7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Organizing Your Craft Stash
I love to craft. Seriously. It's been a hobby ever since I was a little kid. I had crafting birthday parties. I was in jewelry making club in middle school. I've done a lot of different crafts. And crafts come with stuff. So. Much. Stuff. And it's not just me. My mother is an artist and crafter herself, so we had double the stuff.
Today my crafting is much more earth friendly, but I still have a lot of crafting supplies. And storing those supplies can be a major source of clutter and stress. Today I'm sharing 7 questions you'll want to ask yourself when deciding on craft storage.
Where Can You Store Things?
This is pretty obvious, but it will really inform what kinds of storage pieces you'll need. Are you storing in a closet? Can you hang any hooks or more shelves? What furniture pieces do you have? Don't be afraid to get creative - anything that can hold stuff can be craft storage. You can use a sideboard, a dresser, cabinets, a hutch, shelving units, the list is pretty endless. If you're storing in a dresser, you'll need dividers instead of boxes. If you have a large shelving unit, you'll probably want stackable boxes so you can easily access everything. Don't feel like you need to go out and buy a bunch of specialized pieces.
What do you already have?
Related to the previous question - what things do you already have? Furniture pieces, storage pieces, boxes, bins, dividers, hooks, shelves, etc. etc.. Think of anything that can hold things. If you want a theme or color sheme, don't be afraid to paint stuff. Example time - I received a silhouette for Christmas. I was excited but had no surfaces to put it on. I have 2 dressers but neither really fit in the space. I was going to buy a simple little Ikea Vittsjo unit when I found I had an extremely similar piece in the basement I completely forgot about! I brought it up, painted it (for some reason I bought everything in black/brown when I first moved, ew), put it together, and now it's a great piece. Is it a bit odd for the space? Maybe. But it does it's job and it also holds my little money tree, the only plant I haven't killed. A super simple TV stand is now craft storage. The main point is to get CREATIVE about storage. I mean, it's for a creative space, after all.
How Often Will You Use It?
How often you're going to use certain supplies will inform how and where you can store it. Of course if you're not using things often, you can store them in more inconvenient places such as the basement or the top shelf. But it also informs how you'll store these items. I keep my planner supplies in a drawer unit at my desk, each in it's own drawer so it's easy to access every day. I keep all of my sewing supplies in a single Ikea Box in my Kallax unit (except the sewing machine, which sits on the Kallax). I really don't mind that because I don't sew often and when I do, it tends to be over a few days. If I was sewing once a week, having to dig through a box each time would be real obnoxious.
Do you like open or closed storage?
Do you work better in a super simple, clean area? Or are you more the controlled chaos type? Either one can spark creativity, it just depends on the person. If you like a streamlined look, you'll need to find lots of closed storage pieces. You can do a sideboard with a curated collection of goods on top and a bookshelf stacked with similar boxes holding your supplies. If you're more on the more is more train, then color and wall storage are your friend. Go for storage that will display your favorite tools. Think pegboards or utility boards, picture ledges holding a rainbow of spray paint, and fun baskets and bins holding supplies. Store away the pieces that aren't quite as pretty and show you're favorites to keep you inspired.
Where will you be working?
Maybe you have a full craft room/space. Maybe you have a closet. Maybe all your craft supplies are in the basement and you work at the dining table. All of this is to say - how mobile will your supplies be? Are you going to be moving it long distances? Example time - I love making candles. I work in the kitchen, but the supplies are located in a bedroom closet. Therefor I stored my supplies in an Ikea Raskog cart. It holds my pitchers, wax, wicks, fragrances, notebook, and all other supplies. That's a lot of supplies. But by corralling them all in a cart, I can easily wheel it on over. For sewing, if I were to sew more often I would probably set up the same thing to easily wheel over to the dining table. If you are going up/down stairs consider a carry-able piece and keeping items stored in that.
Do you need any special storage?
I'm generally a fan of using what you have and what you can easily find as storage, but there are a few exceptions. If you have lots of small pieces (e.g. jewelry making, scrapbooking) you'll need small piece storage, such as tackle boxes or small tool storage. You may need to buy or build a special piece for large amounts of scrapbook paper. Things that are liquid should be stored in water-tight boxes. Oils, essential oils, and herbs need to be stored out of sunlight. These things should be figured into your storage solution right after 'what is the biggest thing I need to store'.
What can you let go of?
I know, I know. You 'need' everything you have. But do you? Really? If you always pass up a big chunk of your scrapbook paper, maybe that stack would be happier at the local elementary school than covered in dust in your closet. If it can't be donated try to use it up. If you're not going to be replacing it, don't give it a space in your new storage. Feel free to listen to 'Let It Go' over and over while you purge your supplies. You can donate to schools, after-school programs, thrift stores, friends and family, maybe even your local library. Especially if you know any teachers, ask them if they'd like anything.
Once you've gone through these questions (and gotten rid of what you could), you get to do the fun part - the planning and creating! Do what you can with what you have and have fun with it! It doesn't need to look perfect, it just needs to do it's function - store the stuff that brings you joy.
Have any secrets or tips for storing craft supplies? Leave them in the comments below!