Organizing your craft room/space

Are you thinking about getting your craft space organized?

Clutter and disorganization

Clutter and disorganization

How big of a room are you creating in?  Do you have access to a large open space like a basement?  Have you converted a bedroom or a dining room into your creative space?

Have you gone to the big chain stores and purchased storage pieces to hold all of your crafting products?  Have you watched the numerous YouTube videos of craft spaces of other people?

I know I have done all of the above to figure out the best way to store all of my products in a small bedroom.  It seems that I go through a whole revamp of my room yearly in December.   At least that is what the dates of my photos indicate.

Before you even begin thinking about how to arrange your room to best fit your needs you have to assess what kind of crafter you are.  Considering this aspect of it first you will be able to plan your space for the least amount of hunting and gathering.  Digging through boxes, bins, and drawers for the items needed for a project is time consuming and is a major cause of the aftermath of clutter.  Trust me, I know this only too well.

Card makers, scrapbook creators, book and journal makers all have one thing in common.  Paper.  We have card stock, design and graphic papers, paper pads and stacks.  There are specialty papers like vellum, glossy, shiny metallic like, chipboard, and corrugated.  I am a paper freak and have a lot of it.

Are you a rubber stamper?  Do you have more rubber stamps than paper?  Do you have ink pads, refills, and spritz bottles?  Do you have multiple paper trimmers, scissors, and die cutting tools?  Are these products the dominant theme in your crafting?

Are you a scrapbook enthusiast?  Do you have drawers and bins chock full of letters, numbers, chipboard pieces, die cuts, rhinestone flourishes, epoxy stickers, rub on sheets, and all manner of other embellishments?

What are  your  needs besides a table to work on, a comfy chair, and lighting?  Everyone would like to have easy access to the items they use the most.  How do you make this happen without blowing your budget and hiring an interior designer?

The first thing you do is measure your room and diagram it out like an architectural floor plan.  This is easy to do and you can measure while most of your stuff is in your space.  No need to haul everything out and start with a bare room.  You will need a pad of paper, a measuring tape, a pencil or pen, and it helps to have someone else with you to hold the measuring tape as you pull it out.  It can be done by yourself but it takes less time if you have help.

You need to measure the length and width of your room.  PLUS you need to measure the height and any places where the walls jut out in odd box shapes that are called “bulk heads”.  These juts in your room are space that is not available to you but need to be noted and diagrammed.  Also measure any windows and doors in your space.

Next thing you will need to do, on a separate piece of paper is to measure all of the storage and furniture you currently have in your space.  Don’t forget to measure your desk or table and your chair.

Next you will begin creating your floor plan.  Creative Home Decorating Room By Room has an excellent guide to create your floor plan.  They even have PDF files to download.  You can print the graph paper from one of their PDF’s and download the work sheet also.

Making a floor plan is pretty easy to do.  The things that will trip you up will be the measurements that are not a full 12 inches.  For example if you have one wall you would like to have  your table or desk facing and it measures 10 feet 5 inches you will have to be a bit creative when it comes to marking the start and end of that wall.

I have a furnace jut out on one of my walls.  You can see from the photo where the wall turns to the right at the end of the cabinets I have, then it turns once again where the furnace ends.

Bulk head for furnace

Bulk head for furnace

Now comes the really hard work.  You have your floor plan made.  All of your furniture and storage equipment has been assessed and you have figured out what is going to go where.  Now you need to clear your room.

You are going to make piles.  Lots and lots of piles.  Each pile is a group.  Placing like items with like items is what you will do.  Put all of your paper in one area.  Make stacks of the 8-1/2 x 11 and 12×12 and any 8×8 or 6×6 pads you have.  Even the small stacks of card stock.  All paper goes in one area.

All of your paper

All of your paper

Have another area stacked with your ink pads, refills, spritzes, chalk and so on.

Inks

Inks

Another space for your chipboard items.

