How To Organize Craft Supplies
I may or may not be a hoarder of craft supplies. It might be my major weakness. Because when the Target dollar spot has stickers, embellishments, twine, and other crafting goodies, you just have to stock up, right?!?! So I have come to terms with the fact that I do have an excessive amount of craft supplies, that get used rather frequently, which is how I justify having such a large supply of goodies!
Since I am a major hoarder of all things crafty, I have had to keep my craft room super organized so things don’t get lost in the mix. I have had years to perfect the best ways to organize crafting supplies, because I have been a collecting of crafting supplies since I was in fifth grade. My mom signed me up for a stamping class, where I learned some fun techniques for stamping. I became hooked on creating cards, scrapbooks, and decorations using stamps and other embellishments. This was the start of my crafting collection, and it keeps growing and growing with every new idea I want to try or test out.
So with my massively growing crating collection, I have learned a thing or two about the best ways to store your crafting supplies. Regardless of if you have an entire crafting room, a closet, or a corner in a studio apartment, these steps will teach you how to get your crafting supplies organized!
Step One: Empty And Clean
Whenever I am going to organize an entire space, either with a client or myself, I empty the entire space that I am working with to get a clear perspective of what I have to work with. Clear the entire area and put everything that you want to store in that area in a place on the floor or another room. There should be nothing left once you have cleared out the space. I mean, there might be shelves, but no supplies should be remaining in the space you are using to store your crafting supplies.
Clean the entire space before you even think about organizing anything. If you have a shelving unit, wipe down all the shelves and the corners of the shelves. If you are using a closet, vacuum the floor. If you have a few pull-out drawers, wipe those down with a wipe. Because who wants to put things away into a dirty shelving area?!
Step Two: Grouping And Sorting
Once the storage area is clean, we can focus on sorting and grouping out craft supplies. I always recommend to group like-items together. For example, all my stamps, stamp pads, and stamp trays would be piled together. All my needlepoint material would be piled together. My colored pencils, chalk, markers, drawing pencils would be piled together. All my supplies for my Silhouette Cameo would be piled together. All my knitting supplies would be grouped together. My scrapbook paper would be stacked together.
As I am going through all my crafting supplies, I also look to see if I have double of something. I also look to see if I have things that I haven’t used in a while, materials that I no longer like, or broken/ruined/torn supplies. I will either donate my crafting supplies to a local donation center or I will throw away my supplies if they are no longer in good condition.
Step Three: Bins And Containers
All your crafting supplies should be sorted and grouped based on like-items. You have gone through all your crafting supplies and gotten rid of any of the old/broken/unnecessary supplies. So, now, we get to focus on finding the perfect container and bins to hold your crafting supplies. My biggest suggestion when it comes to finding a bin or container to store crafting supplies, is to find a bin that perfectly fits all the supplies you have right now. Do not use a bin that is too small or your supplies will never fit in that one bin, so you will start to loose thing and get disorganized. Never use a bin that is too big, because you will find yourself either buying more supplies you don’t need just to fill up the space OR you will start to add other supplies into that bin because it is so large. Either scenario you will become disorganized. So stick with finding a bin or container that is the exact size of the supplies you want to store.
I have found that one box lid is the perfect size to store my ribbon. I can see all my ribbon, nothing is lost because the sides are too high up, and my ribbon that isn’t on a spool can be stored in the box lid, by simply looping the ribbon around my finger and held together with a clothes pin. I use Mason jars to store my markers, colored pencils, drawing pencils, and my die-cuts. I love using different size jars to store things. My die-cuts are stored in a small, fat Mason jar, while my colored pencils are stored in a tall jar.
If you have a smaller space, you might want to think about storing your supplies in plastic shoe boxes, like these from The Container Store. I love using plastic shoe boxes for a few reasons. One, these particular shoe boxes come in a variety of sizes, so they are perfect to store your supplies based on how much of one particular supply you have. Two, they are clear, so you can see exactly what you have in the shoe box. And three, they stack beautifully, so you can pile your supplies rather high, without worrying that they will topple over. I’d recommend these for closets or smaller work spaces, as they stack nicely. And, if you are working with a closet, don’t forget about adding some door storage. By adding a few shelves to the door, you will give yourself some extra storage for your crafting supplies!
