Welcome to what just might be my favorite Unexpected Organizing post: Unexpected Organizing for crafting!
If you’ve read Organizing You (which is about time and project management), you know that I’m a big proponent of scheduling time for yourself—time to relax and work on projects that fill you with joy. I also firmly believe that taking a Sabbath Day of rest each week is a commandment, not a suggestion, from our Lord who loves us. (This post addresses that in a fun way.)
Over the years I’ve enjoyed my Sabbath and “project time” with many various crafts. I’ve cross-stitched and scrapbooked. I’ve knitted and crocheted. I’ve made homemade cards and gift tags. I’ve sewed and hot-glued. I’ve made gifts and home décor. And in general I’ve collected a lot of crafting supplies.
Craft supplies are tricky items to let go. One little voice tells me, “You might use that someday!” Another little voice tells me, “The kids might use that someday!”
Blessedly, I have the space to save quite a bit of crafting stuff. But I do try to keep my space at 80% capacity so that everything I have is easy to find when I need it, and easy to access. That means that sometimes I have to let things go. I also try to use what I have before purchasing more, which is especially important for “collectibles” like fabric, yarn, and patterned paper for paper crafting.
Now I’m going to open up my organized stashes for your inspection. Please don’t judge me. Remember, I’m being transparent… and I’m not suggesting that you do it just like me! I’m just offering some ideas to help you clear out your spiritual clutter about your actual clutter.
Let’s start with my first love, paper crafting (which includes creating scrapbooks, cards, gift tags, bookmarks, teacher gifts, home décor… anything you can punch or stamp or decorate with paper!). I tend to get rolling on a project that can last for days, weeks, or even months, and each time I’m so thankful for my roll-top desk. Back in my math teacher days, I saved up for this with hours of tutoring.
This isn’t the most lovely piece of furniture in my home, but it is the most loved. That roll top hides everything I’m working on. The desk also has pull-out workspace to the sides and tons of storage space.
Though originally meant to function as a computer desk, everything works for scrapbooking, from the hole for my lamp cord to the large storage spaces for paper. I even used the small spaces well by making little inserts with marks for the pen colors I keep inside each drawer.
So the desk is where I keep basic supplies that I use for almost any project. But what about all of the crafting accessories? Here’s where I get a little more unexpected. Rather than keeping my items stored in like groupings (punches with punches, stamps with stamps, and stickers with stickers), I keep my accessories stored by theme.
In my “birthday/celebration” box, I keep all party-related punches, stamps, stickers, templates, Cricut cartridges, and written ideas together. Why this way? Because when I begin a project, I don’t think, “I want to use a punch today.” I think, “I want to make a birthday card.” Or an Easter scrapbook page. Or a flowery gift tag. Everthing is stored by theme in these scrapbooking towers in our hall closet, right across the room from my scrapbooking desk.
If you’re more of a yarn girl, I’ve got you covered. I love crocheting and knitting gifts, as well as things for the kids and I to wear. I’ve also made prayer shawls, baby blankets, prayer squares, and other homemade items for the care ministries at our church. Over the years I’ve accumulated a lot of yarn, but I’ve been diligent about using it for His glory and now my boxes are all less than half-full! (The yarn is pushed to the front of the boxes so I can see it easily.)
Notice that, like the scrapbooking supplies, I don’t have the yarn grouped traditionally by like colors, or even by brand. The yarn is sorted by weight (baby weight, sport weight, bulky weight, etc.), because when I start a project I want to find yarn at the correct weight for the pattern. I do have enough sport-weight yarn that I keep it in two boxes: warm colors and cool colors.
I keep the project(s) I’m currently working on in my family room, where I knit or crochet while I’m watching TV.
Just for fun, I’ll show you my chocolate boxes. A long time ago, my mom used to keep her crochet supplies in a Whitman’s box like this one, and I picked up the habit. I also use smaller chocolate tins for crochet hooks and stitch markers. They make me smile. (This may not be entirely unexpected for me!)
I keep the “stash” yarn in a closet in our finished basement right by my kids’ craft area. It’s out of our main living area this way, and you never know when the kids might need a little yarn…
Stay tuned, because kids’ craft storage is coming up in my next Unexpected Organizing post!
Take the Challenge:
I want to help you to enjoy your hobbies to the fullest, so you’ll live in joyful abundance and glorify God with the gifts and talents He’s given you. So here are some questions to ponder…
- What hobbies do you enjoy?
- Where in your home do you usually enjoy those hobbies?
- How can you make your craft supplies more accessible?
- How do you actually use those supplies?
- How can you make their storage more functional?
But watch out for:
Don’t fall into the trap of storing your craft stuff like everyone else, or worse, storing it as-you-buy-it. Unwieldy storage leads to loss crafting time and a frustrated (spiritually cluttered!) crafter. Think about how you approach crafts and hobbies (like how I approach paper crafting by theme and yarn by weight). How do you begin a project or fun hobby time? What’s the best way to store your fun stuff so you can find it, easily access it, and fully enjoy it?
Tell me about it:
How do you store your craft supplies? I’d love to see some pictures!!! Comment here or show me on Facebook.
For more ideas and ways to store hobby related items, check out my second book, Building Your House, and to read about my ideas for a crafting party, check out my new ebook, Organizing For Christian Hospitality!
And please share these thoughts with other crafters! For you pinners, here’s a Pin-friendly image:
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