Hi friends! It’s that time of year again. Time to clean up after all of the Christmas crafting and wrapping and get organized for an inspiring new year! I was talking with my friend Marta over at Maremi SmallArt and it turns out we both needed to get out crafty act together so we challenged each other to clean up our spaces and then do a video about it. Her craft space is half of her living room separated by a large shelving unit and mine is in the back corner or my unfinished basement. We both have different amounts of different things and different needs that we have to address so you are sure to find ideas for your craft space in our videos.
*Feel free to skip this paragraph if you just want to get to the decluttering. If you want to know the nitty-gritty or the “why” that inspired my decluttering journey over the past 2 years read on:)
You may remember about two years ago I embarked on a decluttering journey following the popular Konmari method from the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I needed a change. I was spending so much time on my computer, and making videos and so concerned with social media that my health and well-being suffered. I saw a loss of views online as a personal attack and the harder I pushed on YouTube the worse I felt. I would shop and share what I bought because Haul videos did better than my actual tutorial videos. Don’t get me wrong, I got a high from finding awesome deals and sharing the purchases with you but I started to notice that I forgot about many of the things I bought and only used a fraction of it. I also was stockpiling more than a reasonable amount of my favorites. That book could not have come at a better time for me. I also was suffering from chronic lower back pain made worse by my sedentary lifestyle. I needed to move more and have less. Every time I went into my art studio (a space that used to bring me such joy) I felt oppressed, sad and overwhelmed. I need to deal with the huge amount of stuff I had hoarded and get rid of the stuff weighing me down. You can see the entire process of my Konmari craft room clean up here. Long story short my back started to feel better until I was totally pain-free due to a combination of daily exercise and less time on the computer and I feel refreshed when I enter my craft space instead of oppressed. I also launched my online school and brought my husband into my business. It’s amazing what possibilities appear when you don’t have so much stuff in your way!
And now, on to the tour! You can watch the video below!
And here are some photos! I repurposed and thrifted most of my storage items but if they are still available I will link to them. Affiliate links may be used which provide me with a small commission if you purchase an item at no additional cost to you. Thanks! I did want to mention that Consumer Crafts has a lot of specialty craft storage for less and with coupon code SAVEJAN19 you can save 15-25% and orders over $49 ship free *coupon code good through Monday 1/21/19
***I also wanted to warn you NOT to buy any storage if you are decluttering until AFTER you are done because you will probably have more than enough to suit your needs once you part with things you don’t need.
As you walk into my space to the left is my stamp storage. My wood mounted stamps are on a shelf made of 1×4 pine and then there is a sturdy utility shelf of binders holding stamps in page protectors organized by theme. When I need a stamp I grab the binder for that theme, say “trees” and l can see what I have as easy as flipping through a catalogue. I do no other cataloging of stamps although some people find it handy to have a computerised list.
I was able to clear over half a shelf of space once I emptied my binders and sorted and got rid of what I knew I would never use again. Some things I had used so much that I was tired of and other things had outgrown their usefulness like excess stamps for children’s themed cards as my children are teens and I rarely make birthday cards for little kids. I kept my absolute faves and passed the rest on. Next to that is a work bench (hollow door on 2 saw horses) where I can sit and work on jewelry. I have a 9 cube storage unit with fabric bins from the dollar tree for yarn and accessories. I had the yarn in 3 huge plastic totes before and I never used it because it was hard to get to. I am hoping to use the novelty yarn on cards and other crafts as well as embellishments on hats and such. If it turns out I don’t use it then it can go next year! Nursing homes and libraries with knitting groups gladly accept donations. My jewelry supplies are also stored here as I sit and work here. My radio and older laptop on top of my jewelry storage for entertainment as I work as I like to have chatter in the background. Under the bench I keep my EdenPure space heater (No, I don not run it under the bench or leave it plugged in when I am not there. BTW I have tried an oil filled radiator and one of the box style ones and this is by far the best I’ve used.) and 2 plastic carts with shallow drawers that hold tubes of watercolor paint, templates and other supplies.
