Decluttering your craft room chaos – easy as A, B, C!
How to organize a craft room and declutter the chaos is as easy as A, B, C – accumulate, break apart and contain! Keep reading and I’ll show you how. There is even a free downloadable Decluttering Your Craft Room Chaos workbook so you can mark off your progress as you go.
But I don’t have a dedicated scrapbook space, I only have a portion of a room, or a closet, or a cabinet or a shelf. I’ve heard all of the excuses. It’s fine. Whatever space you have, you can declutter it, organize it and it will boost your productivity and creativity in the process.
Yes, there are benefits to decluttering your craft space including reduced stress, easier to clean and maintain, saving time looking for things and saving money because you’re not buying duplicates or things aren’t getting damaged. Decluttering also boosts creativity and productivity. Did I forget a benefit? Yes, the joy in finding the lost treasures – those items we forgot we purchased! Ooops!
To help you on your craft room declutter journey, I created a pdf workbook that you can download. It contains a checklist to help keep you on track. The workbook is located in the MollyQCreates free Resource Library. This is password protected. To get the password, fill out the form below and it will be emailed to you. There is another form at the bottom of this page.
How do I Start to Organize my Craft Room?
Before we begin with the A, B, C part, take a little time to look at your space. If you’re going to take the time to declutter, you might as well take the time to get organized. Organization goes beyond putting everything in pretty containers and making it look nice. You also have to create a workflow! For instance, when selecting papers for a layout, isn’t it easier to have the papers and embellishments in the same area? Or when cutting with the Cricut, to have your vinyl and weeding tools close by? Think of how you work and the tools and supplies you use for each type of project you create. Organization improves efficiency and reduces the – now, where did I put that thing that I need – frustration.
How to Organize a Craft Room – Step 1: Ask Yourself:
As you look at your craft space, ask yourself:
- What works for me and what doesn’t?
- Specifically, what do I like about it and what do I hate about it?
- Are there tools, supplies or areas of the room I use the most and what do I use the least?
- What is the goal of my craft area?
While these questions may seem silly, it is important to think about how you want the end result of your space to look like and function. Think about what works and what doesn’t work in the space. You can then keep what works and fix what doesn’t. For the items that you use the least, is it because you don’t like them? Or, is it too hard to get to them? For the items you use the most, is it because you love those items? Or, is it because it is easier to grab those items then to find something else you like better?
What is your goal for your craft space?
Everyone has their own goal for their craft space. Is it a multi-use space? Do you want it to have a certain look? What about decluttering it? Do you want everything within arm’s reach? There will be times when the decluttering process will leave you frustrated and unsure of whether to keep or get rid of something or how to store it. When this happens, think about your goal for your space and your answers to the questions. If that doesn’t help, take a break or set it aside and move on to something else. You can come back to it later with a fresh perspective.
What are your top five supplies and you use in your craft room? For instance, do you use the Cricut or a die cut machine? Do you stamp or color with markers? Do you use paints or glitters? Determining your favorite and most used supplies and techniques will help you prioritize where to place these items and how to organize them to improve your workflow.
How did I start to organize my craft room?
I’m cleaning my craft space right along with you. Becaus I know it can be easier to follow an example, I’m showing you my answers. These sheets are taken from the Decluttering Your Craft Room Chaos workbook. The workbook is in the Resource Library. Use the form above or at the bottom of this post to get the password emailed to you.
How to Organize a Craft Room Step 2: Sketch Out Your Craft Space
Now that you have an idea of areas you want to improve, it’s time to zone it out. No, I don’t mean binge watch Netflix. Well, unless it’s The Home Edit, then it’s ok to watch a few episodes for inspiration!
I mean sketch out your area and divide it into zones. The free Decluttering Your Craft Room workbook has a grid page. Use that to sketch your crafting area. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but try to get it to have some resemblance of scale. Basically, if your room is square, start with a square. If it’s a rectangle, draw a rectangle. Don’t overthink this. Add any furniture or cabinets that you want to use. Don’t worry about dimensions, estimations are fine. If you share your space, block off the areas that are off limits to your scrap supplies.
