For most creative folks, collecting craft supplies can be almost as exciting as using them. Whether your preferred project requires diamond art supplies, canvas and paint, yarn and needles or fabric and thread, it doesn’t take long for your craft room to start feeling like it’s bursting at the seams. And the problem becomes even more overwhelming when you have supplies for several different types of crafts.
Even though science has proven that disorganized people tend to be more creative and productive than their tidier counterparts, it’s difficult to enjoy a relaxing crafting session when you are forced to spend most of your time tracking down the necessary supplies. Maintaining an organized studio makes it much easier to get down to business and work on your chosen hobby. Plus, staying organized can save you money by preventing you from needing to shop for materials to replace ones you misplaced. But, don’t despair if you are trying to figure out how to declutter your workspace and feel like it’s just too much. Tidying up is easier than you might think. And once you have cleaned your craft room, keeping the area organized is a breeze. Are you ready to tackle the mess in your maker space head on? Let’s go!
Start By Eliminating Trash
When you are feeling stressed-out by your surroundings, getting rid of all the trash is a fast and easy way to make a noticeable difference. Even if you don’t have a lot of garbage lying around, there are probably at least a few scraps and old, unnecessary supplies you can toss in the wastebasket. Doing a broad cleanup and throwing things away gives you an instant sense of accomplishment. And that feeling can help you power through the rest of the decluttering process.
Look around for discarded paper scraps, spilled beads, glitter and wrappers from snacks you munch on while crafting. Then, dig deeper for any other items that you can throw away. Now is the time to get rid of things like:
Old Writing Utensils
Dried-up pens and markers, broken pencils and any other writing utensils that don't work belong in the trash can. The same goes for any writing utensils that you no longer use. Even if they still work, there is no point in letting them clutter up your space if they are not serving a functional purpose.
If you have paint but have not used it lately, check the bottles. Chances are, you have at least a few that have dried up. Throw them away, along with any bottles that are almost empty.
Whether it’s a bottle of glue or a glue stick, it won’t do you any good if it’s dried out — into the trash can it goes!
Old Magazine Issues
If you buy or subscribe to any hobby-related magazines, it doesn’t take long for them to start taking over. Clearing out old issues frees up much-needed space that you can use for storing supplies. Cut out any patterns or articles you’d like to keep, place them in a binder or folder and throw the rest of the magazine away.
Anything That’s Broken
Throwing away broken tools and supplies can be tricky — especially if you think you might be able to fix them. Be realistic with yourself, though. Those broken scissors that have been sitting on the table for six months probably will never be fixed. Get rid of the broken stuff and permit yourself to invest in new, fully functional tools and supplies.
Donate Unneeded Supplies That Are Still in Good Condition
Start a donation box for supplies that you will never use, but could be useful to someone else. Duplicate kits, tools and supplies for projects you have lost interest in may be of no use to you, but they could make someone else really happy.
Consider donating things like yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks and art supplies to a local nursing home or senior center. Alternatively, drop them off at a local thrift store. You could even find a new home for your unneeded items by offering them up for free online or sharing them with friends or family members who share your creativity.
As you know, supplies can be pricey. Donating materials and tools that you no longer need allows you to share the joy of crafting with someone less fortunate. There’s nothing better than clearing out your home and doing something kind for someone else.
Invest in Organizational Tools
At this point, you have gotten rid of the things you no longer use and should be left with the supplies you need. Now is an excellent time to head to the store or shop online for some organizational tools. This is especially important if you are trying to make the most efficient use of a small space.
Large bins and wicker baskets are perfect for storing paint brushes, jewelry-making tools, paint, yarn and canvases. Organize your supplies into these bins based on project type. For example, one bin could contain all of your drawing and painting supplies, another could be used to store fabric and thread for sewing and yet another for your unopened diamond art kits. Be sure to label each bin and basket so you can find the supplies you need at a glance.
Storing open kits and smaller supplies can be a bit more challenging, especially when you want to keep everything within easy reach. Investing in a diamond art organizer is the best way to prevent spills and keep your diamond drills neat. Organizers with many individual containers work well for separating colors while keeping everything in one place. Whether you use them to store the extra drills that are left over when you complete a diamond painting or to hold the ones for your current work in progress, they are essential for any diamond artist. This type of organizer is great for beads, confetti, glitter and many other small incidentals, as well.
