Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A place for everything, part 4

This will be the last I post about my studio reorganization.  I'm not completely done, but I don't think I ever will be.  There are a number of things that still need to be "gone through", but they are now contained and not cluttering up the joint.

In case you're new to my blog or need to refresh your memory:

Original post about my craft room
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

I'm very pleased with how everything is turning out.  It feels a lot more peaceful in here, and I can't wait to get working on a few new ideas I've had.  My desk is the last thing that needs to be finished up, and apart from the shelf above my desk, the rest of it is pretty clean.

While I was flipping through bead magazines to determine which I could part with, I saw a tip about having a magnetic knife rack to hold pliers.  Great idea, and I have the perfect place for it below my magnetic boards.  True, I'll have to turn around to get a pair of pliers, but they will be out of the way when not in use.  I went to Harbor Freight today to get it - it was on sale for $4 from $9.99!  You can't find it any cheaper.  At Walmart, they're around $16-21, and at Williams Sonoma they're $40.  Click here for the Harbor Freight item.  The one I got wasn't red like the one pictured there.  It's black, and I'm grateful for that.  I may still cover it with vinyl, though.  While I was there I got a pair of diagonal cutters and a pair of flush cutters for under $3 each.

Anyway, by now you're probably DYING to see the wall unit all filled up.  Here you go!

On the side of the unit is the zig-zag corner shelf thing that was on the wall in that corner, and below it is a quilt that my mother-in-law found for me at a thrift store:

I put it up there with sticky-backed Velcro so I can take it off and wash it if necessary.  I was very happy to find a place for it.  It's so beautiful.

Here are the top two "scrapbooking" rows close up:

There isn't a lot of room at the top of the unit, so it's perfect for little stuffed animals I'm fond of.  There's room for more if I need it.  The first space holds punches plus some pens and decorative-edged scissors (plus Diego, the dragon that Steve gave me).  The second space has my general scrap tote plus some embellishments and mat stacks.  The first space on the second shelf has adhesives, embellishments, my cutter, scrap paper, pens, more pens, more embellishments, ribbon, thread, and interfacing for bead embroidery.  A few of the boxes are empty so I have room to grow.

The rest of the unit is for jewelry making supplies.  Yes, I really have that much stuff, and this unit doesn't hold all of it.  A few things are in a closet, and my main bead boxes are on a bookshelf.  The first space in this picture is for polymer clay.  The second is for enameling, crystal clay, and resin, and other like interests.  The next shelf has dominoes/game pieces, washers (different types plus projects I'm working on that use washers), decoupage supplies, and a few miscellaneous things.

Here are the bottom two shelves.  The first space here has tools, wire, paints, crayons, and colored pencils.  The next space is primarily project-specific.  Not all of these boxes are full.  I have a box for each design that I teach and sell kits for, including some very large bags of peanut beads.  There are also boxes for projects I want to not lose track of, including the saucer beads I talked about in my Red and Black post.  The bottom shelf has the photo box containers which hold seed and shaped beads, sorted by size and/or shape (of course).  The middle space is full of EMPTY BOXES!!  The last space has a few miscellaneous things plus the trays I use to sort beads and sometimes work on.  I have 5 of them, and many of them were filled with items I hadn't put away yet mainly because I didn't know where to put them.

But now I have a place for everything.  I have room to grow (a little), and I now know where everything is.  When I need something, I can go right to it, and I can easily put it back when I'm done.  I'll be able to keep my desk clean so I can work (provided the cat lets me).

I was able to empty a number of bulky containers, including a rolling scrapbook tote and the purple rolling cart I talked about a while ago.  I was able to sell most of it at the Loose Bead Society Rummage Sale on Saturday.  I've purchased only a few things - the magnetic tool rack, two cigar boxes (which were very cool), and a box with irises and the word "Iris" on it.  Since that's the theme of the room I really had to get it.  Besides, it was 40% off, and I had a 25% off total purchase coupon (including sale items).  It was a no-brainer.  I spent less than $10 and made around $80 at the rummage sale on things I decided I didn't need anymore (after table cost).  I think I've done well.

After all this, what does the wall look like where that idiot folding table was?

This was my grandmother's sewing basket.  It was in the guest room, and I've always been irritated by that.  I've wanted it in here, but there was no place for it.  Now that I don't need the small bookcases or any other unit, I now can have my Omi's basket close to me.  I have a similar sewing basket, but it's smaller and doesn't have legs.  That one is in a closet within pretty easy reach.

And here's the other wall:

The shelves aren't perfectly organized, but by going through my magazines (and donating them to the bead society to sell at the rummage sale) and clearing a number of other things out, I was able to move my scrapbooks back in here from the guest room.  I also now have a good place for my printer paper where it won't be in the way or get messed up.

Throughout this process, I have learned a number of things:
  • I have quite a number of hobbies and interests.
  • An awful lot is needed for all of these hobbies and interests.
  • However, I don't need to keep absolutely everything "just in case".  I've kept quite a bit, of course, but I was able to sell a number of things at the rummage sale and have set aside some things to sell on ebay or Etsy.  It's okay to let things go.  It's better for someone else to have them and use them than for me to grimace every time I see items that clutter up my space.
  • Cleaning out my closets and using the space properly (planning the shelves out instead of throwing things in there willy-nilly) was essential to having so much empty space in the rest of the room.
  • It helped to make lists so I could chunk the process down.  I concentrated on one drawer or shelf or interest at a time.
  • It also helped to have Steve help me, not just with the heavy lifting and such but also with "gently encouraging" me to work on a certain area.  Otherwise I'd probably still be walking around in circles saying, "I don't know what I want to do yet."
  • Less is more.  All this empty space makes me feel so good (I sometimes just sit and stare at the nothing, feeling the peace of not having my eyes trip over all the "stuff").
  • I'm now motivated to work on other areas of the house so I can feel that peace everywhere.  Most of the house is in good shape, but there are a number of areas in the basement that need attention.  I need a good way to store my show displays.  That's probably next.
  • I'm glad to have room to grow in various parts of the room.  Drawers (most of them, anyway) aren't full to bursting, I have empty parts of closet shelves, and I have a little room on one of my bookcase shelves, not to mention the empty boxes I mentioned above.
  • I didn't have to spend a lot of money to do this.  I was lucky that my mother and stepfather had this wall unit, but I could have done pretty much the same thing using the bookcases I already had.  I was able to use whatever boxes and such I already had to keep everything separate and contained.
  • I'll save a lot of time looking for things and keeping up with my new system.
  • I need to dust more often.  My allergies have been HORRIBLE!
So, that's it.  I hope I've given you some good tips and some encouragement to work on your own studio/craft room/corner of the dining room or wherever you create.

Well, that didn't take long.  Better there than on my desk!


  1. Love this, love it!! Reading it, I got to forget about what all is going on here...I got to laugh! Simoon loves the basket! You inspired me me to go through my things and I have been giving them to a friend who is new to scrap booking. Why did I buy some of that stuff??? UGH!!! Great tips, and fun posts!! You ROCK Traci!!

    1. Thank you, Sylvia! I'm glad you're able to help someone start her own addiction while culling yours a bit. :) If anyone rocks, it is you. I've always thought so. SMOOOCH!

  2. I'm proud of you, honey!

  3. Good job, Traci! Looks great! Now get to work and make stuff! ;)
    love ya, kat

  4. Wow, that looks wonderful. It's great to see Omi's sewing basket again. We bought that for her at the German Store in Chicago a zillion years ago. Great Job!

  5. I love the pic of Simoon on Omi's basket!!