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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