One way in which I keep my space organized is, quite frankly (and much to the chagrin of many, I imagine) to limit what I own and what I purchase. As I've mentioned in previous blog posts, minimalism is a way of living I admire and to which I aspire. And this is by no means a judgement on those who surround themselves with supplies, who have rooms full of their hobbies and crafts, which spill out over dining tables and through hallways. Because, ultimately, we can only do what serves our spirit and our spaces in the best possible ways for the individual, and not the expectations of others.
But, if you're cramped for space, looking to minimalize or otherwise want to give a face lift to your work room or studio, my first suggestion (and probably the hardest to follow) is to limit and reduce your supplies, and keep only what can reasonably be used in a 6-12 month window. While I truly recognize how difficult this can be (we all love shiny things, I know), one way to help yourself stay organized is to allot a specified space for your supplies and commit to the limitations that space demands. I have two storage centers in my living room (aka studio) and do not buy supplies or tools that cannot fit reasonably well within them. Once those tools or supplies begin to spill out into other areas of my home, I pause, take stock, and reduce and re-home what's not be used in the last 6 months.
Small spaces also require quite a bit of compartmentalizing and creative storage solutions When tools and materials must share limited drawer or cabinet space, using storage bags, boxes, baskets or containers can mean the difference between chaos and calm. If you have a three-drawer storage chest, but fifteen different hobbies, dividing these supplies in boxes or bags, within each drawer, helps itemize what you have. When you shuffle through a drawer full of acrylic paints because you need the knitting needles you had no other room for, you not only waste precious creative time, but you also risk distracting yourself from a creative task by the inevitable pull of other supplies and hobbies within sight.
Better still, these (or some variation thereof) are available in a variety of colors, so you can easily color code your supplies! Tan bag for hammers, red bag for torch supplies, blue bag for saws, blades, files and cutters., black bag for beads. Reach for what you need without the distraction of a table top full of tools!
Happy organizing everyone!
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