Chipboard

Chipboard

Another area for your rubber stamps.  I don’t have many because I’m not a card maker.

Rubber stamps

Rubber stamps

Make another pile for your flowers.  I don’t have many of those because they scare me into a brain freeze 😀

Flowers

Flowers

You are going to wreck your house with the piles and piles but this is an important step in getting your room organized.

Piles everywhere

Piles everywhere

More piles

More piles

Now is not the time to go take a nap 😀  A bit overwhelming, isn’t it!  You are just getting started.  This is the time when you are going to refer back to the first question I asked.  What type of crafter are you?  What items do you use the most?  What do you have the most of?  Start there.  For me it is paper.  Gobs and gobs of paper.

What storage pieces do you currently have and will be using for this major pile?  I have the Jet Max Cubes and purchased them specifically for my paper.  You can get the Jet Max Cubes at Michaels.  I think you can also get them from Target but I do know Michaels always carries them.  This room has morphed many times over the past several years and I hope this is the final time I’m going to be doing this monster of a job.

I had the brilliant idea of using a Color Wheel to help me in sorting my paper.  Not such a brilliant idea because the full gamut of paper colors I have are not represented in the color wheel.

Color Wheel

Color Wheel

I wasted about an hour trying to make that infernal contraption work for me.  What I ended up doing was just making piles of the papers in their color families.  Then sorting them from lightest to darkest.  I started with the 8-1/2 x 11 first then went to the 12 x 12

Sorting by color

Sorting by color

After an agonizing two hours I had the paper put away.  Stored by color family within one of the slots.  Both 8-1/2 x 11 and 12 x 12.  In another slot is my specialty papers like vellum and odd stuff.  Another slot was for the paper pads by manufacturer.  Like Graphic 45, Stampin’ Up!, and the numerous other paper pads I have.

Paper stored

Paper stored

Next was the sleeves of scrap paper I have.  No division by color just all lumped in and jammed full of scrap.  I also have scrapbook layouts I’ve made that need to have photos and embellishments added.  Before I forgot to leave a space for my Score-It Board I included that in this section.

Scrap paper, Score-It Board, created layouts

Scrap paper, Score-It Board, created layouts

Next was my rubber stamp collection.  Since I don’t use them much they are going up higher than eye level and in no particular order.

Rubber stamps

Rubber stamps

Large rubber stamps

Large rubber stamps

All rubber stamps

All rubber stamps

Next to be sorted and stored were the chipboard mini albums and things, and the assortment of tags and pockets I have.

Chipboard pieces

Chipboard pieces

Drawer for chipboard

Drawer for chipboard

Drawer for tags and pockets

Drawer for tags and pockets

I gathered all of my beads and charms.  I don’t do much with these so they will go up near the top.

Beads and charms

Beads and charms

Up high

Up high

Next I combined my assortment of embellishments.  Brads, eyelets, paper clips, and so on.

Combining embellishments

Combining embellishments

More embellishments

More embellishments

More and more

More and more

 

Finally the last of the embellishments

Finally the last of the embellishments

The empty wood drawers will be put back in the storage unit they came from and will be used for things like feathers and stuff.

This storage unit is now done.

Storage unit filled

Storage unit filled

This cupboard, above my table, used to hold all of my Sizzix dies and assortment of embossing folders.  I have a rolling file cart that has lived under my table and was empty for quite some time.  I am going to be hauling that thing out and moving the die cutting stuff to the file cart.

Cupboard above my table

Cupboard above my table

File cart for die and embossing folder storage

File cart for die and embossing folder storage

Sizzlits and Nestabilities

Sizzlits and Nestabilities

I’ve put two scrap pieces of foam core between the wire brackets to contain the Nestability dies I have.

Scrap foam core

Scrap foam core

 

Spellbinder dies

Spellbinder dies

Now all of my die cutting stuff is in one place.  Including the Big Shot and all of the plates and cushions.

In that cupboard that held the die cutting stuff I now have all of my ink supplies.  Oh and my glitter.  So this mess….

