Sunday, October 23, 2011

Organising craft supplies

Just as I was beginning to feel smug about my almost super-organised home and the lack of need for storage solutions, I realised that my craft supplies had become one big tangled mess, literally - I spent an hour detangling wool.

My inner minimalist has to accept that being creative means having stuff in the house that's needed for making things. I struggle with this. I guess if I had a big studio I wouldn't worry about it, but with limited space even the amount of paintings I have sitting around tends to stress me out (that's one reason I like to give them away). Now that I am also knitting and crocheting like mad, i.e. on a bigger scale, there is more stuff that needs a home.

As long as there is a place for everything, I can relax. Though I do think that I might benefit from being more the creative-chaos type - perhaps my neat-freak tendencies make me produce less. I am lucky to have one room in the house that I use as a studio, and it has helped tremendously to have my paints, etc. within reach - and sight- instead of stored away. And paints and coloured pencils actually look nice, too.

I need to be able to see things in order to use them, otherwise I kind of "forget" about them. For example, if I keep certain spices at the back of a cupboard, they will rarely make an appearance in the meals I cook. But since I don't want them to clutter up the counters and haven't got a spice rack (I love beautiful glass jars on display), the solution for now is to have them in a drawer with labelled lids. I also store my essential oils like that:

...and some silicea sneaked in there, too...(Click to enlarge images)

So when I realised that my knitting and crochet supplies situation had gone out of hand, I decided to put some of them in a drawer, too. I would love to have them on a shelf, colour-coordinated, but I need to make space first. I am looking at you, CD shelf, in case I ever digitise my music collection...

Bigger balls of yarn and the piece I am currently knitting are still in the canvas bag that was housing the whole mess, but I put smaller balls and works-in-progress, as well as yarn ball bands and notes, in the drawer. When I open it I can see everything. I guess I just have to remember to open it.

Speaking of yarn ball bands, I now also write down everything I make and how I made it in a notebook and stick the bands on the opposite page:

That way I have all the information in one place. I know this may not be the genius idea I feel it is, and most people probably do this by default, but I used to be pretty sloppy about these things and throw out the bands. Keeping the bands is important, as they contain lots of information you might need - name and colour, in case you need to buy more, care instructions, material, weight, gauge, etc.

My knitting needles and crochet hooks live in this nice box, which is displayed in an open shelf:

 All this seems to work for now. The next area I need to tackle is my paper collection. It's in a pile in a drawer. The problem with a pile is that you only see the top. I am thinking some sort of overlapping system. Or a folder. I will do a post on it once I have figured it out.

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