Next to that is a chest or drawers with my brushes on top and in the shelf above I have jewelry tools, my YouTube play button I received when I reached 100k subscribers and other decorations and stretched canvases are above. The plastic baskets hold mounted and foam alphabet stamps.
Next to that is where my large yarn totes used to be. I took a small shelf that was on the jewelry bench and put it where the totes were and my Stampin Up stamps are there. Honestly I didn’t think to go through them but I probably should. I like those sets though because it is easy to grab a set and create without much bother. On that is an advent calendar I repurposed hold buttons and a parts bin of stained glass shards I use to make fused glass pendants, a tub of wooden spools and ink sprays. In other words things I don’t need to be handy. I have a stool if I want to sit at my easel to paint. I was glad to get rid on the bulky totes because now I can put up a 6 foot folding table if friends want to come over and craft!
Next to that is my die cut area and cutting bench. My paper trimmer and Scor-pal sit on top as they are used daily and next to that is my 12-year-old Big Shot I also use about daily. It is on a computer monitor stand and I keep dollar store white plates I used as palettes stacked under it. I have a bench vice that holds a magnetic dish where I place dies in use so I don’t lose them. My electronic cutters can be pulled down and used on the bench (after removing the trimmer and score board) and my laptop can go on the monitor stand if I am cutting a computer file. I move the magnetic dish if using my computer there just to be safe. Bulky items are stored below.
Working your way around my table I have a tower of framing and packaging supplies, then cardstock in a vintage record cabinet. In the cabinet the cardstock is stored in thick, sturdy job ticket holders so the corners don’t get bent. In the corner a utility shelf with workshop teaching supplies that I keep packed up and ready to take with me (I clean and repack after each workshop so I know everything is in working order) as well as other bulky supplies I do not need to access daily.
Then you can see the cube units that make up a freestanding “wall” between my husbands workshop and my art space. I also have curtains tacked up to keep his sawdust out. It ain’t fancy but it works. 🙂
I love how useful these various cubes are for storage. I keep my pencils/crayons in tins by brand and just bring over the tin to my table as needed. All of the things in this open storage gets used regularly and I like seeing where it is so I am reminded to use it. Pattern and specialty paper is also stored here with the exception of mulberry and vellum because that is a bit fragile so they are in closed accordion files on the bottom shelf with my stamp binders. The blue trays hold projects in process. I have watercolor and alcohol markers in a pen display I bought from a scrapbook store going out of business and I have a turnabout from harbor freight to hold daily supplies like blending sponges and adhesives. I have a plastic tower of various paints and mediums, my photo area is on top and the rack under the orange fabric folds larger paper pads and sheets of pastel and drawing paper.
Under my desk on the side where I usually work I keep supplies I reach for often. I have a cart of shallow plastic drawers that hold ink pads, scraps of white paper for stamping and my pegstamps. I have a trash can and 2 bookshelves with my watercolor palettes, inks and on top of that, full size inkpads and water buckets.
On the other side of the work table I have my fabric supplies, an iris cart of embellishments, embossing powders (BTW here is the awesome embossing powder technique book I mentioned in the video) and glitters and crates of canvas panels, school supplies and on top scrap papers sorted by color in hanging file folders. Here you can see how my work table is hollow door I painted sitting on top of 2 nine cube units. Fabric bins keep unruly supplies contained and neat.
Lighting and filming
I also wanted to mention that the best part about having my art studio in my unfinished basement is being able to mount all of my lights to the ceiling so nor cords or stands to trip on. I use clip on aluminum shop lights and daylight balanced CFL bulbs so my light is bright and true. My husband rigged up 2 camera mounts over my table that I can film from as well so I do not need to fuss with a tripod for overhead shots.
The video goes in more depth but if I showed you what is in every nook and cranny we’d be here all night! I hope you enjoyed this art workshop tour and I hope you check out Marta’s craft room tour as well. You will get lots of ideas from her space too! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!