Craft Room Studio Storage Organization: Tips and Ideas
Anyone with a crafting hobby knows that craft supplies have a way of taking over an entire house. While there is nothing wrong with spreading things out to work on projects, there needs to be an organizational system for supplies as well as a general method for keeping the "in progress" work from taking over everything. There is no one all-encompassing correct method of organization. There are many factors that contribute to the work spaces and storage areas that we create including general house space and layout, working preferences, and lighting set ups. The important thing is to figure out what works best for you and stick with it. You can change things as needed, but keep striving for organization.
I have primarily used jewelry storage and organization photos here because that is my main crafting passion right now. I have included other examples as I can, particularly for topics that jewelry doesn't apply to, such as larger craft supply and finished product storage.
Supply Storage Space
It is important to keep all of your supplies stored in such a way that you can get what you need when you need relatively quickly. Craft organization can be a timely process, but it will be well worth the effort for all of the time that you'll save in the future. Your storage needs may change as your shop and/or crafting interests change so take time to evaluate your storage process a few times a year and make those changes as needed.
Additionally, make the effort a few times a month to put away all spare materials from recently finished products so that your storage area stays organized.
Finished Projects Space
I like to keep pieces that I have finished over the last couple months separate from the rest of my finished pieces for two main reasons.
1) People are often interested in seeing what I've been working on lately.
2) I need to sort them and put price tags on them. I like to have all of my items sorted and tagged appropriately before all shows to cut down on my set up time.
Shipping Supplies and Additional Business Shop Materials
If you aren't running an Etsy, eBay, or other online shop, you may not need to keep a lot of shipping and packing supplies around. However, if you do, it's important to keep an adequate supply of all of your necessary materials. Be realistic about what you will need. Buy in bulk whenever it makes sense.
Dedicated Photography Space
I say dedicated not because you need to allot a large space in your house solely for photographing your work but dedicated because you should have a regular space. This is really important for online shop appearance because it will give your photos a more consistent look. If you choose not to use a light box, find a space with lots of natural light. Determine what backgrounds and props you would like to use and stick with them.
Waiting to Be Photographed Space
I have a separate container for items that I need to photograph for my Etsy shop. I keep this container on my light box desk with my recently finished projects container. This way none of my items, especially smaller pieces such as earrings, get lost in the shuffle and don't end up getting listed on Etsy.
Space for Additional Crafty Supplies
I'm sure that many people who craft can relate with the fact that I don't stick to one craft. While jewelry making is my main passion right now, among other things, I also enjoy making cards, collages, and other scrapbook type projects as well as cross-stitching. It's important to have dedicated storage space for these additional interests so that extra supplies don't clutter any other storage spaces.
I wrote a separate tool box article, so I won't go into too much detail about that here. I do want to stress that a tool box can be very helpful if you do one or more of the following things:
1) Work on crafts in multiple areas of the house. Personally I always bead on the sofa in front of the TV, which isn't where my craft storage is, so it's great to be able to pick up my tools and go.
2) Take crafts on the road for vacations, etc. You don't have to worry about leaving tools behind when you have everything that you need in one place.
3) Craft shows. It's great to have tools readily available for last minute repairs or on the spot alterations.
In addition to my toolbox, I like to have a box for my current projects so that my supplies don't take over our entire TV area. I'll be the first to admit that many supplies still find their way all over the coffee table. However, having a portable work area or a dedicated work space in your studio will contain some of your projects.
If you have a larger craft, such as torch work or weaving, make sure that your work space stays neat so that you can make your work time as productive as possible.
Future Project Planning Space
I'm sure that many of you can relate with the fact that I frequently have many future projects in mind. Sometimes it's helpful for me to pull bead combinations or put buttons together so that I don't forget ideas later. Make a dedicated space for this so your ideas don't get lost in the shuffle or end up cluttering other spaces.
I bought cheap packs of cookie sheets from Wal-Mart for my planning spaces and gluing areas. You do not need to invest in nice cookware or other expensive organizers. As long as your supplies are sturdy, they will work just fine.
There are many other organization options and ideas out there. Most crafty people are pretty creative when it comes to organization as well. I can't possibly share all of the ideas out there, but I've highlighted a few for you here.