I am swimming in STUFF. As a lover of all things crafty, I can’t help but collect supplies for every purpose: sewing patterns and fabric, ribbons and scraps, cardstock and buttons, cake pans and sprinkles. I have resolved to start the new year by organizing all the crafty things. Better organization means more time actually doing the crafts that I love rather than searching for supplies or buying more of the things that I already have. Over the years, I have tried a variety of systems and I think that it’s important to remember that one system does not work for everyone and our individual systems evolve over time. Here are some of my favorite organizing tips to get you started:
1. Get frequently used items out in front of you. We want to be able to quickly find the things that we work with every day. If it’s a recipe book, keep it on a stand on your kitchen counter. Keep scissors and markers in a tool caddy on top of your sewing desk.
2. Make fabric visible by wrapping it on cardboard sheets or fabric organizers. If you can’t see it, you can’t use it.
3. Use small containers to organize pins, buttons, snaps, and sewing needles. I seem to have collected quite the hodge podge of trinkets on a tray atop my sewing desk. I can’t find anything! These neat little twist top containers hold smaller items and twist together so you can stack them.
4. Organize sewing patterns in a file drawer, in a basket or hanging from racks. Over time, I have accumulated quite the collection of both paper and pdf sewing patterns. In order to find the pattern I need and keep all the pieces together, it’s important to have a good organization system.
5. Use task-specific storage containers. For every craft, there is a bin. And I love bins. There are containers to hold your long knitting needles. There is a bin to hold all of your Cricut cartridges – consolidate all of those boxes into one slim case! There are stackable tubs for your cake decorating supplies and caddies to hold even your bobbins and pins. I am in bin heaven!
6. Go vertical when you can! I just installed a thread rack on my wall – no more rumbling through a tub of threads. And I’ve kept my cutting and drafting rulers hung on a hook for a few years now – I still LOVE having this place for them!
7. Cubbies are another great way to separate and organize all of your things. Use larger cubbies (pictured below) to hold baskets. My baskets house stamps, patterns, zippers, paper crafting supplies, paint and glitter. Smaller cubbies are wonderful, too. My cubby wall unit (pictured above) is a beast of antique awesomeness, but it allows me to sort all kinds of knick knacks into mason jars or sort small scraps of fabric into neat little stacks.
8. Sort through supplies at least once a year. Throw away products that have expired, like old paint or goopy food coloring. Keep a notebook handy to jot down supplies that you need to replace. Donate useable supplies that you no longer use or transfer them to your kids’ craft closet!
9. Store less frequently used items, such as seasonal crafts and decor, in organized bins outside your main craft space. Consider garage or attic storage. Keep track of bin contents with labels and by grouping like items together. In the same manner, store frequently used items in the rooms where you most often use them. For example, I keep all of my cake decorating supplies in a designated cabinet in my kitchen – they’re easy to reach and organized so that I can access them as often as I need.
Organizing my crafting supplies (and everything else in my house) is a work in progress. Part of the fun in organizing, though, is that I get to rediscover things that I forgot I had! I would love to hear your best organizing tips! Share them in the comments below!! You can find more details on my craft space and a closer look at the projects that make things so messy at my blog, Girl. Inspired.