Organizing Arts and Crafts Supplies
Mess...The Curse of Creativity
After a careful examination of my art and craft studio, I've come to the conclusion that creativity can be a curse and that I am in need of some massive organization. If you are a creative like me, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Most "visual" people, artists and craftmen, will understand when I say creating is many times a messy process, and at times my best creative ideas come in the midst of my craft chaos.
Let me give an example. I design jewelry. The picture shown is my jewelry-making table. I've been in a very creative state, and I've been making a lot of jewelry for some upcoming shows. My painting table looks similar, but I won't show you the ugly details of that mess. By the way, I call my studio "the scary room", because you just never know what you will find in there.
I show you this to make a point. I have discovered that the mess on my table corresponds to my creativity energy. Mess = Creative Energy. I'm the type of person who needs to have all of my beads out at once, so that I can see what I have and make associations with the different beads, colors, shapes, etc. Many times I have come up with great combinations, because my beads are lying out together on my table. If I had them put away where they belonged, I wouldn't have that aha! moment of realizing the different design possibilities. So, if you multiply mess by two, does a person get twice the creative energy, 2M=2CE? Hmmm . . . looks good on paper . . . something to explore.
The trouble starts when I start looking for something that I need, but can't find it amidst the chaos of supplies on my work table. So it is time to organize my supplies and reign in the chaos. After all, I do need to set a good example for my kids.
Step One...Identify Problem Areas
It is good to start off analyzing problem areas for creative clutter. Is it the desktop? The closet or shelves? Or maybe the floor? What if it is all these areas? After analyzing the problem areas, start finding solutions to these organization problems.
Where is Your Creative Mess?
Step Two...Analyze your Supplies
My first step in getting my supplies organized is to analyze what I have for supplies according to their purpose. Since I paint, make jewelry, scrapbook and do soldered glass, I have to find organizers and a space for each hobby so that all the supplies for each are grouped together. This is a big adventure. Finding all the supplies in one category amongst all the other supplies. I do this over several days so as not to overwhelm myself.
I then need to figure out a space in my studio or closet that will accommodate the supplies while making them easily accessible. Being able to get to the supplies easily is critical, because they will also be easier to put away when my creative project is finished.
Step Three...Get Organizers to Fit Your Supplies
When trying to find organizers to fit my supplies, there are a few things that I try to keep in mind while shopping.
1. Being able to see my supplies is important. I want to find what I need quickly.
2. Containers that are easy to open and close will make using them more appealing.
3. Measure shelf or floor space where the organizer will be placed. It won't work if it doesn't fit.
4. The organizer needs to protect my supplies from damage.
Art and Craft Organizers for the Home or Studio
Here are a few of my most favorite organizers for my craft supllies.
I use these to store my beads and findings for my jewelry making. They are great since I can store beads separately in compartments according to color or type, making finding what I need easier and faster.
Never Lose Another Ruler
I grew tired of looking for a ruler every time I needed to measure wire, paper, or other craft supply. I decided that to save time and energy in searching for one, I would purchase an adhesive ruler. This has saved me countless minutes and frustration. It is now always were I've put it...on the edge of my studio table.
Art and Craft Organizers to Go
I attend craft shows, art studio time at the art gallery. I need containers to hold my on-the-go supplies for my crafts and art. Here is a list of items I use to keep organized on the go.
These would make great on the go organizers. If I had a few of these, I could store my beads, bead tools or painting supplies.
Step Four...Enjoy More Creative Time
Getting my supplies organized saves me time looking for the things that I need. It gives me freedom to be creative by creating more space to work.