Turn Your Cluttered Craft Room Into A Creative Haven

decluttering a craft room

NAVIGATION

Some people work well in an artistic tornado. For others, decluttering their craft room or studio helps clear their mind and get in the right headspace to do their best creative work.

ryans tiny house

Hi, I’m Ryan

While I’m instantly suspicious of those who’d willingly invite glitter into their home, crafters are one group of people I see struggle to keep their craft room tidy. Here are some tips that may help the artsy types out there.

ryan mitchell simple living expert

Easy Tips For Decluttering Craft Room Supplies

Easy Tips For Decluttering Craft Room Supplies
As a fellow creative, I know that a clear head is critical to getting out of my own way when it comes time to make something. If I’ve learned anything about the value of minimalism over the years, I’ve learned it provides exactly that.

I think there’s a misconception out there with creative types that organization stunts the creative process. However, experts say the opposite is true: organization actually fosters creativity. Having a decluttered, organized craft room gives you the blank slate to be able to go anywhere your creativity drives you.

Crafting will always be a messy endeavor, though. Let’s talk about some pro tips for decluttering a craft room and getting the excess mess out of your workspace.

30 day declutter challenge

Sort Your Craft Supplies Before You Eliminate

Sort Your Craft Supplies Before You Eliminate
If you’re standing in your completely cluttered craft room unsure of where to begin the decluttering process, start small. Keep your focus on a single area, then group things together by individual category.

organizing craft suppliesSimply keep the likes with the likes — paints with paints, paper with paper, pens with pens, and so on. There’s no need to think about what you’re throwing out yet. When you start to categorize, you’ll begin to take mental inventory, making it easier to know what to get rid of and what to keep when decluttering.

I use this tip any time I’m decluttering a room in my own house: sort, then eliminate. It’s especially helpful with craft rooms, offices, and studio spaces where art and craft supplies can build up quickly.

Create A “Just In Case” Crafting Scrap Box

Create A Just In Case Crafting Scrap Box
For some, an important aspect of crafting is keeping odds and ends around for potential inspiration or the possibility of using them for an upcoming craft. But this can spiral quickly, and the last thing you want is tons of scraps littered around your work space.

Try designating a “just in case” box for scraps, trinkets, or miscellaneous extras that don’t have a purpose for yet, but might in the future. That way, you don’t have them all sprawled out in your craft room. Use whatever size box or container seems fitting, but try to contain your scraps to it.

This works so long as you go through it every once in a while, to make room for new scraps. Declutter the odds and ends that don’t fit in the box and just keep what you’re drawn to most. This forces you to naturally filter and keep yourself honest — anything that doesn’t fit has got to go.

declutter like a minimalist

Do A Deep Declutter Once A Year Of Your Craft Room

Do A Deep Declutter Once A Year Of Your Craft Room
Setting aside a distinct time to declutter your craft room is a pro tip that can help keep your scraps and supplies from piling up. Choose one specific calendar day each year where you go through your whole craft room, section by section.

decluttering calendarMake an agreement with yourself to get rid of what you haven’t touched or used in that calendar year. If the type of crafting you do takes a long time, or you like to space projects out over multiple years, create an annual or bi-annual date that fits your creative flow.

I have a friend who likes to keep a notebook inventory of her supplies, and she writes down the date she uses materials. At the end of the year, she gets rid of everything without a date next to it and buys a new notebook. This is a pretty stringent method, but it’s extremely efficient for keeping your craft room clean.

Nifty Tips For Craft Room Organization

Nifty Tips For Craft Room Organization
Once you get your excess arts and crafts supplies cleaned out, you’ll need some systems to organize the supplies that remain. I had a great time talking to my friend Norrine last week about all the ways you can do this.

Norrine, the face behind The Crafty Organizer, spends her days helping folks declutter their craft rooms and workspaces. We had a chat about all the ways you can efficiently and effectively organize a creative space.