Ink pad jumble

Ink pad jumble

Morphed into this 😀

Inks and glitter

Inks and glitter

The spritz bottles, ink refills, and Distress Stains now all live close by the other ink items.

Spritz, ink refills, Distress Stains

Spritz, ink refilles, Distress Stains

Plus the tray that previously had the jumble of ink pads is now holding all of my punches.

Paper punches

Paper punches

I still have about an hour or so to finish in this room.  Finding a place for some odd items but it is finally better organized than it has been.

Across the room from the hallway

Across the room from the hallway

From inside the room looking to the door.

From inside

From inside

The previous state of my desk top 😦

Desktop before

Desktop before

After…still needs a little work but at least I can see the entire table.

After

After

When it comes to creating your space always keep in mind the things you use most.  Keep those items within reach.  Easy to access and easy to put away.  The items you use the least, store those further away.

Think about your storage units and how they can work for you.  The things you frequently go to keep at the distance from eye to waist level.  Things you don’t use often keep them higher up.  Have a flow to your room where the most frequently used items are within reach.  Where are your paper trimmers?

Paper trimmers

Paper trimmers

Where are your scissors, bone folder, and other small items you frequently use?  I have mine in a box that my daughter and her husband made for their wedding in 2005 and I love this box.

Small hand tools

Small hand tools

Where are all of your adhesives?  Tape, glue, foam dots, and other adhesive products.

Adhesives

Adhesives

Towel holders are unconventional as storage items but IKEA has baskets that can hang from the towel bars.  Use the towel bars to hold your paper punches.  You can also purchase little clip up hooks that hang from the towel bars.  Clip up your assorted embellishments in the packages they came in, or your clear rubber stamps.

Hang items from the towel bars

Hang items from the towel bars

Hanging clips to hold light weight items

Hanging clips to hold light weight items

Towel bars and buckets

Towel bars and buckets

Towel bars and baskets

Towel bars and baskets

Also display the items that make you smile.  I have two friends that have given me things that I cherish and keep in my sight all the time.  These things inspire me to be thankful and grateful.

Gifts from friends

Gifts from friends

Friends keep a smile on my face

Friends keep a smile on my face

I hope this helps anyone that is thinking about creating their own craft space.  Now I need to go finish this so I can work on the final two Post-It-Note Holders.  I can actually work in a full space instead of a little piece of an avalanche area 😀

 

 

 

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gardenpinks
    Dec 18, 2011 @ 11:54:21

    Oh wow I can’t believe you still have that bag of Maltesers 🙂 Why haven’t you eaten them?
    Love the cleaned up craft room and how you have arranged everything. Also love the way you have pieces of artwork displayed – so nice to see the art work of your friends displayed too. Thank you for that Leslie, it is lovely to see our makes appreciated 🙂
    Go you!

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      Dec 18, 2011 @ 13:25:55

      I can’t believe it myself. Chocolate!!! Sitting unopened in my room 😀 The difference is that they are from a friend who lives far, far away and was so thoughtful to send them to me as a special surprise 😀

      I cherish everything you guys have made for me. Kind of like “touch stones” to make my friendship with all of you REAL 🙂 I know, kind of whacky. I sort of have you guys with me as I create because when I’m stumped or don’t feel like crafting I can look at the things you’ve made for me, or given to me, and I draw inspiration from them.

      Love you – Leslie

      Reply

  2. thefrugalcrafter
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 20:29:50

    love the honest and candid potos, I love to reorganize my craft stuff but at the stage when it is all pulled out in plies I want to cry! Great seeing the final room!

    Reply

    • Message In A Fold
      Apr 18, 2012 @ 06:25:36

      Thank you for your comment. I love your videos and have watched them for a year or so, just found your blog and am enjoying it as well.

      Someday I’m going to train myself to put stuff away as I go along in my craft room instead of waiting until the avalanche occurs 🙂

      Leslie

      Reply

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