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How to Purge a Craft Space

Updated on February 10, 2018
linfcor profile image

Professional scrapbook artist, paper crafter, and author, I have taught people how to make family memories into legacies for 20 years.

Creating A Craft In Chaos Or Not

Let's face it, as crafters, we all collect stuff. It does not matter if you are a sewer, a knitter, an artist, paper crafter or scrapbook artist we all collect, tools, supplies and stuff. It's our nature to gain more as we grow in our craft. Between sales, and classes and moving forward with our crafts, we all gather and collect things along the way. The problem is that unless you have a large space, the things that we gather start cluttering the space that we have. Then our minds get confused during the creative process.

When I am designing a card, a scrapbook page or some other craft, I get messy. My mind is in the design mode and I just get into it. I am pulling stuff out, totally engaged in the process. Sometimes, stuff gets left out. Before you know it, My craft room is messy.

Where is it? Do I have it? Our brains get frustrated trying to figure what drawer or box we put it in. Then frustration sets in and we either walk away from the project or we go and buy what we need, even if we may have it on hand. We would rather go to the store rather than looking through the stuff. Well, if that is your situation, it's time to purge your craft room or space !

Is Your Craft Space Organized?

How organized is your craft space?

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Start By Really Looking At Your Space

No matter what kind of crafter you are, purging your space starts with a very critical eye. Look at your space like an outsider would look at it. Think about how it looks. Do you find yourself closing your craft room door when visitors come? Do you hide things in closets? Are you spending a lot of time looking for supplies? Are things cluttered? Then it is time to purge !

More than that think about your space with the purpose of redefining it. If you are a crafter who does lots of different crafts, it is tome to think about your supplies and getting them put together in one space as you purge.

As you are purging look at the containers that you have and how they can be repurposed to include all of the same things in one location. For example one of the things that I did was organize all my inks in one space. Then I placed my stamp cleaning supplies in a box near my inks. I also put my reinkers in the same general areas. Think about keeping like things close to each other as you purge and reorganize

Listen To Your Gut , Not Your Head

Really look at your stuff and think quickly. I am I really going to do that project, learn that craft , or use that tool? Don't fuss over it. You know the truth in your gut. Don't get emotional about it. Be realistic !

Reasons To Purge Your Craft Space

The process of purging your craft space really takes some time to do. I recently went at it and it took me several days to get a reasonably good spaced purged again. But I have to tell you when it's done, it feels very good. Here's why you might want to purge your craft space:

  1. Once purged, you will find a lot more room in your craft space
  2. You will be a lot more organized, so you will spend a lot less time looking for things. It will be easier to find things.
  3. You are moving into a larger or smaller craft space

Check Other Nooks & Crannies

If you have your craft stuff all over the house, it's time to pull it all together so you can sort it out. It can be so frustrating looking all over the house for your supplies

Getting Started-What You Need

To get started, you only need a few things:

  1. An empty trash barrel- that's for your trash
  2. A box or basket- for things that belong elsewhere
  3. A purge box- for the things that you don't want . but can be reused by someone else

Play A Little Music While You Purge

I love musicals, so for me listening to Evita or another musical makes me happy. Throw on some country, pop or rock. Whatever makes your heart sing. Makes the job lighter.

Purging A Craftroom

Don"t Tackle The Whole Room All At Once

If you have a closet space, that will be easy to get done. If you have a whole room to do, it might feel like an awfully large job to tackle. The best thing is to look at each part of the room or each piece of furniture or space. Go at it one part at a time.

Gather The Loose Stuff First

Look around your craft space ! Chances are you will find some products, tools or supplies laying loose. They may be things that you didn't quite get put away. They may be things that you are planning to use within a short period of time. Your goal is to get all the loose stuff placed with like items. This step will make the sorting easier. Gather the things in bags, the stuff on counters. Just get it all together and put it with like things. So far, so good.....hopefully

Clean As You Reorganize

Make sure to clean the furniture or spaces where you store your supplies

Now The Hard Work Begins

No matter if you have a little or a lot, the best thing to get the purge job done is to take it in increments of 20 minutes or so. Once you get started, you may find that you want to keep going, but taking it one step at a time, means that you will make better choices. If you just have a couple of totes of things, then the job will be finished quickly. If you have a craft room like me, then it may take a week or more to get the job done. So, as you look at each section of your crafts, supplies and materials, here are some questions to ask yourself.

