Inspiration to get more done

Inspiration to Get More Done: Top 3 Tips for Craft Room Organization

This is my art area, fully re-organized. It’s a small space behind our living room couch.

Are you ready to organize your scrapbooking and cardmaking supplies? I just finished re-organizing, and I realized that there are three things I should have been doing all along in my craft area (even when I was just starting out)! So take a peek inside my art area and check out my TOP 3 TIPS for organizing your craft space!

Below are several photos of my area as it is today. Of course, this may change later on as my needs change. My reorganization process took a total of 10 days. And I had everything spread pretty much all over the house during that time, so you may want to prepare your family.

Also, if you like organizational tips, check out my journey of re-organizing my paper and paper scraps (I did that first, before the whole rest of the area). It was quite a process! Check it out HERE:
Ultimate Craft Area Tips & Tricks: Sorting Paper Scraps

If you want to see a video of my craft space, check it out HERE:

Now, let’s get organized! There are so many photos to share! Hopefully, the photos speak for themselves. But, if you have questions, please leave a comment below!

TIP #1: Work with the SIZE of your storage containers/space.

Make use of containers that fit your needs. This shelf unit holds 12×12 paper, but I used to store punches in it. Why?
This file tote now stores paper pads and collections SMALLER THAN 12×12 (because this tote won’t fit 12×12 paper).
I now store my Gelli Arts Gel Plate along with random “image impression things” in a plastic tote and I keep it elsewhere in the house. When I want to use it, I bring the whole tote in my area and use it for a while. All these items are awkwardly sized, and made storage tricky until now.
I work with the size of my space by attaching a simple bendable phone clip to a picture on the wall over my desk. I clip my phone to it and this is how I film my videos. No tripods or ceiling brackets.

TIP #2: Consider… “Where do you want to reach for it?”

I do not want to get up to reach for these items. So, I keep them on my desk.
Here’s another view of the items I use so often, I wanted to be able to reach for them without getting up.
More items on my desk that I use every time I craft.
Where do I want to reach for these items?… without getting up.
I hooked a little basket to the side of my shelf to hold my reading glasses and scrap paper… because that’s where I wanted to reach for it.
The top-left drawer of my desk. This is where I wanted to reach for my Distress Inks (plus extra blending foams).
Second-left desk drawer: random adhesive storage. This is where I wanted to reach for these adhesives. I use them often, but not enough to keep on my desk top.
Third-left desk drawer: Gelatos (and “gelato-likes”). This is where I wanted to reach for them.
Bottom-left desk drawer: tape gun storage and adhesive sheets. Tape guns are only here if they are empty (with no backup refills). But when they are filled, I use them often and they are on my desk top.
Top-middle drawer: chipboard, box board, and acetate sheets because this is where I want to reach for them.
Foam and most-used dies in second-right drawer. Top-right drawer above that holds leftover sentiments and stamped images in little tins plus a small paper trimmer.
Third-right drawer holds mixed media items like gesso, texture paste and gel medium. Drawer below that holds mixed media projects in-process. This is exactly where I want to reach for these items.
The large shelving unit shown at the top of this post also has drawers. One drawer holds my ribbon, some still in the packaging and some in strawberry containers.
When I scrapbook, I want to be able to reach for a few photos of different sizes and orientation even if they are not the ones I will use on the page. I store random photos (plus most recents) in a little plastic tray on my left-side shelf.
Right under that tray is a little drawer storage for my brads and eyelets. I also keep my Crop-o-Dile right with it.
Here’s a wider view of the shelving unit. I have 2 small drawer units in the middle, one for brads and eyelets (left) and the other for blades and scissors and such.
I want to be able to open a drawer and easily reach for backup blades for my trimmers or cutters. I don’t mind getting out of my chair for that, but I don’t want it too far away.
The bottom cupboard part of that same shelving unit stores all my blank albums. I can easily move my trash can and paper storage tote to open these cupboard doors and reach an album. Reaching for a new blank album is not an everyday thing, so I don’t mind to keep them all there.
Page protectors are stored in a clear plastic case (looks like a page protector, anyway), and also separates large albums from small albums. I can find ANY SIZE page protector in there!
This turn-y storage thing sits behind me when I craft, but I wanted to be able to turn around and reach a brayer, or turn around and reach a certain brush, or the baby powder. So. location of these items was important.

