So I'm not much of a crafter. But every so often I get a brainstorm for a new project, or I need a homemade gift, and then I have to go digging through legions of cardboard boxes to find the materials I need. Then after I'm done with the project, I usually just take everything I used and dump them all back into one of the boxes. It's utter chaos. I'd love to find some way to organize the supplies I have so that I don't have to do that every time! Or worse, forget what I have or fail to find it, and go buy more ...
The worst part is, I tend to collect hand-me-down or garage-sale craft supplies, which means I have piles of things I've never used but might someday. It's the only category of item that I hesitate to declutter, which is OK, I suppose, but I really need a way to make my stash more usable.
So what do you do to keep your craft things organized? Any brilliant ideas I can borrow?
For what it's worth, we live in a very small house, so there's no way to take over a room in the house or a closet or something. I'm basically stuck with basement or attic for storage.
I have a combination of clear shoe boxes and copier paper boxes. I sort by project or type of material. For example, I keep all the buttons in a box with beads and bells and other fun junk, but I have a clear shoe box with different buttons for a monogram pillow project. That way I can pull out one little shoe box and do what I need. Shoe boxes are labeled with a post-it and larger ones with sharpie on the box. Nothing fancy, but it works. :)
I recently moved from a house with a killer closet system for my crafting area (it was ginormous) to all open spaces so I'm using half of my closet for this need. So there's a bookcase in there for the clear boxes and a shelf for the copier sized ones. I'm getting used to this system in this space, but I've found that putting things back in their correct box helps me know where to look. Like you, I collect projects and things I can use for projects and supplies that I might need one day. Luckily, my mind is a steel trap when it comes to my crafting things so I know what I have...I needed to be able to find X or Y without opening every single box.
Kids weren't allowed in the crafting closet at the old house and now I've made my personal closet off limits. I 100% trust my six year-old to use things appropriately and not spill super glue all over the carpet, but the two year-old is a semi-nightmare so I just made a hard and fast rule.
Oh, last thing, now I need to figure out how I can sew in there since there isn't an electrical outlet in the closet and I don't want to keep an extension cord running throughout my bedroom. I'm pretty stoked about my space, though!
Are your kids in school? I sent mounds of crafting stuff in a massive declutter to my daughter's Kinder classroom last year. Holy cow, the teacher thought I was amazing! I did the same thing for her preschool class. Basically, when I get to the point of "I *might* use this." it's gone. No need it taking up my space when the teacher will actually make something cool out of it. Plus, teachers share so if there's too much of one thing it tends to make the rounds until it's used up. Just a thought.
Chatty Girl - 3/2006, Lovey Boy - 1/2010, Delicious Baby Girl - 1/2012