Monday, April 26, 2010

I survived and now I'm organized!

The problem with having more than one craft addiction is the supplies and tools multiply when you aren't looking.

Last week I thought I would organize the small embellishments (stickers, brads, colored staples, etc) that are used in paper crafts. I began this task the day before trash pickup, knowing that some things would be tossed and some would be removed from packaging to fit better in new storage containers. That goal was met as far as the trash deadline was concerned. The reorganizing soon extended to include all the craft supplies, tools, patterns and books that were on open shelves and sprawling on the counter.

I don't have a before picture of my mess but trust me, it was bad. The room that is my craft/sewing room was a bedroom once upon a time. After remodeling the house and moving all the bedrooms upstairs, kitchen cabinets and Formica counters were installed on two walls, and bookcases on a third. The remaining wall has bifold doors that hide storage bins of fabric, yarn, my sewing machine and anything else to large too fit inside the cabinets.

The sorting started with small items. The binders in this photo hold patterns and general directions for projects saved from old magazines and discarded books. They would become thicker before this process ended.
 Adjacent to the counter shown above is a matching desk high counter where I sit when sewing or other crafting. Silly me...I thought I could confine the sorting to that area. I even had Windex ready to clean off the counter tops when I was done!
On to the floor to sort stickers by category. If you sort like this and you're on a chair on wheels, remember NOT to back up quickly and roll over stickers!
Stickers, rub-ons and small embellishments were grouped into 11 categories and were stored in plastic holders designed to hold scrapbooking papers or finished pages. These holders went into a rigid plastic case with a lid. I labeled each section and hopefully a year from now I will remember the logic I used when deciding where something belonged.

Most of the storage containers on the bookshelves were already here but needed to be organized, labeled and sometimes needed additional containers. This whole section relates to paper crafts, from papers down to rubber stamps and Sizzix dies on the bottom shelf. The yellow smiley doll doesn't usually stay there, but he is apropos... he giggles and says "that's funny"...something often suited to what I do in that room.
The next section of bookshelves holds my favorite fiction novels on the top two shelves, knitting books and lots of sock yarn on the 3rd, sewing, quilting and cross stitch books come next, then beading supplies and pattern books, and finally, six binders of patterns, the sticker holder I described above, and an accordion file of decorative 12 x 12 sheets of scrapbook papers. There is a glass block and a string of lights waiting to be used and a concrete looking butler who will go outside soon to hold my drink while on the porch.
Across from the bookshelves is this wall of cabinets and counter. Except for out of season dishes in the upper cabinets, most of what lurks behind the doors and in drawers are craft supplies. The wooden tool box holds more rubber stamps and my covered tray of watercolors and some watercolor paper is on top. In front of the box are projects in progress.
The boxes on the floor are things I hope to get to soon. I need to prioritize and find a home for them rather than sitting out on the floor. I hope.

The current project taking up so much time is a sweater that I began as a way to use up yarn in my stash. I am 2/3 done with the front and worried that I won't have enough yarn to make the sleeves and finish the neckline. The store where I bought the yarn went out of business. I can still get it online, but the dye lot may be different. There are 4 skeins of the yarn on the counter. Cross your fingers for me!  Here is the completed back.

I'd end with a word of advice on not hanging on to so much stuff, to not have so many hobbies, or on not letting things get away from you but I can't do that. When the mess happens again, and it will, I wouldn't want to eat those words.


Anonymous said...

I think you did a great job organizing everything. I keep my sticker items in file cabinets and plastic baggies. I like your idea of the plastic containers. My husband has added an extra shelf to all of our closets and a rod to one of them where I store my ribbons. I like the idea of your shelves. Everything looks very neat.

Chatty Crone said...

I did that a couple of years ago too - great feeling. You did an awesome job. Where in the world would we be without shelves!


The Urban Chic said...

Knit, I thought my craft room was sort of organized, but after looking at yours, I am ashamed that I posted mine on my blog. I like seeing everything, so most of it is out. I have so much ribbon that Al had to build me 2 door hangers to put all of them, then I have some in bowls, dowels, and those stackables from Joannes that I love and wish to get more. I use them to put my seasonal embellishments, so it's easy to open up Halloween or Christmas, etc. Yours looks wonderful and thanks for sharing your neat crafting room. Hugs, Pat