Have you been binge-watching Netflix’s show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo? People everywhere are enthusiastically talking about Marie’s “Does it spark joy?” method.
Growing up, Mom had her own version of “does it spark joy”. Twice a year, she gave me three large garbage bags for hand-me downs, donations and trash! LOL! Today, I am still a twice-a-year purge girl – yet, my craft room is a constant challenge. There are days when every horizontal surface, including my desk chair and the floor have piles of stuff!
With the new Norfolk IKEA store opening April 22nd, now is the perfect time to evaluate your craft space and make plans to reorganize.
Here are some tips for reorganizing your craft space:
Step#1: Reorganize by categories! Try dealing with all of your cardstock and paper at once, or try dealing with every stamp set you own at once! It is much easier to tackle smaller tasks and it more rewarding to see progress being made. Alternatively, you can start with your craft desk and systematically work around the room. Start by removing everything stacked on/in/under your craft desk, piling it on the floor before you start purging and reorganizing.
Step#2: Purging Feels Good! Touch everything! Assess what you need to keep, what you need to keep close by, what you need to donate, and what you need to toss. And like Marie Kondo, ask yourself “if it sparks joy”. This simple question gives you permission to let go! If you have not used it in the last year or five years, chances are great that you never will. Crafting trends change over time, and your crafting style changes with it. It is time to give those neglected items a new purpose by selling, by donating or by making room for something else!
- Tip: Make your purging decisions FAST and RUTHLESSLY. Avoid over thinking it! Find joy in the purging process: let go of the guilt from unfinished projects, relieve the stress of clutter, and surround yourself what brings you joy!
- Tip: Purge when no one else is home to avoid the possibility of relocating items from your craft space to another room in the house.
- Tip: Clean as you go. Dust flat surfaces, wipe down walls, cabinets and drawers, and vacuum all those weird nooks and crannies to get rid of dust bunnies and bits of paper. Having a clean craft space will make you happier!
Step#3: Create Designated Spaces and Reorganize with A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place! After purging, it is time to re-organize, re-evaluate your storage, and put things away “logically” where they should go. Store your things for easy access – both to get them out to use and to put them away when you are done! Keep frequently used items within easy reach of your work area. Assign special areas for cardstock and designer paper, ribbon and embellishments, punches and your Big Shot Machine, etc. Use seal-able plastic containers to keep items dust-free. Store cardstock and paper out of direct sunlight. And, plan for growth because it is always better to have too much storage than not enough.
Step#4: Label everything! Craft boxes and plastic bins provide easy and affordable storage and organization solutions. But, it is easy to forget what you put away in them. It is much easier to label and read the outside of a box, then to pull down ten boxes from the top shelf in order to look inside.
- Tip#1: Purchase a label maker from your favorite Big Box Store – that one store that you are in/out of all the time. This will avoid special trips to an office supply store or having to place special on-line orders for the label refill cartridges.
Step#5: Put things away every time you use your craft room! You deserve a fun crafting experience without the guilt and the stress from chaos. It is easier to spend last 15-minutes organizing and clearing your craft space. It much harder to work around the clutter and to find the time to clean up after weeks of neglect. Using designated areas and labeling will make it much easier to automatically put things away as you go!
Sometimes you need a fresh start in order to move forward. I recently did this with my old cardstock – perfectly good stuff in hundreds of retired colors and from many different suppliers. Donating my old cardstock (and its storage system) to my niece’s classroom made me happy, made my niece happy and gave her second graders hours and hours of joy! Going forward, I have a new paper organization system and new color-coordinated cardstock and designer papers!
Invest in durable furniture and shelving, upgrade your lighting and personalize your craft space. You spend a lot of time crafting, so make your craft space as beautiful as the art you create! When you can afford to, purchase purpose-built furniture and shelving for a more functional craft space, and replace old light fixtures with new LED lights for better task lighting and color coordination. Finally, personalize your craft space to reflect you – your favorite colors, your artwork, your collectibles, etc. – all things that inspire you and bring you joy!
Purchase what you need, upgrade when you can and continue to refine your craft space. Maintain a shopping list and a separate wish list in order to know what you really need and to know what you would like to have. As your collection of craft supplies and tools grow, new items come on the market and your crafting style changes, remember the adage: “OUT with the old and IN with the new”. New purchases make you happy, motivate you to reorganize and clean, and inspire you to create. As you refine your craft space and evaluate your storage needs in order to make room for those new purchases, take the time to sort through those storage containers, purge and re-label as appropriate, and continue to surround yourself with what brings you joy!
Please let me know about your ideas for reorganizing your craft space and any purchases from the new IKEA store.
Until next time, sending you crafting hugs and inspiration wishes!