Keeping It All Organized

Keeping track of inventory, budgeting and supplies in a “normal” business are important steps but never easy, but when you factor in a lot of reclaimed, recycled and one of a kind parts, it can turn into a real mess with a quickness. Since January tends to bring with it resolutions of getting organized, I thought it would be a perfect time to showcase some crafty organizing tips.

First, here”s some craft room eye candy to get you in the mood:

sewing room

(now if you really want craft room envy, check out the rest of the Martha Stewart photoshoot here)

But now to the nitty gritty:
Do you use a lot of small parts in your work? Do you have a baby? ( or ask on freecycle!) How about turning all those baby food jars into nifty hanging shelves?

Or create magnetic shelving by turning them on their side via shelterness

Or here”s a ready made solution via IKEA
Spice Rack

What about fabric storage? While many people choose open shelving,
Studio Sewing Room
(I also love her inspiration boards)

here”s a really creative idea from flickr user splityarn:
all organized and pretty
She wraps her yardage around archival comic book boards and files them sideways.

I love how this crafter is using a dowel (or you could use a branch from your yard!) and some recycled cookie tins for storage:
new studio!

and this crafter is using thrifted dishes and cookware for some very attractive organizing:

Fabric Bits and Pieces

I love this use of thrifted clipboards as a way to keep track of inspiration and orders
clipboards_homebug

For you soap makers, these wire shelves combined with some baskets make great organizing of supplies:
Back wall of the studio

Are you a paper artist? Use a lot of stamps? Narrow shelves along an entry wall allow you to see all your designs without taking up much room:
Craft Room...3

I love this use of Ikea rail systems and wire baskets found on the poppytalk blog

And last, but not least, the lowly pegboard. How versatile is this?

Do you have any creative diy solutions for organizing your supplies or for keeping your inventory looking pretty? Please share them in the comments.

Comments

  1. Hello, I design, make and sell jewelry. The best thing I have found for all these little pieces is
    the hardware storage things. (sorry I don’t know what they are called!) they are sort of
    square and have little plastic drawers. I put a label on the front of the drawer as to what
    is in it. example: Silver head/eye pins, daisy spacers gold etc…..
    To transport I cut cardboard to cover the back and duck taped it on. On the front a piece of
    cardboard cut so there is some covering at least part of each drawer then fasten temporarily
    with duck tape.
    Also the plastic containers in walmart with the lids that have snap down fasteners on each side.
    the small plastic white baskets fit very well inside of these containers.
    That is how I keep organized!

    Cathy

  2. Awesome post! I’m getting ready to re-decorate my sewing room and this post was just full of awesome inspiration. I linked to it here:

    http://www.bobalookids.com/2011/03/weekend-links-march-26th.html

  3. I was needing a kick in the pants to get my jewelry making area cleaned up! Hopefully the ideas mentioned here will get me going. I absoluetly love the photographs. I’m such a visual person, photos are really the only things that really get me movin’! (Other than seeing things in person.) I’ve got so many tiny pieces that are one of a kind, so it’s hard to organize. Now that I’ve been given some great ideas, I’m going to tackle it and see what happens.

  4. This post is amazing, colorful and gives viable options for all us wanting to clean up our craft room. Not to mention I now want a larger and more versitile studio and after seeing these photos am thinking up some great storage options and design for my new room Thanks so much!

  5. I managed to totally fluke a genius idea for tracking my orders, with the help of my eldest daughter – kids are so fantastic at thinking outside the square so I would highly recommend getting their input! :)

    I used a picture frame, fabric, suction caps and pegs! Read about it here: Monsoons & Mangoes blog

  6. I stumbled upon your blog through Facebook. New Follower, Love all the ideas for keeping organized.

  7. I love all the ideas for organization. I am inspired!

  8. Hi there,
    I lived in a VW Bus with Husband and Todler for one year , but of course I couldn’t give up my sewing and Bookbinding so how does that work in so little a space?
    I had a stash of fabric under the bench, a little basket for stuff ( all packed up in separate zip baggies and then I made Rolls for a) ribbons – you know like those ring holder thingies and b) for little tins that held needles and sewing machine attachments and buttons and such. The sewing Machine fit under an other seat, and the bookboard and paper lay under our mattress. It worked somehow but getting the stuff out was a major explosion and I did have to reduce a lot.
    But hey – it did work and I am still using some of the things …

  9. I’m so glad I found your page. In May, my son will be moving out and I am going to take over his bedroom for my crafts. You’ve given me some ideas about storage and the experience will be less daunting I feel now.