Next step in how to organize a craft room is to zone it out. Mark the areas for how you want to use them. Think about how you craft and your design and creativity process. Do you need your computer nearby? Are there tools or supplies you are always digging out and having to put back in a cabinet? Does your Cricut have enough space for the mat to run through? Do you work on multiple projects at once or only one from start to finish? Create zones and organize your space based on how you work.
For me, I realized my Cricut and Spellbinders die cutting machines were important to me and I use them a lot (Cricut) and want to use more (Spellbinders). I also have a Cutterpillar paper trimmer and I love it. But it’s big. So I wanted a dedicated platform for my trimmer and die cut machines – so I worked that into my plan. I also have two work surfaces – one is dedicated to scrapbooking, so I have my most used scrapbook tools on that surface. The other is for crafting so I keep more of the craft type tools on that side – paints, glitters, cup rotisseries, etc.
The goal of this exercise
The goal of this exercise is to get you to think of the best way to use your space. What are the best, most efficient places to house your different tools and supplies? What can be in a bin on a shelf in the closet? And, what do I need within arms reach or I’ll go into a panic and have to stop what I’m doing to grab it? Where does it make sense to put (fill in the blank)?
Don’t stress over this. It’s not set in stone. It’s a working guide to give you some direction. Will you change your mind on some things? Probably. Will everything fit like you had planned? Probably not. Go with the flow and adjust as needed. But start with the big things as it makes fitting the smaller things in much easier. When I say big things, I mean the supplies you have the most of. For me, it’s paper. Once I have that organized, it’s easier to move on to embellishments.
My scrap space sketch
My space is multi-functional. It’s my office so I need space for my laptop. I also store the inventory for my website. My space is divided into 3 sections. The crafting area is further divided the scrap and craft area. I have 1/3 of my island for scrapbooking, a closet for supplies, a counter for general crafts and some Ikea cabinets to use as a cutting station.
How to Organize a Craft Room Decluttering Ground Rules
Now that you have an overall plan for your space, it’s time to start decluttering! Yay! This is my favorite part. Partly because I usually find some treasures!
Before I let you loose on the A, B, C’s, we have to go over some ground rules. Believe me, these are for your own good and motivation.
Resist the urge to take everything out of your entire space and start from scratch. There is something satisfying about starting with a clean, wide open area. But you will most likely get tired and frustrated before the project is finished. Instead, start with one area. Clear it out, start the decluttering process with the most important item going into that space. Then, move on to the next most important item. For instance, when I worked on my closet, I cleared everything out and then started decluttering and organizing my papers because that is the most prominent item in my closet. Once you have that area the way you want it, move to the next area and start the process again.
Do bite-sized pieces at a time. You know your schedule, your motivation and how much you can get done in one sitting. Don’t try to be the decluttering Goddess and do it all in one evening. My goal was one product type per day. If your goal is 15 minutes – great! Just be consistent and get something done each day.
Focus on one area or product type at a time. Complete it and then move on to the next. For instance, organize all of your papers before moving on to your embellishments.
Determine how much space you want to “give” to each item group and stick with it. For example, I have an Ikea Expedit bookcase in my closet. I wanted my paper to take up half of it, no more. I also used Fab Files for each category of paper. When the Fab File was full, I had to decide which papers I liked best and which ones I could see myself using and the rest had to go. I admit, it’s not easy, but it gets easier.
Don’t get overwhelmed or frustrated. It can take me as long to do the last quarter of a pile as it did to organize the first ¾ of it. This is because I’ve cherry picked all the good items that I know where they belong. Now I am down to the stragglers and not quite sure what to do with them. So I put them in a pile and keep moving the pile without putting it away or making progress. When you realize this is happening, do the 5 item touch method. Touch 5 items and then deal with them. Find a home for them, throw them away, file them, donate them. Whatever it is, deal with them. The next time you’re in the room, do the 5 item touch method again. It gets easier and remember rule #3 – complete one area before moving on to the next!
How to Organize a Craft Room Step 3: Decluttering time
Now that you have a master plan for the room, it is time to let the decluttering begin!
The A, B, C method is:
A – Accumulate all of the items in a category. One category at a time.
B – Break them down into smaller piles by the way you use them, purging the items that are damaged or no longer wanted.
