Getting Your Craft Supplies Organized and Put Away in Time for the Holiday Rush

It’s now December of 2017. Thanksgiving is behind us, and the holiday season is now in full swing. December 25 will be here before you know it. Are you ready?

If you entertained family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday, you might have already done massive amounts of cleaning and housekeeping to prepare.

Or maybe you didn’t have to.

Or maybe you did have to, but the amount of cleaning you did wasn’t enough to completely eradicate all chaos at your place. I’ve definitely been there myself.

Back when we were “landlubbers”, Mike and I always used to host Thanksgiving at our place, and it was a mad scramble to get ready for having everyone over. I confess that there were many times in the past when I cleaned the main living areas like a madwoman, but shoved bunches of disorganized clutter into boxes in closets, under beds and out in the garage. Once I even stuffed a bag of miscellaneous craft supplies in the clothes dryer. Then I didn’t remember it was there, and a few days later, Mike accidentally dried it along with some socks and underwear he had washed.

OOPS.

Cleaning up after my cleanup was a confusing, stressful and chaotic situation. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

I have some organization strategies and tips to share after getting a major handle on my own formerly out-of-control crafting chaos. I’m hopeful that maybe my experiences could help some of you get organized too.

Here are the steps I recommend taking:

  1. Go through all your craft supplies and sell, donate, give away or trash anything you’re not going to use.
  2. For the stuff you’re keeping, decide on a storage and organization system with two crucial characteristics: everything you store needs to be easy for you to see and everything you’re storing also needs to be easily accessible. Otherwise, it’s out of sight, out of mind; and anything that’s out of mind, you might as well have sold it or given it away in step one above. For example, you should automatically reject any system that requires you to store your craft supplies in cardboard boxes stacked deep underneath of other cardboard boxes in an inaccessible area such as the attic, because such a system pretty much guarantees you will never use the supplies you have stored there. If you can’t see them and can’t reach them, you’re likely to forget about them before they ever get used.
  3. Once you’ve decided on a system, implement it and use it. After every crafting session, be sure to put your supplies away in their proper places so you can easily locate them next time you want to work on your project(s).
  4. It’s also helpful to designate a spot to keep your projects in progress; I’m now using an ArtBin Yarn Drum for this purpose.

In my experience, clear organizers or translucent organizers work best; they allow you to see everything you have stashed without opening each organizer. This will save you tons of time when you look for your supplies.

It can also save you bunches of money. How many times have you accidentally purchased a duplicate of something, perhaps a duplicate crochet hook or set of knitting needles, because you couldn’t find the one you already own? Getting organized will allow you to both save money and be much more productive than you would be otherwise.


Here are links to product reviews of several of my favorite craft organizers:


Craft Organizers by ArtBin
Craft Organizers by ArtBin

  • ArtBin Hook & Needle Nook, Item#: 6930AB — This hard plastic storage case is exactly what you need for organizing traditional crochet hooks and steel crochet hooks. It can also be ideal for organizing Tunisan crochet hooks and knitting needles that are 12 inches long or shorter.
  • ArtBin Solutions Storage Cabinet, Item#: 6994AB — If you do bead crochet, bead knitting, wire crochet or wire knitting, this is an outstanding organizer for keeping track of your beads, findings, tools, and wire. It also works well for organizing embroidery floss and other sorts of craft supplies
  • ArtBin Super Satchel 1-Compartment, Item#: 6955AB — This is a fantastic multi-purpose craft organizer that’ll help you organize just about any type of art or craft supply you might need to find a place for.
  • ArtBin Mini Sidekick, Item#: 6815AG — This versatile hard plastic caddy is ideal for storing scrap yarn, balls of crochet thread, and a variety of other craft supplies.
  • ArtBin Thread Storage Tray — If your toddler or kitten has ever run off with a spool of your thread, leaving a tangled mess in his wake, you’ll definitely appreciate having a solution for wall-mounting your thread collection out of his reach. Even if that’s never happened to you, you’re likely to agree it’s much more pleasant having your thread all organized and easily accessible in one handy spot.

These are all products I own and use, and I recommend them.

There are a few additional items in my craft storage and organization system that I haven’t written about yet. Some of them may surprise you, because they involve some clever re-purposing of boating gear that sailors and yachties use to keep their vessels shipshape — but once you see the logic in the system, I think perhaps some of you will want to give it a try.


I’m in the process of compiling a complete guide to organizing craft supplies, including suggestions for the best organizers to use for a variety of purposes. If this is an area you need help with, I invite you to subscribe to my free knitting and crochet newsletter in order to be alerted when new articles in the series become available; it also assures you of receiving alerts when new free patterns, stitch tutorials, product reviews and other new articles of interest to knitters and crocheters become available.


It really doesn’t matter if you implement my craft storage and organization system or one you devise on your own; what matters is that you get organized to your own satisfaction. If you plan to entertain your family and friends for the holidays this year, you want your crafting to be a source of pride, rather than having out-of-control-crafting clutter and chaos that becomes a source of embarrassment.


I wish you and yours the happiest of holidays this year!



