Epic Craft Room De-Clutter using the Konmari Method!

Hi friends! A little over a month ago I read (listened to) The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and it was the kick in the but I needed to get my home and my craft studio in order. I was feeling suffocated by all of the “stuff” that surrounded me. Up til now I’d shrug off the excess as “tools of the trade” and “this is my job so I need to keep it all” reasons excuses to keep so much. It wasn’t a problem until it started making me feel tired, overwhelmed and un-creative. It was time to clean up my act!

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Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot of stuff, I think everyone has a different amount of items that feels “right” to them and your amount might be more or less than mine and that is OK. I also spend about 40+ hours a week working in my studio because it is my full-time career so I will typically have more than the hobby crafter because I am using it for videos or classes I teach. The last thing I want to do is make anyone feel badly about how much they have, this isn’t a contest, I just want to share my journey and hopefully encourage anyone else who is in the same boat. With that, here is the in-depth video on how I cleaned up my act in the craft room!

If you want to jump to a specific part in the video here are the time codes when each subject is discussed.
2:45 BEFORE pan of room and overview of the mess
11:28 Punches & Deco Scissors
18:59 Dies
25:47 Mini paper pads and origami papers
29:46 Stamp & Die Sets
32:50 Embossing Folders
33:36 Background Stamps & Letterpress items
38:10 Ribbon (holy crap, there is a lot!)
44:10 Fabric & Sewing Supplies
57:09 12″x12″ patterned scrapbook paper
58:26 Cardstock
1:01:47 Embellishments (the hardest category!)
1:14:23 Glitter & Embossing Powder & Flock
1:21:26 String/twine/cord/chain
1:28:09 Watercolors (no discarding LOL)
1:30:59 Drawing/Inks/Random update
1:35:15 Stamps
1:42:35 Pens & Markers
1:46:06 Dr PH Martin Watercolors & Inks
1:48:40 Random Stuff, Packaging & Framing (under die cut bench stuff)
1:50:18 Large paper sheets and watercolor pads (too long:)
2:02:13 Jewelry stuff
2:05:15 Packaging detail
2:12:27 ALL DONE! Have a look at the clean and Tidy space!
12:17:43 Scary Discard area (not for the faint of heart!) *I have tidied that up nice and neat and it is ready for my friends to come take what they want:)

BTW, the glasses I am wearing at the end of the video are Ottoto frames from Glasses USA. I have wanted dark plastic frames since I saw Jennifer Aniston wear some in an Aveeno ad and I finally found some that look good on a pale face:) They are very lightweight too!

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I am so happy with my craft space now, it is not perfect nor is it minimalist but it is just right for me right now:) Here are some after shots of the room. Honestly I was so disgusted with my stuff before the declutter that I only took video, it was cool to look at the before video to see the improvement because when you are working it can feel like you are not making progress so if you tackle and area in your home make sure to snap a before pic so you can see the results in full!

Details!

My desk is a hollow core wooden door (we took all of the sliding doors off the closets in your home years ago and replaced them with curtains and we saved the doors, they make lightweight but strong benches. The other 2 benches in my studio are also old doors 🙂 ) sitting on two 9 cube organizers.This gives me great shelf storage (I even have some inexpensive fabric bins to hold lightweight unruly stuff) on each end of the table and room underneath for rolling carts,shelves or drawers.

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The one above is the one you see as you enter my space so I try to keep it colorful and pretty with often needed items in there. The other end of the table has stuff I use for teaching and cleaning and items I do not need to access as frequently.

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I covered my table with white shelf liner. I really brightens up the place and I can put down paper when I am getting messy to keep it looking good.

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The markers are in a pen display rack a bought from a scrapbook store that was going out of business. I have the spinner rack for supplies I use daily. I have decided to organize my work table so it is easy to clean, instead of having everything at hand like I used too.

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My unmounted stamp storage worked great. I keep all of my UM and cling stamps in binders (I recommend 3″ heavy-duty 3-ring binders.) Since I had a mish-mash of binders I cut up a map I loved and adhered it to the spines and I made unobtrusive labels with blue card-stock because text can seem like clutter.

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Next to my stamp bench is where I keep jewelry supplies, my Brother Scan ‘n Cut2 and other stuff. I keep my Scan n Cut next to my stamps because I use it simply for scanning and cutting my stamped and colored images. This machine is why I have been able to resist most of the matching dies that are available for stamp sets now:) It has saved me tons of cash!

