I shudder to think about how many times I have probably come here and posted about reorganizing my craft room. The saddest part is that for every time I’ve posted about it, I suspect that there were ten times that I didn’t post about. My small craft room (five feet by seven feet) often finds itself looking a lot like this:
That is a lot of mess for such a small area. I’m sure it also doesn’t escape you that there is clearly nowhere to work. As a matter of fact, there isn’t even room for a chair for me to sit in if I could clear a tiny bit of work space.
You see, my craft room is one of those hot spots in our house. When a space couldn’t be found for something, and it seemed to remotely belong to me, it would get put in that room. Because it is one of the few areas in our house that isn’t pretty much just out in the open, it was easy to then have that mess be an out-of-sight, out-of-mind type of thing.
Every time that it looks like the pictures above, there would be a point where I just couldn’t take it anymore, and I would spend a few hours taking it back to looking like this:
Much better! Well, in theory, anyway. You might still notice that there are things piled everywhere under the desk, but at least the space is usable. Do you have areas of your house like this? Areas where you continually get to the point where it’s just too much, you organize it, and then eventually, it just gets that way again? It might not be your craft area. It could really be any room at all.
I had changed a few things around in that room since those pictures were taken. I stored my paper in a different way, reorganized the desk, and added a new sewing machine (with a cover). Still, as you know, the room just ended up with that kind of mess again.
In preparing for this series, Eric and I sat in my craft room to talk. I told him that I was going to be writing about how to spruce up your craft area, and it really hit us both — this area just wasn’t working for me. If I had the same mess happening again and again, it was probably a sign that something larger needed to happen than just straightening everything up.
We recognized three key things about a serious spruce up in a room that is continually getting crazy mess:
1. Whatever you’re doing in that area is just not working.
2. You may have to make some drastic changes (but they might be able to be done frugally).
3. It’s best to go into those changes with a plan.
- What are your goals for the area?
- What is it lacking now that would make it work better? (I’m going to go out on a limb and say in most cases, “extra baskets” is not the right answer.)
- What does it have that you don’t need?
During our discussion, we came up with these needs for my room:
1. A need to go through some of the supplies and recognize which things I actually wouldn’t be using. We planned to either donate things to Goodwill, give them to friends/family, or do a de-stash on Etsy (or one could do Ebay too). This was especially important as our plan involved paring down from two large stacks of draws to only one large stack.
2. A better work space. The L-shaped desk was great, but it made it so that things couldn’t be rearranged. It only fit into the room one way. It had been given to us by my parents, and I was able to pass it along to one of my sisters. (Don’t worry — we went super frugal on my new workspace.)
3. More storage, if we could manage finding a spare inch to do it. Our hope was that by moving shelving and then adding in some more, maybe we could get it to the point where I didn’t need to have things all over the floor.
4. A comfortable chair. I have been using a folding chair in that room. While folding chairs are fine, we decided to make it a priority to get a better chair.
5. Enough space so that one of the kids could sit with me. Both Molly and Jack are crafty (but especially our budding artist, Molly), so they both had a strong desire to occasionally come work beside me (or work with each other, without me in there).
Eric came up with ideas of how to make all of these items actually become reality, and all without costing us a fortune. Before we could proceed, however, everything (and I mean I mean everything) got moved out of the room and into the playroom.
Check back tomorrow to see the steps we took to do a makeover in my craft room. (And, on Wednesday, I’ll be sharing how I store some of my crafting items.) I’m hoping to inspire you to work on an especially bad problem area in your own house! So, start making a plan (see above) for that area.
Be sure to check out all of the great ideas from some of my favorite bloggers for sprucing up around your house this week (and be ready, because on Thursday, we’ll have a link up so you can post about your own Spruce Up project):
Sprucing Up the Laundry Room | Mama’s Laundry Talk
Sprucing Up the School Room | Homegrown Mom
Sprucing Up the Craft Room | Many Little Blessings
Sprucing Up the Bathroom | Feels Like Home
Sprucing Up the Playroom | …Life’s About a Dream
Sprucing Up the Garage/Storage Space | A Slob Comes Clean
Sprucing Up the Master Bedroom | Raising Arrows
Sprucing Up Your Homeschool | Jimmie’s Collage
Sprucing Up the Kitchen | So Happy Together
Sprucing Up the Garden | An Oregon Cottage
Sprucing Up the Backyard | Successful Homeschooling
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I go through the same thing with my desk. It seems to be the official dumping ground for everything. No matter, how many times I get it just the way I want it, it always seems to return to chaos again. Thanks for these tips on breaking the cycle!