Sincerely,

Amy

Celebrate “I Love Yarn” Day 2017 With Easy Crochet Projects for Beginners

I Love Yarn Day --Celebrate With  Crochet, Knitting and Yarn Crafts
I Love Yarn Day — Crochet, Knitting and Yarn Crafts
Guess what! Today is “I Love Yarn Day”, an extra-special day the Craft Yarn Council has designated for fun activities, yarncraft project ideas and free patterns just for the occasion. If you’d like to win some new knitting and crochet supplies, check out the I Love Yarn Day scavenger hunt featuring a spectacular prize package:

List of FUN, AMAZING Prizes for YARN LOVERS:

Send your scavenger hunt entries to the Craft Yarn Council before the deadline, which is October 21st 11:59 pm CT, and you will be entered to win 1 of 20 prizes totaling more than $1,200:

  • Interchangeable “Takumi” Circular Knitting Needle Combo Set
  • Interchangeable “Takumi” Tunisian Crochet Hook Combo Set
  • Prize package of Red Heart yarns
  • 3 Clover PomPom Makers
  • 2, 1- year subscriptions to Creativebug online classes
  • 3 sets of booklets from Leisure Arts: Emoji Crochet, New Twist on Macramé and Yarn Crafts
  • Prize package of yarn from Lion Brand Yarn Co.
  • Amazon gift card from Prime Publishing
  • 1-year subscription to I Like Crochet digital magazine from Prime Publishing
  • 3 Boye Pom Pom Tassel Makers
  • 2 Prize packages of newest yarns from Yarnspirations
  • 2 Vogue Knitting Ultimate Knitting Books
  • Just imagine all the gorgeous projects you could make if you were to win any of these goodies! If you’re new to knitting or crochet and you don’t already have a yarn and pattern stash accumulated, winning one of these prizes would definitely be a great start! And if you’re an experienced crafter, as you already know, you can never have too many yarncrafting supplies…

    Stitching It Forward: Teach Others How to Craft With Yarn:

    Knitting, Crocheting, Weaving, Spinning and Yarn Bombing

    As part of this special celebration, the Craft Yarn Council has requested that ALL fiber fans will share our love for yarn and “stitch it forward” by teaching at least one other person to knit, crochet, weave, spin or yarnbomb. Since crochet is the yarncraft I’m most proficient at, I would be honored to teach YOU how to crochet if you do not already know how. To get you started, I’ve put together the following list of free tutorials and easy crochet patterns for beginners:

    Learn How to Crochet With Free Instructions and Tutorials:

    A slip knot is the first thing you need to know when you’re learning how to crochet. Click here to see a free crochet slip knot tutorial.


    A slip knot is NOT the only way to start crochet projects — but it is one of the most popular ways. See how to start crochet for some other insights about how to get a crochet project started.


    Learn How to Crochet a Granny Square for Beginners
    Learn How to Crochet a Granny Square. Cascade 220 Is the Yarn I Used to Crochet This Square.

    When I teach beginners how to crochet, I recommend the granny square as an ideal first crochet project. To crochet the most basic, beginner-friendly granny square, you’ll need to know how to work the chain stitch, the slip stitch and the double crochet stitch:

    This easy crochet neck warmer is another beginner-friendly crochet project:


    Easy Crochet Neck Warmer Pattern for Beginners
    Easy Crochet Neck Warmer Pattern for Beginners

    There are many other amazing crochet stitches to learn, but there are bunches of projects you can make with only the chain, double crochet and slip stitch. The pretty neck warmer pictured above is a crochet project that only requires the chain stitch and the double crochet stitch.


    If you want to learn even more, I invite you tocontact me and ask to be added to my list of knitting and crochet newsletter subscribers. I often make new patterns, stitch tutorials, book reviews and other resources available that I think you will enjoy.

    See Also:

    This page was last updated on October 15, 2017.

    Knitting and Crochet in May: A Limerick

    Small Crochet Flowers With Popcorn Stitch Petals
    These pretty flower motifs make fantastic little projects for crocheting in the month of May — or any time.

    The glorious month of May
    Is a wonderful time to crochet.
    You can make jewelry and flowers
    and granny squares for hours
    and lovely presents for Mother’s Day.

    May is also a great time to sit
    outside in the sunshine and knit.
    Grab your needles and yarn,
    your wire and your plarn,
    and work on your projects a bit.

    Are Dye Lots an Issue With Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Thread?

    Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread: Do You Have to Worry About Dye Lots?
    Are Dye Lots an Issue With Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Thread? Our Readers Weigh In.

    Floy writes,

    Can you tell me if I need to worry about dye lots on crochet threads?

    It’s been a long time since a made a large project. I’m going to start a tablecloth, I’m not sure if I should go ahead and get all my thread online or not. I don’t really find a dye lot # on Aunt Lydia’s purchased at JoAnn’s. I purchased 6 balls of burgundy, and I’m unsure about starting without getting it all.

    However when I look online I don’t find any reference to dye lots. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for your time.


    Floy

    Hi Floy! Thanks for getting in touch.

    This is a great question. I totally understand your reluctance to start on such a large, substantial and time consuming project without verifying this for sure.

    I haven’t made a large project with this particular brand of crochet thread, so I am going to turn the floor over to comments from my readers. I’m betting you’ll get some helpful answers from the community here. Who here has experience with matching (or not matching) dye lots of Aunt Lydia’s crochet thread? Thanks in advance for any help you can give Floy.

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