Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Crafty Spring Cleanout

Here in the crafty blogaverse (a very happy place to be by the way) I have seen everything from huge dedicated craft rooms - to closet craft rooms - to a simple armoire containing someone's entire craft universe. I have to say, craft armoires are really cute too because you can close the doors on the whole mess!

Where's my Mod Podge? Oh no, all my tags disappeared! When did my stack of felt become a cat bed? I laid my earring hooks right there - where did they go! (these are actual quotes)

This is what we call Craft Cluttermania. Things can easily hide in a cluttered crafty space! Glue sticks love to roll behind stamping pads, and favorite markers can just disappear into thin air.

A spring cleanout/reorganization is a great time to freshen up your craft space and know where everything is. Cleaning and organizing your crafty space weekly or monthly is an even better idea, and here's why:
1. Crafty spaces are by nature, messy spaces! We can't help it. One project is all it takes to make a huge mess and create the dreaded Craft Cluttermania. Organizing keeps your creative area ready to work, open and inviting.
2. A good cleanout can save you some craft bucks. It helps you inventory your craft supplies - so you're not duplicating your purchases and ending up with five bottles of Mod Podge. And, you're identifying what you do need so you can watch for it to go on sale.
3. A cleanout helps you identify the things you use the most, the least, and not at all! Hmm...maybe it's time to sell what you never use to earn some crafty spending money on what you use all the time.
4. Being an organized crafter helps you make the most of your actual crafting time because you're more steamlined and not spending an hour looking for your glue gun!
5. A crafty cleanout can inspire you to create! The next time you are stuck for ideas, just start cleaning out and organizing - as you're going through your supplies, stacking your pretty papers, sorting your new embroidery flosses, the ideas start flowing again and you're back on your creative cloud nine. does all this crafty cleanout stuff get started? Just spell the word S-P-R-I-N-G.

S - Sort! It all begins with your craft inventory. Put like items together and you will start to notice the storage solutions you might need.
Pare down - As much as possible, get rid of what you don't use at all. You're not running a craft storage warehouse. You need the space for the things you use and enjoy the most.
My upcycled art journal
Recycle, reuse and upcycle! As you are cleaning out and paring down, notice items that instead of throwing away, might actually be upcycled. One time I came across some ancient nasty green file dividers with ugly black metal tabs. I ended up cutting and painting them to make an art journal and lots of art tags. 
Invent new storage - whether it's some cool plastic baskets you found at the dollar store, or those pretty boxes at Michaels that go on sale all the time, or the unusual things. For example, when my husband bought a nice tool bag at the hardware store that was marked way down from twenty dollars to four, I bought one for my craft storage! I use a hanging jewelry organizer on the wall for my small tags and craft punches. 
Last weekend Paper Studio items were 50% off at Hobby Lobby, and I found an organizer meant for embellishments. It is full of zippered pockets with five pages of various size pockets that open out. I am using it for a variety of craft supplies, especially ones I might take on the go. But I can keep the whole thing handy, and it's easy to see what I have. Now I wish I would have bought two!
Notice Stuff - It's like Christmas when you find things you forgot you had or thought you lost! Now that you've found it, put it with like items, or put it in some kind of organizer to keep it very visible. This is important for me with special needles - I use embroidery needles, a needle for sewing my knitting, and smaller needles - but I need to find them all!
Get it all put away and get on with your creativity. Don't get too caught up in your organizing or it will become piddling, and your energy will be used up and you won't make anything! This has definitely happened to me.

See? You can get really creative with this organizing stuff. You don't have to have a craft library with everything on a perfect shelf. Use a variety of containers. Use labels if you need to. And most importantly, get in there and use your supplies, and create! Oh, and do remember to be thankful for these craft supplies - we live in a rich era of amazing craft supplies available to us that didn't exist ten years ago! When you value what you have and value your time and energy, you will make the most of it and be happy!
Eat, Write, Dream, Stitch, Organize

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