Today I’d like to touch on a favorite/hated topic of anyone that crafts–ORGANIZATION.
It can be fun.
It can be beautiful.
It can be creative.
It can be frustrating!
But it’s totally essential. Crafting breeds more crafting, and more crafting, and more crafting. You start out making cards, then you’re scrapbooking, then you’re making gift boxes and party favors and teacher appreciation gifts…next thing you know you’re decoupaging serving trays (looking for my first Mod Podge project next Wednesday!) crocheting doll blankets and sewing tooth pillows. And that doesn’t even touch on kid craft supplies.
And the jars, baskets, boxes, trays, and cans just keep stacking up.
Better Homes and Gardens has this w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l section of their website devoted to Hobby Rooms you should really check out. Scrapbooks Etc. also has some amazing slideshows in their Scrapbook Storage Spaces section. The colors, the patterns, the space…they’re gorgeous…I’m green with envy.
Not so much for the rooms–Mr. Fix-It has made me my very own b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l wall cabinet/desk that I’ll feature just as soon as I finish painting it!–but for the neat-freak habits that keep them looking so darn perfect! My cabinet only looks that good when it’s closed.
Ok, ok, and yes, I’m a wee bit jealous of anyone that actually has an entire room for crafting. But I get over as soon as I imagine having to vacuum or dust another room.
But I read this great article from Simple Scrapbooks, called Be Organized and Inspired, that is about your scrapbooking style and organizational tips based on your specific style. It was so helpful to me. (They’ve stopped publication, but the link still worked as of right now, this second, when I tried it. I’ve got the article saved, so send me a note over on the left column if you can’t get the link to work.)
I learned that I think in colors. Not patterns. Not themes. Not shapes. Colors. So stashing my supplies in boxes labeled “Christmas” or “Spring” was a big waste of time. I was constantly tearing through my supplies trying to find a pink button for a baby girl card that was stashed with the “Easter” supplies. So Mr. Fix-It installed a spice rack with clear glass jars in my cabinet for me to sort my buttons and embellishments by color.
I’ve also learned to assess my storage preferences. I’m a “piler”, not a “filer.” I like to see the supplies I have. I’m inspired visually and I love the colors of creativity. Out of sight means out of mind for me. So I also found a magnetic board with sorted containers to hold miscellaneous bits and pieces I collect for embellishments. That way I don’t forget I have them and I’m inspired to use them any time I need just one more thing to finish a project.
Believe me, once you start developing a crafty eye, you’ll find that everything doesn’t come from the store. I find odds and ends all over that I just know will be perfect for something. Vintage ribbons and tags from clothing (love those Levi’s tags!), beads from broken bracelets or earrings, sparkles, sequins, and fabric scrapes from outgrown kid clothes…the possibilities are endless.
Here’s the only real storage tip you’ll ever need…
Never, never, never go storage shopping alone!
Take a dependable friend or crafting buddy along and make her promise that whenever you pick something up she’ll ask you “how do you see yourself using it.” If you don’t know, PUT IT BACK. My Aunt Annie is my crafty shopping buddy/total voice of reason that has saved me numerous times from absolutely-beautiful-but-totally-doesn’t-work-for-me buyers remorse. Trust me, everyone needs an Aunt Annie! “Cute-container syndrome” is really just an exercise in frustration.