My Very Unorganized Craft Room

Hello there my friends! I was talking with my dear friend, Melissa, who owns the wildly popular CAS~ology challenge blog. She wanted to feature craft rooms on the blog and I told her mine was a disaster, which really should have motivated me to clean it up and get it organized after moving 4 months ago. It's the only room in the house that isn't finished and it's also the room that I need organized the most. That is going to change for 2016 and I hope that you will follow me along for the process. I have been in touch with several businesses who make furniture specifically for craft rooms and together, we are going to do an overhaul on my room. What I have is not working for me at all and I literally spend hours looking for something. It's frustrating and kills the mojo. There was a 3-week difference between the close of my escrows and I had 4 storage units. What got moved and what is still in storage is stuff that I do not need and stuff that I really need, that I will have to sort out and figure out one day, and very soon. I organize more than I craft, which is why you haven't seen me do too much in a few years.

My current furniture is eclectic and just a hodge podge of items, down to a sideboard that really belongs in my dining room, but the storage is fabulous and the top is great for larger tools that I use daily, such as my Vagabond, 12 x 12 score board, etc. I do have my Big Shot and a smaller score board in my IKEA Rascog carts. Those also need organized, as you can see. I have some Antonius plastic insert trays, also from IKEA, for the Rascog to divide up frequently used items, but again, those are not organized yet either. This is going to be a process. For instance, I love how colorful my ribbon wall is, but do I need to use that entire vertical space for pretty ribbon? The logical answer is no. 

I have several Storage 3 Solutions Copic marker holders that I have the Stampin' Up! Blendabilities in that is taking up valuable real estate when the markers haven't been sold by Stampin' Up! for a year and I do not find myself reaching for them at all. This would be a great place to put my Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers rather than digging through the box for the right color. 

So, as you can see, none of this is working for me and again, I hope that you will stick with me throughout 2016 to watch the transformation of my completely ineffective and disorganized space to a beautiful, organized, fun and productive craft room to create in. 

This post is very picture heavy (22 or so) , but I do hope that you will stick around to take a look. 

I'm going to start you out in my living room. Storage is an issue for all of us and we get creative where we can and below is a great example of doing that. 

IMG_3352This is a decorative piece that I got from Hobby Lobby while living in Kentucky. The top drawer holds my smaller Stampin' Up! punches. The 2nd drawer houses the larger SU punches. The bottom 2 drawers have all of my Prima flowers and other little embellishments. This piece works very well in my living room. I don't use punches very often, but when I do, I don't mind getting up to grab them. With my back, it's good to move around.

DSC_0036This is what my craft room looks like standing outside the door. Imagine walking into this daily and trying to feel creative. It doesn't work. On the right is the sideboard that I was talking about. You can see my glass L-shaped desk somewhere in there. Under my desk is a 2-drawer filing cabinet that I keep all of my neutral card stock in as it goes on every single project and it's convenient to have it close at hand. On the left is my ink pad storage in the drawers.
DSC_0033This is a close-up of one of the units that hold my ink. I have them sorted by brand and the brands that I use the most are closest to me. All I have to do is turn my chair. For my Lawn Fawn inks, they have other products, such as their flair buttons, sequins, twine, etc., that I also store with the ink pads. It's just easier to keep in one place. I also store the ink refills with my ink pads in the drawer too. I have clear containers inside the drawers to keep it organized.

DSC_0032My craft room is in one of my spare bedrooms. I have a 3-bedroom home and the other bedroom is my guest room. I've invaded the guest room closet as you will see in other pictures. This is the closet. I had the doors taken off and a few shelves put in above the usual one shelf that come in closets. I have that great metal unit that you see which holds all of my Distress items along with general craft items, such as glitter, miscellaneous tools, Mixed Media, embossing pastes and the like. I have my dies in boxes on the top shelves above the white units you see which houses my tape runner refills, enamel dots, packaged bling, a lot of various adhesive items and other small stuff. On the top shelves, which are not shown, I have my Bigz die-cuts in boxes, felt and my MFT re-inkers in hat boxes. I still have one shelf available for storage. I didn't take a picture of this, but above my kitchen cabinets, I have a few feet until the ceiling and I have some vintage suitcases, glassware and other items that I also store craft stuff in. It's everywhere, but unseen. I like to be able to close the door on crafting and not have it all over the house. It's good to get away from it and have a "real" home that crafting has not taken over. In that ugly filing cabinet is where my 8-1/2 x 11 card stock is stored in file folders. In a larger unit you will see below, I did have the paper in there in folders but I wasn't feeling it. Now I'm ready to switch back to that to get rid of that ugly cabinet and free up some floor space, but we will see what my vendors will come up with for paper storage. What is in the other cabinet now could be put on the 3rd shelf in the closet, but that means getting on a ladder, which is dangerous for me. I did try to put the large white storage boxes on the top shelf but they are incredibly heavy and the spacing made it almost impossible. Again, we will see with what my vendors come up with.

