My family has been on a pretty ambitious mission to de-clutter our house. We spent the weekend painting our master bathroom to accompany the bedroom makeover we completed nearly a year ago – time to finish unfinished projects and clear the space! We’re bouncing around a bit as we sort through things we never use and things that we can’t find. We’ve donated load upon load of stuff and it feels so great to clear out the dark, stuffed spaces in our house. One of the areas that is still a major work in progress is my stuff – the crafty supplies I collect for every purpose: sewing patterns and fabric, ribbons and scraps, cardstock and buttons, cake pans and sprinkles. It all needs a good sorting through and new method of organization – craft organization! Better organization means more time actually doing the crafts that I love rather than searching for supplies or buying more of the things that I already have. Over the years, I have tried a variety of systems and I think that it’s important to remember that one system does not work for everyone and our individual systems evolve over time. While it’s still a work in progress, I wanted to share some of my favorite organizing tips and tools I’ve implemented over the years and with this most recent effort:
1. Get frequently used items out in front of you. We want to be able to quickly find the things that we work with every day. If it’s a recipe book, keep it on a stand on your kitchen counter. Keep scissors and markers in a tool caddy on top of your sewing desk.
2. Make fabric visible by wrapping it on cardboard sheets or fabric organizers. If you can’t see it, you can’t use it.
3. Use small containers to organize pins, buttons, snaps, and sewing needles. I seem to have collected quite the hodge podge of trinkets on a tray atop my sewing desk. I can’t find anything! These neat little twist top containers from Jo-Ann hold smaller items and twist together so you can stack them.
4. Organize sewing patterns in a file drawer, in a basket or hanging from racks. Over time, I have accumulated a hefty collection of both paper and pdf sewing patterns. In order to find the pattern I need and keep all the pieces together, it’s important to have a good organization system. I’m still working on this, but you might like to see this hanging system
5. Use task-specific storage containers. For every craft, there is a bin. And I love bins. There are containers to hold your long knitting needles. There is a bin to hold all of your Cricut cartridges – consolidate all of those boxes into one slim case! There are stackable tubs for your cake decorating supplies and caddies to hold even your bobbins and pins. I am in bin heaven! The bins pictured above were purchased at Jo-Ann.
6. Go vertical when you can! I just installed a thread rack on my wall – no more rumbling through a tub of threads. And I’ve kept my cutting and drafting rulers hung on a hook for a few years now – I still LOVE having this place for them! You can read more about my wall system here.
7. Cubbies are another great way to separate and organize all of your things. Use larger cubbies (in my cubby worktable pictured below) to hold baskets. My baskets house stamps, patterns, zippers, paper crafting supplies, paint and glitter. Smaller cubbies are wonderful, too. My cubby wall unit (pictured above) is a beast of antique awesomeness, but it allows me to sort all kinds of knick knacks into mason jars or sort small scraps of fabric into neat little stacks.
8. Sort through supplies at least once a year. Throw away products that have expired, like old paint or goopy food coloring. Keep a notebook handy to jot down supplies that you need to replace. Donate useable supplies that you no longer use or transfer them to your kids’ craft closet!
9. Store less frequently used items, such as seasonal crafts and decor, in organized bins outside your main craft space. Consider garage or attic storage. Keep track of bin contents with labels and by grouping like items together. In the same manner, store frequently used items in the rooms where you most often use them. For example, I keep all of my cake decorating supplies in a designated cabinet in my kitchen – they’re easy to reach and organized so that I can access them as often as I need. I keep fabric sorted by type in bins in my garage.
10. Use larger pieces of furniture to house oddly shaped items (like sewing machine attachments) and smaller bins. Consider storing knit fabrics by rolling and stacking them on a shelf. The rolls nestle together nicely and you can arrange them by color if you’re into that sort of obsessive organizing! I use this large armoire to store some of my die cut machines, my knit fabric, sewing machine accessories, and large paper cutters and blank canvases – it’s nice to close the doors and have all of these things tucked away inside.
Organizing my crafting supplies (and everything else in my house) is a work in progress. Part of the fun in organizing, though, is that I get to rediscover things that I forgot I had! I would love to hear your best organizing tips! Share them in the comments below!!