I go through the same problem with my desk too. (I have a desk in another room for my computer, etc.) We also have a lot of trouble with our kitchen counter. I hope to be able to make some changes in some of those areas too.
Wow. This is great. Why yes I DO have spaces like this. My bedroom comes to mind, for starters. Love your suggestions and I look forward to the finished product.
I love that you and your husband sat down and brainstormed together! What a gift to collaborate on a project. Can’t wait to read the “rest of the story.”
I love when we work together on those kinds of projects too. I passed along your remarks to Eric, and he really appreciated it too. 🙂
Great post – I can’t wait to see what you’re doing in the craft room! I definitely have areas that have become dumping grounds for anything without a home since the area out of sight. Thanks for the reminder that obviously, something isn’t working!
So, do you think some of those problem area are going to be on your to do list after the kitchen? 😉
I need to do this! Love your ideas so far. 🙂
Do you have a craft room or just a particular area in another room?
Awesome transformation! I can’t tell you how many times I end up sprucing up closets and my pantry over here. I actually just completed a closet for all of our school supplies. It turned out pretty well. I would love to link it up on Thursday. Thanks for sharing, you did a great job.
Whoa baby! That looks great! I REALLY need to do this with our closet in the playroom. That’s our “hot spot” for games, craft/art supplies, etc. It’s really looking junky here lately. My husband was hoping to have it magically included in the playroom spruce up. oops. LOL 😉
Jami @ An Oregon Cottage says
Oh, I love this kind of stuff for inspiration! I’ll be waiting on pins and needles to see how it turned out and your organizing strategies. 🙂
I’m excited to be able to share! 🙂 (Of course, as you probably might guess, the second post hasn’t been written yet. LOL)
What a great start!
The best advice – sitting down, IN the space, and brainstorming – what works, what doesn’t, what are my needs, what are my wishes. And being honest with your answers! Wonderful hubbie you must have there.
And I know what you mean about stuff on the floor – a few years ago we were visiting friends – their home is always tidy and uncluttered – but the thing that I noticed on this visit, was she had nothing on the floors, but the furniture legs! At least, not where we could see them. I haven’t figured out how to accomplish it in my own home yet, but it’s a goal!
Looking forward to upcoming posts. Thanks for sharing!
Amy @ Raising Arrows says
Excellent post! Half the battle is realizing what IS wrong with your space. Can’t wait to see the final results! 🙂
I can’t believe that it took us this long to say, “This just isn’t working!” Now, granted, the new space may get messy too. LOL But, I really hope not!
Oh my goodness! That’s some serious work you’ve done there!
I can’t wait to see the finished product.
And that fact that you have a craft room? Seriously makes me jealous! 😉
I can’t wait to see the after pics! I had to LOL about the extra baskets, that is so true!
It was said as the owner of lots of plastic baskets. 😉
Farmer's Wyfe (Pumpkin Pie Painter) says
Hi! I sooo need to do this as well. My craft room is in my laundry room…in the basement. I started painting the walls/ceiling white to help, but then got pregnant, and that all stopped. Now my baby is a year and a half, and I really want to finish. But I need to organice better for now. I got rid of 3 truck loads of stuff last fall (some of it clothes I never wear, toys that never got played with, and lots of craft stuff I never used, or knew I’d never get to), yes 3 truckloads (!), and I still feel somewhat overwhelmed, although I think alot of it is all those storage containers! I am promptly heading down there after this and getting RID of them!! 🙂 It’s hard with it also being the laundry room, but I know it can be done. I hope to link up Thursday. (I think I saw you over at Amy’s blog, too, didn’t I? That was a great post, and made me really think about things: as can be seen by my post today. )
Anyhow, thanks so much for this. I REALLY needed it, and my husband will be SOOOO happy! 🙂
Dawn @ Two-Handed Mommy says
I’m really looking forward to seeing the end result! We have a lot of small spaces in our home and I have often ‘tried’ to organize and rearrange…but you’re right, sometimes you just have to admit that the current setup just isn’t working!
I’m a new follower from the Hip Homeschool Hop!
You’ve really piqued my curiosity! Can’t wait to see the AFTER images.
jen @ BabyGiftStation.com says
Oh my gosh! I have the same issue. I work from home so my desk becomes a complete cluster bomb every few months!!! It feels so good to clean up and re organize!