Is there a room in your house that consistently becomes a dumping ground? Company is coming any minute there is still a laundry basket full of clothes in the living room plus that box of books that hasn’t quite made it to Goodwill yet. You’re panicked and you’re out of time so you drop the items off in the basement or guest room. Suddenly, every time someone doesn’t know where to put something it gets stacked with the other things until you can’t even use the room anymore. That room in our house is my craft room which also serves as my office. I finally had enough and spent days cleaning and reorganizing it. Now, no one is allowed in there, except for you so I can show you how to organize arts and crafts supplies.
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I’m a little embarrassed to show you how bad it had gotten before I finally stepped in. I also want you to know you are not alone if your family is using your craft room as a dumping ground which is more important. As you can see in the pictures, there wasn’t even room to walk. You also couldn’t get to half of my tools and supplies. The only area that managed to stay semi-safe was my work table. I want you to realize something very important from these before photos: it doesn’t matter how well organized your supplies are if there is too much clutter to get to it.
1. Create Zones
Create zones in your craft room and group like items together. Don’t spread your paper pads out all over the room and instead group them together. Make sure all of your tools are in the same zone as well as paints and brushes. The two benefits of this are:
- When like items are together, you can easily find what you need instead of having to check 3 different places first.
- You know what you have and what you don’t. This saves you the money of replacing things you already have simply because you couldn’t locate it and thought you were out.
2. Label Everything
I strongly recommend investing in a label maker. They don’t cost much and can be used all throughout your home. However, if you don’t have one, there are still other options for labeling. You can use sticker labels or ever just plain paper and tape. One area that I notice labeling is under-utilized is on paper pads. If you place a label on the glued edge of the pad, you can store them on a shelf and easily pull the paper you need. Again, if you don’t have a labeler, a piece of masking tape and a Sharpie will work as well.
3. Create a Project Space
You likely have multiple projects going on at one time, especially around the holidays. You don’t want those projects cluttering your workspace. Instead, create a project space for items you’re still working on. This can be a shelf dedicated to them or even just a plastic tub that sits under your table. Choose a system that works for you ad that is easily accessible.
4. Favorite Storage
I have stored my arts and crafts supplies many different ways over the years. Space and available furniture have frequently dictated how the items were organized. In that time some favorite storage items have emerged. Here are a few of my go-to items to organize arts and crafts supplies:
- Plastic Shoe Boxes – These are great for storing so many different supplies from ribbon to clay and everything in between.
- Photo Boxes – These can be used in the same way as plastic shoe boxes but tend to be slightly more expensive.
- Cube Shelving – These are probably my all-time favorite organizational piece of furniture! Not only are they great for craft supplies, they also make great bookshelves, toy storage, and even an awesome coffee bar.
- Expandable File Folders – Besides the obvious use of storing and organizing important papers, these are perfect for organizing stickers and embellishments.
- Divided Plastic Containers – These are another fantastic item for storage. Organize your beads, buttons, brads, and floss in these for easy access.
- Boxes – Literally old boxes from things you’ve bought. Shoe boxes and diaper boxes make great storage pieces. If you want to dress them up a little, buy some pretty fabric or wrapping paper and wrap them like a present.
Craft Room/Office Tour
When you walk into the office, there is a closet immediately to your left. I took the doors off to allow the storage furniture to fit inside.
This is where I have stored my yarn. I originally stored it in the top drawer pictured but not much fits there. It has expanded to fill the open space next to the set of drawers.
My Cricut, sewing machine, and iron are all housed in the cabinet under the yarn.
This is one of my zones and it is immediately to the right of the closet. All of my stamps and ink pads are organized by type in plastic shoeboxes. The box on the bottom houses all of the materials for card making.
This is the table used exclusively as a project workspace. The light it gets is magnificent and it is easy to clean. (This table was only $20 at IKEA!)
This is the paper zone and it falls to the right of the work table. The open rack shelves I found in Gatlinburg at a craft store that was getting rid of them years ago. The drawers can be found all over but they are a very close second for storing paper (one being the open rack storage).
These shelves were made by a friend of mine exclusively for me. He did a fantastic job on them and they work perfect behind the desk now.
Photo boxes are used to organize all of my ribbon and crafting extras such as twine, washi tape, and magnets.
These are all embellishments, buttons, brads, and letters. Divided containers are awesome for holding and organizing all kinds of supplies. I use them all of the time (as you can see in the picture below).
Don’t you love when people get you gifts in fun and durable bags? The problem is, other than regifting, the bags don’t have much functionality. I have received multiple Hello Kitty bags over the years because my friends and family love to help feed my Hello Kitty problem. I couldn’t bear to give them up so instead I have turned them into useful storage for different embellishments for scrapbooking.
See above, Hello Kitty problem. Since I don’t work outside the home, this lunch box doesn’t serve its original purpose, however it makes an awesome office supplies holder.
This is the little bit of overflow from my paper. This was originally how I had all of my paper stored before acquiring my current storage systems.
These are all of my stickers and paper embellishments stored in expandable file folders. This allows you to group like items together, such as that striped pink one that has all baby stuff in it itemized by genders and specific events.
Here is a glimpse inside the expandable file folder to see how it is utilized.
Glitter and spray paint each go in plastic containers. Yes, I really own that much glitter and I’m totally proud of it!
This is my ongoing project shelf. I store projects here so that I can keep my work table clean but easily pull projects back out to work on as needed. As you can see, I always have quite a few projects going on.
See those diapers boxes? Those are the perfect size for cube storage systems. Yes, they look kind of unattractive but you can easily cover them.
Here’s how I covered mine. The paper was wrapping paper that I picked up at Target on sale after Christmas.
See how pretty they look now?
Here is how the rest of the office supplies is stored. It makes everything very easy to find (or replace) whenever I need.
My tools are also all stored together. While you can’t see it in the picture, my electric drill is in a case to the right of this. Again, it is so important to create zones with like items together. It will make your life much easier.
This little caddy is essential. Not only do I use it almost daily, it also makes it easy to take my essential crafting tools to crops with me. I simply grab it and go. You can see how I organize mine below.
This paint organizer is actually a canned goods organizer for the pantry. It doesn’t work in our pantry, though, so instead it hangs on the wall to organize all of my paint and supplies (minus the spray paint).
You will be able to better store your scrapbook album if you lay them on their sides and alternate which side the binding is on. If you try to place them upright like you do books, they will take up much more space. The baskets hold recyclables such a styrofoam and newspapers to be used in later projects. By confining them to these baskets, it keeps it from getting out of hand and storing things just to store them.
So there you have all of the little tips and tricks I use to organize my arts and crafts supplies. I can finally breath and work again in my newly reclaimed office/craft room. It is such a relief and a productivity boost. You will be glad you took the time and energy to organize your own. What tips do you have for reining in your supplies? I would love to hear about them in the comments! And don’t forget to come back tomorrow to find out how to organize your books!