In the world of crafting, not all of us are gifted with a keen eye for organization. Supplies can sometimes pile up, resulting in anything but a Pinterest-worthy space. What's a crafter to do? To help demystify the secrets of highly organized creatives (you know, the ones in magazine spreads), we reached out to four of our favorite craft bloggers for their best tips. They are Rachel Smith of The Crafted Life, Jen Carreiro of Something Turquoise, Haeley Giambalvo of Design Improvised, and Amy Weir of Delineate Your Dwelling. Turns out, there just five attainable things that will get anyone on the right track with this often daunting task. Discover them all ahead. If all else fails, Haeley says start labeling: "[They] make you look instantly organized, even when you're not!" So there's that.
1. De-Clutter Your Space
First thing's first, as you begin the reorganization process or start collecting new materials, take a moment to discard craft supplies you definitely won't be using in the future. "We want to save everything in the hopes of using it someday," explains Rachel, "but if you don't have an immediate plan for it — or if it's not a material you use frequently — don't let it just sit around your space and collect dust."
2. Clean Up After Every Project
Messes are bound to happen during the creative process, but as with anything, it's important to set a routine to ensure that your craft room doesn't turn into a cluttered, unworkable space. "It is so easy to use craft supplies and leave them out after you are done," notes Amy, but, like Jen, she advises against it. "I always try to put away my craft supplies as soon as I am done with a project!"
3. Give Everything a Place
It seems simple, but creating specific spaces for your supplies will do organizational wonders. Jen, whose jaw-dropping craft room makeover was previously featured here on Martha Stewart Living, explained it like this: when everything has a place, you're able to clean up that much quicker. "All of my supplies have a hook, drawer, box or cabinet and they all get put away when I'm done with them," she said.
4. Display Your Favorite Supplies
If you're always reaching for a specific tool, show it off! Not only does this make your creative space functional (you can grab that essential in seconds), but when something you love is in your line of sight, chances are it's going to boost your mood. At least it does for Jen, who finds beauty in her supplies. "Since I'm passionate about what I make," she tells us, "that translates into a love for what I use, which means that by having these items out on display, I'm surrounded by beauty."
Haeley has a similar methodology. "I use my glue gun a lot, so I keep a pretty tea cup full of glue sticks on my craft room table to have them at the ready! I love my Martha Stewart Crafts paints, so I keep them in rainbow order on a shelf. I store less frequently used supplies away in a separate closet."
5. Embrace Storage Containers
Seriously. Buy them. Use them. Haeley recommends you remove smaller items from their original packaging (think pens, brushes, pins, yarn, etc.) and store them inside a clear container with similar supplies. This way they're tucked away, yet you can still see what's inside. Similarly, Rachel recommends open storage containers for easy access that doubles as gorgeous room décor.
Want more ideas? Take a tour of Darcy Miller's craft room and get plenty of inspiration for organizing your own craft space: