School’s out for summer! Now you’ve got time to tackle those fabulous craft masterpieces lingering on the patio, and more daylight hours to tackle the DIY project you’ve been shaping on Pinterest. But thoughts of running out of glue gun sticks, or the kids dripping paint onto the new carpet keep holding you back. Did you already drive to the craft shop to repurchase the supplies you know are hiding in a drawer? My clients often call me because their creativity is stymied by organizational problems. I’m sharing my top six simple organizing tips to release creativity blockage and get you enjoying your dream craft and hobby space this summer.
Define a Craft Storage and Workspace in Your Home: Whether in a kitchen cabinet or within an entire room dedicated to creativity, define a single area in your home for storing your supplies. Align this area with a clear work space so that you and your family can easily create on the fly. By creating a defined storage area and workspace you will avoid the dreaded “craft creep” of projects and supplies taking over your entire home and garage–and having to move projects around.
Visibility is Key: Picture an old fashion confectionary: if you need a visual reminder, visit The Sweet Shop in Los Altos where all the candies are immediately visible. Instead of gummy worms and licorice wheels, your repurposed clear glass jars and open containers will hold your supplies. Group like items together. For example, glues and tapes, glue guns and waxy sticks in one zone. A simple concept, but look around your current craft space–do you know where your paint brushes are–or the scissors? Your eyes should be dazzled and everything accessible to your fingertips.
Narrow Down Your Interests: Dig deep to determine the projects you really enjoy working on. Whether it is painting, pottery, drawing, beading, scrapbooking or fly-tying, try to keep your interests as edited as possible. Honing in will help you save money when buying supplies and encourage you to maintain the space
One Project at a Time: Having a dozen half-finished projects on hand is stressful. Instead, try your best not to start a new project until your current inspiration is finished, and enjoy the satisfaction. I often refinish furniture from my estate sale business and only allow myself to have one project in process at a time. This also keeps the garage from filling up with treasures that you’ll get to “someday.”
Add Regular Purging Sessions to Your Calendar: It is difficult for creative minds to let go of items that might turn into a project, but I firmly believe that removing clutter will change your mind set. You will instantly see what you CAN do instead of what you need to do. Plan a craft supply swap party with your friends, or donate to a local non-profit; my personal favorite is R.A.F.T., Resource Area for Teachers, in Sunnyvale.
Create a Display Area: If you have children that are always creating and building a work of art, a designated display area is key. Encourage your children to pick their favorite pieces to remain on display, and those to be stored in a memory box to make room for new artwork. Teaching children these basic organizing skills will give them greater satisfaction with their craft results and also give them building blocks for learning efficiency.