DSC_0031Here is that great sideboard I was talking about. The top is fabulous. Since I've taken this picture, I have cleaned it up and have it organized with my Vagabond on top and other machines that I frequently use. My Raskog carts are a bit more organized with staples on the top shelves, such as my Big Shot and paper trimmers. My guillotine paper trimmer is now on top of the sideboard, which is my favorite paper trimmer. Inside the sideboard there are 2 shelves that house other machines that I do not use very often, such as my Cricut and Silhouette. I also have my Stampin' Up! punch boards inside. Almost an entire shelf is dedicated to my Papertrey Ink die-cuts and buttons. I've done a video before on how I organize my PTI die-cuts and stamps. I still have more room on the shelves to organize and add more stuff.

DSC_0030This picture is a little out of order and on my way out to the rest of the house. In the metal basket by the door, this is where I have my 12 x 12 card stock. Next to that is this great ladder with metal baskets on it that have all of my Tim Holtz stuff, which I am in the process of taking out of their packaging and putting into their own separate containers. I have a box full of round and square metal containers with clear tops somewhere that I need to find and label. The baskets are deep enough to hold it all and look pretty. The rack you see above that holds my Gina K. Designs buttons and ribbon. 

DSC_0029This is a great space I haven't utilized yet. They are Gnedby units from IKEA and are perfect for holding just about anything. I am currently using this for my stamps that are housed in DVD cases. As you can see, I have a lot of room left to put stuff on. There are 5 units hooked together and each unit is about 80" tall if I remember right and 7-3/4" wide and this does include the frame. I can fit 15 CD or DVD cases in each slot. The shelves are adjustable, which makes this a fabulous storage solution and they are staying with me.

DSC_0028This beautiful cupboard is awesome. My favorite pieces are staying with me during the room redo and this will be one of them. Right now, it's obvious that this is not organized at all. I have some PTI patterned paper on one shelf and the other shelves hold stamp sets that have not been put together yet. In the top 2 drawers, I have My Favorite Things inks. The ink that I use the most, their Premium Dye Inks, is housed in the top right drawer and I really should move it to one of my drawers where my other inks are. I usually have to pull out the entire drawer and put it on the floor next to me and then hunt for the color that I want. Their ink refills are in the hat boxes in my closet, so imagine if I have to refill an ink pad, which you do have to frequently with the older style MFT ink pads, so I have to hunt through the hat boxes for the right color of ink refill. That's about a 20-minute process. There has got to be a better way. The bottom 2 large drawers hold my Cricut and Silhouette items in one drawer and the other drawer has miscellaneous die-cutting stuff in it, like cutting pads, double-sided adhesive sheets, anything die-cutting related down to various items to die-cut out, such as fabric, cork sheets, etc.

DSC_0027This is just a picture of my light. I'm on this Edison light obsession because they look so cool. Usually, I would have my big chandelier here since it's just my thing. I've always wanted a big chandelier over my garden tub in my other houses so now I have one. The Edison light in the craft room works for me and I got my fix as it really wouldn't work anywhere else in the house. It has 18 bulbs and each bulb was 60 watts. I could literally get a tan in here the wattage was so crazy hot. I also have an electric bill I worry about. I changed out every single light bulb to an LED 4.2 watt. It puts out just as much light, is more clear, and I don't fry when I turn the light on. I have 3 OTT lights on my desk and just generally use those when I'm crafting.

