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Let’s get organized! Our craft rooms, boxes, cupboards, et al can be MESSY (am I right?) Let’s take some time this week to organize a bit so we can really play with our creative stuff this year—instead of being overwhelmed by it!
This week’s prompt for The Creative Play Challenge is all about organizing our creative space. Although I originally wrote this post at the beginning of the year, you don’t have to wait until January to get organized. You can start any time.
By the way, if your house or creative space is completely out of control, check out Dana White’s book Decluttering at the Speed of Life. She is so hilarious, real, and helpful when it comes to truly decluttering your space.
Before I share my tips and some pictures of my (scary) craft drawers, I feel like I need to be upfront. I don’t have a craft room. Nope. I do have an area in our office/storage area that holds my supplies, but I don’t have a large desk to lay everything out or color-coordinated storage containers.
I don’t say that for you to feel sorry for me. I say it so you won’t feel bad if “all” you have is a closet for your supplies. High fives. We’re nearly twins! :) Also, if you a craft room, I love you too.
Okay, onto the tips!
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First of all, YOU get to choose how much you dive into this project. Organize a drawer, a closet, or your entire craft area. Once you get going, you might get into a groove, like I did, and do more than you thought you would!
Below is a picture of my craft supplies area, complete with unfinished paintings and a pile of papers on one of the surfaces. I had recently cleared off the papers from the table on the right, which tends to be where things get piled. The space doesn’t look that bad to me, but I knew the drawers had become a disaster. I thought I’d tackle two drawers for the challenge.
Taking the time to declutter one drawer filled with junk will make you feel a ton better. You might even discover things you forgot you had (like I did!) If the idea of cleaning your entire crafting/creativity space makes you dizzy with overwhelm, starting small is key. Pick one box. One drawer.
Put on some music (or set the timer.)
There’s no reason to make this task drudgery. Set a timer so you can race yourself (if that’s how you roll) or put on some music to listen to. We were having a snow and ice storm the day I organized, so it felt right to listen to Christmas music one last time.
This is Drawer Number One. It is kind of organized but I know that a lot of the things pictured are not in their real homes. I thought I was going to use the felt strips for a photo shoot and never did. I decided to make a photo props basket and put them in that so all of those pieces are in one place.
And below is Drawer Number Two. Gulp. Usually it is my fabric and scrap drawer but it had morphed into my squish-everything-into-it drawer. (By the way, aren’t those foam stamps the best? They soak up a ton of paint, but they’re so much fun to use.)
Toss comparison while you’re at it.
It can be easy to feel jealous over the pictures on Pinterest of beautiful and inspiring craft room spaces. And sometimes I really do think that having a few more storage containers would solve everything. Still, at the end of the day, comparison doesn’t get us anywhere. Your craft/creativity area can literally be a corner of your house but it’s yours. Keep it neat, and you’ll be more apt to use it. Which brings me to the next tip . . .
Remember the point of decluttering.
For one, it’s to remind you what you already have. Another reason to organize is it will make your things easier to access. And finally, there is a certain amount of stress we carry when things are constantly in a state of disarray. As I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to organize and label the entire space. Do what you can.
Sometimes simply throwing away the trash in a space and reorganizing what’s left will make your space look amazing. And if you don’t think you have trash, take another look. I found so many random wrappers and half-finished projects in these drawers. :/
Drawer Number One looks much better now. I love using small tins for buttons and all of those tiny items that get lost in the bottom of drawers.
And look at Drawer Number Two below. Wow, I found a bunch of items in this drawer that I had to admit I would never use. Most of them were finished projects that I kept on hand as samples. So, for this drawer, I definitely used this last tip:
Donate or toss.
Don’t feel bad to give unused supplies away. And if there are completed projects you’re tired of looking at, consider giving those away too. I had made a lot of embroidered onesies for craft shows several years ago that were in perfect condition. Since I don’t do craft shows anymore, I decided to go ahead and donate those onesies. I also threw away bits and pieces of items I thought I would “use someday” and packaged all of my fabric scraps into one bag so they’re not all over the place.
After I organized these two drawers, I got on a roll and ended up organizing the rest of the drawers in these containers. It felt sooooo nice. On the outside, everything looks pretty much the same, but I know the truth. I can actually find things again.
In fact, I discovered a bunch of homemade cards I had forgotten about and decided to use them to write a couple of letters. You might find your creative spark comes back to life once you get organized.
Hope you all have an amazing day!