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I started putting paper vertically to take up less space and make it easier to access! Also putting my wooden paintboxes and table easels vertically on a shelf made them take up less space and I can grab one without having to unstack a bunch of things. If it is easy to get at I will use it! Also in the picture below you can see my wood stamp shelf and my large sheet paper rack. I keep a sarong on it to keep dust away. I was able to get this rack (a poster board rack) from Rite Aid when they were going out of business but the closest thing I have seen for sale is a school art drying rack if you are looking for something similar.

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I make use of clear plastic drawers under benches and stacked up (with wheels removed LOL) and you can’t beat it for cheap & useful storage! You can find them in different colors and with different depths, I like shallow drawers for embellishments and deep drawers for bottles of paints and mediums. A mix of depths is great to have! I might put paper in the front of the drawers to make them prettier but honestly it doesn’t bother me seeing what’s inside.

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I also recommend these scrapbook cube organizers. I keep scrapbook paper flat here because the devided cubes make it easy to sort by topic and see what I have. You can get ones with drawers which are great for supplies you don’t want to get dusty. I put my ribbons in those drawers and I like it much better compared to on a shelf. I also like that they are pretty standard and modular so you can add to the configuration or change it as your needs change and budget allows. Since my basement is unfinished these cubes actually divide the space between my craft area and my husbands wood shop and they are sturdy so I don’t fear them tipping over, each cube can connect to the one under it with pegs. I still liked storing my lace in birdcages so they stayed, probably not the best solution in a dusty area but I love them!

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My solid colored loose cardstock is in an old record (as in LPs) cabinet. I used Jennifer McGuire’s tip on using job ticket holders to store cardstock by color. It it easier to remove a color family and it keeps the edges and corners from getting dented. I have my neutrals I use for coloring and card bases on top in a letter sorter (actually, you won’t believe this but this is actually a sandpaper display that my parents no longer needed in their hardware store, talk about upcycling!) Also speaking about letter sorters, I used and upright one to help me sort and organize pattern paper during the purge and ended up keeping in and I put it on the shelf behind my manikin to hold 9″x12″ pads of art paper vertically, it works like a dream!

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I keep my Big Shot, Dies, laminator and old Cricut machine in “die cut central”. I also have plastic candy jars with silk flowers in them. I scored them for 25 cents each at a party store going out of business, you sure can get some deals on shelving and storage when places go out of business, not that I would wish that on a store but they are keen to get rid of it. I have extra space here, I might make a “new product” or “Project in progress basket on this shelf but I am in no hurry to fill it up. Truth be told I have a couple empty cubes in here too!

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You can see more of the room in the video but I realize it is long and my mess might give some people anxiety and that is NOT what this post is about. If you liked this post I would love it if you pined it on Pinterest or shared it on social media using one of the handy sharing links below, sharing is caring! I also wanted to let you know that I am now an amazon associate (they just let Mainer’s join yay!) so I looked up the storage products I used and linked to them. If you make a purchase after clicking one of my links I earn a small commission but it doesn’t cost you anything extra and I thank you for your support! I also want to thank Audible for sponsoring today’s video on YouTube and invite you to check them out if you like audio books, you can listen to The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo free with a 30 day trial subscription. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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39 Responses

  1. I love your crafting area! Thank you for sharing your journey. There were so many ideas that have inspired me!

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  2. Great craft room. I’m so jealous

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  3. You did a great job! Wish I lived closer so I could have bought some of your dies from you. I don’t have an electric cutter at all and probably never will so I use those dies all the time.

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  4. I love what you’ve done with the place!!! I just had to say it. LOL
    I think your glasses are gorgeous and you look beautiful. I love the color of them, too. Are you available to come down to central PA and do another , way too small, room?

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  5. Funny you should mention, I was really purging upstairs today. Thanks honey

    Love, Tammy

    >

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  6. All I can say is WOW !!

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  7. What an impressive job. I was aghast that you said “throw out ” when sorting ribbon. My school’s art teacher will take all my scraps and they use them in collage and weaving projects. I too have been de-cluttering my craft room. I had to fit all my stuff in a smaller room so my de-cluttering was a necessity. Thanks for sharing your journey. I enjoyed this video as much as all your craft and painting tutorial videos.

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    • After watching the rest of your video, I heard a comment you made about people being mad that you were getting rid of stuff. I thought that was silly- why would anyone be mad? Than i realized my comment above may sound like I was mad. I am sorry, it was not meant that way. I am a ribbon fanatic and I was just joking about being “aghast”. I realize some ribbon is just not worth saving or passing on to anyone. Please accept my apology- I did not mean to sound judgemental or negative. I think you are a super friendly, kind, giving person and I do not want to cause you stress.

