Day 30: Decorating and making it pretty
Kate Crane's Craft Desk

Organising your Craft Room

I have spent the last 30 days scouring the internet, searching for storage ideas and inspiration, making decisions, sourcing items and scavenging supplies (yep me scavenging!  Mrs I-Must-Have-It-Now) and I (and hopefully some of you) am now ready to put some of my plans into action.  As I found out relatively quickly this task was never going to be quick or painless.  Re-organising is messy, difficult, time consuming and often frustrating as you come across things that cannot be changed, companies who will not deliver to your area and items that are perfect - but no longer available!  You will experience all of this plus the desire to stop as it's overwhelming, messy and often not much fun.  That's OK - do what you can, no guilt when life gets in the way - no 'should have's' just do what you can.  For me this has been brewing for quite some time and it was time for a real overhaul - not just moving things about, but a really hard look at my set-up and myself.  It's been a bit slow so thanks to all who have stuck with me over the last month and especially to all those who have offered ideas, guidance and the odd laugh - it's wonderful to have people from all over our little planet pitching in to help, I hope I can return the favour some day!

So where are we with this cleaning up business?

This is the process I have followed up until now:

  1. Have a really good look around at all of your 'dream rooms', what is it you like, the light, the space, the coordinating colours, the storage, the art - make a list, from these 'dream rooms' what could you actually have in YOUR space?
  2. Look critically at your space and yourself - what adds to the creation of mess, why is it a mess?
  3. Look at your current storage, where do you keep your supplies (I listed what I have in each unit).
  4. You can now make a list of what you want to change, begin with any craft room dangers (power cords), heat tools etc and then identify your biggest problem areas - eg: can't reach ink pads, can't find coloured papers etc.  Yep write it down and make a list, sit at your desk and as you create scribble down anything you find annoying on a regular basis - this is where you need to start!  
  5. From the list you made begin looking for ideas and alternatives that will really make a difference - ignore trendy, new and pretty (most of the time) look for practical ideas that will work for you.  Measure how much room you have, so you know things will fit, before buying them.  Sometimes you may find you already have what you need at home or you can re-purpose something, or even just move things to a more convenient position, other times you may be able to make the storage yourself and sometimes you just have to lay down the $$$ and buy something.
  6. Consider where you currently have your supplies versus the best use of your space - do you really need 500+ stamps all close to hand all the time and all on your desk?  What really needs to be 'at hand' - what do you use most often?  Take a fresh look and re-assess what you store where.
  7. Following on from #6 - how will you store the items - I looked at hutches.
  8. Decide if you are a lazy or motivationally challenged crafter and if so, here are 10 tips for lazy crafters :O)
  9. Begin considering some of the specifics (don't get too lost in this - you won't find an answer for every question all at once) and remember - DON'T run out and buy loads of new storage options right at the beginning - buy one thing and see how it works in your room. 
    My specific areas to consider were storage options for:
  10. Do you make piles of stuff on your desk, shelves or floor?  If so why do you have a pile, have a look in a pile and jot down what's in there, you will be surprised to find that the secret to eliminating the pile is contained within - have a look and see what you need to make these messy piles a thing of the past.
  11. Think about a colour scheme, do you have one already, do you want one - what do you already have you can use, alter or gain inspiration from?
  12. Look at your walls - do you have empty, unused space you could be using to display items, look behind your door - what could you fit behind that typically unused space?
  13. What can you do to make your space pretty?  There are loads of ways to achieve this, so look beyond the obvious painting (I'm not ruling that out of course) and buying all new and matching items - you can make it work without costing a small fortune.
  14. Accept it will get messier before it gets more organised.
  15. Begin with one thing at a time and finish that one thing before moving on to something else.
Craft storage 006
Things can only get better, I hope!

I stated at the beginning of this with a 'Craft Cleanse Mantra' and said that:

  • I will only buy 4 craft items in April - if it's not on my 'Free Pass List' I will not buy it - ACHIEVED mostly
  • I will use the stuff in my craft stash to create yummy projects - MASSIVE FAIL!
  • I will look critically at what I own and what I actually need - Achieved and ongoing
  • I will open ALL the little draws/boxes and piles and look at what lies inside - in progress
  • I will de-clutter based on what I USE not what I might use - in progress
  • I will use the time to organise ALL my millions of draws/piles and the items hiding within - in progress
  • I will begin sorting things for sale and selling these or giving things away - Achieved and ongoing
  • I will NOT be tempted by new colours, Ranger or Prima releases - ACHIEVED
  • I will personalise my space as much as I can, make it my own and make it beautiful (within budget) - Achieved and ongoing
  • I will not run out in the next few days and buy enough new things to last me through April! - ACHIEVED

I had a free pass list of 4 things I could buy - I was able to buy 3 things on my list, the Distress markers have only just become available to me this week (or next week perhaps), so they didn't make it - but I did buy a reem of cardstock - so there are my 4 things.  I was surprised I managed to stick to this - I think hubby still doesn't believe it - though I did buy some storage items.  For the most part I have stuck to my mantra, though I had not accounted for the fact that all of this sorting and organising is very time consuming, and while in progress not a lot of creating happens.  I know it will be worth it though and when I'm done it should really help for years to come.

Now onto the fun part, in May I will be showing you what I have done (or am in the process of doing) and I have some wonderful 'Guest Desks' lined up where you can get a peek at other people's desks and the 10 items they Must-Have close at hand at all times.  Last month was all the hard work, now we play :O)