Dealing with a mess of tangled ribbons, loose buttons and spilled glitter can take the fun out of any craft project. To avoid this scenario, make a plan to keep your craft room organized and stick to it.
Whether you have a room in your home devoted to your hobbies or not, you can get your supplies organized. If you don't have a separate room set aside for creative pursuits, consider sectioning off part of a room to keep your crafts in one spot instead of scattered throughout your home. You can use bookshelves or dressers as storage units that double as dividers between your workstation and the room it resides in [source: Booy].
Choose a location that can serve as a permanent workspace. This means that spreading your things on the kitchen table, only to shove them in the closet when it's time to make dinner, won't cut it [source: Inspiri Art and Craft].
Once you've staked out a location, you'll likely be eager to start setting up, but give yourself some time to plan before you begin putting items away. Identify your crafting habits and how you use your supplies. Pay attention to which supplies you use often, which you use less frequently and which you use together. Decorate with items that inspire you and remove anything that distracts you from finishing a project -- choose colors and patterns that make you feel productive. Decide if your crafting table is a comfortable workspace or if it needs to be raised or lowered [source: Baginski].
After you get a feel for your work style, the first step to organizing your craft room is to take inventory of your supplies. Read on for ideas on taking a comprehensive inventory and how to use your list.
Taking Inventory of Craft Room Contents
As you begin to go through your craft supplies and tools, think about how often you use each item. Do you use the rubber stamps frequently, or have they been collecting dust? Maybe you have one stamp you use often but seldom use the rest.
Take note of the tools you have in your craft collection as well as the supplies and then consider your current storage situation. What kinds of furniture and containers are you using? Decide if your present setup meets your needs or if you need more drawers, shelves and spaces to put all those different colored beads. Do you plan on getting more supplies in the near future? Are you unearthing old supplies you'd long since forgotten?
Maybe you love your glitter stash but are only hanging onto those felt scraps because you don't want to be wasteful. Figure out what your crafting priorities are as you inventory your supplies, tools and storage systems. As you get a sense of what you already have, think about what you want out of your craft station once it's complete. From there, you can decide if you need a new storage system [source: Able].
When you've figured out your priorities and goals for your new craft room, you'll be ready to start sorting your supplies. Continue reading for tricks and tips on sorting your crafting collection.
Sorting Craft Room Contents
When you've assessed the usefulness of everything in your craft room, you may be wondering how you're going to organize what you've decided to keep. You could group all the seasonally themed supplies together or you could categorize supplies by color. Whatever you decide should be based on your personal crafting habits.
Group all supplies into common themes that are meaningful to you. Your themes may be as simple as scrapbooking or sewing supplies, or may be complexly driven by an abstract inspiration behind your craft [source: Booy]. You'll also need to group your tools. Group tools by how frequently you use them because this will dictate how you end up storing them -- be sure that tools you use often are easily accessible to avoid frustration later [source: Country Living].
While you likely won't be putting your storage containers and furniture into piles, group these things mentally. Think about whether your current storage options are capable of housing your supplies and tools the way you categorized them.
If your craft room is small, you may need to get creative about storage options and make sure no space is wasted -- this means taking full advantage of corners, cabinets and shelves [source: Country Living]. For information on the accessibility and aesthetics of storing the contents of your craft room, read on.
Storing Craft Room Contents
Before you put away all your craft room contents, set up any furniture or large storage containers. If you have a passion for several distinctly different crafts, set up multiple workstations -- you don't want paint accidentally spilling on fabric [source: Kichura]. As you set up your worktables, also consider whether you stand or sit for particular activities. Make sure your tables are the right heights so you're not uncomfortable when you're in the middle of a project.
Once the larger elements of your craft room are in the right place, you can start to put away the smaller pieces. Store each type of supply in its own container so you'll know where to find something when you need it. You may want to use clear plastic or glass containers for some supplies, so you can find items at a glance [source: Martha Stewart Living]. On the other hand, some supplies can easily look messy, such as piles of leftover beads and buttons, so you may want to keep these in opaque containers. Either way, you don't have to spend money on storage containers if you don't want to -- just reuse old jars, and label them so you know what's what.
For subcategories of similar supplies, consider containers with multiple drawers or multi-tiered baskets. That way, you can keep similar things together and still be organized. You'll likely have a number of small containers for groups of supplies, and after putting these together, you'll need to decide if you want to keep them on shelves or hidden away in drawers or cabinets. The amount of space in your craft room will likely influence this decision, but you should also take into account how accessible you need each item to be.
For more ideas on organizing your craft room, see the links on the next page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Able, Aaron. "Good Questions: Creating a Craft Room." February 24, 2009 (Accessed 1/19/10). http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/good-questions/good-questions-creating-a-craft-room-077261
- The Artful Crafter. "Craft Room Design." 2010 (Accessed 1/19/10) http://www.theartfulcrafter.com/craft-room.html
- Baginski, Caren. "Organized Craft Room Ideas." HGTV. 2010 (Accessed 1/19/10) http://www.hgtv.com/organizing/organized-craft-room-ideas/index.html
- Booy, Karen. "Organizing Your Craft Room." Craftlink Resource Center. 2006 (Accessed 1/19/10) http://www.getcreativeshow.com/Craft_Sew_Business/Business_Seminars/craftroom.htm
- Country Living. "Make a Craft Room." 2010 (Accessed 1/19/10) http://www.countryliving.com/crafts/projects/make-craft-room-0306
- Inspiri Art and Craft. "Craft Room Design and Organization." 2009 (Accessed 1/19/10) http://www.inspiri-art-and-craft.com/craft-room.html
- Kichura, Venice. "How to Organize a Craft Room." Suite 101. June 18, 2008 (Accessed 1/19/10) http://sewingneedlework.suite101.com/article.cfm/how_to_organize_a_craft_room
- Martha Stewart Living. "Cantitoe Corners: Martha's Crafts Room." 2010 (Accessed 1/19/10) http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/marthas-craft-room#slide_3