As tidy as I am, there are spaces in my house that get out of control or have never been organized properly since we moved in. Such was the case with the closet in my sewing room and it was time I got around to organizing it.
I will say right up front that it’s amazing to have an entire spare room that I can take over for sewing and upholstery supplies, my fabric stash, sewing machines, etc. We really didn’t need this extra bedroom, but I will take and utilize it! It’s also become the “cat room” and we keep one of their scratchers as well as their litter box in here.
The closet in the sewing room has been problematic when it comes to organizing since we moved in because it’s configured for clothes (understandably), not for sewing and upholstery supplies. I have planned on building shelves in here for three years and I finally gave up on that idea and bought a ready-made shelving unit. I ended up getting THIS SHELF that would fit well inside the space but was also heavy-duty enough to handle potentially heavy bins.
And, oh my goodness! What a difference that shelf made when it came to organizing the sewing room closet! I thought I might need to move supplies into the small cabinet by the bed or take over more of the drawers in my sewing desk, but I didn’t have to do either. I had more than enough room once I got things sorted and contained. Taping the upholstery foam into rolls made the biggest difference. Foam is expensive, so I hate to throw away the remnants from a project, but they are so bulky to store.
I also moved things that didn’t belong in the sewing room down to the basement storage room – like some pictures I never hung, an antique doll, and a few other odds and ends. This is now all sewing supplies (and cat food!)
The funny thing about this shelf is I was sort of winging putting it together and I didn’t do it properly. It kept falling over on me as I was trying to put things on it and I was getting so frustrated! Once I stopped, read the directions, and put it together properly, it was sturdy and works great.
It was exactly what this organizing project needed.
Here’s a little GIF showing the cleaning and organizing process…
Now I can access tools, notions, and the like when I’m working on projects without an avalanche of stuff falling on me.
I also freed up a little space in the closet by moving the pillow forms to a large basket on top of the wardrobe. I bought it from the Dream Whites’ birthday sale a few weeks ago. I got this beautiful antique French basket for 45% off! It was much larger than I thought it was, but it’s perfect for storing bulky pillow forms where they are out of the way, but still easy to get to.
When organizing a craft/hobby space, here are a few things I’ve learned over the years…
Know How You Work
Organization is only helpful if it actually works with how you work. If you like to throw things in bins to quickly clean up, you’re never going to meticulously fold things and put them in a stack on a shelf. If you tend to be messy, but you’re distracted by messes, you might want to use closed storage as opposed to open shelving. Organizing should set you up for success and the system should serve you.
consider space vs. usefulness
When deciding to keep craft supplies that are bulky, like foam, pillow forms, rolls of batting, etc., be honest about how useful it is to you. Will you really use it? I debated about a long, skinny piece of foam, but I decided to keep it in the end. If I don’t use it after a year, I’ll donate or pitch it. I might be able to use it to pad the arms of a chair or piece it together to make a larger, more useful cushion, but it’s more likely that it’ll languish in my stash. If something is just going to take up space, pass it along to someone who will use it and give yourself the gift of some organizational margin.
Spend a few minutes on maintenance
Do yourself a favor and make cleaning up after a project a part of the project. The project isn’t over until things are put away and cleaned up. I don’t follow this rule 100% of the time, but I try to do it more often than not and I’m always thankful when I do. The next time I want to work on a project, everything is tidy and ready for me. Spending those few minutes to maintain the space will prevent from getting too overwhelming and out of control.
I hope these tips help you when it comes to organizing your creative spaces.
This week, I’ll be organizing the storage room in our basement, which is definitely the messiest space in the house. It’s all of our Christmas stuff, off-season decor, and random things that we don’t want to get rid of, but we aren’t using. Now that we’ve been here for three years, I need to be a little more ruthless when I’m sorting through it.
Does anyone else like organizing in the fall? It just seems like a good time to get the house in shape after summer projects!