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.
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.
Are you new here? The Craft Organization Challenge is part of the 52 Weeks To An Organized Home 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).
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.
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.
I often find myself having way more of a certain item than I can ever realistically use because I love the idea of the project, although I haven't found time to do the project. I touched on that issue more in my article about emotions that can chain you to clutter, especially emotion #3, letting go of the dreams the clutter symbolizes.
Here's my main list of craft items to declutter from your home:
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.
You can see a full list of ideas and decluttering missions for crafts here, plus several missions and before and after photos from others who've done these missions already.
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.
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.
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.
Don't forget about these great spaces for storing craft supplies:
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:
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 would love to know how this week's Craft Organization Challenge is going. You can tell me your progress or give me more ideas for how you've organized both the items and area of your home in the comments below.
I also would love to see before and after pictures of your organized crafts and/or craft room, once you've completed the challenge. Submit your pictures (up to four per submission) and blog posts and get featured in the Creative Storage Solutions Hall of Fame. You've worked hard to get organized, so now here's your chance to show off!
I've already got some tips here on the site submitted by readers:
We're working on our homes slowly, one area at a time, so don't get too distracted from the Craft Organization Challenge this week.
However, I know some of you love to know what's coming next, so I'll tell you. Next week we'll tackle organizing cars and other vehicles.
Top photo courtesy of ali edwards
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I would love to hear from you, sharing your thoughts, questions, or ideas about this topic, so leave me a comment below. I try to always respond back!