Closed September 2017

Clutter Video Tip: How to Organize Craft Projects

Is needlepoint your Nirvana? Can you crochet your way to a blissful day? Or is sewing the reason for that growing smile on your face? Love it or not, sometimes you just can’t finish a project when you want to. Watch this video for strategies to organize your craft projects.

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Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today we’re going to talk about how to organize craft projects. So this is different than organizing craft supplies. Another day we can talk about organizing your paint brushes and your crayons and your paints, but we’re going to talk today about how we organize the projects that we have purchased supplies for and how we actually accomplish them and get them done. So, you may be one of the people that I’ve seen over the years that has many UFO’s in your house – unfinished objects – whether it’s the wadded up needlepoint project you have in the bottom nightstand drawer or an easel with an unfinished painting on it, or whatever it is for you, these things kind of haunt you, and they bother you, and it feels so much better to finish what you start. So let’s talk about how to manage that all the way through.

So first, let’s talk about preventing some of this problem in the first place. So, if you’re the kind of person that gets distracted by shiny objects and tempted to do all kinds of new creative things, that’s fantastic. I think you’re a wonderful creative person, but you should probably put a stop to all the new projects for a little while until you’ve finished the ones you have. And that way, you’re going to feel a sense of completion, and you’ll feel better about all of your crafting.

So, if you are going to take on a new craft – let’s say you want to learn how to crochet – make sure that if you’re serious, you really commit to it by signing up for a class immediately. Don’t just buy all the supplies and bring them into your house and put them away with the hope that someday you’ll sit down and have the time to figure out how to do it. Make sure you commit and get someone to teach you or something.

Another thing you can do is if you have a lot of UFO’s laying around and you get real with yourself and you decide “I’m probably never going to finish this,” you can hire someone to do it. You can get on and there are people that will finish your projects for you there. Or you can ask your favorite employee at your local craft store and see if they know somebody who is very good at that craft, or there may be a bulletin board in that store. But you can find somebody to get that done so you don’t waste those supplies. Also, you might take that project and put it into a “while you wait” bag. We’ve made another video about this before. This is a bag that you bring with you to a ballet lesson or a soccer practice or a doctor’s appointment, where you can use that found time to work on these projects and get them done.

Another thing you can do is if you get very realistic with yourself about what you will and won’t finish, you may decide that you’re completely finished with a whole line of crafting, like you don’t want to crochet anymore or whatever it is. Donate that to Goodwill or if the supplies are very expensive and you want to recoup the cost, sell those supplies on Craigslist. But don’t keep them around your house making you feel bad about the incompletion of all of that.

So, as you’re managing the projects you do have and you’ve decided which ones you really want to finish and you want to continue to maintain and work on for a while, I would suggest using what we call “project drawers.” So here I have a unit from ClosetMaid. This is the Cubicles Nine Compartment Organizer. They have all these different colors of fabric drawers that go in here. So, you could put nine drawers and you could have nine projects going on, or as I have here, five drawers – they’re kind of in a checkerboard pattern – but I’ve got like a little scrap-booking kind of card-making project that I’m working on right now, and that’s in here. And what you want to do is you limit yourself to only this number of projects that you predetermine and anything else, you can’t take on a new project until you’ve finished the ones in your drawers. That keeps everything all contained. You can pull this out and take it somewhere else to work on, and it looks nice and it is a really good way to contain what you’re doing and have a visual of what all is being worked on.

Another thing you might want to do is just get to the root of why you are not finishing these things. Do you need help with the instructions? Are you stuck? Did you make a mistake and you don’t think you can fix it? Again, get some help. Ask someone at your craft store, put something on a bulletin board, or ask someone on Etsy. But you can figure out how to do that and move forward. So you don’t want to have all this unfinished business around your house haunting you, bothering you, tugging at you. You want to enjoy your crafting and especially enjoy the completion of it.

So we hope you like these tips. And if you’d like to subscribe, we’d really love that. You can find us always at See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

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