Keep The Craft Supplies You Use Often Close By

Keep The Craft Supplies You Use Often Close By
It’s smart to organize supplies by how frequently you use them. Like I said before, I’m not much of a crafter, but I’ve done a lot of building and construction ever since I built my own tiny house a decade ago. I organize a lot of the tools I use by how frequently I use them for the most efficient workday.

Keep the things you use all the time close to your work area, thinks you rarely use farther away, and things you use sometimes in the middle of these other two categories for an efficient workflow.

Norrine the crafty organizer

“By establishing a set home for all of my supplies, it’s quick and easy to clean up after my creative flow. It’s no longer a question of, ‘where do I put this?’ — all my things have a home.”

– Norrine, The Crafty Organizer

Group Similar Crafting Supplies Together

Group Similar Crafting Supplies Together
Just like with decluttering, the key to organizing your craft room is to keep like supplies together and just start sorting through it. Begin by grouping all like items together, then let that inform the size of box you need to contain each category.

You can also group your supplies by type of project they pertain to. Maybe you want to keep all your papers with papers and paints with paints, or maybe you want your scrapbook paper in the bin with the paint pens you use for scrapbooking. Either method works, it just depends on what goes best with your flow.

craft room organization pro tip

“Organize your craft room like a grocery store. When you first walk in, you’d have the frozen foods aisle, but then it’s broken down by vegetables and fruits. Our craft rooms are the same way. Have an area that’s just paint, then have subcategories like acrylic or watercolor.”

– Norrine, The Crafty Organizer

I know a lot of crafters who get inspired to begin the organization process and will go out to the store and buy a ton of fancy bins or other organization products, then come back to their studio and try to figure out what to put in those organizers.

This is a backwards mindset. Let the amount of stuff you decide to keep be your guide for what bins and boxes you’ll need, not the other way around.

Follow A “One In One Out” Craft Room Rule

Follow A One In One Out Craft Room Rule
A standout tip for a craft room is to let yourself stick to a “one in, one out rule.” When you feel that urge all creative types get to buy new supplies, start a new project, or take up a new hobby, hold yourself accountable to decluttering an old one.

This could look like not buying a new book of scrapbook paper until you’ve used all the sheets in your current book, letting go of the calligraphy set you haven’t opened for six years before buying a basket weaving kit, or giving a finished oil canvas to a beloved friend before painting a new one.

Maintaining this mindset will keep your craft room from getting cluttered and overcrowded and allow you to do your best creative work.

Norrine the crafty organizer

“I liken my craft room to a five-gallon bucket. No matter how creatively you try to pour water into a five-gallon bucket, it can only hold five gallons.”

– Norrine, The Crafty Organizer

Inspiring Photos Of Craft Room Organization Hacks

Inspiring Photos Of Craft Room Organization Hacks
No matter how clutter free you keep your craft room, it won’t matter if you don’t have helpful tricks to store your art supplies and keep your craft room organized. There are a million ideas out there regarding how to best ways to store your art supplies and have the room you need to bring your dream projects to life. Scroll through these ideas for storing your art supplies and keeping your craft room organized.

Use Old Furniture To Store Craft Supplies

Use Old Furniture To Store Craft Supplies
When people think about craft room storage, their mind often immediately goes to bins and boxes. However, starting with the structures that hold those bins is the best way to get the layout of your studio to look most pleasing to you. Upcycling old furniture is an awesome way to keep smaller storage bins organized.

Furniture to use for storage

  • Bookcase
  • Rolling cart
  • Dresser
  • Desk
  • Locker
  • Chest or trunk
  • Armoire
  • TV stand
  • Hoosier cabinet
  • China hutch
  • Changing table
  • Clothing rack

The structures you start with will set the tone for the look and layout of your entire craft room. Consider whether or not you want open storage, like a bookcase, or something closed, like a dresser, where items are tucked away in drawers.

Store craft suppplies in old furniture

Ideas To Display Craft Room Supplies

Ideas To Display Craft Room Supplies
I love displaying the tools and supplies I use every day in a visually pleasing way. It creates easy access to the items I need most often.

Norrine the crafty organizer

“Getting organized is so beneficial, but I also respect that sometimes seeing our projects and supplies out is what inspires us. Having things visually available, yet out of the way of our immediate workspace, is key.”