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      • It did not come off that way at all:) I think some people have a real attachment to things and they get sad and upset to see people getting rid of stuff.

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  8. Congratulations! Your craft room looks great. Hopefully it will soon be warm enough down there to work again.

    I’ve been trying to organize my craft room. It’s hard to get rid of stuff I paid for (and even sometimes stuff I was just given) but I’m taking baby steps and at least I can find things more easily now.

    I like the idea of picking up each item and asking do I want this. I’m a little horrified with the author’s assumption that books are not that important, and the thought that your socks have feelings (but not those poor books), but some of her ideas are very useful.

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  9. You did an awesome job! I am in the process of re-doing my craft room and you’ve given me some great ideas. I’ve been a hobby crafter for about 17 years, and have so much stuff because I love to do a lot of types of crafts! I am fortunate to have a devoted bedroom for my space, but so happy that hubby is on board with me making the room not a hodgepodge of storage containers, etc. I have picked out some nice looking furniture pieces at IKEA. Cannot wait to get set up. Of course, this means going through everything I have as you did and probably downsizing and deciding new way to store. I especially like how you put all of your same color metal embellishments together and your ribbon storage! Those are my two biggies , too! I am like many thinking I need everything within hands reach, but that really is not working well because it is clutter and I feel overwhelmed and it stifles my creativity. I wish I lived in Maine! Always wanted to at least visit! 😊 Thank you for sharing so many ideas and tutorials!

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    • I’d like to know what you picked at IKEA! I just can’t settle on anything because I can’t judge how sturdy it really is. Like the Alex set of drawers: they LOOK fine for paper and maybe even for rowing up tins of pencils next to each other so I can just pick up what I need without having to pull it out from under a stack of other tins … but can the drawers cope with the weight of paper or metal tins?
      I like the PAX system but can’t imagine if it will really work out for anything else but clothes. I’m interested in what you are planning to do!

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      • Hi Pamela, I have a set of the Alex drawers and love them. Mine are shallow, so not good for paper, but they are sturdy. I store all of my scissors and cutting tools, glues and tapes, and sewing notions, plus smallish things like my hot tool and label maker in them. If you can muster the patience, the smartest organization tip I have heard is to get EVERYTHING sorted, like things together, purge what you won’t keep, then look for the right size containers to put everything away. I found that I could have skipped trying a lot of the cheap plastic bins which never seem quite the right size and would have saved a fair amount of money.

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        • Thanks Barbara!
          I was thinking of storing the things together in Alex drawers I use together like watercolor paper, brushes and the paintbox so I just have to pull a drawer open und grab a stack. Same thing with drawing paper and a tin of pencils. Assembling everything that is put away in different places often keeps me from starting at all.
          I know what you mean about plastic containers, I’m still looking for the right kind. I have washi tape in kitchen storage containers because they have lids but they are never the right size and the tape gets tossed around all the time which is a nuisance.
          If I figure out how the perfect organization should look like I might ask my husband to saw some strips of wood to divide the drawers into compartments to keep everything in place when I open and close the drawers. That should help keeping everything tidy and prevent ink bottles from getting broken.
          How do you store colored paper?

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      • Hi Pamela,
        If you look at the Stamp n storage website or on Pinterest they have ideas on how to combine Ikea Kallax with their own crafts storage. Results are stunning. Not sure if available in the uk but good for ideas.
        Good luck

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  10. I like how the binders make it look like you are in the Bahamas. Beautiful!!
    Wonderful video.

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  11. I really enjoyed your video. It was incredible to see how much stuff you had to sort through and how much effort you were willing to put out. That you really did put your hands on everything to see if the spark of joy came out. I have to admit, I did watch the whole thing, but by the end I did get a little ‘seasick’ with all the camera motion. Totally worth it but next time I might watch half and then take a break. Thank you!!

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  12. Yea, glad you did so well. The more I try to organize, the worse it gets, so quit trying. Guess I’ll be happy with what I have and just enjoy what I’m able to do. That’s what happens when you’re almost 80. Thanks for sharing though. Edna

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  13. Lindsay love your new craft room. You had some great ideas. Your glasses are so pretty too. Thanks for sharing. Rosie B.

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  14. Lindsay,
    Thank you for sharing your organization tips, decluttering, and trying to pare down your supplies so you can actually have the space to create. I love your videos as you sound like an old friend. I have learned so much about painting with watercolor and gouache and drawing ….keep it up!
    Eloise Walker, York, Me.

