Help Me With My Craft Room

Hello FlyLady,

I have a craft room. As most craft rooms, it is cluttered. How do I tackle the clutter? I know you would say, I should throw away the things I do not make anymore, but I DO make the things, I have. I just do not know how to organize the things. Yes I know I cannot organize clutter, but the thing is it is not clutter!

How do I store the stuff? How do I organize it?

I have been fluttering a couple of years now, and I like your system especially the 15 minutes at a time. When I get home and are so tired, that I cannot think about cleaning, I say to myself just 15 minutes that helps me to get going.

Thank you for all you are doing.

Yours sincerely,

Flybaby Joan from Denmark

Dear Joan,

We are very creative. We love making stuff but that does not give us a license to hoard stuff. It is time you decided what you love and what is clutter to you. Let me tell you my craft room story.

I learned how to sew when I was seven years old. When I was twelve, my dad gave me my first sewing machine with a cabinet. If I had not learned to sew; we would not have had clothes when we were little. In high school I helped to teach people how to sew when we had sewing in Home Economics. Everything happens for a reason. I was always making something.

When I married the sewing machine came with me. I made all our curtains and my clothes. It was nice to be able to decorate our home. When we divorced I left the sewing machine at Justin’s dad’s home. I still miss it. Maybe one day I will get the sewing machine back. My portable machine just isn’t quite the same.

Sorry to get sidetracked down memory lane. When Robert and I married in 1996. We went to estate auctions. I had a lot of time on my hands and I thought I would start sewing again. I started building my craft room. I found a fancy sewing machine and craft table at one of those auctions. Then I decided I wanted to make quilts. I figured out real quick that I like designing the quilts much more than actually making them. I cut out several quilts and bundled the blocks together and bagged them up. God had other plans for me.

All my sewing stuff began to become clutter. I started finding new homes for those beautiful quilt projects. It wasn’t long until FlyLady started. I told the FlyBabies about my dilemma. A FlyBaby from up north came by our home and picked up the bags of unloved quilting pieces. She was involved with a group of ladies who made quilts for foster children. Imagine that! My clutter was going to bless a precious child. Now I as I think about it; I have tears running down my face.

That fancy sewing machine also blessed my friendly neighborhood Jehovah Witness lady, Rosemary.  She made quilts by hand for her family for Christmas presents. I was so happy to get rid of the guilt. I had lots of guilt when it came to my crafting tools and supplies. My sister-in-law got my big Jack Loom. Robert put my stained glass tools with his tools in the basement, Rebecca got my scrapbooking supplies. Brian got my anvil, forge, and blacksmithing tools.

The first thing you have to do is gather up all your craft supplies. I know you may not be ready to give them new homes but all I am asking is that you put like items together into Rubbermaid bins. This way when the time is right; you will be able to let go of them easily without having to round them all up. This will be one less thing to keep you from procrastinating.

You will be so surprised at the items you really love and the ones you are just holding on to because you might need them one day. Now when I want to do something crafty; I help with a baby shower or wedding shower. I use Pinterest to come up with cute ideas. It is so much fun to play with my creative side.

Here is another reason to get your craft room cleaned up. When it is messy; you don’t want to go in there. All the crafting clutter/hoarding is keeping you from your joy. I will never forget a testimonial we got from a doll artist.


Testimonial: Sabbatical? No – Clutter Burn-Out!

Dear FlyLady,

Sometimes decluttering is more exciting than Christmas!  For many years (21) I was a fulltime doll artist. I made one-of-a-kind, hand sculpted art dolls for high end collectors.   Almost five years ago I moved from a large 7 room house (where I had a LARGE studio dedicated to my work) to my present rather small 4 room apartment.  Needless to say, I have been living in TOTAL CHAOS, and unable to return to what I loved doing most (because I had so much clutter, no room to work, and couldn’t find anything).  Once in a great while, I’d do a little sewing on my KITCHEN table, and find myself buying things I needed, but couldn’t find (because my “spare” bedroom was an overflowing storeroom, instead of the sewing and doll making room it was supposed to be).  Until I discovered you, I never really understood what was holding me back from doing what I do best.

I have been working on that room for WEEKS now, sorting and flinging, finding the “tools of my trade”, wonderful art supplies I’d forgotten I even had, all my much needed sewing gizmos, gadgets (some of which I’d replaced because I didn’t know where to find them).  Of course, I’ve also found lots and lots of STUFF that I neither need nor want and so far I have hauled off four carloads of boxes and bags to charity (and have kept the trash man busy as well).  As the saying goes, I’m beginning to see the light of day, and each day I declutter is bringing me closer to my goal.

Clutter has been the root of my problem and the REAL reason for my “sabbatical”. It has been so much easier to tell people I was feeling “burnt out” and needed a break, than to admit to anyone that I haven’t made a doll for five years because I just couldn’t face the clutter. It was so easy to blame my “Interim Job” (which required much travel and lots of timeaway from the clutter) for leaving me no time to get my act together at home, when 15 minutes to a half hour a day of 27 Boogie Flings would have added up to a LOT of declutteing.  This is pretty pitiful coming from someone whose work is in collections in 39 states, 3 provinces in Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Australia, has been exhibited at the Louvre Museum in Paris and is included in five published books.  It becomes even more pitiful when you consider that I live alone and the clutter has been ALL MINE.

Thanks to your system, I’m smiling a lot more and will send you a photo of the first doll that I make in my newly decluttered work room.

Flybaby getting ready to SOAR

PS  My sink is shining brightly!


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