Keeping craft supplies organised
Keeping craft supplies organised
I work a lot with crafty people. Sculpting, painting, sketching, knitting,needlework, card and jewellery-making, you name it, my clients can do it. They are very creative folk!
But crafting brings its own set of organising challenges, usually involving lots of equipment and just as many materials. Additionally, it’s rare to find a crafter that only has one passion; they often have multiple projects on the go. So it’s very likely that materials and supplies have stacked up over time, and not always in a tidy way!
Here’s how to regain a bit of control, so you can find what you need, when you need it:
As with all organising tasks, start with a vision. How do you want your crafting area to look? How do you intend to use it? Do you have a dedicated craft room, a space within a room, or are supplies spread out all over your home? Do you craft near a window for good access to light? Do you make use of a table that also has to double up for other things? Think about how you can make best use of the space within current limitations.
Auditing your supplies will remind you of what you have and what you no longer need. There’s bound to be a few things you’ve completely forgotten about. If items are already organised or put away, don’t pull them all out at once – start with the area that’s disorganised or making access difficult. Sort a little at a time, especially if you have a lot of stuff. Spend thirty minutes sorting, or just sort one bag, bin, or area.
Cull the excess
It can be hard to admit that an activity might have been a passing phase or one you’ve outgrown or lost interest in. But if you can reduce the total amount, you’ll have less of it to organise in the future and more space to devote to the projects you really enjoy. Go for the easy wins first, to help build momentum. Dispose of or recycle anything that’s obvious: empty packages, dried-up paints, useless tiny scraps, etc. Decide what’s worth keeping, but be really honest about how likely you are to make use of it.
Be thoughtful about future craft purchases by asking yourself a series of questions. Do you have a specific project in mind for the item? Do you have a place to put it? Can you manage the project? Within what timescales? Be realistic, and you’ll save money, time and space.
Sort into categories
Sort each item by type. Put scissors into one pile, wool in another. Make a pile for decorative stickers, put fancy paper into a pile of its own. Alternatively, you could sort by activity. Have one kit, bag, container, or space for painting, one for paper crafts, one for knitting, one for needlework, etc. Continue until all items are sorted into a category.
This will depend on where and how you do crafts. If you have a craft area already, consider adding drawers, containers, or shelves. If you knit in front of the TV, your organisation might consist of a knitting basket that stays by the sofa and a bin full of extra wool and supplies stashed away in a cupboard elsewhere. Try drawer organisers with lid to contain small items, like beads or buttons. A container with multiple smaller spaces helps separate and make them easier to see. Do you like to craft on the go? A tote bag might work well for this.
Sort a little more whenever you start or finish a project or get new supplies.Spend a few minutes rearranging if you notice something isn’t working. If the item is not where you looked for it, put it back where you will look for it next time. If it’s not handy and you use it often – put it back near the top or closer to where you work.
Arrange by size and shape
To keep items visible and accessible, make sure you don’t have to empty an entire bin to get out one thing! Put flat objects into containers first, standing up on one side if possible, and then place the non-flat objects on top of them or alongside. Put frequently used items near the top. For materials, like paper or fabric, try a vertical filing system to displays them. Stand on edge in a bin or drawer so that you can flick through and quickly see what you have. Smaller pieces can be rolled and stood up in a basket or bin. Repeat this process with different containers until everything is filed away.
Label containers with tape or handwritten labels so you know what is in each one. Don’t rely on sticky notes or anything that could fall off easily. For example, if a container holds glue, markers, and crayons, write that on a label and attach to the container. This way, you will immediately know what is in each one, saving time and effort in the future.
Do you need a helping hand to get your crafting in order?
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