    Sheila

  10. I am very visual and therefore use open shelving or see through. It helps my creativity to and drives my passion to be surrounded by my fabric.

    A little trick I like, is to recycle egg cartons to hold buttons, zipper pulls, snaps, etc.

    Since I love to play with rearranging and creating more organic flow in my workspace, I work to figure out what to do with button containers to repurpose things that would otherwise be thrown away.

    Sandra

  11. Sandra Kevin says:

    I am so relieved to see “Here’s the rest of the Martha Stewart photoshoot”. I thought these were all Etsy Crafters workspaces and I wanted to ask — “Does anyone work here.” Gorgeous photos and great ideas. Whew? Now I don’t have such workspace envy.

    • I felt the same. Most are very stale, just for looks not for the creative types. Someone with to much time on their hands. Not like us with our hands covered with glue and paint :)

  12. Oooh, Megz that’s a great idea! Folks who put some of these ideas to use, please share your photos! I love seeing folks’ studios, they’re always so unique to the person.

  13. This is exactly what I needed to see!
    I have been trying so hard to get inspired to re-do…re-decorate…re-vitalise & de-clutter my workspace & then I come upon this beautifully organised set of pics & ideas. Thanks for the inspirations, & I have my digi ready to photograph the result :)

  14. awesome post! NOw if I could make a spot in my house to look like one of those eye candy rooms :)
    Great tip for fabric storage too.

  15. Thank you for the inspiring photographs.
    I wish that I could keep my studio that organized.
    I can only seem to keep it nice for a couple of days…

  16. The baby food jars idea is brilliant! I’ve seen the same trick used to store beads and I just find it very smart.

  17. aww, so organised :(! I wish my place could be like that. A student flat does not allow me to do this though. but I will try to do this after uni when I’m back home. The photos really make me jealous >.<!

  18. WOOOW Is it possible have all things under control? I’m green! My place never looks like this )))

    • I can’t see wasting so much time keeping things that neet. Being creative makes things out of control. I started with one corner 20+ years ago and now have most of the whole house as the craft room. I do live alone so that helps not needing to have space for someone elses things.

      • I admit to keeping my studio relatively tidy. In the thick of a burst of inspiration, I can have fabric strewn every where, but I have to meticulously tidy it up. I simply cannot work in chaos – it makes me feel overwhelmed and HOT (I live in the tropics! :) I also find the process of tidying up regularly can set the creativity flowing again :)

  19. Here’s a little invention I put together for my crafting area that allows you to organize your scrap/crafting papers, snippets of inspiration, creative little pieces, bookmarks and whatever little things you want to be able to see yet have in one place all together. Enjoy! -Gypsy Sky Creations

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/58822583@N07/

  20. I’m always green with envy when I see other people’s well organized studio spaces. I share the home office with two other people and it’s often a mess. All my stuff is in tiny jars and tubes in small boxes in bigger containers. I do have a storage container I love. It’s a small box that holds about 30 small jars with screw on lids. When I do get all my beads out I use the small containers to put the beads together for multiple new pieces, then when I want to make them I only have to pull out one small box and my tools.

  21. Just thought of a tip to share. ///use old cd or tape cassette crates from the 80s / 90s to store or display ribbon or other items on spools. I put wristcuffs on the. See here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/suzanne_shenkman_designs/4035744775/

    :)

  22. What wonderful ideas! I thought my work space was pretty, darn good, until I seen these pictures!

  23. This is fabulous. We are getting ready to move and I’ll get my own studio in my new house. Can’t wait to set up the shop!

  24. Fabulous collection of inspiring studios. Thank you. I use brightly colored fruit boxes to store my wraps and I color co-ordinate them according to which color range is inside. They are stackable and great exercise when trying to get to one near the bottom – who needs a gym when there is stock to move? Claudine my mannequin still hangs out in the living room from time to time giving everyone (including me) a fright.

  25. Love this post. It’s always hard to find the best solution to our particular crafting storage needs. Looking through this is almost better than crafting itself!

  26. Neat – what creative organization ideas and pretty too!

  27. I love this. I’ve been organizing my workshop and here you give us some great ideas. I also like one about organizing your schedule you sent on a newsletter about three months ago. I got very inspired!

  28. I found this via the etsy success newsletter. Inspiring indeed! Totally surprised about splityarn’s idea for storage of small fabric pieces! Looks so beautiful and seems to make it easy to find something again.

