Last week I talked about how I was trying to get back in the zone after a personally challenging six months. I mentioned how I was taking a big first step in organizing my workshop. Our house has a converted garage that everyone calls my “office”, which is really a lovely extra space in which to work, but I had let it get out of control. I haven’t managed to make it quite “beautiful” yet, but oh boy did I organize it. And that feels great.
I started by literally removing everything. I took it all out and dumped it in the yard and went through it all bit by bit. Then I organized it into clear bins and made labels in removable vinyl with my Silhouette Cameo (and terrible handwriting). Everything got divvied up into its most specific possible category and placed into the appropriate bin. It might not make for a beautiful picture, but it’s a beautiful thing in my mind. A whole bin of macrame cord! And all of my Gocco supplies in one place. I know gocco is a dying art, but that just makes me even happier for it have a place in my shop.
I had categories of things I didn’t even know could be categories. And yet, I’ve referenced them several times just since the holiday break. That “wood” category consists of tiny wooden things that it turns out are useful for giving my daughter hours of painting entertainment. Yes, painting wooden spools can entertain a child for minimum 3 hours.
I started going through the literal tons of fabric I owned and actually treating it with the respect it deserves. As I pulled out pieces and ironed them (yes, I ironed my fabric stash and even created a folding board reminiscent of my college days folding clothes at baby gap to make sure the folds were even), I found some beauties I forgot I even had.
After folding and restacking (by color, to some degree) I am finally able to evaluate my stash at a glance. I have about 6 shelves of fabrics, 5 stacks wide each. I can no longer make excuses about not finding some fabric to work with.
I also realized I had packets upon packets upon ziploc baggies of random hardware. I was tempted to trash it all, but you know there always comes a day when you’re all “I need a 1/4″ purple grommet and I know I have like 50 of them somewhere.” I didn’t want to have to go to the store and buy 50 more 1/4 purple grommets so I organized them into this thing, which was my jewelry organizer in my closet in my old house 8 years ago, and has finally found new life as my doo-dad organizer in my workshop.
I also went through my glue and adhesive stash. This may not seem very organized on the surface, but keep in mind that I have an online reputation as a glue expert, due to the popularity of this post over the years “Confessions of an Adhesive and Sealant Junkie.” I get at least 40 emails a month asking for my glue advice (I should do a separate post of the craziest glue questions I have been asked. No, I can’t help you make sure cat hair will be forever enshrined on your mailbox, and you should probably reconsider your life choices), and glue manufacturers send me all of their latest concoctions. So this drawer right here is actually crazy paired down. I tested every glue to see if it was dried out, clogged packaging, separation, useful enough to be worth saving, etc. When I was done, I was left with just this drawer full of the best of the best.
I even came across an old cross-stitch I did, which was based on a piece of Prudent Advice from my first book. That book came out in 2010 so this thing is like 5-6 years old. Turned out my husband had some fun with it. HRrrrrmmm (Marge Simpson noise).
The only thing I didn’t get to was re-organizing my embroidery thread into a beautiful rainbow. Something to look forward to/procrastinate about.
So, that’s where I am at. Might not seem like much but it took me a solid two weeks of purging to get here. I didnt bore you with the shampooing of the floor tiles or termite-removal process, so I guess you are welcome for that. Where do you all craft?