TIP #3: Consider… “How do you want to reach for it?”

I put my Sizzix Big Shot on the edge of the dresser behind me. I wanted to be able to get up and use the machine without having to MOVE the machine. Here, I can stand at the end of the dresser and the Sizzix can stay put.
The cupboard drawer of the dresser just underneath the Sizzix machine holds all the plates plus dies and a few other supplies. How did I want to reach for these? I wanted the dies and supplies to go with the Sizzix. AND (this is silly, but it’s true) I didn’t want stuff to fall over to one side when I pulled one thing out. This stuff all stays put, no matter what I pull out.
I use a plastic tray when I use spray inks or other sprays. I wanted to be able to keep the tray nearby, even when it is still wet with ink or glitter. So, I just put a few paper towels inside it and slide the whole tray inside old clear bag packaging. Then the tray stays “dry” even when it is still wet.
You really should store alcohol markers on their sides. I bought these Spectrum Noir markers little by little, and as I bought them, I also bought a tin of little coffee cookies. The size was perfect to hold my markers. When a tin got full of markers, I bought another tin of cookies.
Eventually, I found a basket that I already had which was perfect to hold all my cookie tins full of markers. How do I want to reach for these? I want them to be on their sides, and I want to be able to pick up a color family and bring it to my desk if I want.
How do I want to reach for my letter stickers? NOT in a binder, bag, file folder, or anything like that. I prefer to be able to rummage through my letter sticker sheets and then toss them all back. This clear file box lets me do that, but lets me file the whole stack “neatly”.
How do I want to reach for everyday stickers? If they are not in some sort of order, I will not find them or use them. I just won’t. So, regular stickers (for me) MUST be super-organized. For this, I use a plastic vertical storage I found at the Goodwill.
For me, stickers HAVE to be organized or else I will not find them or use them at all.
This is the bottom drawer of the dresser in my craft area. I want to be able to store heavy items close to the floor, such as the punches I most often use. All my other punches are stored in a very large decorative basket in the living room, on the floor (underneath one of the end tables). Best to work with their weight and size.
The middle drawer of the dresser in my craft area holds mixed media surfaces, tags, tapes, mini frames, ATC’s, and decoupage-type items. I even keep a book in the drawer to tear out book pages. For me, it makes a huge difference that these items are stored together, so I don’t have to hunt all over for one thing, or forget what I have.
The top drawer of the dresser in my craft area holds embossing powders, glitter, waxes, embellishment drops, and powder pigments. Plus, I use plastic trays to add layers inside this drawer, too. I keep little glue containers or nozzles underneath, plus chalks and sandpaper. I need to be able to rummage through, but I need them to stay contained, as well.
Kentucky Fried Chicken containers used for their side dishes make great containers for embossing powder!
The right-side cupboard of this dresser holds my cling/clear stamps plus a few wood mount stamps in a small tub. I used to keep my clear stamps in a binder, but that didn’t help me find them any easier.
I can easily find the clear/cling stamp set I want just by flipping though a basket. The binder system I was using before was driving me nuts.
Certain wood-mount stamps I use frequently, regardless of the “set” they came in. So, I store them in hanging jewelry storage things I found at the “Five Below” store.
I keep more wood-mount stamps in the living room, right by the front closet door. My husband found an old grocery store candy rack for me, and that holds most of my sets. I love it because I can SEE THEM! I have more single wood-mount sets in jewelry storage things over the closet door.
…and still more stamps inside the door. It was important for me to be able to see my stamps, but I don’t have much space to sacrifice. And I am NOT about to line them all up on shelves, all pretty. I use them too much for that, and I fear knocking them over like dominoes one day.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Get your craft area “good enough for now”. Craft for a while. Then, reorganize based on your new needs. I re-organize probably once a year, and my area changes all the time. Don’t try to have the same craft room or craft space you see others have. Make an area that is perfect for YOU!

Thank you for looking! If you know someone who needs some practical advice for organizing craft supplies, please SHARE this post with that person!
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