  29. Oooh! I’m so stealing that idea for a bench in the 2nd image, where they have that table top supported by two chests of drawers. I’ve needed a bench for a while now but I can’t find any :( So I’m super excited to find a solution to something I’ve wanted for about a year now :D I was tempted to get the tall table legs from Ikea, but they’re pretty expensive. Chest of drawers would be the perfect height plus they’re more functional/supportive.

  30. Great post, and very timely! Just got back from a craft expo yesterday, with More things to create with and organise :)

    I’ve picked up an old spice rack at a country fair which now holds my ribbons (I love the dowel idea, but like to be able to remove them easily) which creates instant colourful eye candy.
    An old dresser with 4 drawers is my desk which holds the big fluffy things like flowers, feathers, wool, and wire spools at the bottom.
    And I’ve claimed a couple of units with little drwers from a handyman friend, for my brass pieces, I blu-tac a sample of each piece onto the front face of the drawer to see at a glance whats inside.
    I’d love some ideas on storing and organising jewellery supplies when you order them wholesale. I keep a small stash in the work area, but what to do with the rest of it??
    Oh and Where women create is an awesome book and resource for studio eye candy and stoage ideas.

  31. I did a blog post in January that had a tour of my art studio. Thanks for the photos and ideas – I love looking at the workspaces of others!

    Here’s mine: http://hellrazor-art.blogspot.com/2011/01/tour-of-studio.html

  32. Very inspirational, thanks for sharing

  33. Wow this is so amazing! Thanks, great post!

  34. http://www.etsy.com/shop/artzygirl7?ref=si_shop

    So needed this. It’s hard when you do many different types of Arts and Crafts to keep things in a tidy control. The eyecandy was a great help to get me motivated. Thank you so much. Getting on it right now!!! Off to my studio.

  35. Loved all the ideas! My head whirls when I am working with “unorganized stuff” all about. I also have resorted to a pegboard/hooks on one wall – what a difference that has made….

  36. Thank your for the great post!
    My studio has been stuffed down stairs between my two boys (one in university and the other in grade 12) bedrooms. Needless to say it has presented some challenges so being organized is one of my top priorities. Sometimes it can hamper the creative flow.
    So in the mean time in between creating I have been building an art studio out mostly free materials. Hopefully it will be finished soon….

    http://tinastinyhouse.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2010-09-25T22%3A36%3A00-07%3A00&max-results=7

    Will definitely refer back to your post for organizing tips!

  37. I love seeing other peoples studios and ideas of better organization! Thank you so much.

  38. What fantastic organization inspiration! Thank you for finding such wonderful ideas.

  39. These spaces are spotless! If only . . . .
    I store ribbons scraps in the stretchy plastic mesh bags that garlic, onions, and other fruits/vegies are sometimes bound up in.

  40. Dani Perry says:

    But how do you do it when the only room you have to work in is in your living room and you have too much furniture and kids and pets?! I have the coffee table as my work area and sterilite tubs and drawers as storage but none of this equals serenity!

    • Try getting an armour or closed cabinet. This will allow for organized storage that is easily closed out of sight in a multipurpose room. Even just adding narrow doors to a cheap bookshelf can achieve this effect.

    • Dani, check out this amazing closed workstation on Martha Stewart, it’s made from two bookshelves hinged together:
      http://www.marthastewart.com/article/clever-office-hidden-space?&backto=true&backtourl=/photogallery/desk-ideas

    • Hi Dani,

      Salla’s idea to get a closed cabinet is great, as is that wonderful closed workstation Lorigami suggested! I share your pain. My fiancee and I have a very, very tiny apartment and the only space I could claim for my creative spot was a corner of our living room. I wrote a post about how I manage it here: http://pseudooctopus.blogspot.com/2011/03/studio-in-shoebox.html

      Finding a piece of furniture that can hide out in a corner and close up is a fantastic start, the Salvation Army and Good Will have a great deal of gently used furniture that costs next to nothing! I hope this helps you!

    • I have the same dilemma. Between toddler, and infant, a husband I’ve been able to eek out a little corner next to the couch to store and “organize” everything (and I work with yarn that can get bulky) in addition to things I need for shipping and our office supplies. I have a 4-cubby shelf from ikea and I’m always rearranging.

      I really like the hinged bookshelves or closed cabinet.

