8 Tips for Organizing Craft Supplies

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So, for a while now we have been getting turning our loft space into our home office / craft room / homework space / hangout area.  Now, this is not a huge room, so this has been a lofty goal from the beginning.  I wanted to find every way possible to maximize space.

I also wanted to make sure that for once, I had a space for organizing craft supplies.

My starting point was this cabinet found at a local vintage shop.

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This cabinet gave me a run for my money.  It must have had a former life in a kitchen where there was a lot of fried foods prepared.  I spent hours peeling off layers of gunk.  In the end, it completely rejected primer and I knew I had to turn to chalk paint.

I used Annie Sloan bright white on the outside.  In hindsight, I should have considered a darker color because there was some bleed through still – but I really wanted this cabinet to be white so I am good with it.

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I decided to put a fun blue on the inside.  Down the line, I want to also do something with the inside of the doors – maybe add cork and use it as pin board.

While organizing all of my craft supplies, I learned a few lessons that I thought I would share with you to make it easier when you tackle a similar project.

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1. Choose the Cabinet For Your Space First

You have to work with what you have.  If you go out and buy a bunch of containers and then you don’t have anywhere to store them – you haven’t accomplished much.  Start with your space and find what works.  I waited until I found a vintage cabinet that worked, but that is just my quirky sense.  Ikea, box stores, a piece you already have – work with your space first.

2. Measure Your Cabinet and Buy Containers to Maximize Your Space

Once you have your cabinet, then measure your shelves and figure out what fits.  I scoured online until I found these containers that fit my shelves perfectly.  I used several different sizes and I love that they stack easily regardless of what size you choose.

There are a few other containers in there as well that I already had that worked.

I used the measurements and gauged the maximum number I could fit in and that is what I ordered.

3. If Possible, Use Clear Containers

Although I have everything labeled, some labels are more general categories.  By having clear containers, I can get right to what I need much easier.  It also makes putting things away and knowing where there is more space easier.

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4. Wait Till Everything is Organized to Add Your Labels

It will be tempting to start labeling everything right in the beginning.

Don’t.

I moved things around several times as I found more of an item or realized there was too much empty space.  Wait till you have everything where you want it – then label away.

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5. Use Changeable / Flexible Labels

Once you get everything organized and you are ready to label – use labels that can be changed.  I used chalkboard labels similar to these (affiliate link included).  If I end up moving things into new containers, I just need to erase it and write a new description.

6. Leave Yourself Room to Grow

Try to leave yourself some empty containers and empty shelf space.  My cabinet is not huge, so I don’t have a ton of empty space.  I do have room in some containers, and a handful that are empty.  However, I have another cabinet in the room that does have a lot of space so I know I have options.

If you completely fill your available space, you will probably end up disorganized again if you don’t have a place to put it away.

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7. Use What You Have (Now That You Can Find It)

I am giddy to start my next project and be able to know where everything I need is.  The key is not keep running out to the craft store and buying more of what you already have.  Use what you have.  I plan on keeping a running list when something runs out and try to not buy things I already have.

I also feel like I have a ton of more ideas.  By seeing everything I already have, new ideas are easier to come by.

8. Put It Back

So much easier said that done.  But it is probably the most important part of organizing your crafts.

For me, I really want to keep this space usable for my whole family, so that will be an incentive to keep it organized.  Plus, I really do not want to do this all over again any time soon.

Hopefully these tips help you get your crafts organized and usable.

Do you have any other tricks for keeping things organized?  I would love to hear them!

Thanks so much for reading!

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19 thoughts on “8 Tips for Organizing Craft Supplies”

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  1. Hi Laura, Your organization is inspiring! I just finished under the bathroom sink organization and now it’s on to craft supplies. That cabinet is great with the blue interior. Great tips, thank you.

  2. All very good tips. I have been trying to organize our house ever since school started. I’m going to use some of yours but I have to admit I’m terrible with number 8. I’m getting better but could use a little practice. I really like the pop of blue in the interior of the cabinet. Thanks for inspiring me to keep organizing.

  3. Wonderfully done post! I love the cabinet you found for the craft containers. Labeling at the very end is a wonderful idea. I like to have my clients work with their craft area for a week and then put the labels on the bins. Some combined items in the bin may not work together so this gives the client time to test it out. I will definitely share this post. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This post reminds me of one Christmas visit with my parents when I spent DAYS organizing all the tools my sweet daddy kept in an overhead cabinet in the house. Not nearly as pretty though … Clear plastic shoe boxes and masking tape for labels. More like a red neck organization project. The funny thing is he would often call me to ask where I had put something! Sweet memories of times spent with him.
    Diane

  5. One of the best things I ever did in my craft room was create a “holding space” for stuff that I bought or used that needed to be put away. Once the holding space was full, I had to take the time to put it away – no putting more stuff anywhere else. I thought of it as not allowing my disorganized stuff to get mixed in with my organized stuff and it worked!

  6. This looks wonderful! My husband is putting together cabinets as we speak and getting containers for tomorrow. Anyway, a few questions. Where did you get your labels? And is there anyway you could post a list of your labels you used? Thanks so much for the inspiration!!!

  7. Hi Laura! Love your craft supplies organization! Could yo provide a list of categories you used to label your crafting supplies containers?

  8. You have inspired me to organize my crafts as well. I always end up going and purchasing things that I know I have but have no idea where it is. This will save me money in the end.

  9. Love the look….everything is so beautifully organized! Just wondering what size your cupboard is? It holds sooo many supplies!

  10. Thank you for the inspiration. Sometimes, I just need a little push. I already have the cabinet discs and storage bins in my craft room, but I never got to the point where I thought they’d work together. Seeing your pics and reading your suggestions had inspired me to tackle the project in the morning.
    One tip is like to add ideas that as crafters, we tend to be meticulous. This can sometimes be a roadblock to finishing up protects. I’ve devised my own system to help avoid this and actually finish a project. The secret of the universe is that it doesn’t need to be 100% perfect the first time around. Fire example, the stickers don’t need to be separated into individual bins based on their holidays or events. This is something that can be done later while having out with the family.
    My second tip is to set your phone to “do not disturb” them set short periodic timers on your phone to keep on track without distractions(remembering to set time aside for self care as well). I do this often since having a slight sense of urgency seems to get my rear in gear.
    My last tip is to pic out your reward for a job well done ahead of time so you’ll have more incentive to complete your project. And then stuck to the promise of the reward once you’re done. This helps train your brain to better follow through with tasks that seem too big to take on .
    Crafting and creating are our way of relaxing, unwinding and expressing ourselves in our own beautifully unique ways. Having this time for ourselves is precious and an organized system is stress relieving and is true blessing to the spirit. Happy crafting!

  11. Hello! I need to organize my craft area and this looks like it would be perfect for me. I have some of this and some of that and I love the variety of containers you used and the labels. I clicked on the link for the containers and it took me to Walmart and said not available. Can you let me know if there is a brand I can look for online? Thanks again for sharing what you did.