my sectioned off area I use for working. They know better. I already have a great deal of shelving and storage space in there, but it is starting to get a bit cluttered.

I swear it seems like my cabinets contain more mason jars, glass jars, etc. of supplies (mostly herbs) than they do food!  :help: 

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Thank you! I love those ideas. I just need to get a futon out of my space so I can put up a bookshelf, book boxes, etc. I'm also taking about painting my current plastic organizers for privacy.

 

I did a sigil for invisibility for something. It was funny because the post office lost it but delivered it to me at 8:30pm last night when hubby wasn't home. I'm going to be more careful with invisibility next time...maybe wait for the item to get here first :)

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haha. Sure. :) Have you heard of Mary King's Close, the underground city, in Edinburgh? Well, when the plague hit out away back when and all the poor people of the underground city started dying, no one was left to or wanted to claim their ashes so they were used to make plaster to build separating walls in the underground city.

Knowing this I went on a tour of the close, the walls they had been used on were chalky to touch, and crumbling with age. I stayed at the back of the tour group and while we were standing listening to stories I may have crumbled off a few little chunks of wall to mash down into a fine powder at home. :witch_bounce:

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Bewitchingredhead, Hey finally someone else who's house is over run with glass jars.lol. I can't stop keeping them I have so many that I am stacking then on shelves in my shed. I thought I was the only one that. :laugh:

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