Jan 28, 2015

Crafting Work Space -- Lots of white, empty spaces - helps me stay focused.

Hello Friends,

I was thinking about work flow and organization last week.  I try to come up with a good solution for my own working style.  I looked at a lot of craft room tour videos on YouTube.  Many crafters seem to like having LOTS of products out and visible to provide "inspiration".  Or at least the ones who take the time to record and post a video seem that way.

I am not like that.

I need a clean desk and uncluttered work area, because I am too easily distracted by other cute products that are visible.  I like to clear off all items from my working desk except for items I am using on my current project.  I also limit what is on the wall in front of me to decrease distraction.

Crafting Work Desk:
Below is a photo of my focused work desk.  Every item on it is related to my current project -- making sailboat and snowmen cards, using the same blue-themed supplies.

Crafting Desk
Crafting Desk - Only supplies related to the current project are on the desk.
You can see that I have cutting tools, ruler, glue, tape, pens, inkpad, and cleaner on my right. A few possible embellishment choices are laid above the pink mat.  A few stamp embellishment choices are on my left.  Pop-up tape, hole punch tools, and extra blank cards and envelopes are in the 6"x6" CD case on top left.  Cards in various stages of construction are along to top.

This is fine once I have finished designing, and I am ready to make them.  But when I am in the midst of designing, I tend to pull lots of supplies from other places and pile them on top of my work desk as I try them on and then reject those choices.  When the desk got overwhelmed, I used to stop in the middle of my designing and try to put some of the supplies away.  But this took me out of my designing groove, and it was very frustrating.

So, I need a place to put these rejects until I finish designing, and I have time to put them back nicely. I strongly recommend having an "overflow" area right next to your main work desk for this purpose.  

Overflow - Temporary Storage Area:
I use the top of a low closed storage unit for my "overflow" temporary holding area.  I like the closed storage solution, again to minimize visual clutter while I am crafting.  This one is Besta from Ikea with gloss-white doors.  The units are $80 each (two units stacked).  Gloss white doors are very expensive ($100/2 doors), but there are non-gloss white doors at about half the price.

Prime Storage Area:
Next, I only keep very frequently used tools and supplies in this low dresser unit next to my crafting desk.  Other supplies are stored at locations that are further away from my desk.  It is important to maximize your prime location, and move less used items to 2nd and 3rd storage locations.

  • Inside this prime location storage unit, the top row holds the Cuttlebug and basic cutting mats and embossing tools on left, and on right selected cardstock and main markers.  
  • Next row holds my 12" multiple-sheet guillotine cutter on left and my most used coloring supplies such as ink pads, re-inkers, color pencils, and chalk palette.  
  • Next row holds stickers & embellishments, MS 12" cutter, shape cutting flat stencils, punches in 4 large boxes, Crop-a-Dile, and extra acrylic blocks in a small box.
  • Bottom unit left side holds ribbons, buttons, brads, and other embellishments, Sizzix cutting dies, clear envelopes, and card catalogue index of stamping supplies.  
  • Bottom unit right side holds envelopes, Work-In-Process projects, alphabets and journaling stamps in a box on the bottom, and currently using paper, stamp sets, glitters, and supplies.

Stamp Storage in Secondary Location
2nd & 3rd Storage locations:
My 2nd storage location is the far corner of the same room.  I store almost all of my stamps here. Amazingly, my entire collection seem to fit into 8 large plastic containers (14" x 18" x 10.5"h).  I was under the impression that I had much more than this.  I moved into a new, large home from a small apartment and had kept some of my supplies in a storage building.  I was finally able to spread them all out in one place and organize them.  :-)  Plastic tubs are for holding letter sized files, $10 each.

My 3rd storage location is an upstairs bedroom and closet.  Bulk purchased tape, glue, chip board, and other coloring supplies, and my main supply of cardstock, and designer paper are stored there.

Main scrap paper storage - used often.
Scrap Storage: 
Finally, I store my frequently used scraps in a 6"x6" CD container.  I usually have it out on my desk when I am designing, but then store it inside the Besta afterwards.  I sort them by rainbow-color order in clear plastic sleeves.  Maximum cut size is 6.5" x 5.5".  I tend to keep all scraps produced by one project together in one sleeve.  I sometimes re-use them on another project with similar colors.  I find this container quite useful for household uses too, when I need to make a quick label or tag.

Hope this will get your mojo flowing and help you organize your own work flow.
Now go make some cards! :-) :-) :-)


  1. I have a very messy work table at the moment in my craft barn. It's a little overwhelming, but for smaller piles I've developed "selective eyesight" until the pile becomes overwhelming again. LOL! When my mother built my craft barn for me, I wanted to design the storage in it so I would have the things the most used closest to me, but now that I've read your article, I think I'm going to have to rethink my storage and move things around. The handiest thing I have is a two-drawer filing cabinet right next to my worktable. I have my paper scraps in it. The top drawer holds all my colored cardstock scraps sorted by color in zip bags, and the second drawer holds paper ephemera that is usually thrown away like tea bag envelopes, old calendars, bits and pieces of packaging, etc. Several years ago I went to an organizational workshop and the thing I remember the best was OHIO! Only handle it once. I think I have forgotten that. Maybe I ought to make a big sign and tape it on the wall!. LOL! Do you know about Lindsay Weinrich, the frugal crafter? I'm the other one. . .

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I took a look at your craft barn and it looks really nice!