  41. girlgroupgirl says:

    I’m a gardener. Someone just gave me a cast off wall mount pot rack with hooks and a shelf for stylish storage of hand tools. I painted an old flower pot and holder silver to match, nailed up an empty coffee can from a friend, and lastly used a silver chain on cup hooks from the ceiling and “s” hooks to old watering cans and bounty baskets up overhead!

  42. Any thoughts on storage for large pieces of fleece fabric. I’m not happy with how mine is stored right now. Since it can’t be ironed it also can be folded or wrinkled at all. Any ideas? I’m thinking it needs to be kept on the bolt, but then where?

  43. Great ideas, thanks for the inspiration! I repurpose soup cans of all sizes and organize my colored pens. I wrapped each with thin strips of layered paper and tied ribbon around each one, too. I love how they turned out! Here is a link to my blog post with the photo (2nd photo from top): http://tiffanylanehandmade.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/the-inside-scoop/

  44. This is exactly what I needed right now! I am so using these great ideas!
    Just found out about this Blog from my Etsy email…Thank You for the inspiration!

  45. Inspiring! I have such a big space but need to ‘get it together’ with my organization. This is great motivation! I’m tackling my space this weekend.

  46. Here’s my fabric corner – (disregard the messy ironing board – organized chaos in progress there):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/31149515@N05/5467137740/

    I love these cube shelves (which you can find in just about any major store – I got mine at Target) – they keep my fabrics in sight and easily accessible, and also make great storage for finished product, etc.

    ~Maria
    MomNMiaQuilts.etsy.com

  47. whoa! thanks y’all! I wondered why I was getting all these comments on this post all of a sudden! =D

  48. Here’s my fabric corner! http://www.flickr.com/photos/31149515@N05/5467137740/

    If I don’t keep it organized and in sight where I can quickly pull it out, I’d go nuts. These cube shelves are awesome for storage of supplies and finished product, and keep everything vertical.

    ~Maria
    http://momnmiaquilts.etsy.com

  49. Love it!!!

    I’m currently working on my jewelry studio this month to keep things more efficient. Thank you so much for the inspirations!

  50. These rooms, ideas, storage boxes…. incredible!!! I am going to go clean now!!!
    Thank you for the inspiration.

  51. I was so happy to find this article, I have been in an organizing frenzy lately! For years I have created a small creative studio space in every apartment I’ve lived in, I recently shared how I turn a 4ft x 4ft corner into a studio on my blog here: http://pseudooctopus.blogspot.com/2011/03/studio-in-shoebox.html

    I use secondhand furnishings and inherited hand-me-downs and try to encourage other to do the same! Older furnishings often have plenty of the drawers, shelves, and multiple uses we artistic folks need for our crafts! In my blog I shared some of the wonderful (and dirt cheap) pieces I’ve either found in thrift stores and acquired just by being willing to take some unwanted furniture from family. The nightstands and fold up desks they no longer needed helped to create my “Studio in a Shoebox” as some friends have called it due to its adorable size.

    Everyone should claim at least a corner of their home and forge a creative place. It not only helps you focus, it can feel like your own little fortress against the stresses of our modern world. A place where you can make the things you want to exist in this world, to brighten it up, to improve it!

  52. I turned a section of the laundry room into my office/craft room. We have a small house so I needed to be very creative in how I used the space.
    http://www.cocktailmom.com/2008/03/laundry-room-turned-office-part-2.html

  53. a definitely great and helpful post !!! TY !!!

  54. Thank you for this sensational post! May I re-post on my blog?

  55. Awesome post! So inspirational. Thank you so much for all the wonderful organization ideas!

    Jeanne

  56. la pochette says:

    I use a rack from Ikea to hang fabrics on plastic hangers and pants type clip hangers that has 2 shelves below to store my finished purses. Now I just need a 12 step program to not buy anymore fabric unless I have a open hanger. Ann

  57. This is fantastic!! such pretty spaces – organized but not sterile! I think you may have made me a pegboard convert! thanks and congrats on getting into the etsy newsletter. You totally deserve it!

  58. I just had a look at Martha Steward studio space … it is SO over the top organized that it makes me feel like running outside… Too clinical to be true…
    or is it just me??

  59. Well, I sure hope I would LOVE to have such an organized space… I love the last two photos ( from “Something is hiding in here” ‘s studio).
    As much as I try to get organized… mess keep crawling back up. I am usually pretty good at organizing the house in general… But my studio space…that is an other story. I need to improve myself… But some how I don’t have enough spare time to “waste” on organizing it… At least that is MY excuse…
    Thank you for this inspirational post!