– Norrine, The Crafty Organizer

A classic peg board is a popular method for displaying tools and supplies. You can grab some fish hooks, straight hooks, multi-prong holders, and miniature baskets at any local hardware store. Use them to display your craft scissors, yarn, or paints on your pegboard. Craft aficionados also love to use spinning organizers, buckets hung on the wall, or other upcycled items.

I have a good friend who loves scrapbooking. She used an upcycled baby crib spring to keep her scrapbooking supplies super accessible for the times she was feeling extra creative and needed quick access to scraps.

Sorting Craft Supplies With Boxes And Bins

Sorting Craft Supplies With Boxes And Bins
Your storage bins are vital to the look and organization or your craft room, but you don’t have to go out and spend a ton of money on new bins. Start by taking inventory of the supplies you need to store, then take a walk around the house to see if you have any bins or boxes that will suffice.

craft room organization pro tip

“I recommend going somewhere like The Container Store, T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods, or Target purely for inspiration. Look at their organization products and compare them to what you already have in your own home, but don’t buy anything new.”

– Norrine, The Crafty Organizer

You can even upcycle old boxes and bins — even something as simple as shoeboxes. Try covering the bins with wrapping paper or contact paper. That way you aren’t spending a lot of money on fancy bins with lids.

Keep in mind the overall look you’re after. If you want to see your craft supplies to stay inspired, consider clear bins. If you’ll be bothered by the visual clutter, go with bins and boxes that are fully concealed.

Labels And Stickers On Craft Room Drawers

Labels And Stickers On Craft Room Drawers
Visual labels and stickers are super helpful for keeping your craft room as organized as possible. Everyone has a different system for labeling, so you have to know what works for you. Color coding is a pretty popular method, but I’m a simple guy, so I tend to stick to white labels, if I use them at all.

If you’re going for a minimal look, try placing labels on the upper lip of your drawers of bins. That way, when you slide them out to use you can see the category label, but you can’t see the label from the front face of the drawer or bin.

Organization Ideas For Yarn

Organization Ideas For Yarn
For yarn, I’ve seen most people use large furniture to stack their spools — something like a large bookcase, a cube storage shelf, or hanging shelves on the wall that you can easily pull spools off of.

However, not everyone takes this approach. If you don’t want your spools on display, I’ve also seen people use wicker baskets to keep their spools in. Both methods work well to give you easy access to your yarn and keep it sorted by color.

Categorizing Ribbon And Thread In Your Art Studio

Categorizing Ribbon And Thread In Your Art Studio
One helpful idea for organizing ribbon and thread in a craft room is to use drawers that have poles on the top, so you can keep supplies in the drawers below as well as display the ribbon colors you use most often.

They can also work with a small roller cart and a storage bin with holes. This hack is genius because you can slide the rolls of ribbon onto wooden sticks and slide them through the storage bin holes.

You can even display your ribbon or thread on the wall with hooks or nails, or buy an organization wall hanging that already has hooks on it. This way, you can simply slide your spools of thread or ribbon onto the wall when you’re done.

make colored ribbons easy to access
thread spool organization rack

How To Organize Tape In A Craft Room

How To Organize Tape In A Craft Room
Colored washi tape, duct tape, and other types of tape with vibrant patterns have become more popular in the crafting world in the last few years. To keep your tape sorted and separate, try using a wooden box with a beam in the middle to separate types and colors.

Another hack I absolutely love is to hang embroidery hoops along the wall and slide your tape onto the hoop. This hack is aesthetically pleasing, simple, and gives you quick access.

Use Bottles To Sort Glitters And Beads In Your Craft Room

Use Bottles To Sort Glitters And Beads In Your Craft Room
Craft supplies that are super tiny like glitter, beads, buttons, or other small items can be harder to manage. One tip for keeping track of glitter or beads is to organize them with plastic water bottles, old shampoo or soap bottles, spice containers, or other kinds of bottles you could repurpose. You can sort them by color, category, or purpose.

