Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Organizing Art or Craft Space

When organizing art or craft space, envision what you want to do in that area. If you have a large area, you can divide the space into functional areas - a space for painting, a space for beadwork, a space for sewing, etc. If your space is small, divide your supplies into like groups.

If you know what will happen in your art/craft area, it is clear what does not belong there. Start by removing everything that should not live in this area. I usually start in one corner of the room and sweep around the room. Simultaneously remove unrelated items, purge unnecessary items, and group like items together.

If you have the luxury of a large space, consider which parts of the room would be most conducive to which functions. Take into consideration storage, work space, lighting, ventilation, etc. You may even want to graph out the room, creating scale model furniture. Then you can move furniture without lifting a finger!

If your space is small, group like supplies together so you don't have to wander all over the space to find what you need.

Don't forget to use vertical space. You may want to put up a pegboard for your glue guns, embossers, pliers, and other tools. Outline each tool with a Sharpie, and you'll know where to return it - as will others who use your tools!

If you have blank walls, put up some shelving to hold supplies or use tall shelving units. By using vertical space, your floor space is less cluttered and you have more room to work.

If you have the need to see your supplies, use glass jars or clear shoe boxes from the dollar store. Stackable bins that are for produce (the kind with the open front) provide visibility yet reduce visible clutter.

I found letter-size plastic baskets at the Dollar Tree yesterday - perfect for storing different kinds of craft or office paper on shelves. A file cabinet or rolling file is also great for storing different types of paper. Plastic stacking drawers that hold a ream of paper in each drawer are available at BJ's or office supply stores. Cereal boxes can be taped to each other (with an end or side removed) for a green alternative. You can cover or paint them to make them more attractive.

Dishpans and similar plastic bins from the dollar store are wonderful containers for keeping similar supplies together. Label them, and slide onto a shelf. Or re-purpose other items for storage - tins, coffee containers, baskets, etc. If you have some keepsakes sitting around in a box that would double as storage containers, see if there are some you can use and enjoy. Just make sure your supplies won't damage them.

Plastic drawers come in all sizes for all sizes of supplies. Silverware or drawer organizers, muffin tins, ice cube trays and small plastic boxes can keep drawers organized.

Use pants hangers with clips to hang stencils or other hangable stuff. 

Pants hangers that have four rods hold ribbon spools beautifully. Or thread ribbon spools onto paper towel/gift wrap tubes. Insert a ribbon through the tube and hang. If the ribbon spools are too small, thread a ribbon or dowel rod through them. Another idea: place ribbon spools in a shoe box and cut slits in the box through which the ribbons can be inserted. Each ribbon is visible and available with a pull! Tie a pair of scissors onto the box and they're always handy.

Use back-of-the door hanging storage, especially if your area must serve double duty. If that is the case, consider using a card table as a work space. It can be folded up when the space is needed for another use. Under-the-bed storage can be used if a bed is in the room.

Allow for clean up time before leaving your art/craft area. Put away supplies. Clean brushes and other items. By taking a few minutes at the end of each creative time, your space is pleasant and inspiring when you return! Visual clutter creates clutter in your mind.

To keep my white plastic craft table clean, I cover it with Glad Press 'n Seal. Clean up involves pulling it off the table! If there are some accidents, Mr. Clean Magic Sponges take care of it.

If you use solvents or other flammable liquids, make sure to have a metal trash can to store soaked cloths until they are cleaned, to avoid possible fire.

Step back and evaluate -
- is the lighting adequate for your work spaces?
- Does everything have a home?
- Is there adequate storage?
- Is your space pleasing to your eye?
- Is the ventilation adequate?
- Are there items you need in order to make your area more functional?

What have you done to make your art/craft area more efficient and functional? Subscribers, click title to comment on the original blog.

More on arts/crafts:

Storage Ideas for Crafts and Art Supplies
Craft Storage
This is What I Call Using Wall Space!