->Choose a room
->Go to work
In our home, we call it The Parlor, but we don’t serve tea: it has become a well-lit hub for fabric and paper, scissors, pens and pins. It has great light, cabinetry, a closet with a door, and tables for grownups and children, but … Oh! The clutter that collects!
Organizing a craft area, especially one that serves the creative needs of several people and is expected to masquerade as a bedroom, dining area, or visiting room requires forethought and consistency. You want to create a place that encourages you to take time for your projects, not one that invokes the dread and drudgery of a kitchen burdened with the dishes and tailings of several old meals!
Keeping supplies in disarray wastes your time and the materials that you must replace when they are lost or ruined. Though your crafting supplies and space are completely unique, organizational strategies from cozy crafter’s havens and candy shops apply:
· Shops have a vested interest in protecting their merchandise from damage. So do you. Damage from water, vermin, and bruises are mostly avoided by proper storage.
· Make use of similar containers to visually turn unlike collections into “sets.” Candies come in all shapes and sizes, but those functional glass jars create mental order, even contributing to the store’s appeal.
· If you can see it, you will use it! Clear containers invite you to use your treasures. Canning bottles, peanut butter jars, ice cream buckets, plastic containers and even candy jars are readily available and can be stacked on shelves or organized in cabinets. Plastic zipping bags can contain sets of assorted items in a bin or a drawer. Flip-top or other attached lids always stay with their boxes, a plus in this setting.
· Hang what you can. Wall-hung thread racks and spinning paint racks avoid tangles and keep things visible. Hardware shop pegboards can hang all sorts of crafting tools in predictable spaces. Bagfuls of your supplies may be hole-punched and stored on hooks or hung from hangers with clothespins.
· Make a practice of putting things away where they belong each time you use them. If an item has several logical homes, consider labeling and duplicating supplies. Thus, you will always know where “that” pair of scissors belongs.
· Stackable units with drawers make great homes for small items. Label the drawers uniformly: A plastic engraving tool or computer-printed stickers give mental order to your physical organization system.
· Consider keeping only current projects in your crafting areas. My doll clothes bin (which includes patterns, closures, trims and small pieces of fabric) stays out in the shed most of the time. I bring it in when interest arises, but otherwise it is kept safe but stored.
· If you regularly craft away from home, assemble a portable travel kit. Storing needed items in their own tote saves time before and after your excursions. Crafting companies have become aware of this trend and have made products for this purpose, but it just takes a bit of creativity and foresight to keep a set of essentials with you. One neighbor purchased an inexpensive portable sewing machine so she could quilt when with company without fear of damage to her nice one. Convenience and peace of mind may make the cost of extra equipment worthwhile.
· In a shared crafting space, find ways for others to store and differentiate their supplies. Different colored storage boxes are effective clues, but specific storage spots (such as the bottom shelf) or labeling works, too. It is easy to see what needs restocking when you can see what is available for others every time you access your own projects.
Crafters are wonderfully tactile and visual creators. Instead of a perpetual rummage sale environment, you can choose to give your personal crafting area the clean appeal of a candy shop! ~Daunell Clarke 08/17/2010
Find more helpful ideas in the “House of Order” Handbook.
Photos from sxc.hu. Used with permission of geri-jean.