I have a lot of craft stuff. No, seriously, I have a lot of craft stuff. I'm one of those people whose friends ask her questions like, "Do you want this jar I found?" and "Think you might be able to do something with this roll of twine?" My answer is always, "YES! I'll take it!" It'll be good for something someday, right? I'm also a person who needs her ton of craft supplies to be organized and displayed attractively!
Hey, I'm a complicated girl. Here are some things I've learned while organizing my myriad craft supplies.
1: Have a place for everything, and I mean everything!
I have a little divided drawer that has velcro in one side, elastic in the other. I've got a box that's labeled "craft patterns and fabric dye." I've got a glass jar full of dark-colored buttons, a jar full of light-colored buttons, and a jar full of buttons that are still on their original cards. If a type of craft supply doesn't have a place to live, it will either pile up annoyingly on your desk or work table or it will get lost.
2: Label your containers!
If a craft container has a space for a label, use it. If it doesn't have a space for a label, make one. Your future self will thank you.
3: Categorize your things in a way that makes the most sense for you.
Lots of people recommend organizing yarn by color, but since I've only got two boxes in which to put yarn, organizing by color wouldn't work for me. Instead, I have one box full of yarn suitable for large projects (e.g. things I have multiple skeins of), and one box full of lone skeins of yarn and scraps. Sometimes I even organize things by size — I have a bin in the corner where I keep things that are long.
I've noticed that if I trust my organizing instincts enough, I'm often able to find things I don't remember putting away by asking myself, "Where would a person like me put those cord stoppers?" I open the drawer where I keep what I can best describe as "little plastic and metal sewing notions that get put onto a garment but aren't buttons or snaps or grommets," and bingo! There they are, right where the me from the past put them.
4: Use lots of shelves and hooks!
If your craft room or area isn't large, you're going to need to store things up instead of out. All that wall space you have is great for yardsticks, rulers, circular knitting needles, spools of thread and more. And you can always find a shelf for even the narrowest, weirdest wall space. There's a shelf above my door that I can't even reach, but it holds lots of stuff I don't need to access regularly.
5: Have a system for organizing current projects.
I made a little rack of hooks out of old sewing spools and attached it to a low spot on the wall, and that's what I use to hold my unfinished sewing projects. Each project is clamped into a vintage pants hanger and hung on the rack. It keeps my desk area clear and reminds me of what I still have to do. If your projects aren't hang-able, use bins or trays or whatever works for you.
6: Use the containers you have.
I bought a bunch of cardboard IKEA bins a few years ago, but these days I'm all about fabric-covered shoe boxes, tin cans and glass jars. They save me money since they come from stuff I was going to buy anyway, and there's the added recycling bonus!
7: Have fun with it!
I like to mix my craft-supply boxes up with some of my favorite knick-knacks on the shelves. It makes things so much more cheerful.
What strategies do you use to ensure that your craft space isn't out of control?