CASE STUDY: CREATIVE LICENSE
Careful space planning and dedicated storage areas help an artistic mother and daughter reclaim a once chaotic crafts room.
Smart storage updates a chaotic crafts room.
Work surfaces were buried under piles of supplies, leaving little room for creativity.
It was impossible to tell where crafts supplies were located or what items needed to be replenished.
SOLUTIONS GUIDED BY PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER
Deb Cabral of The Declutter Coach (see bio in “Meet the Pros,” page 90), homeowner Melissa launched a four-step process to reform her crafts room. She wanted to ensure it would accommodate her many creative pursuits—along with those of her daughter, Olivia, and even Olivia’s Girl Scouts troop.
Melissa began by gathering wayward items from elsewhere in the house. “She had so many supplies that some had migrated to other rooms,” Cabral says. “We had to have a true understanding of what she owned before we could decide what to do with it.”
Because Melissa and Olivia sew, paint, draw, quilt, and scrapbook, their supplies were abundant and varied. Cabral advised
allocating a specific spot in the crafts room for each activity so that Melissa could sort items according to how they were used. Notions, for instance, were staged under a sign taped to the wall marked “Sewing,” and stamp pads were placed beneath a “Scrapbooking” sign.
Editing came next. “Crafters see a potential use for every button and scrap of fabric, and can own 400 rubber stamps,” Cabral says. She encouraged Melissa to keep only items she uses frequently, recommending she toss, give away, or donate the rest—particularly those that were broken, dried up, or not earmarked for a specific project.
The next step was reconfiguring the room itself. Melissa’s table received a fresh coat of paint and now serves as the room’s dedicated crafting area. Here, Melissa can wrap presents on a flat surface near where ribbons and bows are stored. A sewing machine stands on a desktop reserved for stitching curtains and pillows, and a long stretch of countertop enables Melissa to assemble scrapbook pages with ease.
To ensure work surfaces remain clutterfree, Melissa fits all supplies into thoughtfully planned storage containers. Many are items cleverly repurposed for specific uses, such as plastic sock drawer dividers that separate acrylic paints by color. All are located right where they’re used. “It’s a lot easier for us to be creative now,” Melissa says.
”Ask yourself, ‘Do I absolutely need it?’ It’s important to be able to say ‘absolutely’; otherwise, you’ll talk yourself into keeping it.” — DEB CABRAL, PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER
1 An extensive range of scrapbook papers fills a three-shelf unit. Magazine holders contain paper stock sorted by color; thinner papers are organized by pattern and color on open shelves below. To the right, a tower of clear plastic drawers holds...
above: Paper crafting supplies and decorative items cluster above an L-shaped countertop for scrapbooking. Glass canisters and spice jars on wallhung shelves hold crafting essentials. Bulky items like heat embossers and die cutters are stowed behind...
opposite: Once- cluttered work spaces hid supplies and put a damper on creativity. above: Thanks to well-thought- out storage along the room’s perimeter, surfaces now are clean and inviting. A tall cabinet opens, inset, to reveal hanging plastic bags...
“Having a maintenance plan is key to staying organized.”
6 A trio of bookcases stylishly holds albums, baskets, and boxes fi lled with photos. Wire baskets display lengths of fabric. 7 Less attractive storage is hidden behind closed doors but labeled to make fi nding contents easy. 8 The sewing machine...