Install a Pegboard for Vertical Storage
If you think pegboards are just for hanging up screwdrivers and hammers in the garage, think again! They are perfect for making efficient use of the vertical space in your creative space, too. Plus, they keep your most frequently used tools in front of you where you can quickly find them.
Hanging supplies on a pegboard frees up your work surface and keeps clutter at bay. Pegboards are highly functional, and with a bit of paint, you can make them aesthetically pleasing, too. Adding a frame around the outside edge and using smaller frames to group various types of craft supplies make these organizers more visually appealing, too. You could even attach small bins to hold things like brushes, glue sticks and drill pens.
Repurpose Household Furniture
When you have lots of supplies and nowhere to keep them, staying organized can seem impossible. This is especially true when you don’t have room in your budget to shop for expensive shelving and specialty storage units.
“Shop” your home for furniture that you can repurpose. No rule says that the furniture in your workroom has to be made explicitly for crafts. The china cabinet that’s gathering dust in your attic is just as effective as a brand-new cart from your local craft store. Dining room hutches, nightstands and filing cabinets work well, too!
Don’t get so caught up in finding the ideal storage solution that you forget about the perfectly functional furniture you already have in your home. Upcycling is a great way to breathe new life into unused furniture pieces, and doing so is also good for the environment. Plus, your grandmother’s old china cabinet or hutch will withstand the test of time much better than a low quality, mass-produced shelving unit from a big-box retailer.
Keep in mind, too, that there is no need to limit yourself to large furniture pieces. Smaller organizational items and other things you have lying around the house could also be useful in your maker space. Entryway organizers — especially the kinds with a shelf and hooks — make an excellent home for many types of craft supplies, in addition to displaying some of your finished products. Jewelry stands, mug racks and paper towel holders work well for holding rolls of ribbon and tape. With a bit of creativity, you can create custom storage and organization solutions that perfectly suit your needs.
Transform the Closet
Is the closet in your craft room packed full of supplies but no real organization? Or is it filled with stacks of plastic storage bins or boxes? If you are fortunate enough to have a closet in your craft room but are not using it to its full potential, you are missing out! Even a small closet can easily be transformed to create extra space that will help you keep your craft room organized.
Remove the clothes bar and install shelves. Even a small bookshelf works in a pinch! Use those shelves to store small boxes and organizers neatly. Add a few drawers for things like a light pad, specialty papers and magnifying tools, too, if possible. If you have a large walk-in closet, you could even add an extra work surface or a sturdy shelf to hold your sewing machine, vinyl cutter, heat press or other crafting equipment. Visit your local home improvement store to check out closet organizing systems. Though they are usually intended for storing clothing and accessories, there are lots of options that are perfect for your hobby needs, too.
Keep It Clean
Once you have managed to organize your space, keeping it clean should be pretty straightforward. After each crafting session, throw your scraps and other trash away, and put your supplies back where they belong. Next, come up with ways to store your works in progress. Your goal should be to protect the piece while keeping it easily accessible for the next time you want to work with it.
Jigsaw puzzle carriers are perfect for storing in-progress diamond paintings. Look for ones with an inflatable tube and roll-up mat. These carriers allow you to roll your canvas up into a compact tube for neat storage. And rolling your canvas with the diamonds facing outward helps lock them in place and protects your artwork from damage.
Artist portfolios also work well for storing diamond paintings and drawings, flat embroidery projects and traditional painting projects. Project bags are ideal for knit and crochet projects. No matter what type of craft (or crafts) you enjoy, there are convenient solutions for storing and protecting your works in progress between sessions. If you’re looking for more diamond painting storage ideas, check out our blog!
Despite how pleasurable perusing the aisles of your local art store is, be mindful about your purchases. Now that your space is neat and organized, you don’t want to clutter it back up with supplies you are unlikely to use! When shopping, try to avoid impulse purchases. Buy what you need without going overboard on extras. And think about where you will store your purchases before adding them to your shopping cart. Being more intentional in your shopping habits will help you keep the area organized and accessible.
A messy, disorganized environment can stifle your imagination and make it frustrating to sit down and work on your project. Fortunately, even the most chaotic of spaces can be arranged for efficiency. It just takes patience and a willingness to get your hands dirty. Whether your craft room is filled with diamond art kits, enough skeins of yarn to start a knitting store or any other type of crafting supply, the first step is getting rid of the excess clutter. Get started today and you will be well on your way to having a tidily arranged area in which to bring your favorite projects to life!