Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Get Crafty: Organizing, Part I

Since this is officially my week of TIDY, I am tackling my workspace one scrap, one button, one roll of ribbon at a time. After a weekend spent enjoying winter with my family and a day reflecting on what I need to accomplish this week, I have assessed the situation so as to best attack the problem. Today's tasks include rounding up some storage essentials that I already have around, divining creative solutions for my personal variety of clutter and learning how to use my new labeler. So far, I'm on track.

This is where I'm starting from, in an order on the upswing to keep my spirits and motivation high:


Sorry folks... I'm too embarrased to put up before, or even in-progess pictures of my full work area today. I took a few for posterity and to motivate me to not let it get this bad again, but I don't think they'll ever be suitable for public consumption. Blackmail, maybe. My area consists of about a quarter of our suburban, not-huge, not-well lit, unfinished basement. Glamorous, no? But add into that area part of the staircase, a sump pump and the laundry area. We technically have one extra bedroom that could have been an above-grade workspace but, in all honesty, I have 3 little kids that must still be watched at all waking hours of the day. I need a place to work and coexist with my offspring, so the kid-friendly basement won out over other areas of the house. My work regularly spills out, and not in an organized way. I envision a future with at least one "work in progress" bin that can travel upstairs or outside, as needed.


I have a LOT of materials. Bulky wool sweaters that need to be organized by color, if not fiber content. A full spectrum of fleece. I'm a fully-entrenched toolaholic. I have lots of notions and sewing accessories. Buttons, ribbon, vintage trim, patterns, elastic, velcro, adhesives, yarn, leather and other ephemera. All my props and baskets and the whole setup for a 8' market stall share my work area. I also need to accomodate my sewing machine, my serger, a cutting table and a laptop/printer workstation to accomplish my shipping routine and store my packaging materials. Right now all those things technically have a spot, but I'm hopping over mountains of odds and ends trying to get where I'm going. Just doing laundry is becoming a prize-worthy feat of balance and dexterity.


I have a lot of storage items already around from previous forays into the world of organized crafting, so my costs for making a ship-shape studio will be minimal. I really do have enough space, even if I just made it sound like I don't. And I have a secret weapon... my husband is very handy! I can have a couple structural elements tweaked to my preferences, especially under the stairs and over the sump pump, to maximize my storage for the bins and boxes I have on hand... and all for the very reasonable price of eternal love and affection. And maybe some cookies.

I'm feeling optimistic. My goal is to have it tidy enough down there by the end of the week to see the top of my cutting area. I think I can, I think I can...

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