DSC_0025Self-explanatory. This is walking into my craft room. I saw this large wood ruler at Kirkland's on sale for $5.99 and picked it up real fast. It's like the perfect entry piece. Behind the door is another 4 Gnedby units from IKEA which fit perfectly and is shown below too.

DSC_0024These are my birdhouse units that hold my CD cases of stamps. I can fit 13 stamp sets into each slot and each unit will hold 188 stamp sets. These are in my guest room closet.

DSC_0021These are my Stamp TV Kits from Gina K Designs going WAY back on a shelf in my guest room closet. I have kept them in their original storage cases and used my Dymo to label them alphabetically. Everything that comes in the kit stays in the kit.

DSC_0020This is also in the guest room closet. It's just a wire rack that holds all of my Tim Holtz stamps, dies and paper. I like to keep his stuff in one place. It's in 2 places right now being separated out by the embellishments, but I'm okay with that. I also have my 6 x 6 patterned paper on this shelf too. I do not have too many paper pads, not like I used to, as I don't use patterned paper very much anymore, but have been using more lately. This is pretty organized and labeled out so I can find things very easy. The stamp sets in the bins are easy enough to thumb through. I sure do wish stamp companies would make catalogs.

DSC_0019Here's a picture of my 6 x 6 paper storage on the same rack and above that is my STV KITS, GKD, TE, Verve and ODBD stamp sets. They are separated out by vendor and alphabetized. I punched holes in the storage sheets and they are filed in front of the stamp sets. I haven't labeled the spines yet, but will get around to that one of these years. I'm one of those people who know what I have as far as stamp sets go, but as stated above, I do wish stamp companies would put out catalogs. When you are looking for just the right little element to put on a project that is not in the stamp set(s) that you are using, a catalog would be nice to find it rather than spending hours searching. 

DSC_0017This is actually the hallway closet right outside of the guest bathroom that is between my craft room and the guest bathroom. I have a lot of storage in the guest bath for those items so this little hallway closet was perfect for other stamp sets. They are stored in Avery Elle pockets alphabetized by manufacturer and then alphabetized within that group. The coordinating die-cuts are also in the storage pocket. I do use both sizes of storage. My MFT PI has its own little basket since they are stored in the smaller pockets. My MFT die-cuts that do not coordinate with a stamp set, such as square, circle, etc., Die-Namics, are stored in their own box so I can grab it and take it to my desk. I've been keeping one top shelf empty lately on my Raskog so that I can just put in there the stuff I need for what I'm working on. The problem is, is that I'm always working on 3-5 projects at once so I bought five 12 x 12 plastic holders at Joann's with a 50% off coupon and then there was another 30% off from the app on my phone, which made each one $2.99. Download apps on your phone when you can. You really do save money. I have an iPhone 6+ and I have 8 "pages" of apps. They really do save you money. I even have grocery store apps and one time I saved almost $50. Tim Holtz has a super convenient app so you can put your inventory on it. I haven't done it yet. One of these years.

DSC_0016This is my beautiful ribbon wall. The problem is, while it's pretty I don't need a pretty ribbon wall and it's not the best use of space. I have my PTI and SU ribbons on here. Out of sight is out of mind for me. I like things to be neat, tidy and put away, and that certainly doesn't show right now. There are several crafters out there that I would love to have their creative spaces; Tim Holtz, Mary Fish, Brandy Cox, and others that are in line to be put on my Pinterest Board.

DSC_0015These are the other 4 Gnedy units behind the door. They do not hinder closing or opening the door. I have my SU and PTI stamp sets here. There's also a little flashlight on one of the shelves because it's a little dark, especially with the PTI stamps and the clear labels on the spine that make it difficult to see.

DSC_0014This is the wall above my ink pad storage. Again, it's very cool looking and I have all of my larger Tim Holtz items in here, but it's not the best use of space.

DSC_0013These shelves are right above my desk to the left – I have 3 of them – and this shelf has my gel pens that I picked up from Costco for $14.99 and 3 Longaberger TV baskets that hold my PTI and Erin Condren Planner stuff and my MFT Blueprints Die-Namics. I use Blueprints on almost every card I make so it's very handy to have them close by.

