Day 11: Ten Tips for Lazy Crafters
Today I'm going to provide some tips for lazy crafters - based on observations of myself (a self-confessed lazy crafter) which I hope may be helpful for others.
Tracy from Get Organised Blog mentions the following in Disorganised or Lazy? The site isn't about crafting or art organisation, but I felt that this, in particular might resonate with others, as it did for me.....
“Clutter accumulates where energy stagnates &
energy stagnates where clutter accumulates”
No wonder then that when you have surrounded yourself with things that you don’t need, use or love, you tend to feel a sense of lethargy – where to start, how to keep going … simply, overwhelmed. And it’s this not knowing how to take action that causes you to not act at all.
So if you are feeling like you’ve become possessed by your possessions, follow our 3 point plan to slowly climb and conquer your disorganised mountain & then, this Sunday, once everything is as you like it, flop onto the couch with book, chocolate and red wine in hand, just be lazy, cause you can.
- Set time aside to get started. Create a clear picture how you want the space to look once you are all sorted, minimise distractions & get going.
- Tackling drawer by drawer, shelf by shelf, work your way around the room touching each item while asking “do I need this, love this or use this” if you answered no to all three, it’s time to pass that item on. Once you’re left with what you want to keep, group like items together, assign them a home (easier when practicing the organising mantra “don’t put it down, put it away”) and label, label, label.
- Decide on what small steps you need to do daily, weekly, monthly or annually to keep your new organised space as you like it.
I thought those tips were fabulous and even better, achievable and appropriate for what we are doing here.
To gain some insight into the stuff I don't put away, I went on an archaeological dig and excavated one of the piles on my floor. This let me see where my biggest problem areas are and what ends up in the pile. I found this to be a really interesting exercise which identified several specific needs in my craft room, why don't you give it a try? In the pile were: Paper scraps, stencils, backgrounds, 1/2 done projects, new items which had not been put away (flowers, dies, stamps etc), paper/card, and embellishments. I sat in my space and really thought about what I use, what is easiest and how I work - this may not be for you, but feel free to take what inspiration you can from it.
10 Tips for Lazy (or Motivationally Challenged) Arty/Crafty Types
- Use open or clear storage - If you can't see it - you won't use it! As much as I love and adore the look of those gorgeous adorned mini drawers, baskets and boxes, you know with the pretty papers, colour coordinated, flowers etc -Sigh - I don't think for me they are the right choice. I need to acknowledge that if all I see is the box then I don't think to look inside (well not often anyhow!) Instead I should go for clear storage, open stackable trays, shelves or front opening storage trays.
- Use vertical storage options - If you have to dig for it - you're unlikely to bother! This realisation came from all those Prima flower packets stacked in a box - I'm far more likely to go looking in the box where all my flowers are visible by just opening the lid - rather than the box where I have to root about looking for something which is always on the
bottom! Looks like it's time to reorganise so I can flip through rather than dig, hanging files would be great for this, folders with plastic pockets or even a box where things are stored on an end rather than on top of each other.
This looked like an interesting idea.
- Keep most used items close - If it's within arms reach (and you don't have to get up from your chair) - you're likely to use it more.
- Decide on a system of ordering and stick to it & label everything - If you have to look through multiple folders or files to find it - you probably won't bother. Perfect example is my paper collection - it started neat 10 years ago, one folder organised by colour, then I filled it and began a new folder, and another and another - soon I had 10 folders all with whatever papers I bought at the time, no method, not organised and to find the blue paper I wanted I may have to check in all of the 10 folders! Not only is this frustrating but also time consuming. So decide on a system (colour, brand whatever you prefer) and spend the time and get things in order - and not just the papers. Once it is ordered, label things - you can make the labels as pretty as you like - but make sure you can clearly see what's in there.
- Make things easy to access -
If it's too difficult to access easily - then you won't bother! Make sure you can pull out a drawer at a moment's notice, you can open all cupboard doors and get to all supplies. If there's something in front you have to move first - you are more like to end up with a new pile and add to the mess!
- Keep it light - now this has 2 meanings, the first don't pile so many things in a box that you need to hire 2 burly movers to access the box - so many friends have hurt themselves trying to move heavy craft items! Second the lighting in your area is important, I have drawers where I find it hard to tell what colour I'm looking at because the light is so poor. This means I have to drag out practically everything in the drawer onto my desk to find what I'm looking for - again adds to the mess.
- Keep it together - if it's all over the room you will never find the exact thing you want. Example my paint brushes and stamp pads, once I started looking in drawers, I found brushes and pads I didn't even remember buying, if they are all in the one area (not storage unit) but area, then you will be more likely to use them as you can actually find them!
- Plan for Mess - if you put scraps down all over the desk, the scraps become piles, the piles become mountains, the mountains look too daunting to tackle, this is when the mountain migrates to the floor (to be put away later) and your problems really begin. So plan for it, have a box or drawer (or whatever) just for scraps and another for projects in progress and have these close by, where you can put stuff as you create - if you know the scraps are too small to use - bin them!
- Small storage trays/containers are good - for me I feel that small storage containers or trays
are better than drawers, why - because they encourage easy putting away. I own loads of drawer units, and I do mean loads, they are in every book case on my desk and even in the cupboard. I thought they were brilliant - for some things they are, but not for my most used items on my desk. Huh you say? Well I look at it this way, cost time efficiency! Still not following?
To use something in a drawer, you locate correct drawer (this may take a couple of tries depending on your organisation), open drawer, remove item - place item on desk, use item, leave item on desk for a while, need to relocate drawer to put item away (again could take a few tries if it's been out for more than a week), replace item, close drawer. OK so if I were more organised it wouldn't be that bad - but for me it's that bad and it's one of the things that adds to the mess, I don't know exactly where it came from to put it away. Compare this to a small storage tray (I like the stackable bamboo ones), locate tray (open so you can see inside quickly), place tray on desktop, remove item, item goes right back in when done, replace tray in hutch/stack whatever you have it in. Now this only really works for items like stationary, small papers, embellishments - stuff that fits into small storage containers. You may work differently to me so keep in mind this is just my opinion.
- Put it Away - I know radical thinking. Don't let 2 or 3 projects worth of debris collect on your desk. When you're done for the day (or the project) make an effort to put it away, fairly soon this will become a habit and it won't seem like such a chore.
Well - I hope these tips have helped a bit, they have really helped organise my thinking and resist the urge to run screaming for the internet to buy loads of storage options I might not be able to use.