CASE STUDY: CRE­ATIVE LI­CENSE

Care­ful space plan­ning and ded­i­cated stor­age ar­eas help an artis­tic mother and daugh­ter re­claim a once chaotic crafts room.

Secrets of Getting Organized - - Front Page - WRITER MARA BOO PHO­TOG­RA­PHER MARTY BALD­WIN

Smart stor­age up­dates a chaotic crafts room.

PROB­LEMS

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.”

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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...

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