C – Contain them.
A – Accumulate
The first decluttering step in how to organize a craft room is to accumulate all of the items in a category. But which category? To determine this, create a list of the different types of tools and supplies you have. Feel free to combine some categories if you don’t have much in them, as long as the categories relate like stamps and ink pads. The Decluttering Your Craft Room Chaos workbook also has a checklist that has been started for you.
On the checklist in the workbook, there is a line next to each category of product titled “Where Stored.” On the line, write the area or zone you want to store the item. For instance, adhesives go on my island where I scrapbook, but the extra adhesives are stored in the closet. My vinyl is stored near my cutting station that has my Cricut. Think this through. Where does it make sense to store the items? And, do I have enough room there for all of the items I want to store there?
Where do I start?
Now that you have a good idea of where you are storing all of your supplies, it’s time to pick an area to get started. Remember rule #1 – do not clear the whole room. Instead, pick the area that seems most logical, easiest to start with or that you are most excited to get moving on. Remove everything from that area. Select the item that is most important to that area and start accumulating all of that type of item. For me, I cleared the closet first. Then I started with my papers because that took up the most space in the closet,
It helps to have a couple large bins or boxes to move stuff into as you are clearing an area. You want one box for all of the items in the category you are working on accumulating, and the others for items that are being cleared from the area. If your room is fairly organized and efficient, you might not be moving too much. But I still encourage you to accumulate all items from one category into a pile and purge and sort.
B – Break Apart
Next, break the large accumulated pile down into smaller piles based on the way you use that item. As you go through each item, ask yourself if you like it, if you want it, and if you will use it. Throw away anything that is damaged or unusable. Create a donate or sell pile for other items you no longer want or will use.
For instance, when I sorted my paper, I started making piles of the big categories – 12×12, specialty, cardstock and 8 1/2×11. Then I took each pile and further sorted it. I sorted the cardstock by color family. My 8 1/2 x 11 paper was also sorted by color family as that mainly consists of cardstock. The few random 8 1/2 x 11 patterned papers I had, I mixed in with the 12×12 patterned paper.
My 12×12 paper was the hardest since I have the most of it and feel very attached to it. I started by sorting it into broad categories (family, vacations, school, holiday). I kept breaking it down into more specific categories until I was satisfied. For instance, I had a vacation category. I realized I had a lot of camping and outdoors papers, so I gave them their own category. However, I realized I didn’t have many sports papers, so I combined them with school papers.
C – Contain It
Now that you have taken your large category and broken it down into sub-categories, now it’s time to determine how you will contain everything and where are your storing it.
As far as both the furniture in your room and the containers you use, there are two important things to keep in mind – they must be pretty and functional. If it’s functional, but not pretty, you will tend to ignore it or put it in the back of the closet. If it’s pretty but not functional, you will look at it, but won’t want to deal with what’s inside because it’s a mess.
One way to make containers functional is to use foam core as dividers. Use a craft knife to cut it to the size you need. I tend to cut the pieces a little larger so I can wedge it into place. Or, cut pieces to form a T or square and use hot glue to hold them together.
My Checklist in Action
Use the checklist to get a good overview of what you have and where you want to store it. For each item, ask yourself where it makes sense to put it. For instance, my vinyl is stored in the cutting station area so its close to my Cricut.
How to Organize a Craft Room Organizing Ideas
I can’t write a post telling you how to organize a craft room without giving you some ideas of the finished product. Here are some of my favorite containers and how I use them. Stay tuned for future posts as I go more in depth on each area.
How to organize your craft space is easier when you follow a well thought out plan of what works for you, what doesn’t work and what is your goal for the space. Next, sketch it out and divide up the space to create an optimal work flow. Finally, follow the A, B, C steps to decluttering success. Accumulate all items of one product type. Break apart the large pile into smaller, manageable categories. Contain them. Make sure the container is pretty and functional.
I’d love to hear how your decluttering and organizing process is going. Please leave me a message and let me know!
Make sure to download the Decluttering Your Craft Room Chaos workbook to follow along with the decluttering process. Use the form below to receive the key to the Resource Library which contains the workbook along with patterns, tutorials and printables.
Thanks for reading and happy organizing!