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Every 6 months or so I get to the point in my studio where my works in progress, stash, gifts, random house stuff, and hid-away-so-guest-won’t-see-it” completely takes over my studio.

After this last clean out was done I got rid of:

  • 9 boxes and 2 garbage bags of craft stuff
  • 3 bags of trash
  • 2 overflowing boxes of recycling
  • a whole pile of things that had no reason to be in my studio and found homes elsewhere in the house.

And for every box I kept, I was getting rid of a box, which was a pretty good feeling.

I’m lucky to have ample storage space for all my art supplies. I never in a million years thought that I would have a partner who would be so completely understanding of my need to squirrel things away to use later…. within reason. For me, I know that it’s not that I need more space. It’s that I need less stuff. And I need my stuff to be more organized.

Every time I reorganize my studio I think “this is it, this is the best way to organize my s*&t ever, it will stay clean this time.” Nope. But each time I reshuffle my things I do learn a few valuable lessons. Sure I’m hopeful that this time I have it. But will I give myself a hard time if it’s just as bad a year from now? Nah. Life is too short. But I’m hoping for it to be a full year instead of 6 months time before I have to do a complete clean out.

Organizing a Studio Lessons

  • While daily cleaning is key, sometimes it’s good to tackle a big clean out all at once just to get it done on be able to move on to the more important things in life – like knitting!
  • If you can afford it, invest in a nice set of containers that fit your stuff AND your space well. I have these really great shelves in the “tile room” where I keep all my supplies. But until this last clean up, I was keeping my stuff in piles and random boxes.
  • Don’t buy said containers until you’ve actually gone through your stuff and figured out what you need. For me, I’ve learned I need about 20 shoebox sized ones and 10 double wide shoebox ones.
  • While donating and selling and recycling is great, even I need to realize trash is trash and my house is not a trash bin. You cannot “organize” garbage. Just throw it out! Do it.
  • But, also don’t forget about donating what you can and recycling what’s recyclable. And if you have the space and the time and the desire fill a bin with things you want to sell and get it listed on ebay IMMEDIATELY and if it doesn’t sell that first time, donate it!
  • Daily cleaning is key. Weekly cleaning works well too. Yearly clean….. come on now. Just pick up after yourself (myself). Me, crap I’m bad at that. But I’m still young and I’m learning.I’ll get it eventually.
  • Don’t just tuck something into your craft space to “put away later”. You won’t. I won’t. And things will pile up on the edge of your work table until you’re (cough, read ME) trying to cut fabric on a 1/4 of the table because the pile has taken over.

On an up note. I have been doing really well keeping my office clean. But, that’s because I clean it up every morning before I start my day’s work. And once a week I take out trash and make sure I’m not stashing things in weird places like behind my books. If you don’t have an issue with cleaning, you may not get the sanity of this. But I know some of you, yeah, you right there. You totally get what I’m saying and you’re shaking your head thinking – oh crap, I really should get that something something from behind there.

Happy Crafting!
Kristin Roach