7 Craft Room Organizing Ideas from My Creative Space

posted by Aby Garvey on June 6, 2012 13 Comments

Last month I finished an organizing overhaul of my creative space (which also happens to be my simplify 101 office.) Want to take a little peak? Here are some photos of my space, along with 7 ideas for organizing your own craft room, scrapbook space, or home office. Hope you enjoy!

Idea #1: Invest in a functional work desk. It just occurred to me that I spend more time sitting at my desk than I do lying in my bed! My desk (and desk chair) are the two pieces of furniture I use most…in my entire home! What a crazy realization. How about you? Does this ring true for you, too? If so then it really makes sense to invest in a desk that is comfortable and functional for you. If you are comfortable in the place where you work—or create—you’ll be more productive.

Aby's desk

The thing I love most about this desk is that it is l-shaped. It allows me to keep often used items organized on my desk top, without getting in my way. There’s plenty of room for my computer, keyboard, mouse and phone, but still plenty of space to spread out and work on paper-based projects. Project files and client files are easy to keep organized in the file cabinet drawers, which are accessible from my desk chair. (No need to move, means it’s easy to take out a file and put it away when I’m done.)

To determine what type of desk would be most functional for you, think back to your favorite work area. This could be an office at a former or current job, or maybe the space you studied at in college. Once you have that space in mind, think about what made it work. What type of desk did you sit at? How accessible were the storage solutions? What type of storage solutions did you use? Then, translate these ideas into your current work area.

Idea #2: Start with a blank slate. As part of my office organizing project, I also emptied and completely reorganized the closet in my office. While emptying a space while organizing does create a bigger midstream mess…

organizing staging area

…this approach will give you the best end result. Here’s why. When you empty your space, you let go of all preconceived notions about what belongs where. You create a blank slate which means you can completely reinvent your space and organize it so that it suits your current priorities. Most important, you become much more selective about what you bring back into your space. It is actually easier to let go of clutter—stuff you no longer use, need or love—when you empty your space while organizing.

Idea #3: Use creative storage solutions. Have fun selecting storage for your creative space. Look for ways to repurpose everyday items in your home for use in your craft room. Or refresh plain or dated storage pieces using decoupage or paint. You’ll save a few dollars, and add tons of personality and style to your space. (Check out this article for more ways to get creative with storage.)

Decoupaged drawers

Idea #4: Maximize your storage space by going vertical. If your craft space is short on storage, do a quick visual check. Where do you have open vertical space that you could put to use? Consider adding bookcases or ladder shelving units to free floor space or add wall mounted shelves to open wall space.

Idea #5: Consider a standing work area. When I originally set up and organized my creative space / office several years ago, I was intrigued by the idea of a standing work area for scrapbooking. I didn’t think I would enjoy standing up to scrapbook…but I sure did surprise myself! Standing up to scrapbook makes it easier to grab tools and supplies stored close by but not at your actual work area. I also love using this area for sorting and organizing paperwork for business projects. Standing up to create or sort paper energizes me…and keeps my blood (and creative juices) flowing. It’s also nice to have a secondary work area for myself (so I can keep my business desk clear of creative projects) and for visitors such as my kids when they’re working on school projects. If your space and budget allows a standing work area in your craft room, give it serious consideration. You just might surprise yourself at how much you like it.

Aby's craft table

Idea #6: Have fun with labeling. Adding labels to your space will help you keep things organized going forward because you’ll remember what belongs where. Function aside labels are a terrific way to make your space even more fun and inspiring. Create labels use using your favorite craft supplies. For example, these tags were made by punching circles out of scrapbook paper, and gluing them to a plain, white metal rimmed tag. Simple and fun!

paper holders

Idea #7: Infuse your space with personal touches. When all is said and done, our favorite spaces in our homes are ones that feel like us and look like us. They’re filled with items we love and items that inspire us. Look for every opportunity to infuse your craft room with personal touches via artwork, meaningful storage solutions, and decorative items. When you love how your space looks, you’ll want to spend time there, and even more important—you’ll be more motivated to keep it organized going forward.

New Orleans print

Happy organizing!

Signature

P.S. If you’d like more ideas like these and a step-by-step system for organizing your craft room, scrapbook space or creative studio, my online workshop Organize Your Creative Space begins tomorrow, June 7, 2012. Consider yourself invited to join the creative organizing fun.

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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and coaching program
  • June 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I love! Especially that your desk faces a window. I also like the labels. Very nice!

    • June 7, 2012 at 12:19 am

      I actually asked an age ago but can you PLEASE tell me where you buy those metal tags from and do they have a “technical” name? I love them. Thanks so much!

      • June 7, 2012 at 8:06 am

        we use those tags to label fabric bins at work, but they aren’t jazzed up with scrapbook paper that looks nice.
        i found those tags at the office supply store called “key tags” it took me some serious googling to figure that out

        • June 7, 2012 at 11:16 am

          Love the office do over :)
          The label tags etc are for sale at Staples in the Martha Stewart line – tons of organization ideas and containers as well.
          Thank you for your information Aby!

          • June 7, 2012 at 11:50 am

            Hi, Nikki W,
            Sorry I missed your question from ages ago. I got mine at Office Max…though my local store doesn’t carry them anymore. (Grrr…) But here is a link to their website to a similar product: http://tinyurl.com/7m7otwl
            Aby

            • June 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm

              Just popped over to your site and having fun looking around. My main craft is knitting (and crochet too), making it a bit hard to do the standing thing, lol. Storage tho, is always at a premium.
              I love the green on your walls. I see a lot of yellow and often blue in craft areas, but I think the green is more restful- yet- fun. What color did you use?

              • June 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm

                Can you describe the desk a bit more? Brand? Details?

                • June 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm

                  @Laura, Thanks for your comments on the wall color. It’s Benjamin Moore Pale Sea Mist. I have been very happy with it. :)
                  @Sharon, The desk top is from Pottery Barn. It is from the Bedford Collection: http://bit.ly/2EFlvX. I used the desk top from there and then purchased wooden file cabinets from an office supply store and painted them to match. (Benjamin Moore Mayonaise.)
                  Thanks for your comments and questions!
                  Aby

                  • June 24, 2012 at 5:44 am

                    Very adorable stuffs. I’d like to have that also inside my room. Colorful and really beautiful.

                    • June 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm

                      I love your room set-up and organization
                      Brenda

                      • July 22, 2012 at 4:40 pm

                        They sell the key tags at Home Depot!!! By the key cutting machine!! :)

                        • February 13, 2013 at 6:20 am

                          Hi,

                          I love the way you set everything up and how neat and clean it is for a work space. Can you tell me once again the name of the paper holders you have the round tags on? I changed email addresses before and I no longer have that information. I know they are discontinued but I managed to find some before.

                          Dee

                          February 13, 2013 at 8:21 am

                          Hi, Dee,
                          Those paper holders were made by Making Memories. Glad you were able to find them before.
                          Thanks!
                          Aby