3 simple organization hacks to boost your creative time

Clutter vs Your Time and Motivation

I have “drifts” in my craft space.

Like snow drifts that get bigger and bigger during a snowstorm. Except my drifts are accumulated piles of fabric, embroidery hoops, floss, loose patterns, and all sorts craft supplies that build up around the edges of the craft room.

Not pretty.

Those drifts can really mess up the time you have available for crafting. If you’re anything like me, it might go something like this:

You get super motivated to craft and, amazingly, have time right this moment to dedicate to crafting.

The stars have aligned!

You go into your craft space. You see the “drifts” and get a little anxious. But you’re not discouraged. You have just enough willpower to get past the “drifts” and get working on your craft project.

But where are your scissors? Where did you leave the floss you needed? Where’s the pattern?

Then Bam! Motivation is gone.

It’s too stressful to find everything you need, you’ve wasted your time looking through the drifts, and you don’t even feel like crafting anymore. You could clean up your craft space. But that would take forever and sounds like the least fun thing to do right now.

You give up and check your Instagram feed instead.

Any of this sound familiar?

Craft time and motivation are precious. And lack of organization is getting in the way.

So how can we be organized enough to capitalize on our time and motivation, but not have to clean our entire craft space to get started? Here are 3 simple organization hacks that will help you get back your craft time right when inspiration hits. It could mean the difference between crafting or giving up. Seriously.

Tip 1. Have a dedicated container for each project.

project container 3 simple organization hacks to boost your creative time

Don’t organize your craft space, instead organize your projects.

An organized project consists of a container that holds everything you need to work on a single project. This includes all materials, supplies, tools, patterns, inspiration, notes and other reference materials.

It’s like a small craft room just for that project.

Everything is right at your fingertips while your motivation to craft is still at its peak.

Your project container doesn’t need to be anything fancy, however it should have a lid or the ability to close. I use everything from small plastic sandwich containers, to spare handbags, to large plastic storage bins depending on the size of the project.

The key is to have everything you need to work on the project in the bin. Ideally that includes the tools, like whatever rulers, markers, floss, or scissors needed. Plus a pencil and paper with notes on where you left off in the project so you can quickly get started again without wasting any time.

Here are some items you will want to have in every project bin.

  • The materials needed: Like fabric, embroidery floss, felt

  • Your project pattern and instructions

  • Reference material: this could be a quick guide to embroidery stitches or a guide to common fabric cuts. Any general information that you may need on hand for the project

  • Supplies: If possible, keep the supplies you need right in the project container. This means, a scissors, ruler, or any other supplies for your project

  • Small bag for garbage: I keep either a small sandwich bag or fabric bag in my project container for all my fabric, thread, and paper scraps. I might not always have a garbage nearby and it’s nice to have a dedicated spot to throw it.

  • Pencil or pen to make notes

  • Project tracker note sheet: A place to write notes on the project. This is a great place to write down where you left off before putting the project away, so you know right where you left off for next time. It can also be used to list any supplies to purchase, any tips you may have picked up along the way, and can be kept as a diary of the project.

swan embroidery with project tracker notes project container 3 simple organization hacks to boost your creative time

Project Tracker note sheet 2up penguinandfish lisiting

Here’s a free downloadable PDF of our project note sheet. There’s two on a sheet, so print it out, cut in half and you’ll be ready to keep track of two projects.

Make a project container for all of your projects, or at least the most current ones you’re working on, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it will be to start crafting right when inspiration hits, no matter how messy your craft room is. You only need to grab the project container and you’re ready to craft.

Tip 2. Gather like items and give them a highly visible place of honor in your craft space.

scissors 3 simple organization hacks to boost your creative time

So what if you don’t have tons of scissors to put one in every project container.

Here’s a solution if you don’t have tools to spare for each project. Gather similar items in a highly visible place of honor in your craft space.

For example, find all of your scissors (whether they’re large, small, for fabric, or paper) and place them in a jar with a pretty ribbon. Put the jar in a place of prominence in your craft space. It could be the centerpiece to your cutting table, or it could sit right next to your sewing machine. Make sure the jar is in a place where it doesn’t have to move often and is highly visible at all times.

Then when it’s craft time, just grab your project container and a scissors from the jar. There’s no time lost.

Tip 3. Always have an “emergency craft project” on hand.

emergency craft project 3 simple organization hacks to boost your creative time

Ever get stuck somewhere and wish you had a project to work on?

That’s where having an “emergency craft project” comes in handy.

An “emergency craft project” is a small craft project that you have with you all the time. It should be something that you don’t need to finish in any hurry, and is just around when you need it.

I have an “emergency craft project” in my handbag that I bring everywhere (a crocheted doily project), and also in my car (an English Paper Piecing quilt project).

You should have all the materials and supplies in an “emergency craft project” like you would in a normal project container. However, to keep things minimal, you might only have the current step and next step of your project on hand. Your larger project container would stay at home and you’d switch out steps as needed.

A small sandwich or fabric bag for garbage is especially important to have in your “emergency craft kit” because you’ll be away from your normal work area. Heck, you might be standing in line somewhere. Having a place to store your little thread snippets comes in handy.

An “emergency craft project” should also have a project note sheet. Record where you left off, so you’ll know where to pick up your project next time. It might be a while before you need an “emergency craft project” again.

With my project container supplemented by my grouped supplies and “emergency craft project”, I know I’ll have everything I need to craft and I’ll be able to start when the time and motivation hits.

Nothing, not even a craft room full of “drifts” can get in my way.

What about you?

Do you have a special container for your projects or tools? How clean is your craft space? Does an unorganized space keep you from crafting?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment below.

project tracker pdf 3 simple organization hacks to boost your creative time

If you’d like a project tracker for keeping tabs of your project and for more crafting tips, sign up in the form below. Fill out the project tracker and keep it in your project container. It’s a great way to make notes on where you left off with the project, what supplies you still need, and jot down any ideas that come while you’re working on your project.

1 comment

Diana

Hi Alyssa,
Thank you for the suggestions. I have my projects in separate containers, but I was missing the project tracker. I never liked going back to the project because I had to figure out where I was in the process. So simple to have a tracking sheet. Now I have a plan!
Diana :)

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