Organization Tips For Paper Crafting Supplies

Organization Tips For Paper Crafting Supplies
Whether you want to sort your paper by project, color, thickness, or another deciphering factor, you’ll need a system to keep it sorted. Lots of crafters invest in paper storage towers with slots for each kind of paper. I’ve also seen people use colored file folders to divide up their different options.

Tricks For Sorting Fabric To Stay Organized

Tricks For Sorting Fabric To Stay Organized
Fabrics tend to take up a lot of space in a craft room. If you’re looking for inspiration for sorting your fabrics, try a large furniture item like a dresser or cabinet with drawers, and measure out the depth and desired width needed for your fabric inventory.

Ideas For Organizing Your Paints In A Crafting Room

Ideas For Organizing Your Paints In A Crafting Room
There are tons of types of paints that crafters love to use. Acrylic, oil paints, watercolors, paint pens, chalk paint, and more — how do you keep it all sorted? I’ve had friends who use office clamps to hang their paints on the wall. That way, they can see all of the different types of paints they own and have easy access to what they need for each project.

artist paint organized on wall hangers
watercolor paint organized in pans

Keeping Your Markers, Pencils, And Pens Clutter Free

Keeping Your Markers Pencils And Pens Clutter Free
If you’re an avid crafter, you probably have more markers, pens, pencils, and crayons than you know what to do with! Try using glass jars to separate your supplies. It looks clean and gives you quick access to your supplies. You can also try having a pail or bucket for each category, then use dividers to separate your supplies by color or style.

Inspiration For Keeping Glue, Scissors, And More Tidy

Inspiration For Keeping Glue Scissors And More Tidy
For the extra supplies that may not fit into another category like glue, scissors, erasers, staples, glue guns, or other crafting tools, there are many different ways you can go about keeping them sorted.

If you want them out of the way, try sorting in drawers with an organizer or dividers. To keep items on display, use fishhooks or another kind of hook so you can grab them quickly and start your work day. You could also try a wooden or metal stand to sit supplies on that you use every single day.

hot glue gun and glue sticks storage

declutter challenge

How To Stay Organized With Many Art Projects At Once

How To Stay Organized With Many Art Projects At Once
One thing about creatives is that we often have lots of ideas moving around in our minds at one time. I spend most days juggling hundreds of different visions for new projects and going down creative rabbit holes while only having the time to actually start one or two of them.

The Tiny Life, most of the work I do is tracked digitally. If you’re a visual artist, this gets extremely messy, fast. How do you stay organized when that’s your reality?

Create Work-In-Progress Boxes

Create Work-In-Progress Boxes

Creating work-in-progress boxes is a wise way to store stuff for the projects you haven’t quite wrapped up. It keeps your craft room clean because you aren’t leaving those projects sprawled out all over the table.

You might consider having a work-in-progress shelf separate from your other supply shelves. You can even have an individual box or bin for each craft that isn’t complete. When you’re done with a project for the day, neatly put the supplies in your box and store it away. Then, pull it off the shelf the next time you’re ready to work.

Use A Display Rack For Large Projects

Use A Display Rack For Large Projects

A display rack is a smart edition to any craft room to store unfinished projects that don’t quite fit in a bin or a box — like huge posters and large canvases.

Display racks are helpful for rotating crafts that you want to come back to later and need off of your work table. They’re also great for finished pieces and seasonal décor that you want to rotate through your home.

display rack or easel for large art projects

Create One Work-In-Progress Table

Create One Work-In-Progress Table

This tip is helpful for organization in the office, tool shed, and especially craft rooms. When my friend brought the idea of a work-in-progress table to my attention, I knew it was going to help me out with my construction projects.

