3 Tips for Organizing Your Supplies Without Adding More Space
Like all crafters, I long for a beautiful space to hoard all of the supplies I never knew I wanted. I find myself ogling the artists’ studio spaces shown on our website, such as Regina Payne’s amazing studio. However, in reality I don’t even have the space to leave a project out and actually eat dinner at my kitchen table. Here are three tips that have helped me be more productive by organizing my many craft supplies without adding more space.
1. Change Your Perspective
When I feel overwhelmed by how unorganized my craft supplies are, I tend to be much less productive. If I can’t find the supplies I need for a project, I’m tempted to give up on it. The same thing happens when I try to organize my supplies. I get so anxious about not having enough space that I don’t even attempt to start organizing. It can be quite the vicious circle.
This mindset keeps me from realizing the potential of the space I do have. While it would be nice to have a huge space to store all of my supplies, it isn’t realistic. I currently don’t even have a single closet that I can devote just to crafts. Therefore, the first step to organizing my supplies was to change my perspective. I need to stop wishing for a big, beautiful studio and figure out how much of my current space I can devote to my supplies.
Take a good look around your space, whether it be the closet under the stairs or even an empty wall in your living room. Then, let yourself think of all of the different ways you could utilize the space to fit your needs. This change of perspective can be one of the best ways to boost your productivity.
2. Stop Hoarding Supplies
I have to admit, I often hoard supplies I probably won’t ever use. Will I really use that one leftover pearl or that tangled bit of random wire—or, let’s be honest, that cracked fancy stone?
I finally took a hint from my mother and just started tossing things or donating them to local charities if they were still useable. I need to stop hoarding supplies I would never use. Besides, when I do start a new project, I just buy new supplies anyway. Maybe someday, I will create a bracelet using my leftover AVA beads — but seriously, I will need more than three. If you don’t have enough bicones left to actually make something, you need to let them go. I know it hurts — but the freedom is worth it.
So take a day, or a week, and sort through your stash. If you don’t have enough of a particular supply, or the color is no longer in fashion, or you just can’t see yourself making anything with it in the near future, let it go. For me, it was actually serendipitous to get rid of some things and rediscover other things I had lost in the depths of my craft totes.
3. Develop a System
My final tip is to develop a system that works for you, which is ultimately the best way to stay organized. For this, I thought about the best ways to store my supplies in my designated space. Finding affordable, movable furniture is important.
I suggest using Go-Organize.com’s modular cubes. These are awesome for designing the furniture to fit your space and for keeping your crafts separate and organized. They are stylish, almost hiding in plain sight, and stackable, so when you do move into a bigger space you can add more cubes (even Regina Payne uses modular cubes!).
I also love mobile furniture, pieces that I can wheel out of the closet when I want to work on a project for an afternoon but that I can easily put back in the closet when unexpected company drops in.
Don’t be afraid to get the label maker out. The more organized you start out, the more likely you are to stay organized. There are tons of fun accessories out there, from jars and canisters to drawer dividers. Go as crazy as your heart desires! The easier it is to find your supplies, the more productive you will be.
I live in an apartment and can’t hang anything from the walls, but that hasn’t stopped me from using pegboards and other wall organizers! I find that they work great on the side of a couple of cubes, acting as a perfect place to store my frequently used tools so I don’t have to dig around an overcrowded drawer to find them.
Get creative with your organization, and don’t feel limited by the intended purpose of furniture and other organizational tools. It’s your system and your space—you can do whatever works for you. It may take some time to get organized (time you could spend making a bracelet), but in the end, it is worth it. Even if you don’t have a lot of space, there are ways to stay organized and live your best craft life!
Assistant Editor, Beadwork magazine