Your challenge this week is craft organization, including both of all your supplies and equipment and the room or area where you do your crafting.
Doing crafts or any other hobby is one of the pleasures in life, and I think an organized home should make room for such joys. I don’t know about you, but making something with my hands and letting my creative juices flow brings me fulfillment, at least most of the time. The only time it doesn’t bring me happiness and contentment is when I get frustrated because I can’t find what I need to complete my project, or everything is such a mess I don’t have a space to work on it properly.
Are you new here? The Craft Organization Challenge is part of the 52 Week Home Organization Challenge. (Click the link to learn how to join us for free for future and past challenges if you aren’t already a regular reader).
This week we’re going to work on those issues to make crafting the fun, pleasurable experience it should be without crowding out the rest of your home, or driving you nuts from disorganization.
During the Craft Organization Challenge we will work on both your own supplies, as well as your children’s art and craft supplies.
Further, this article is not really craft specific, but can be applied to just about any hobby or craft you like to do, from quilting, sewing, knitting, crochet, cross-stich, embroidery, beading, jewelry making, scrapbooking, painting, drawing, model making, and on and on.
Step 1: Declutter Craft Supplies & Gather Everything Into One Area
The first step in the Craft Organization Challenge is to gather all of your supplies and equipment into one area, and then declutter.
If you’ve got a craft or sewing room, or another area in your home designated as the place you do your hobby activities, make sure everything goes into that room or area and declutter it at the same time you deal with the equipment and other materials.
It may be hard to let go of some of this material, since at least somewhere in your mind at one point you envisioned yourself working on these items.
However, decluttering is often necessary, especially if you find you can’t find what you need in the vast quantities you own, or the supplies are overflowing their designated space and making piles and stacks all over the place.
Here’s my main list of craft items to declutter from your home:
- Items no longer usable, such as dried up glue or markers
- If you’ve got lots of duplicates, keep the highest quality items and ditch those you know you would be annoyed to use because the supply is not good, or the equipment doesn’t work well
- Supplies and equipment for projects that are either too easy or way too difficult for your skill level (yes, you can stretch and grow in your hobby, but be realistic with the amount of time and skill you’ve got)
- Get rid of the stuff you honestly just don’t want to do anymore, either because you’re not interested in that type of craft, or that particular pattern or kit no longer looks like as much fun as you first imagined
- Uncompleted projects that you know you can’t or won’t complete
You’ll need to keep decluttering until you can fit everything into the space you’ve designated for them. You may have one decluttering pass, and then begin putting things into containers in Step 4 below and realize you need to declutter more. That’s fine. Come back and do some more until you can fit everything into the space you’ve designated.
Step 2: Sort Remaining Craft Supplies Into Categories
Once you’ve gotten rid of the stuff you no longer want, the next step in the Craft Organization Challenge is to categorize everything you’ve got left.
Obviously, certain hobbies and crafts require certain materials, while others require different stuff. Separate the knitting from the painting supplies, etc.
Further, categorize things for each separate hobby into the supplies (things that will get used up during the making of the craft), and the equipment and tools (the items used over and over to make the craft).
Later, in step 4 you’ll containerize these items by category, keeping like with like as much as possible.
Step 3: Clear An Area Or Room To Do Your Crafts In
As mentioned above, some people are lucky enough to have a whole room or area devoted to doing their crafts or hobby projects, while others don’t.
No matter which category you fall into, you’ve got to designate a space or area to do your crafts in. If you don’t have a whole room devoted, chances are the space you use will be used for something else part of the time too, but that is OK. Know, in your mind, that at least part of the time that is your crafting area and make sure it is ready for your use in that fashion.
Think what you’d ideally have around you while you do your craft. Do you need a large flat work space, like a large crafting table? Or do you just need a comfortable seat and a good light over your shoulder?
Clear such a space for yourself, and set it up to work for your needs.
Step 4: Utilize Craft Storage Solutions To Containerize Everything
Finally, the fourth step in the Craft Organization Challenge is to stock your supplies,tools and equipment around you to make them handy and easy to access as you work. Typically, the best way to do this for crafts is to containerize them, since they’ve got lots of small parts to them that need to be kept together.
Ideally, you’ll have your craft supplies, tools and equipment stored in the area you’ve got designated for your crafts. If this won’t work, get creative (including using some of the ideas below) to figure out how to get the needed supplies near where you are when you need them.
Your goal should be to give all of your craft equipment, tools and supplies a well defined space, so everything has a designated home and you can access and find it in a reasonable amount of time when you need it.
Underutilized Spaces Perfect For Craft Storage
Don’t forget about these great spaces for storing craft supplies:
- Wall space, especially above, below, and to the sides of your designated workstation
- Extra closets
- On the back of the door, such as using an over the door organizer
Containerize Your Crafting Supplies & Equipment
The best way to store craft supplies is within containers, either open or closed, depending on the type of item you’re trying to organize and store.
The types of containers you need will depend on the amount of supplies you have, and what kind of craft you do. For example, if you sew you’ll need to organize and store patterns, buttons, zippers, fabric and thread for instance. Or, if you do beading you’ve got lots of little beads to keep organized and contained.
You need to choose what will work for your particular needs, but here are some general ideas:
- Little drawers or small containers for small items (including old baby food jars)
- Clear storage containers, especially with drawers and/or that are stackable are helpful because then you can see what’s in them, without having to open each one to find something
- Ziplock bags (gallon sized ones can even be reinforced with masking tape on the side and hole punched for three ring binders to help organize and sort small stuff)
- Over the door shoe organizers are great for holding small stuff, or kids’ art supplies, for example
- Rolling storage containers, can be rolled into a work area during the project and rolled back away into another area when not working on your craft project (and many of these can be stored under a desk for out of the way storage when not in use)
Have Containers For In-Progress Crafts
Don’t forget to designate some containers for your current, in progress, projects too.
Most projects can’t be completed in one sitting, and you’ve got to put things away between sessions to keep your kids from getting into it, or so you can use the space in other ways in the mean time.
Create a container that can hold the supplies, partially completed project, and any equipment and tools needed for it, as well as instructions and a note to yourself saying where you finished. You may want this container to be portable, so you can move it around with you, especially if do your projects in several places.
An added bonus to having such designated in progress containers is that it limits how many craft projects you can start at once. That way you get some projects completed, not just started and then abandoned.
I hope that you’ve found this week’s challenge helpful! Make sure to come back next week for another challenge!