What should I be doing instead of this?
July 29th, 2009 By Jac Kern | The Morning After | Posted In: DIY

D.I.Y. Samurai: Attacking the Monster in the Closet

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Being organized is supplemental to working on any kind of hands-on project. Unfortunately, many creative, craftastic individuals lack that innate sense of tidiness and organization. I’m certainly guilty of this; check out what my craft closet used to look like.



I know, I should be ashamed. Thankfully, I have revamped my craft closet so now everything has its own easy-to-find place. Need help getting to that point? So did I!

If you’re a budding crafter or just need to take control of your workspace, here are some tips that helped me.

1. Select a Storage Space

My apartment has more closets than it has rooms (which is every girl’s dream come true), so I selected a spare storage closet to hold my project junk. Maybe a desk, cabinet or bookshelf would work better for you. Whatever you select, be sure you can keep mainly craft items in there. After all, if your craft space doubles as your winter coat closet and sporting equipment storage, you’re probably never going to want to look at it, let alone start a project.

2. Gather Your Supplies

Whether you’re just starting out or have enough “potential” project supplies and accessories to fill Lake Erie, try an bring them all together in one area like your kitchen table or living room floor. Look through other areas of your home where craft items might be hiding. For example, I grabbed all my note cards, gift bags and tissue paper to put in my craft closet.

Don’t get overwhelmed! When you see all your craft crap together, you’ll begin to notice which items should be condensed in one container and which items should go where.

3. Separate and Contain

Split unlike items into different stacks or piles. I first divided my junk into a sewing-related stack and a non-sewing pile. Then I continued: tiny sewing accessories, pins, etc. went into a shoebox. Fabric scraps took a place in an empty coffee container. Patterns went in their appropriate envelopes.

For my non-sewing craft supplies, I separated them similarly (buttons and jewels in a pistachio can, paper products in a sealed box, glass items in a giant Ziploc bag, various glues and paints in a shoebox, etc.) and gathered all of those in one giant U.S. Postal Service bin. See-through containers like sandwich bags, 1-gallon bags, and Tupperware canisters are your friends! The goal is to organize and make your items easily accessible.

4. Store Appropriately

When you’re ready to place all your newly contained supplies in your storage space, just be logical. Place the items you use to most at eye level. Items you don’t have an idea for yet can go towards the bottom or back of the space. And make sure you put items that are used together close to each other (Note: doesn’t it suck when you have a hot glue gun but have to dig for 20 minutes to find a glue stick for it?).

5. Have Fun with it!

Even if you aren’t a domestic diva, organizing can be an enjoyable thing. Put on some good music, make yourself a drink and go at it! Once you’re satisfied with your space, decorate it. Make it your own. The more you like the space, the more likely you are to keep it tidy and utilize its contents.

Here’s what my craft closet looks like today:



We’ve got hardware, picture frames and in-progress projects on top, then the giant craft bin, gift items and craft books in the middle and fabric, patterns and sewing supplies on the bottom. It’s hard to believe 90% of the junk that was in the messy version of my closet is still in there! Organization really does save a lot of space.

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