DSC_0012This shelf is below the one above and this has my paint brushes, colored pencils, craft tools and everything I grab for constantly. I don't think I took a picture of what is to the right of me between the right side of my desk and that ugly filing cabinet but I do have a couple of Alex units that have my pens, postage stamps, and other items of a personal nature in the top drawer. In the other drawers, I have my Scor-Tape, MISTI, PTI and Distress  Ink Cubes, ink blending tools, sequins, camera, cords, and other items that you use daily. I have 3 of those spinning things where I house the usual of scissors, tape runner, all sorts of stuff. I had a lot of various neutral card stock cut up to card size and am currently filing that in one of the drawers that it fits perfectly in using 7 Gypsies dividers.


And this is just another shot of my Copic markers and other markers and I use them all. I also have another Longaberger rack that has my heat tools right next to me above my laptop and the 2 baskets hold my bills and other fun stuff that I need to take care of. 

I have a great foyer and a lovely home and I'm so very happy here. My mom had this beautiful antique writing desk that I keep my planner in and you can pull down the desk. I really wanted to make that my planner station, but my Longaberger baskets would not fit in there. I think I'm going to take them out of the baskets and store everything in the little nooks and crannies inside the desk. This desk is also my "landing zone." Being single and living alone, with one of its many downsides, is safety and fortunately, there was already an alarm system in the house when I purchased it. This place stays Fort Knox so my "landing zone" is usually bare on the top of the antique desk since I leave my purse and keys in my car that is in the garage. The only thing I wish I had was an outlet below my landing zone so I could plug my phone in when I need to and just keep it there when I'm not using it, which I need to get into the habit of doing. If I'm running around the house, I lose it all of the time.

So, I best quit here. I do have a blog post of my home when I first moved in, but a lot, like everything, has changed. I love the split floor plan I have. It's perfect. Everybody gets their space and privacy. My son has been here a lot lately and he loves having his own bathroom and bedroom. I did choose the larger of the 2 spare rooms for my craft room since the guest room is not used daily. I have my dad's antique furniture in there, which has plenty of storage for guests and half of the closet is free for guests to hang up their clothes. I also finally have the open concept that I've always wanted so I'm not cut off from anybody when I have guests over and I'm in the kitchen. I just love my home and it's perfect for me. I'm going to go ahead and publish this now and will add in links later today as I have a ton of errands to run and am hoping that the weather will keep the Christmas shoppers inside while I'm out freezing and getting soaked. 

Thank you so much for stopping by to visit me today and I hope that you enjoyed the tour of my messy craft space and come back to visit me as I make progress on this place. Oh, the color on my wall is Anjour Pear by Sherwinn-Williams. Since their paint is very expensive, you can have any store do a color match for you. I use their paint swatches to pick out colors for my house. Maybe one of these days I will get my master bath color right. It's already been painted twice and I still absolutely hate it. If you're interested in any of the names or products that I mentioned, you can go a Google search on them until I get you linked up. 

I hope that you have a great day and I will see you back with a video on starting a December Daily!

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  1. Thanks for sharing your crafting space.  It looks pretty amazing now, and I"m sure it will be even more incredible when you get it all done.  You sure have a lot of stuff!

  2. Wow, Cindy, what a great space!  I know it is a "work in progress" but I do love so many of your shelves and storage units!  

  3. Oh Cindy it's going to be a fabulous space when everything's finished! I already LOVE the vibe!


    *thanks for being such a loyal sponsor for Casology!


  4. WOW!! Cindy, this room is gearing up to something truly spectacular, I can't wait till you have all of your supplies in their proper place, I bet it will be awesome.

    I love that light fixture, it's so beautiful and the bird cages for your stamp sets, I've never seen anything like that anywhere.

    Thank you for showing us your craft space in the making, we'll be on the look out for the big reveal when you are done.


    Maria Rodriguez.

  5. Well, I LOVE it.  Thanks for all the storage ideas!

  6. Hey, if you can see any part of the floor, it is not considered a disaster area! Thanks for sharing. I understand the frustration of having chaos around, but I also know the joy of organizing craft items and finding that one item you forgot about and cannot wait to work with it again.

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