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  15. Thanks for making this video for us! I am also thankful for the time codes which enabled me to watch some of the parts over again and also to put in a break and jump back to where I left ;)) . I was also glad to see there were some things you DIDN’T discard like the watercolors. It shows one doesn’t HAVE to get rid of something even if one has quite a lot of it. For me it’s paper ….. I like to try out new kinds of paper and recently decided to use it up … at least the blocks I already started to use. I MIGHT end up just using two or three different kinds of paper which would take up MUCH less space!

    Have fun in your “new” craftroom! I hope now you can enjoy sitting down to work!

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  16. Way to go Lindsay, what an undertaking. I’ve been purging in my scrap space for awhile now so I can totally relate. Just a tad more decluttering and I’ll actually been able to paint. Then time to move everything back in and get it all organized. Loved the video.

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  17. What a wonderful job! I’m always fighting clutter in my home since I’m a collector of too many things. Since I just started watercolors I’ve added more stuff. I did edit my scrapbooking things but still have so much. Will I ever get back to it? Not sure but for now much is being kept. I like your bins for paper, I need to figure out some things to make my small craft room work much better!

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  18. Thanks for mentioning your glasses. I was about to ask as I have the same problem with finding a dark frame for a fair face.

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  19. WOW….double WOW!!!! What a great job Lindsay – your space is looking GREAT! It took me two days to watch the entire video so I can only imagine how long it took you to declutter your Studio and go through everything! My husband slipped away to Heaven in October 2016 and keeping up the 5 1/2 acres with a tree farm and house was too much – so I moved from a house to a one bedroom apartment in February 2017…downsized before the move (I had oodles of storage in the house and garage for my crafting). The house items were easy to do, but the crafting was a real challenge and I still have several boxes to unpack and no place to put them. You have inspired me to get to it and get it DONE! Thank you for the inspiration.
    Paper Hugs,
    Jan

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  20. Big job, very inspiring. I’m looking at much smaller areas to unclutter, don’t think will need the book, and can just watch you! Thanks for sharing, you made it look much less intimidating.

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  21. I am 1:14 into the video, and you have inspired me. I am very good at storage – too good – and it is quite overwhelming. I forwarded the link to your video to my cousin – we are always talking about decluttering. It is time for a mind shift! Konmari Method, here I come! (when I first read the title, I was thinking Kobayashi Maru!) BTW, if I come across any tiny clothes pins, I’m bringing them to Springfield!

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  22. Watched the whole thing. You have really inspired me to get my act together. Worked a little last night. Maybe I need some of that to drink or a good margarita. Can’t believe I am 60 today don’t get things done as fast as I used to. Going to clean out and have a yard sell in the next few months. You did such a nice job on organizing everything. I love the map on your binders. When I get finished with my room I will have to send you a picture. I am going to paint crates to put on the wall over my sewing machine for shelves and repainted my countertop. Now it may take me a while but one of these days I will finish. Was 81 degrees here today but supposed to get cold again. Have a good week.

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  23. Wow! What an awesome job! Very inspiring! I am starting over with building my craft stash as I am a very aggressive purged. I went overboard the last time. You did such an amazing job!

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  24. If you ever want to get more ruthless now is a good time to use some post it notes and date things so you know how much time has passed since you last touched items. If it’s been a few years and you are touching it again it’s a lot easier to let go. Your space looks great. ❤

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  25. Noticed you only had the brother scan and cut…what did you do with the Cricut? Were you able to somehow transfer the files? I also bought a Scan and cut but have can’t seem to get rid of my cricut because there are cartridges I use all the time and can’t bear to part with them…

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    • I kept it, the Cricut is over in my die cut area, I have it on top of the box my light box is leaned up on. I keep it up there because my mat can pass in both directions. I use that with my computer because I have scal2 software so I can cut fonts and my designs with it and the blades and mats are cheaper and I have the first version of the Cricut E and it is a beast:) Honestly I have my 6″ cricut too, I lend it to friends and take it to crops. I am a bit insane I guess 🙂

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      • Or just simply generous! Thanks for the response and for the tour. I’m working dejunking my room so this is very inspirational 🙂

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  26. You did a fantastic job. I’m about ¾ of the way done in my studio. It sure feels great.

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  27. Brilliant! I am listening to the book too, I so need it bad😂 My problem is that my adult children are taking up my space, and I really don’t know what part of my art/craft I want to focus on. 😒😩
    Have a great time how does it go tiding up 😉

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