Monday, June 8, 2009

Jessica's Closet o' Doom

Here's a new participant to my Crafty Space Makeover Challenge! Meet Jessica Eiden Smedley of the Have We Met? blog.

Apparently her space is sooo horrific that she cannot bring herself to post an actual before shot of how it's organized, so she made a sketch to show us how it looks.

Some notes about her own challenge: she doesn't actually have a dedicated crafting table at which she works. Rather, she has some space in her front closet (ostensibly, she shares with long-suffering Matt, but his stuff seems to be getting pushed out into the fringes) in which she stores all her stuff (note multiple piles of crap in the sketch). 

When she crafts, she hauls the stuff that she needs out and works at the dining room table, which is then taken over by whatever project she happens to be working on til she is done with it.

Jessica also realizes that her current living space is temporary -- they're in an apartment now and may be moving in the near future -- so any solutions we come up with should be portable and easily translated to the new place (or so simple and cheap that we wouldn't feel bad about abandoning it and starting again later on).

So, here are some ideas that I would consider if I were Jessica (and I realize that I'm not, so if she doesn't take these ideas, it's totally okay):
  • Move everything out. Sort through all the supplies and put like supplies with each other (bins, cardboard boxes, whatever will hold them and get them off the piles that they're currently in). Be absolutely ruthless in throwing away things that you will not be using. Take them to Goodwill, get a receipt for your taxes and feel good that you're doing a good thing for the environment by recycling and for the charities that Goodwill supports.
  • Make better use of vertical space by putting in inexpensive shelving. Since Jessica isn't planning on working in the closet, this would be the best use of the space. I know that you can get some fairly inexpensive shelving units at Freddy's for something like $30. Yes, I know we don't want to spend a lot of money, but I think these things are cheap bang for the buck and they can easily be moved to a new home, whenever you decide to move. If you can't use them in your new crafty nook, then you can put them to use in the garage or laundry room. This should give you storage space to get everything off the floor.
  • Preferably, if you can, everything would be logically sorted into bins and boxes.
  • Now, I'm making some assumptions about how Jessica works, but I am thinking that if she can make enough space in her closet to fit a rolling cart like this one:

    Don't you think that would work? Depending upon the craft project that she wants to work on, she can grab the bins that she needs, her sewing machine, if she needs it, and wheel it out to the dining room table. She can keep much of her supplies, close at hand, on the cart and work at the table. This will allow her to keep her supplies out and not take over the entire table until her project is completed. (that cart, btw, is available at Target for about $40)

Here's another thought: pegboard!

A number of crafters have used this very versatile, inexpensize garage staple to their advantage. Check out these links:  (check out iStamp's RIBBON storage, which made me think of Jessica's wire hanger)

And one more completely unsolicited bit of advice (hope Jessica's okay with all of this!). I found this blog posting for someone with a nice bit of ribbon storage advice (it involves some woodwork, but you might be able to swing something). Check this out:

A great ribbon storage idea from Scrapmaster's Paradise's blog.

Okay, those are just my thoughts.

Anyone else have any ideas and tips for Jessica?


Jessica Eiden Smedley said...

Awesome! Thank you for the e-mail and the advice! I was thinking that everything needs to be hauled out, organized and put back in the closet 'o doom in order.

I mostly have fabric, yarn and paper for scrap-booking and piles of photographs to go through.

There is one overhead light and I have thought about putting in a secondary light source (the small table does have a chair I could sit at). I know Matt would love it if I could do smaller projects in the closet...

I'll keep you posted.

Molly said...

I can't wait to see your progress! Post lots of pix on your blog, please!