Well, I lost my craft room (you can go look….I’ll wait…). As it turned out, we needed that space to spread out my girls more; Ruby is not exactly the easiest roommate to share a space with. But as I was removing everything, I was actually a little excited. One, that room was the first time I ever had my own room–it always felt a little weird to me. Like “ta-tah! Mommy’s going away to craft!” I’m not saying that “going away” to practice our own interests is a bad thing; it’s just that I’ve spent decades sharing space to do stuff like that and that room felt a little too removed for my liking. So, the room went away and I had the opportunity to practice my organizational skills.
But even after I went through and decluttered, the art and craft supplies were NOT going away. But where to put it all? I finally decided that my bedroom would be the best place. I remember one person telling me never to put my desk in my bedroom, because when I entered that “place of rest” I would see my desk and sense *work*. And perhaps for some people, that would be true. However, I *love* reading and writing and arting and crafting. When *I* see my desk, *I* think, “YAY! PLAYTIME!”
So, here is how I managed to store my supplies in a way that would not look cluttered (to me), but incorporated into another space. And, yes, husband approves
This is where most of my supplies are: in vintage suitcases passed down to me, and in a hutch I picked up from a vintage store. Even the chair was in my craft room. I had to relocate a vintage baby cradle to make room. I figured, just because I need to store supplies in my everyday living spaces, doesn’t mean it can’t be stored beautifully and yet be easily accessible. When I lived in a really tiny condo, I kept my supplies nicely organized in a hall closet, under beds, and on bookshelves. Removing clutter (KEY!) and rethinking spaces can open up lots of possibilities.
In the bottom case, I keep my paper supply and some supplies that I either don’t use on a regular basis, or extras.
Middle case: collage material and colored and patterned papers.
Top case: stickers, and a removable tray with texture helps for my artwork.
The little case on the floor: the supplies I use the most: things like paint and Mod Podge. I can just grab the whole thing and go work wherever.
In a separate case I keep under the bench by my bed, I put the finishing and extra touches to my mixed media art, such as twine, dried flowers and memorabilia. Here is where I wrote about how I repurposed this old case.
In an old jewelry case, I put all of my desk supplies. Because when I gave up my craft room, I also gave up my girlhood desk for an older daughter.
In the hutch, I keep all of my art and sewing books, and my fabric and yarn and other crafting supplies.
And yes, there were still extras to find room for! I put extra knitting supplies, stamps, inks, and whatnot into lidded bins that nestle well together, and put them into my closet. I only went two bins high because higher than that discourages me to use stuff (do I really want to bother with removing five boxes to get to the bottom one?).
Not all of my art supplies are in my bedroom. I kept some things that I rarely use but want to keep in the old craft room (now bedroom) closet, especially those things that I don’t mind any of my kids having regular access to. I also keep some things in my art bag, ready to go whenever we hit the park or wherever. In there, I have: Moleskin watercolor and sketch books, a plastic case of watercolors with a water spritzer to dampen, a case of watercolor pencils with a piece of an old card and a ruler, a water brush, a toothbrush holder with paint brush and click-eraser and pencil, two Pigma micron pens (02 black and 05 sepia), and a white gel pen. I keep my paint tin and water spritzer in its own plastic ziploc just in case anything decides to leak.
Here is what I did on another wall: put a little desk for myself to work on schoolwork and write letters (and blog!). The woodcut out of England is a nod to my home away from home, and the poem on the wall is God, Thou Art Love by Robert Browning. A friend gave it to me before she died of breast cancer, and I read it often enough to hang it up in front of me! On the left side of my desk is a little table with study books, and on the right is my sewing machine case, and yet more books. Oh, and of course there are books ON the desk. And on my bedside table. And in about half a dozen other places (it’s a disease, I know….)
There you have it. I can easily get to any of the supplies I need and work at the kitchen table, and when nothing is being used, it is pleasantly stored away. AND I can just close up the bedroom door off limits to toddlers
I hope you’re inspired to rethink (or enjoy!) your art and craft organizational spaces.