These 5 simple but clever strategies for craft room organization will help you keep your crafting area clean and orderly!
Organizing books and tv shows have never been more popular, in this age of constant consumerism, many of us just have too much stuff. But what no one talks about is how those of us who love to craft have probably always had too much stuff. I know it’s not just me, raise your hand fellow craft lovers. The phrase “craft stash” exists for a reason.
We tend to collect not only crafting tools but supplies of all kind because when the urge to craft strikes, you want to be prepared, right? If that’s what you love, there’s nothing wrong with a well stocked craft room. Don’t feel guilty about keeping things that you enjoy!
But for craft room organization in particular, you probably need a different strategy that just keeping what “sparks joy” for example. That doesn’t work because you like it all, right?
So today we’re going to talk about how to organize your craft room. This assumes that you’ve already either gone through and taken out craft supplies and tools that you aren’t going to keep (I have a great post, 5 Questions to Ask Yourself As You Declutter Craft Supplies, that will help you do this). And/or you’ve decided that you’re not decluttering, you’re JUST organizing. That’s ok, if that’s what you choose to do!
My personal belief is that to organize any space, you have to choose an organizational strategy that makes sense TO YOU. If the strategy you choose to organize your craft room doesn’t work for you, you won’t be able to maintain it. It’s the same reason sometimes home organizing projects fail. If I organize our kitchen cabinets a certain way and that way doesn’t make sense to the rest of my family, they will have a difficult time maintaining it.
The good news is, most of the time a craft room is a one-person space so the strategy you choose really only needs to work for you.
We will start by chatting about 5 different strategies you can use to organize your craft room. These are organization frameworks that you can sort, store and label your craft supplies and tools by. You may choose just one of these strategies or you may use more than one together. The key is finding what resonates with you and you can use that as an organizing framework. Then, at the end, I’ll give you some tips and tricks for craft room organization success! Are you ready?
5 Simple but Clever Strategies for Craft Room Organization
- Craft Room Organization by Type of Craft
This strategy may make sense for a diverse crafter who likes to do lots of different kinds of crafts. This actually is one strategy I have used. I have one corner of my craft room that only has knitting supplies. I may also have a specific bin for other types of crafts, for example, one bin for jewelry crafting, one bin for air dry clay, one bin for papercrafts.
With this strategy, you keep everything you need for that type of craft all together. This makes it super easy to craft, just choose your type of craft and pull out one bin or look at one shelf/drawer. The key to success for this organizational strategy is to have EVERYTHING you need for that type of craft together. In my jewelry bin I keep beads, findings, strings and cords AND jewelry tools like pliers.
Organizing by type of craft may mean you should have duplicate tools in your craft room. For example, you may need to keep a pair of scissors with your papercrafts and a separate pair of scissors with your knitting. Doing this will help you craft quickly but also help you maintain your organizational structure because you won’t be rummaging around for things as you go and forgetting where your scissors are.
- Craft Room Organization by Type of Material/Tool
I also use this strategy in combination with the last one, it is the most useful strategy for when other members of my family want to use any of my supplies. For example, I have one bin that holds all of my different kinds of glue from school glue, to super glue to industrial strength glue. I have another bin that is purely for paintbrushes. In my craft closet I have a container that holds only felt. And another one just is just for adhesive vinyl. And of course, my yarn is all together in one place.
You can also organize by type as a sub-strategy. For example, I may keep all my knitting supplies in one area of my craft room (strategy #1) but within the knitting area, I organize the yarn by yarn weight and fiber content (strategy #2). This is a very effective strategy.
- Craft Room Organization by Project
If you are the type of crafter who works on multiple projects at once, someone who crafts things that take a long time, or someone who rarely finishes something in one sitting it may help to add an organizational system to store things by craft project (works-in-progress). This could be mean small stacking containers or flat cardboard boxes or something else.
In my office I have a bin specifically for knitting projects that are still on the needles. This strategy of organizing by project would most likely be used in conjunction with another overarching organizational strategy but if you think about it ahead of time it will keep you from jamming unfinished craft projects somewhere random and forgetting about them, or damaging them.
- Craft Room Organization by Frequency of Use
While you are organizing your craft room, think about ease of access and frequency of use. This strategy will help you find things more quickly. Whichever organizational strategy you use, put things you use more often front and center. Put those less frequently used supplies or tools in less accessible places.
For example, I have a container full of craft felt that I have saved up over the years. This is organized by type of material (strategy #2). When I want to use felt I am glad to have it and I use it often enough that I don’t want to get rid of it. But I do use it a lot less than other craft supplies, so I keep it on a top shelf that requires a step stool. I can still see it and reach it, but it’s not as easy to get to as other things and that’s ok. My acrylic craft paint, on the other hand, is right at eye level in on a shelf in the middle of my office because I use it a lot.
- Craft Room Organization by Color
Do we call this the Home Edit strategy? Listen, organizing by color is NOT for everyone. But for some people it works really well and/or they get a lot of joy and satisfaction about how it looks. In fact, I read that often, when people organize the apps on their phones by color, they can actually find the apps faster. It just works for some people.
You can also organize by color as a sub-strategy. For example, I mentioned that I organize my acrylic craft paint by type of material and by frequency of use (strategies #2 & #4). I also then organize the paint by color. I keep is roughly divided between cool and warm colors and in rainbow order (ish). I also do this with yarn.
Tips and Tricks for Craft Room Organization Success
- Label It! Get yourself a label maker and label things. That will help you, or anyone else, find things more quickly and put them away correctly.
- Have a spot for works in progress or things that need to dry. There’s nothing worse than fumbling around with something with wet paint and not knowing where to set it to safely dry.
- Keep garbage and recycling receptacles IN your craft room. Keeping things organized is easier when you aren’t sorting through discarded scraps. You will also stay in your crafting groove if you don’t have to get up to throw things away.
- Decide once about scraps. My favorite sensible person on the internet, Kendra Adachi, from the Lazy Genius, invented the “decide once” idea. Basically, you make a decision one time only and that’s it. So decide IF you will keep scraps and if so, what are the minimum requirements for keeping a scrap (size, quality, shape etc. ) Then every time you have a scrap of paper, or yarn, or vinyl, or fabric you don’t have to agonize over whether to keep that one scrap, if meets those requirements you keep it, if not, you don’t. Then make sure you have a container for those scraps that meet your criteria and DON’T let it overflow. You may decide once to just not keep any scraps and that’s fine too!
- Keep things where you can see them. I have some open shelves and some with glass doors so I can see what I have. For those supplies and tools I keep in behind solid doors, I keep them in transparent containers so I can see what’s in there when I open the closet or cabinet.
- Have a designated spot for things that need to be put away. If you know you don’t have time to put it away right then, have a specific spot for things that need to put away and then…and this is the key…choose a time to put all of those things away. Maybe you do it every morning before you start work. Or maybe once a week. That will help keep your entire craft room from becoming overwhelmed with things that just need to be returned to their place.
- Allow yourself to try different things. If you invest time and energy in an organization strategy that just does not work for you, it is absolutely ok to admit it and try something else. It happens to everyone. If you can’t maintain the system you have, then it’s not the system for you, don’t let that make you feel bad. It’s totally normal. Just try again and don’t get discouraged!
If you liked this, you may also like some of my other posts…
- The 5 Different Types of Pens & Markers You NEED in Your Craft Room - September 27, 2023
- Peekaboo Black Cat Hat Knitting Pattern - September 26, 2023
- Use Leftover Vinyl Scraps for These Creative Craft Project Ideas - September 21, 2023