  • Is it broken, dried or unusable? When I started going through a major purge and redo of my craft space, I really cleaned house. I found dry paints, a few brushes that were no longer usable and a few things that really were in not good condition. They were just taking valuable space. Off they went.
  • Is it for a specific project?-And is that project something I will actually get done?
  • Will I really use it. Have I used it in the last 6 months? That bag of toilet paper rolls were in my closet forever. I had other things, that I could not remember why I even had them. So unless you have a clear project in mind, ditch the stuff that you have held onto forever. Have I used it in the last 6 months?
  • Do I love it?-Is it something that I can't do without?
  • Would I buy it again? Have you ever made an impulse purchase and then tried to figure out what you were thinking? That something that sits unopened and you can remember why or where you bought it?
  • Do I have more than one of it? That what my original problem was. Because I was a hoarder, and was not organized, I had a lot of duplicates ! So the question is, will you use that duplicate? Do you need it?

How To Keep The Clutter Down

Final Step For Each Area

OK you have purged the stuff in your area, now what? Well the first thing to do is to clean it. If it's a piece of furniture, dust it or clean it. Start organizing and at least keeping the same kind of things in one space, even if you do not have containers for these items, start things about keeping areas for specific types of items.

What To Do With Your Purged Stuff

So now that you have done all the work, there sits the stuff that you are planning to let go. The next question is what to do with it? Well there are several ideas for you to consider.

Have A Swap Party- Invite some of your crafty friends over and swap stuff !

Have A Yard Sale - If you have enough to have a yard sale, that's great ! You can sell your craft items and make some money for some new organizers or things that you really need. Through in some other things that you might have around your house. Advertise that you have craft goods and what you have to sell.

Sell Your Stuff-You can sell items on Ebay. It's not difficult at all. I have seen people sell used stamps and other items all across Ebay. There are several swap and sell groups on Facebook also that you might want to try. I sold a Cricut impression machine with some other things on Craigslist for $60. be careful to price your goods with postage if needed. If using Craigslist do so safely.

Donate Your Stuff -You can donate to a thrift store, school, scout troop or church group.

Cheap and Eassy Storage Idea

A Final Thought

Purging is something that everyone should attempt at least once a year. Even though I had a whole craft room, I found myself spending more time looking for things and less time crafting. I even forgot about things that I owned. I was getting frustrated and upset.

Purging made my craft space happier and me as well. Now I have everything labeled and I know exactly where everything is.

I drool over those beautiful IKea craft rooms that you see all over the internet. But let's be serious, most of us will probably never get there. But we can make our space functional and pretty. It starts by purging what we have and then getting organized. It means taking time to look at what can be used and repurposed. It means thinking out of the box to create a space that is our own special haven.

We would love to hear from you

We would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and experiences on purging your craft space. Leave a little note to let us know you stopped by.


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    • linfcor profile image

      Linda F Correa 2 weeks ago from Spring Hill Florida

      We are of the same craft genes, I know how you feel. There are many of us out there. I am a big washi tape collector too.

    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Harte 2 weeks ago from Glasgow

      Yes!!! I have folders of stamps, all organised into groups in pockets- floral, wedding, greetings, festive, etc etc. And i still buy more even though I haven't finished organising the last lot. And I always buy them "just incase" never with a particular project in mind! I also have a severe problem with washi tape. 3 containers worth... Oops

    • linfcor profile image

      Linda F Correa 2 weeks ago from Spring Hill Florida

      My craft space is organized. But like you, when I am crafting, I spread my mess all over the place. I am a confirmed hoarder too. I tell myself , "no more new stamps". But when I see something new, I just gotta have it. I am a big fan of several companies. Wish they would quit with the new stuff......

    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Harte 2 weeks ago from Glasgow

      Great tips here for organising your craft space! I am very lucky to have a craft room that is really well organised, but that all goes to pot when I'm creating. Its all easy enough to tidy though, as everything has a set space. I have tonnes of items that i'm never sure I will use, but its so hard to let them go- what if I might possibly use them in future? (I'm a bit of a craft hoarder, always have been)

    • linfcor profile image

      Linda F Correa 7 months ago from Spring Hill Florida

      It is a lot of work, but it sure is worth it in the end. Thanks for the comment

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      sheilamarie78 7 months ago

      Great ideas for beginning the purge.