  60. Wow, I could really use some help. Tried to organize like this, but still so messy hubby won’t even walk into my studio and forget the small workroom in my house. I can’t even get into it!

  61. So inspirational! Thank you for sharing!

  62. Oh my goodness… I’m drooling over all the organization! <3

  63. Amazing! Thanks so much for all the fabulous ideas! I will be moving to a new and bigger studio soon. Can’t wait to get busy organizing and beautifying! :)

  64. Great, Great post!! Very inspiring!

  65. I am amazed! These craft rooms are just perfect! I love each!

    I have also tried to organize my working area. If you want to have a look please visit http://made-by-me-rka.blogspot.com/2011/02/who-is-mirkadesign.html

    http://www.mirkadesign.etsy.com

  66. We full time in our RV rig (24 ft) and so we have NO choice to but to be organized. I took some tips from here and I am running with it….

  67. Sigh… Is there hope for me?? These are beautiful! Maybe some day!

  68. This is so inspiring – I am bookmarking this post and going to just stare at it. Thank you so much for gathering such lovely ideas and work spaces.

  69. Mlaila Young says:

    work at not working?

  70. Seriously nice curating on the photos and ideas. . . I am planning a thrift trip now just so I can get some clipboards and use that idea! Smashing.

  71. Wow, is that post inspiring!! Thank you…I can’t wait to get home and start reorganizing.

  72. I remember my grandparent’s house when I was a kid, his workshop had hundreds of baby food jars screwed into shelves holding nails and screws and all sorts of weird little things. I also thought he was a genius because he’d rigged the front “fake” drawer under all their sinks to fold out on hinges and store sponges, etc. Of course now Rubbermaid makes a kit to do the same thing, hehe.

  73. Wow, I have thousands of baby food jars that we use to store cosmetic bases for pencils etc. that we make. I am definiteyl going to make a shelf like that, to make more space for other larger things on the bookshelves! Thanks for sharing.

  74. Wow!
    So much gorgeous ideas!!!
    Thanks for this inspiring post!

  75. Oh my gosh, what creative inspiration!

    I use 3 old makeup displays that my friend – a body care rep – gave to me and I use it to store small things (has lots of individual shelves). I also “shopped” my own furniture from my house. I emptied out a bookcase and use that as my “finished” area for all the items I make, so it’s my one go-to spot. And I took an armoire from our living room and use it as my shipping and supplies center.

    Great post…now I’ve got my thinking cap on again!

  76. I love that soaping area … though mine has grown so big there’s no way mine will ever look that ‘pretty’ … mine looks more production oriented now … though I yearn for the ‘pretty’ :-)

  77. GREAT post! I wish my studio looked this gorgeous. ;)

    None of my organization ideas are very original, but I’ll share them just for fun.

    - I use jewelry organizers in my sewing desk. I bought a flea market computer desk for $5 and found the organizers on clearance for $1 each. I used blue wall tack to stick the organizers to the keyboard pull out tray and inside the side drawers. It’s great for keeping track of machine parts, needles, tools, buttons, etc.

    - I haven’t tried this yet, but want to get some flat ended screws to drill up into the smaller drawers to hold thread.

    - I cut my own patterns out of freezer paper and/or muslin, then store them in manila envelopes inside magazine holders.

    - I use old wooden wine boxes for storage of “sharps” like copper wire, large pieces of sharp glass (from mosaics), etc.

    - I bought a storage box from the Container Store for about $12 to hold all the glass tiles I cut. It’s about 2 feet x 2 feet and has 20+small drawers. It would be perfect for someone with lots of small parts, different colored pastels/charcoals, buttons, etc.

    - I also use stacking baskets like these to keep like items together & store projects I’m working on as a whole. These are especially great for holding fabric scraps. I stack them on bookshelves:
    http://www.target.com/Sterilite-Small-Stacking-Basket-Green/dp/B004ARFS74/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&searchView=grid5&keywords=stacking%20baskets&fromGsearch=true&sr=1-2&qid=1295629823&rh=&searchRank=target104545&id=Sterilite%20Small%20Stacking%20Basket%20Green&node=1038576|1287991011&searchSize=30&searchPage=1&searchNodeID=1038576|1287991011&searchBinNameList=subjectbin%2Cprice%2Ctarget_com_primary_color-bin%2Ctarget_com_size-bin%2Ctarget_com_brand-bin&frombrowse=0