Oh boy, is this going to be fun! Organizing crafts is like herding cats. It’s not an easy task.
I’m going to dive in here and give you some crafts solutions that have worked for me in the past. Feel free to leave comments below about specific craft organization ideas you’d like to see me add in the future.
General Craft Storage
So, I’m going to start with my craft cabinet which is in the basement. It is also in the locked closet in the basement for a reason. One day, the cabinet was unlocked and all of my rubber stamps got taken out and used…
…which isn’t that much of a problem, because I do like my stamps to be used… but they didn’t get cleaned or put away.
Another item that has found its way into the locked cabinet is paint. Let’s just say I have a child with boundary issues who thinks you can paint items anywhere you want to, including on my family room carpeting.
And I think that this is why organizing crafts can be such a challenge. We want our children to be able to have fun and express themselves using crafts, but often both the supplies and the sweet children require some supervision.
Over the years, I have realized it is easier for me to not have as many craft items in the house and just go out and buy what we need for different projects. Craft items tend to be easily bought on sale, but then saved for “someday” instead of being used!
So, I took some time and went through this cabinet. I like using plastic containers with lids and labels to identify what you keep in a craft cabinet.
Some basic items like glue guns and scissors are always going to be in any basic craft cabinet.
Using tray sorters is another way to divide different types of paper that you are saving for projects.
For my scrapbook organizing clients, I sort their projects into these Iris plastic bins with lids. They are big enough to hold 12 x 12 pages and albums.
Finding a uniform plastic storage solution like this for your favorite craft will allow you to stack up many partially finished projects in one area.
Organizing Creative People
The other reason that crafts become overwhelming is because creative minds tend to be less… naturally organized… shall we say.
Some of the most fun organizing jobs I have done have been for creative crafty people. Here are some of them:
A craft client who used my virtual organization services to get her business organized. Note: I no longer offer virtual organization. The 100 Day Home Organization Program has taken its place.
I think it goes without saying that my favorite craft is scrapbooking. Over the years, I have helped hundreds of women organize their scrapbooking supplies.
I still continue to make dozens of albums every single year and I have pared my scrapbooking supplies down to just what you see here.
I have one bag with 12 x 12 paper and stickers. I no longer have a large stockpile of paper or stickers to “use up.” I now go to the store and buy exactly the paper and stickers that I want for a project when I start that project.
Of course, I know I am a little crazy since I can complete an album in 10-12 hours. By getting better at my craft, I don’t have to keep as many supplies on hand and am more familiar with what products I like to use.
The other bag that I have for scrapbooking is this tool bag. I keep my cutters, tape, pens and scissors close at hand.
The biggest help to maintaining clutter in my scrapbooking supplies is that I now throw away all of the paper at the end of an album making project. Yes, you read that right, I no longer keep scraps of paper for the next album project. Unless the sheet is three quarters of the way usable, I get rid of it.
And one of the reasons I do that is because since clients are paying me by the hour to make their albums, it is more cost-effective for me to recycle my pile of papers at the end of the album making process, than it is to sort them all out, keep them and reuse them.
I also buy the majority of my paper on sale at a local craft store for $.07-$.15 per sheet. So, when I have that pile of papers to recycle, I am maybe recycling 3 to 5 dollars’ worth of paper.
Not keeping every last scrap really will keep you more organized.
Another trick I have found with reducing the amount of supplies for scrapbooking is that I actually shop for the stickers and embellishments after the album is completed. This allows me to keep my focus on the pictures and the memories that are being scrapbooked and not on the latest, cutest sticker that I just found.
Keep the craft supplies closest to where you use them.
I used to make jewelry. I no longer create new pieces, but I DO use my jewelry making supplies a few times a year to fix the pieces I have.
So, I decided to store these supplies in my bathroom near my jewelry instead of in the basement with my craft supplies.
Letting Crafts GO…
Finally, craft items also have this ability to work their way into our DNA, and are very hard to get rid of. Even though I know I am not going to do counted cross stitch again for decades, I still have all of my floss.
And I’m sure that you have crafts as well that you have long since stopped doing, still holding to the hope that someday you may get back to that craft that you once loved.
Your challenge here is to take a look at the crafts you are keeping. Is it time to donate or discard some of them?
If you find you do have a large amount of crafts that you’ve been saving for “someday,” you might want to collect all of those and put them in a box or laundry basket in the laundry room for the next snow day.
Good luck getting your crafts organized, and don’t get distracted and start a new craft project in the process!