Week 4 – Workspace Organization, the story

How to organize crafting space with Totally-Tiffany

I'd like to start with a personal story, it fits perfectly into this week's class.

As many of you know my husband, Park, and I recently moved to a new home in Arizona. With a new home come a plethora of organization tasks. On the top of Park's list, getting the garage organized.

Let me start by saying, Park finds NO joy in organizing his stuff.

Like most of us, Park would love to have a well-organized workspace/garage/workbench area, but when he gets out there, he gets overwhelmed by the sorting, organizing, decision making and he ends up playing with his tools and building something instead of organizing.

Does this sound familiar? How often have you gone into your craft area with the intention of cleaning it up, but you ended up playing with your newest craft supplies instead?

Last week Park went into the garage to get started, about an hour later, he came into the house and asked - "Can you come out and help me figure this out? I've got all these boxes of small items, they're never going to fit on my shelves."

He was right - he had more boxes than he had shelves, but he also had more "air" space on the shelves than he had filled space.

"You just need to add a shelf here," I said - indicating a spot about 4 inches below the existing upper shelf.

"Then, sort your things by type into theses small bins, label them, and put them on the shelf in alphabetical order. "

"UGH," he grunted, "I'm going to build the shelf but I'm not going to sort out ALL that stuff."

I grabbed a bin and quickly rummaged through 4 of the open boxes - in about 20 seconds I had the bin completely filled with tape - masking, painters, electric, plumbing, appliance, duct... you name it, it was all there.

"Hey," Park said, grabbing the bin, "that's easy...okay, you can go back in the house now."

An hour later Park came into my office. "Okay," he said, I'm done. Help me with what to do next?"

Taking the garage one step at a time and mixing in doing things - building shelves in this case, along with the organizing/sorting part - simplified the whole process.

Seeing results - sorted bins and a stack of empty boxes was motivation to keep going.

These same steps and motivations will be important as you work through your craft space.

My next suggestion was for Park to add shelves right next to his workbench for tools he was constantly using - drills, saws, tape measures, etc. "I think I'm just going to leave those on the workbench," he said.

"Okay, but If you leave them on your workbench, every time you want to do a project, you'll have to move them to make room for the project. If you give them a place off the workbench, but within easy reach, it will be easier to work, easier to find your tools, and easier to clean up when you're done."

"Hey, that's a good idea, okay, you can go back inside now."

This process - calling me out, sending me back, continued for a few more rounds until the garage was dialed in - now he can start on my list in the house...

Quick takeaways from this story

1 - Maximize your space, left to right, back to front and top to bottom by adding extra shelves and/or possibly extra shelf bracket holes - Get more details on how to do this, read more...

2 - Don't attempt to do it all at once.  When you feel overwhelmed your brain will shut down.  Avoid that by breaking your big task into smaller tasks that can be completed more quickly.  Read - 3 Ways to avoid feeling overwhelmed...

3 - Think about how you craft in the space - what needs to be within arms reach and what does not.

4 - Leave room to craft.  How much space do you actually need to create in?  I would recommend a minimum of 30" wide and 24" deep.

What's next - read my next post and start planning your well-organized craft room.

Happy Crafting,

T Totally-Tiffany Logo, Pink Block ini

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