Did you know that March is National Craft Month? If you’re like me, you like to do a variety of crafts… though finding/making the time to do them is a different story. However, I was recently contacted by a woman who was interested in my help for organizing her craft supplies. She, too, LOVES to craft. The good news, or the bad news in her case, is that she works at a big box craft store so she has amassed so many craft supplies that she readily admits could open her own chain of craft stores. In honor of this woman, all people who love to craft and yes, in honor of Craft Month,
I'd like to share some of my basic tips for maintaining control of your craft supplies.
1. Schedule some days/time on your calendar to begin working on this project. Notice I used the word “begin”. The duration of the project depends on a number of factors:
2. Designate a staging area in your home (a room or section of a room that you don’t need to use while doing this project) to temporarily house all your craft supplies.
3. If you create in a number of mediums (card-making, jewelry, knitting, etc.), I suggest that you pick the one that you want to start with. I suggest starting with an easy one.. perhaps one you anticipate will have the smallest quantity, just to get a feel for the process. For the purpose of this blog, let’s assume we’re starting with jewelry-making supplies.
4. Gather empty containers/cardboard boxes that will temporarily store your jewelry-making supplies.
5. Assuming your supplies are located in different rooms throughout your home, begin to gather them by going room-by-room with your empty box(es) to retrieve them.
6. Sort like jewelry-making items together in boxes. For example, one box for beads, another for tools, etc. Once you’ve gone throughout your home, bring your jewelry-making supplies boxes to your staging area and clearly label them for future reference.
7. The next step is to do this for each of the mediums. The goal is to go through your home, retrieve all your craft supplies and then house/label them in temporary boxes in your designated staging area for each of the mediums for which you have supplies. Do this until all of your craft supplies are now sorted and housed in your staging area. This is done over whatever timeframe works best for you… hours, days, weeks, etc.
8. Here’s the most difficult step in my opinion. You don’t just want to ORGANIZE your supplies, you want to take this time to PURGE those you no longer want/need. So as you look at all your sorted craft supplies by medium, ask yourself the questions below. I strongly recommend not hanging onto items just because you paid a lot of money for them or because someone gave them to you and you would feel guilty getting rid of them. Not only do these items take up real estate in your home but they also zap you of critical emotional energy each time you look at them. So ask yourself:
9. Once you’ve decided which ones to get rid of, do it immediately. Those that remain are the ones you plan to use within the next year. You now have a better idea of the number of mediums you have, the size space you’ll need to store them and the number/size of each of the subcategories that you have so you can find more appropriate, longer-term storage containers if you wish. Based on all this information and the amount of space they take up, identify one area in your home that can be designated as your “craft zone” and store your supplies there so they’re all in one place. Please note that it’s best to pick a spot where you will actually work on your crafts so they’re easy for you to access when you’re ready.
10. How does one maintain all the hard work they’ve just done? By completing this process on a regular basis… I suggest at least once per year!
I hope these general tips can help you on your journey to purge/organize your craft supplies. I believe that once you’ve gone through this process and have purged what is no longer important to you, you’ll have a much greater appreciation for those craft supplies that remain and hopefully, a renewed commitment to make the time to use them. Happy Craft Month!
Quote: “If you’re not going to use it, lose it!” ~ Author Unknown ~
Brenda Tringali, Organizing, Productivity & HR Specialist
At Your Fingertips Organizing
Serving Greater Myrtle Beach, SC or "virtually" anywhere (via phone/video)
Brenda Tringali is the owner of At Your Fingertips Organizing. She provides Life/Workplace/Residential Organizing & Productivity services to clients in the Myrtle Beach, SC area & “virtually” anywhere via video, phone, etc. Drawing from her 30 years of Human Resources/Staffing experience, she also helps clients with HR/Staffing/Job Search needs as well. Brenda is an active member of NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing professionals). She is also Chair of the NAPOCares Committee which highlights the community outreach efforts of NAPO members, NAPO Chapters, and NAPO Business Partners as they reach out to share the three “T’s” of Social Responsibility: their Time, Treasures, and Talents.