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Now that all the holiday decorations are put away, and things have slowed down in your life, this may be a great time to get organized!  If you’re like me, your “crafting room” is a total disaster; the place that everything got thrown into while preparing for guests.  Before you get started on your next quilt/knit/crochet/needlework/punch needle rughooking project, take the time to organize your space.  It will make your life so much easier.  You will find the things you’ve been searching for, be able to think clearer, feel more relaxed, and those creative juices will begin to flow.

I’ve had all different sized craft rooms, ranging from half of a finished walkout basement with a beautiful lake view to a storage unit in an RV, and now one that doubles as a guest room.  No matter the size of your space, the keyto a pleasant experience is organization.

Step One: Evaluate Your Space
Whether you have an existing space, or would like to create a new one, take a good look at it.  Will it be a multi use room, or dedicated to your favorite hobby?  Will you need a place for a computer?  Is there adequate lighting?  Could it use a new coat of paint, window coverings, etc?

Step Two:  Purge and Sort
Move everything out and evaluate each item.  Make piles: DISCARD, DONATE and KEEP.  If you enjoy multiple crafts, have a separate “keep” pile for each hobby.

Step Three:  Measure
Draw a simple floor plan of your room.  Measure walls and windows.  Note door, window, vents and outlet locations.  Think about best locations and sizes for units that won’t block any of these.

Step Four:  Go furniture shopping or find pieces around your house.
Bring your tape measure!  Armoires, hutches, dressers, bookcases are all great pieces.  Buy pieces that take advantage of vertical space
where possible, especially in smaller rooms.  Wooden snack trays, make great temporary work surfaces, and are easy to store.  I converted one into a mini ironing board for pressing quilt blocks!  Estate sales, garage sales, consignment shops and Craig’s list are great sources to find them.  If needed, a  simple coat of paint or two can bring pieces new life. Ikea is also a great resource for inexpensive new furniture. The Container Store is a great place to customize your closets for maximum storage.

Step Five:  Find bins, baskets, boxes, bottles/jars, totes, magazine holders or tins
Measure your furniture before shopping, so you know what sizes to use in order to maximize your space.  I am a huge fan of covered shoe bins.  Because they are stackable, they take up less space.   Add labels to  them, or even write on them with a dry erase marker!  I bought mine at the Container Store by the case!  If you don’t need them all now, use them to store off season shoes.  Craft stores, such as Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Jo-Ann are also great resources.  There are all sizes of stackable bins.  Decide what size(s) you need, and buy
extra.  Bottles & jars are colorful fun ways to display your buttons, threads, etc.  Use magazine holders, dedicate a
file drawer, or use binders to keep books and patterns organized.

Step Six:  Put it all together!
If you enjoy multiple crafts, organize by zones.  These could be organized by drawers, shelves, etc.  Think about your work flow, and plan accordingly.  Put the things you need most often closest to you.  Ikea has a great rolling cart that would keep tools/projects, etc. handy.  Roll where you go, or push into a closet when not in use.  Make labels on your storage units to make searching easer.  You can use anything from a label maker to pretty colored ribbons.  Use your imagination!  In small spaces, consider placing items you don’t access very often in another location, such as a basement.  Make use of hanging space in the closet.  Put projects in progress in separate totes and hang on hangers.  Simply grab one and go!

TIPS FOR GETTING ORGANIZED IN THE NEW YEAR

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