This is not a how-to post or a gorgeous craft room reveal, but it is a HUGE personal triumph for me and SUCH a relief, so I HAD to share!!! So here is the tale of how I FINALLY organized my craft supplies and reclaimed my basement. (Not on my own – my sisters are the freaking BEST!) I can not tell you how happy it makes me to walk into the basement now. It’s like a breath of fresh air, even when toys are strewn everywhere!
I have always been a bit of a hoarder of craft supplies. I get jazzed up about something and go way too far buying supplies. Scrapbooking, sewing, jewelry making . . . whatever my obsession is at the moment. Need proof? One of those drawers is FULL of nothing other than glitter tape. Yep. I have some serious personal problems, people.
We are living with my father right now to save money. He is a widower with a big house that needed to be filled up with people and noise, so it has been a mutually beneficial arrangement. We are all very happy here! However, if this were my house the office or even the formal dining room would have been converted to a lovely craft room in a heartbeat. But alas, it isn’t, so my stuff was doomed to reside in the basement. That wasn’t a problem at all before I started blogging and needed natural light for photos, but it is annoying now, not gonna lie. But it is what it is, and I’ve gotten used to lugging supplies up and down the steps.
As my stash has grown, so has my mess. I have always been a messy person, but a messy person who still knows exactly where everything is amongst her piles, if that makes sense.
Once I became a blogger this propensity toward crafty excess was magnified 100 fold, and soon enough my stash had spun out of my control. I kept digging through things to find other things and not fixing the piles, and then it just all became one big pile. When even I couldn’t find a dang thing that I needed in that mess it just became too stressful to handle. It was OUT. OF. CONTROL.
I was complaining to my sisters about how I couldn’t find a dang thing, and how I was so overwhelmed by the task of organizing my stuff that I didn’t think it would EVER happen realistically. Like, EVER. I would go downstairs to try to get started on it and end up feeling like I was paralyzed by how monumental the task at hand was, so I would just sigh and go back upstairs.
My dad said he got the shakes every time he went down there. I actually think he may have meant literally. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised. The man is an EXTREME neat freak. Having little people back in the house has been quite an adjustment for him.
I felt so jealous of my friends who had basements and playrooms for kids to go off to, with or without friends. I couldn’t let kids down there unless they were old enough not to stick a bead in their mouth and choke, so it remained a big, finished basement that was almost unusable.
My sisters helped me reclaim that potential play space! My sister Rachel loves organizing projects and informed me that as my Christmas gift she was going to help me organize my craft supplies. My other sis, Laura, chimed in and said she would too. I gleefully agreed, and then I texted them these pictures just to remind them of what they had agreed to. I think they must have immediately regretted their offer . . . especially since 1/3 of the room isn’t even represented in these pictures. We are talking a dresser stuffed with stuff, tubs and boxes overflowing, and more . . . all not even shown. Yikes-a-bee!
So, over the course of several days we worked like dogs. It took a ridiculously long amount of time. First things first: we GOT RID OF STUFF! Bags and bags donated. Things so crappy or broken that they were past donating (why did I even have them??) trashed. That big desk? Gave it away. Dresser and antique trunks (which clearly deserved better than having supplies piled on top of them) cleared off and moved to the guest bedroom as pretty decor items. Giant card table that used to be for jewelry making but had become a landing spot for things I didn’t want to put away? Folded up and moved to the garage. And then the REAL work started.
We sorted, sorted, sorted things. Fabrics by color and type, washi tape by holiday (seriously . . . problems), scrapbooking stuff, die cutting machines and materials, holiday food and craft supplies by holiday, styrofoam forms together, unfinished wood frames and letters together, jewelry supplies meticulously seperated and organized, adhesives together, cutting tools together, baby headband making supplies organized by type and season, and so on and so forth. Ay ay ay. (In unrelated news, I have a craft supply store in my basement . . . come by any time!) 😉
Let’s take a look at how we finally organized it all. Since I don’t have a dedicated craft room it was hidden in closets, the storage room, the entertainment center, and stacks of basket drawers from Ikea. I wish we could have gotten everything out of the main playroom, but oh well. We did our best, and even though it is spread out I now know EXACTLY where everything is. EVERYTHING. It’s AWESOME!!!!! The other day I forgot that I needed something until we were leaving for preschool (late as always). I ran downstairs, walked straight to it, and was back out the door in a minute flat. It felt like a miracle. That may sound dramatic, but it’s true. As a person whose job is to create things, this has quite literally changed my life.
You have seen the embarrassing BEFORE pictures, so now let’s see the AFTER!
Come on down . . . there is no longer a reason to be scared! 😉
Tapes, adhesives, paints, glitter, baby headband stuff, yarn, fabric and other sewing items. (Basket drawers from Ikea.)
Jewelry supplies, finally in a place I can lock up so I don’t live in fear of a toddler choking on one of my beads!
Looking the other direction . . . check out ALL OF THAT GLORIOUS SPACE!!
Die cutting, laminating, and scrapbooking supplies.
Holiday craft and food supplies, party decor and food supplies, wreath forms, styrofoam and wood, and stamping and paper. (Darling bank boxes from Ikea.)
That’s all, folks! Now my life is in order and my kids have a place to play!!!!! (Although they don’t often play down there because my son is convinced there are monsters. Annoying.) The day after it was done I found my dad just sitting downstairs savoring the clean, quiet peace. Hahaha!
THANK YOU TO MY SISTER FOR ALL OF THEIR HARD WORK ON THIS PROJECT!!!!! (As well as their hubbies, my hubby, and my dad, who lugged things up and down the stairs for us, etc.)
The last few BEFORE and AFTERs . . .
Do you have any organization projects that you are tackling right now?
How do YOU organize your craft supplies?