Creating a working table that’s entirely separate from my work-in-progress table is extremely helpful for me. I can move what I’m currently working on out of the way from other projects I haven’t finished and leave a fresh, clean space for whatever I choose to work on that day.

craft work in progress table

Top-Notch Items To Outfit Your Dream Craft Room

Top-Notch Items To Outfit Your Dream Craft Room
With something like crafting, even if you put in the effort to upcycle and repurpose what you already own, sometimes it’s just worth investing in high-quality products. Here’s a list of items my crafting aficionado pals have told me are actually worth spending money on at the end of the day.

cricut maker

Cricut Maker

There’s a reason so many creative people are obsessed with the Cricut. It truly can meet any die cutting needs you may possibly have. The smart machine can cut paper, vinyl, and even wood, fabrics, leather, or cork with the correct blades. Its intricate capabilities allow you to create and print infinite designs.

Silhouette Cameo

Silhouette Cameo

Similar to the Cricut, the Silhouette can uses a blade and Bluetooth technology to cut over 100 different materials including paper, cardstock, vinyl, and fabric to help you create your dream crafts.

Cricut Vinyl Heat Press

Cricut Vinyl Heat Press

With the Cricut Vinyl Heat Press, you can easily press heat-transfer vinyl onto t-shirts, tote bags, leather notebooks, shoes, towels, or even wood. Additionally, the product is small and compact, which makes it simple to transport.

Wireless Hot Glue Gun

Wireless Hot Glue Gun

This wireless hot glue gun by Ryobi is awesome for all your hot gluing needs. Owning a wireless glue gun is a crafting essential. No one likes to mess with cords that get in your way. This glue gun also comes with its own charger.

Singer M1000 Sewing Machine

Singer M1000.662 Sewing Machine

As far as sewing machines go, the Singer M1000 is a fan favorite. It’s simple, portable and easy for a beginner to use. It’s also pretty lightweight and useful for seam repairing.

Craft Room Organization Cart

Craft Room Organization Cart

This rolling kitchen cart is great for organizing your basic craft supplies. It’s super durable, easily transportable, and lightweight yet sturdy. I like that it’s metal, so it’s not flimsy like some plastic organizers tend to be.

High-Quality Pair of Scissors

High-Quality Pair of Scissors

An extra durable, good pair of scissors is a necessity for crafting. These Fiskars scissors are ideal for cutting a wide variety of materials including paper, cardboard, tape and many more types of material.

Decorative Edge Scissor Set

Decorative Edge Scissor Set

Many crafters also need a decorative scissor set. This is, in my opinion, the best set of basic crafting scissors where you get the most bang for your buck. You get six pairs of scissors, each with a different decorative edge. The designs cover all your basic cutting needs without getting too pricy like some of the fancier sets.

Westcott Paper Cutter

Westcott Paper Cutter

This paper cutter by Westcott is a classic. It uses titanium bonded cutting technology and three steel blades to get the job done. A paper cutter is a pretty basic necessity in the crafting world, so you want to make sure you buy one that isn’t too expensive but is high quality and can last several years.

Dremel 4000 Tool Kit

Dremel 4000 Tool Kit

A tool kit is also an essential for any avid crafter, as you never know when you’ll need which tools. You want to stay prepared and have all the tools you might need on hand! This tool kit by Dremel includes a 4000 corded rotary tool, four attachments, 34 accessories, a plastic storage case, and an accessory case to meet your needs.

Self-Healing Cutting Mat

Self-Healing Cutting Mat

Investing in a good cutting mat is a must for the crafting and building world. You don’t want to wear out a cheap cutting mat quickly and have to buy a new one super quickly! This self-healing cutting mat by Fiskars is extra durable and lasts a long time. It’s good to have around for sewing, quilting, scrapbooking, stationary and more.

Rotary Cutter

Rotary Cutter

This titanium rotary cutter is ideal because it works for both right and left handers, so there’s no need to buy two cutters. It has a roller cutter with an adjustable blade for cutting multiple layers, sewing, patchwork, and other types of papercraft projects.

At the end of the day, there are hundreds of systems and hacks for organizing and decluttering your craft room. The way you choose to categorize and sort your arts and craft supplies should match with your personality and habits as a creative. I hope some of these decluttering ideas help you curate a craft room that inspires you.

Your Turn!

  • How will you declutter your craft room this week?
  • What supplies will you keep? What will you get rid of?
1 Comment
  1. I need organization so badly! Can you come to my house?????

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