Categorize to Organize: Part Two

If you read part 1 of this series, then you know the first step to getting your creative space organized is to assess what you have and break it into two basic categories: durable and consumable.

And now that you know what you’ve got, let’s take it a step further. Let’s prioritize.

Set aside the durable items for now (the furniture, baskets organizers, books, etc.) and just look at the consumable items in your stash; we’re talking about the yarn, thread, fabric, paint, ribbon, etc… (most of us are multi-craftual, so chances are you have more than just yarn in there). If it’s something you could potentially use up or have to replace, it’s consumable.

Before you actually move things around, let’s just talk about prioritizing what you have in terms of how often you use it. Do you use these items daily? weekly-ish? rarely? Having quick access to the things you use daily or weekly will make it easier to stay organized, and will help you make more efficient use of the “prime real estate” of your craft space. Let’s face it, few of us have unlimited room, and the space-to-yarn ratio doesn’t usually work in our favor.

Not only that, but craft items benefit from “high touch” – meaning, the more we pack things on top of things, the less likely we are to be able to touch (or even see) what we have. When you can’t see it or touch it, you’re less likely to use it. (And you might have noticed that some supplies don’t hold up well when they’re stored away for years on end.)

Ask yourself this: How easy is it to get your hands on the items you use most? And do you have a system for rotating the things you store away?

Of the items you’re using on a regular basis, which of these are you reaching for daily? How about weekly? Or rarely? Things you use daily should be the easiest to access. Easy access spots are the baskets and bins that you keep decoratively in sight or within easy reach; let’s make those spots do double duty. Sure, it’s great to have a decorative basket filled with yarn in your craft room, but it will work even better if that basket is filled with the yarn you’re currently using. This means you’ll be going through that basket a little more often, which is good for you AND the yarn. When these decorative baskets or crocks start to feel a little sparse, replenish them with the yarn or supplies for the next project you’ll be casting on.

The items that you’re using frequently (every week or every few weeks, or even once a month) but not daily, would be perfect for drawers and cupboards where you can access them easily but still have them out of sight. This might be printed patterns (which aren’t exactly consumable, but it depends on how you use them), extra needles, yarn for upcoming projects, etc.

And now for the items you’re using a lot less frequently – these are items you often find taking up prime real estate in your craft room or stash, but spend most of your time just trying to get around them.

First, as yourself why you’re not using them. Are they seasonal? If so, they don’t necessarily need to take up a prime spot in your craft room; pack them away with seasonal items so you can access them when the time comes.

If they’re not seasonal and you’re rarely using them, is there a chance it might be worth passing them on to someone else? Donating them? If it’s just that you haven’t had time yet, that’s okay too. I think we all have some dream projects waiting in the wings for when life slows down just a bit; hold onto those. But maybe pack them away until you’re ready for them.

Getting organized means being honest with ourselves. As you approach your craft space as yourself:

  • Will I really ever use this?
  • How many times have I stashed this away and still not been inspired to do something with it?
  • Do I know someone who might have a use for this right now?

Stay tuned next week for Part 3: Downsize.

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