1. Store it in plain sight
Avoid purchasing extra supplies by making it easy to keep track of what you’ve got. Use glass jars or canisters for for small items like beads or buttons. Clear plastic thread boxes keep your spools dust free. Store fabric scraps in plastic zip-top bags organised by colour or fabric type.
2. If it’s not useful, it goes in the bin
Every once in while, go through all your supplies and get rid of anything that’s not usable. Dried out paint or glue, used up markers, slivers of tailor’s chalk, too-small fabric scraps, dull craft knife blades. If it’s just taking up space, it’s time for it to go!
3. Group like items together
If you frequently use tools or materials together, store them together. Some of things are obvious–keeping your spray starch with your iron, for example, and spare rotary cutter blades with the cutter itself–but others might be unique to your particular crafting style.
4. Designate equipment workstations
Whether it’s a sewing machine, a die-cut press, a soldering iron, or any other piece of equipment, try to set up a workspace designed to use it, including seating, tablespace, and lighting that works for you. This will keep you from having to change over your entire space every time you need to switch from sewing machine to serger.
5. Borrow specialised equipment
If you’re working on a particular project that requires something you don’t typically use–such as an industrial strength sewing machine, or power tools–try renting or borrowing before you buy. Not only does this save you money, but it cuts down on the equipment you need to store.
6. Keep project materials together
This is especially helpful if you’ve got multiple projects on at once. When switching between them, clean up after the first by putting all the materials together into a bag or bin. This will help you keep track of all your pieces, plus make it easy to pick up where you left off.
7. Go vertical!
Counter- and table-space is at a premium in craft rooms. Don’t take it up with storage for equipment and supplies. Instead, opt for shelving, pegboards, and stacking containers to make the most of vertical space.
8. Separate work and play
If you run a handmade business selling your crafts, you know how important it is to keep careful track of your expenses, time, inventory, and other aspects of your business. Rather than taking over your workspace every time you need to balance the books, try to carve out an office space, either in your craft room or elsewhere.
9. Get creative with your storage solutions
Having plenty of bins, canisters, jars, and other storage containers on hand is a good first step to getting your space organised, but you could easily spend a fortune on them! Instead, clean out empty jars and cans from the kitchen cupboards and spruce them up with a bit of pretty paper or fabric. Voila! Personalised storage.
10. Hang an inspiration board
Put your creativity on display! Hang a corkboard and use it to keep track of swatches, sketches, inspiration images, and other things that keep your creativity flowing.
11. Use unconventional spaces
Very few of us have crafting spaces that are as large as we’d like, so it’s important to make the most of every square inch. Use the backs of doors to hang extra storage baskets, or a fold-down ironing board. Gate-leg or drop tables give you extra space when you need it and fold away when you don’t.
12. Drawer dividers control clutter
Drawers have a tendency to become catch-alls. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Keep items from rattling around and getting jumbled by using open-topped boxes and dividers inside each drawer.
13. Label it!
This one’s especially important if you share the space with other people and want everything to end up where it started. Use stick-on labels that can be easily changed if you need to reorganise.
14. Stay on top of the clutter
As tempting as it can be to just walk away from your space when you’re done, spending a few extra minutes to tidy up will make your space much more inviting when you return. Plus, the more you keep up with the clutter now, the less work you’ll have later!
15. Organise your space to work for you
The way you work is unique, so don’t be afraid to move things around if you discover your initial organisational scheme isn’t working. Maybe you find you need more light, or there aren’t enough plugs for your equipment. Make your space work for you, rather than the other way round.
16. Start a supplies swap
If you find you’ve got lots of bits and pieces you know you’ll never use, but can’t bring yourself to throw away, reach out to like-minded crafters. Chances are, they’ve got the same problem! An afternoon swap might be just the ticket to get rid of things you don’t want and find a few things you do!
17. Remember, a little chaos is a good thing
When surfing through web pages filled with glorious, magazine-ready craft rooms, it’s easy to feel like your space doesn’t measure up. The reality is, a little bit of mess can actually make you more creative. So the next time your space has you feeling overwhelmed, put aside the worry and try to find the beauty in just a little bit of chaos.