Creating a flexible workspace

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Now that I have my Etsy shop up and running, I feel like I can turn my attention back to the house. Taking advantage of the grim weather this weekend I have given it a good old clean and feel ready to start the week/year a fresh and write some lists. I have seen a lot of people on Instagram lately taking up more creative hobbies for the new year and what with the need to get organised I thought I'd share my ways of creating an organised and flexible workspace. 

Over the years I have worked everywhere from kitchen tables to sitting on the floor, when I designed tights I was squashed in the corner of an accounts department, sharing my desk with a huge scanner - my work areas have all been different. One thing I wish I had paid more attention too was getting organised and really thinking about what I needed in terms of storage. 
Use a trestle table - When I moved into my craft room I knew that it needed to be really flexible and have a good storage system so that tidying up wasn't an all day event. I have a fixed desk where I keep my computer but even this can be extended. For the desk above I bought two trestle table legs from Amazon and a piece of pine from Homebase, I painted one side white and left the other natural (the white side hasn't worked very well if I'm honest, so I have the wooden side up most of the time). The best thing about the table is its really light and can be tucked away, if you are short of space this is a great alternative to having a table up permanently. We've used the legs with a different table top over christmas to extend our dining table and it works really well. 
Keep everyday items close by - I keep the 'stuff' I use on a regular basis within easy reach - ribbons, stationery, jewellery making supplies can be accessed and more importantly put away in seconds. Other supplies such as wool, leather, random craft supplies are stored in large plastic boxes in a large cupboard which is organised but harder to get into. 

I use this shelving unit from Ikea, its really reasonable and the depth between the shelves is perfect for stacking.
Organise by type - This might be a bit OCD but I have my ribbons organised by colour, I like to keep sewing supplies with sewing supplies, paper with paper etc. I find that by keeping similar items in the same area saves going through loads of different boxes to find what I'm looking for during a project and reduces tidying up. 

I use a mix of boxes, baskets and jars - I really like these from Ikea and glass storage jars for sewing supplies and bits that I want to see quickly. 
Don't be afraid to have a clear out - Crafting and hoarding come hand in hand but if a supply isn't working for you it's ok to get rid. Last year I had two huge clear outs, I'd accumulated masses of other peoples craft cast offs and stuff that I'd had for nearly twenty years. I donated and sold fabric, beads and various tools - the space both physically and mentally was amazing and meant I wasn't climbing over scrap bags to get to the good stuff. I clear out on a really regular basis now which means my work room is always under control.
Keep only what you have space for - when we lived in our flat I had stuff crammed into any spare space and on reflection it made the whole place feel really stressful. Despite having more space now have a lot less stuff and I keep only what can fit on shelves or in boxes. Not only does this stop me keeping supplies for 'best' I no longer feel overwhelmed but more creative as a result. 

I hope this has given you an insight into how I organise my craft room, its not always this tidy (ha!) but it is always organised and I know that it will only take me 30 mins* tops to put everything away.

*ok it probably takes an hour but thats because I rediscover things and start planning new projects.  


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