June 21 2012 Coordinating storage to decor

Hidden Behind the Bins

I’m sure you understand the feeling of being overwhelmed by unorganized supplies. Where did I put those patterns again? Where are the pink buttons? How can I find the paper I know is somewhere in this stash?! I will post this column, Taming Craft Room Chaos, each Thursday with tips on how to organize those odds and sods that are taking over your craft area. These tips have helped me tame my own monster of a craft supply stash.

I’ve moved from apartment to apartment, but this one thing has remained the same: my craft stuff keeps accumulating no matter how much I try to use it up before buying supplies for a new project. The core piece of furniture that keeps my craft stuff organized is the Closetmaid Cubeicals system. These are shelves that can be outfitted with fabric drawers to keep messes tucked away from sight.

This flat-packed shelving system is very easy to put together. I’ve moved from apartment to apartment without having to disassemble them and they have held up well. I have two cubby shelf units for my craft supplies, one 2×3 unit and one 3×3 unit, plus an additional unit in my tiny kitchen. I love these cubbies and cannot recommend them enough.

My favourite part about these units are the interchangeable fabric drawers available in lots of cheery colours. The drawers are lightweight and easily slide out of the cubbies when you need access to them, yet the mess is hidden away.

To keep things further organized, I use inexpensive boxes from the dollar store or even origami boxes that I made myself out of cardstock to subdivide similar objects by size or colour within the fabric drawers.

The cost of fabric drawers quickly adds up, so I’ve used other boxes that I had around for storage as well to save some money. The damask-print boxes pictured to the right are inexpensive cardboard pattern boxes from Fabricland and the black snap-together boxes are from Walmart.

While I use Closetmaid brand shelving, there are other similar cubby systems available including Martha Stewart and IKEA (I dream of EXPEDIT!). The downside to Closetmaid is that they are just a little too small to fit 12×12″ scrapbook paper.

So where are those ribbons again?

Sure, everything looks tidy, but at a glance, how will you remember what is inside each of these drawers? Using word-processing software, I printed out small labels that I taped below each drawer. Now I will always remember that such-and-such a supply can be found in the second-from-the-top, first-on-the-right. That is, unless I forget to put it back again…

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