This is a guest blog post jointly written with the good folks at OrganizedLiving.com.
It’s hard to be creative when your workstation is so cluttered, there’s no room for you to work. And it’s frustrating when you can’t find what you need or discover that something got ruined because it wasn’t stored properly.
If you love your art, give your hobby space the attention it deserves. Here are some simple, inexpensive solutions to declutter and organize your hobby room, plus five ways to keep it organized.
Binders, clipboards, and boxes
Paper is the #1 source of clutter in any room. If you’re like most artists and crafters, you’ve got an abundance of paper – from magazines and reference books to pages torn from magazines and ideas and drawings on scraps of paper.
Corral multiple issues of your favorite magazines in magazine boxes. Organize boxes by magazine or subject.
But don’t save entire magazines for one or two articles. Tear out the ones you want to keep and place them in protective sheets in a 3-ring binder. Organize your binder with tabs to separate sections by subject. Or, if you have a lot of content, create separate binders for each subject.
Clipboards are a simple way to organize your notes and declutter your work space. Place them in a stepped desk organizer or hang them on the side of a bookcase or the wall nearest your workstation for easy access.
Shelving is a must
Every hobbyist needs a place to store supplies. If there’s a closet in your hobby room, research ideas for turning it into a beautifully organized storage space with cabinets and shelving that can be customized to fit your needs.
If you have a bookcase or other freestanding shelving unit available, designate different shelves and sections for various categories of items such as reference books and magazines. Things like scrapbooking paper can be organized by color, category, or type in wire mesh baskets or clear plastic storage bins that you can stack on shelves.
Storage cabinets on wheels are another way to store supplies, especially if you don’t have a dedicated hobby room. This option is also the perfect solution for when you want to keep certain supplies close at hand.
Glass jars and tin cans
Mason jars and tin cans in various sizes are useful for storing things like coloring pencils, markers, and pens. You can also use them to store paintbrushes or various size crochet or knitting needles. Arrange the jars or cans on shelves or keep your most often used items handy on your work table by placing them on a two-tier turntable.
Hooks and magnetic strips
Take advantage of wall space for storage that is as functional as it is attractive. With 3M Command Adhesive Hooks, you can hang tote bags with tools, supplies or projects. Another easy solution is to attach a magnetic strip to a metal filing cabinet and voila! You have a place to store metal tools.
5 easy ways keep your hobby space organized
Once you get your hobby space organized, keep it that way so that it’s always ready for you to practice your craft.
- Label everything. Labeling serves as a visual reminder to put things where they belong. Label shelves, containers, and drawers.
- Focus on just one or two hobbies. Which of your hobbies brings you the most pleasure? Consider focusing on the craft you enjoy most or do most often. Let go of the hobbies and supplies that no longer interest you like they once did. At the very least, pack them away to free up space.
- Pare down your stash. If you’re like most crafters, you’ve been collecting craft supplies forever. But over time, you’ve learned that you prefer working with certain colors or textures or styles more than others. Consider donating to a fellow crafter or list them for sale or for free on Craigslist or Freecycle.
- Re-evaluate your space periodically. Go through supplies every few months. Removing unused or un-usable tools and supplies will help free up space for the addition of new supplies.
- Clean up regularly. Get in the habit of cleaning up as you work. When you get out your supplies, put them in plastic storage bin or basket that you can carry to your workstation and return when you are done. Or set a timer to take a break every hour or so to stretch your legs and do a quick clean-up. Most importantly, try to keep your workstation clear of everything but your current project.