Organization

Do you own your craft space, or does your craft space own you?

File Cabinet
The inside top of my large file cabinet. This spot still needs organizing but it was stuffed earlier with even more junk and gives a great example of what the rest of my craft space felt like before I organized.

I was certainly staring to feel owned by my craft space in the last few weeks. Or “pwned” by it, in gaming terms (shock alert! I’m an avid World of Warcraft player! Hunters FTW!)

I had acrylic brushes interspersed with watercolor brushes. I had little drawers of ephemera in several locations. Adhesives in different drawers. My Dylusions spray inks tumbled in horizontal storage and ink pads in the same storage as the Dylusions. Acrylics all tossed down into a big travel bin where I had to dig and dig and dig to find the color I wanted. My watercolors tossed into the same bin with the acrylics…

Yeah, crafting disaster zone, and it certainly added a lot of time to my projects by spending precious time digging and searching instead of creating.

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Bonus Sterilite bin find!

Today I decided to get organized. It started with a quick hop over to Target into their storage bin area. I found a nice big Sterilite three-drawer bin for just under $20 and a set of five smaller Sterilite storage bins for just $5. Oh! And a bonus little decorative bucket for $1 into which I put my Sharpies and some of my cheaper gel pens. My more expensive item (in my opinion) was $5 for a toothbrush holder that I turned into my paintbrush holder. I used the different “compartments” of the cup for my different brush-types and used washi tape to label the sides of the cup with which brushes go where.

Once I had all the storage items it was time that I pulled out all my existing drawers and containers of items and put them into new homes that made sense to me and were in easy reach. It was also important that I label the trays where possible for easier searching.

First to get rearranged were my Recollection storage cubes (purchased on sale with 50% off coupons from Michael’s. Note you have to assemble these yourself – a royal pain, in my humble opinion, but that’s how you save some money.) I had colored pencils, stencils, stamps, adhesives, glues, glitters and various ephemera stored in them – which was fine to be honest, but they required some better categorizing.

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Ephemera-only drawer.

The biggest change was I took my drawer that I had my Bic Mark-It markers and Staedtler pens in it with some beads and silk flowers and turned that drawer into an ephemera-only drawer. I moved my makers and pens into a drawer in the big Sterilite bin and they’re being kept now with my Dylusions spray inks, ink pads and Derwent Inktense pencils – you got it, it’s my “ink drawer.”

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Ink drawer. Those smaller Sterilite bins allowed me to create upright storage for the spray inks. I later determined to not keep the lid on the bin and put the two Recollection ink bottles upright, as well.
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Labels make everything easier to find!

Once I had everything neatly organized in the Recollection cubes I put the label compartments to use and made quick labels with some mini post-its. Now I know where everything is in those storage cubes. Hooray!

Next to tackle were all my stencils and stamps which I had sitting in the same drawer. While I still feel I’d be better served getting a large three-ring binder and figuring out how to store the stencils that way, I at least cleared out all the stamps from the same drawer so now it only contains stencils in flat storage. The stamps I put into the travel bin into which I had originally thrown all my acrylics, and the acrylics got their own new home in another smaller Sterilite storage bin, being stored upright so I can locate colors quickly. My acrylics were tucked into another one of the drawers of the large storage bin along with all of my mediums such as gesso, matte gel, whipped spackle and Mod Podge.

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My acrylics and mediums drawer. Note the washi tape on top of a couple of the containers. I have corresponding washi tape wrapped around the handles of the brushes I use to apply those so I never end up mixing them.

Finally those watercolors needed an appropriate home. I put them along with my mixing palettes and sponges into the bottom drawer.

After a couple of hours of rearranging, I feel like I came up with a more workable solution to my art and craft projects. Is this some several-thousand dollar gorgeous setup? Nope. Not there yet with those kind of funds. But it’s still nice looking and I didn’t break the bank. And now I can easily find and access my materials. I call that a score. Honestly, I think it took me longer to write this post than it did to get organized!

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A workable crafting space! Yay!

How do you organize your space, especially if on a budget? Share in the comments below.

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