Guest Blogger: Kristie at Get A Grip | Days of Chalk and Chocolate

Guest Blogger: Kristie at Get A Grip

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I'm so excited to have my sweet friend, Kristie, here today!  Her blog is new but alwaysa great read. After you read this post go over and read about her posse of Ninja Moms. Kristie has a way with words and is a super organizer too!  See you all tomorrow!

Hey there!  Kristie's my name, and organizing is my game.  I'm visiting from Get A Grip, and Jenny asked me to come over and lay down my Top Five Organizing Strategies as applicable to crafty goodness.  I'm delighted to do it!

Time management
The first moments after you've decided to organize your space are critical.  You look at this huge project in front of you that may or may not look like this, but it feels like it...

Not my actual house. Probably not yours either...
... and it's just so much.  It's too much.  How can one person fix THAT?!  If you're truly committed to taking ownership of your space, a good place to start is with the question, "How much time do I have every day/week to make this less of a disaster?"  If you have fifteen minutes a day, that's a start.  If you can only do weekends, great!  It didn't get that way overnight, and it doesn't have to be fixed overnight.  You can set your pace.  Chances are, you'll make a bigger dent than you anticipate in even a ten-minute block of time.

Big Fires First
Once you've staked your claim on your time, take a look at what's going on in the space and decide what needs to happen right away.  What can you get out of the way that will make a big impact right off the bat?  What's the biggest pile you see?  That's where you start.  Chances are, getting that one big fire out of the way will make the rest of the process easier to manage. When one fire is out, the next one won't feel as overwhelming.

At my house, the biggest fire is usually located on the dead zone at the end of my kitchen counter.

My actual kitchen counter when left to its own devices.
Yeah, you've got one of those too, don't you :)? It's where all things land, and it fills up before I know what's happened.  When this spot gets out of control, it's like it's a bottleneck that jacks up the rest of the house. Whenever I need to re-focus on getting organized, you can bet that this is where the problem began.  Once it's cleared, the rest of the house seems to get back into its groove quickly.

Build Your System

The stuff that actually belongs in your space needs to get organized.  You need to have a system for storage and access, no matter what kind of stuff you have.  For craft supplies I really think color coding is the way to go, at least when you're starting to sort through what you have.  You can tweak your system later, to fit your specific need.
Do you knit?  Is yarn your thing?  Sheri at The Loopy Ewe has this going on and I just love it.

Bins!  Color coding and bins!  Fabulous.

Is your sewing room the bane of your existence?  I found this at't it great?  

I love the cubbyholes on the left.

Utterly doable, too.  She made it fancy with scalloped edging on the shelves, too.  That's an easy detail that makes it feel fancy.

One more, just to make it a nice trio...  Melissa at The Art of Scrapbooking did a great job with art supplies:

She even has caps on everything.  She's my hero.
This is a very simple cabinet, and she uses every inch of it. I bet there's not a lot of rummaging around for the right color, either.  Rock on, Melissa!

You need a place to work. If every flat surface in your craft area is covered in supplies, where do you actually use them?  All of the organization in the world will do you no good if you don't have a dedicated workspace. 

Brooke at Custom Style made a sewing table--granted, this is a lofty goal, but isn't it just lovely?  

That surface isn't used for storage.  It's where she sews, and nothing lives on that that table (look at all that's going on underneath, though!).  Perfect.

Your workspace may just be a comfy chair in a sunny corner, or half of your garage, or a table at the end of your patio.  Wherever it is, if you keep it clear, you're likely to use it more often to do what you love.  

Which brings us to...

Once you've planted your flag on your space and everything is neatly arranged in exactly the way you want it to be (oh, have faith, it will happen!) how do you keep it that way?  Words of wisdom from Lifehack:
  • If you take it out, put it back
  • If you open it, close it.
  • If you throw it down, pick it up.
  • If you take it down, hang it up.
Once a week, take a lap around the room.  Straighten it up.  Chances are, unless you've gone off the grid on a huge project (and hey, that's cool, it happens), it's fixed in just a few minutes.

I hope this has given you some ideas for reclaiming your craft room!  And come on over to Get A Grip if you like what you read :). 

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