I also love using different items to store my crafting supplies. I use magazine holders to hold my stickers. I have my scrapbooking paper stored in a legal-size plastic file box, sorted by color. I have my fabric also stored in a legal-size plastic file box, again, sorted by color. My stamps are stored in a cart, similar to this one, sorted based on holiday and/or season. I make sure to find bins and containers that are practical, as well as functional to hold all my crafting supplies. So test out some different types of containers to see what works for you!
Step Four: Labels
You have taken time to find the best possible bins and containers that fit all of your crafting supplies at this vary moment. But we still can’t start thinking about putting anything back yet until we label all the bins and containers and drawers. Every single thing needs to be labeled so you will know where everything is, and where to put your supplies away once you have completed a project. This step usually gets overlooked, but it is very crucial to the success of your organizational system. When things don’t get labeled, you will probably get lazy and put something away where it doesn’t go. Then, the next time you are looking for it, you have to search. Then you get frustrated with your organizational system and give up on it. Sound familiar? Well, just label everything, and you won’t have to worry about figuring out where something goes, because it is all labeled!
Some of my favorite labels are Name Bubbles Write-On labels because you can use them over and over again by simply wiping off the label and changing it to something else! I’d suggest this for people whose craft supplies are constantly changing and growing. I also love these chalkboard labels from Martha Stewart. They are perfect for the ever changing craft supplies as well.
Now, if you feel your crafting supplies are more stable in the amount you have, then you could do something more permanent as a label like using stickers or creating vinyl letters using the Silhouette. Or, you could use your Xyron sticker maker and create some fun labels. Print out some labels and run them through your sticker maker to create easy labels for your bins. I typically do this when I label my drawers with my stamps.
Step Five: Storage
All the bins and containers are labeled, so now we can start thinking about putting everything away. Bring all your bins and containers into the space you plan to store your craft supplies. Think about how you typically use the space. What supplies do you use frequently? What supplies do you use once a year? What supplies do you use seasonally? For me, I keep my knitting supplies tucked away until it’s fall, because I typically knit when it’s fall and into winter. I don’t knit in the spring or summer, so I swap out my knitting based on the season. I have some shelves under my desk that are more difficult to reach, so in that area is where I store seasonal crafting supplies.
It might help to pretend to create something. Try grabbing those supplies. What are you using? What needs to be out on your craft table or desk? What can be put away at the bottom of the pile? Think about all of this as you start to put things away. If you always need your paper cutter, but stored it in a box, maybe you should think about finding a more functional place for your paper cutter instead of the box. Maybe on top of the box? If you have a crafting closet, maybe think about adding a hook to your paper cutter and hanging it from the door. The biggest take-away when storing your crafting supplies, is to keep it simple. The easier it is to find what you are looking for, the more likely you will be to put it away and keep up with your organizational system. And, this is also why it’s so important to label everything, so you don’t have things getting lost in the mix of trying to organize your crafting supplies!
Step Six: Work The Space
Now all your crafting supplies are put away, so you get to actually work the space and see how it is functioning with your newly created organizational system. I would keep a piece of paper out and jot down anything that is bothering you about the space or storage. Live with the space for a few weeks, then make changes based on the notes you took. If you are always finding yourself misplacing one particular item, think about changing up where you store it. If you are finding that your ribbon collect keeps growing and you can’t find a bin that can hold it all, you might want to separate the ribbon into different categories, such as curling ribbon, lace, etc.
If you do have a collection that is growing, then make sure to find a bin or container that will fit your newly enhanced collection. I recommend doing this so you are able to actually see what supplies you have, so you can evaluate if you actually need those items. Most of the time, when craft supplies grow faster than we can use them, it is because we either found a new craft we love, or we are collecting more than we need. Visually seeing everything in one place will help tame that clutter that can pile up from an excess of crafting supplies! It can give you the motivation you need to either use the supplies, or give some to a friend!
It makes me so happy when I have a nice, clean craft room. I always feel like I am much more productive when everything has a home, with a label, and I have a clear work space to start creating! So, as you start to organize your crafting supplies, remember to completely empty the entire space. Clean the space so it’s nice and sparkly before you put anything away. Sort and group like-supplies together, while getting rid of old or unnecessary supplies. Find containers or bins that fit the size of the supplies you have. Label ALL the bins and containers. Put the bins and containers away, while being thoughtful about how you use the space, and what supplies you use the most. Then, work in the space for a few weeks, before making any changes. Take note of what you like and what you don’t like. And always remember that if it is easy to clean up, you are most likely going to keep up with that organizational system.