food, fotos, family and a lot of fun

It seems that my previous post about my whole house clean out had quite the effect on several of my friends. I continue to move through the house, tackling one room at a time. But the one I get asked about the most is my craft room.


The mister lovingly calls this my “crap” room. I don’t really think he wants to know what I have to say about his garage. Naughty boy!

While these photos aren’t ready for primetime, this is really about another dose of inspiration. How to clean up, pack up and move out all of the things you don’t need. Just as before, I had three piles: One was pass alongs and giveaways, two was pure trash and three was things to donate and in this case perhaps even resale.

About 10 years ago my husband managed a drug store that changed locations. From the property that closed, we were able to get some of the pharmacy shelving units which are beyond awesome. Heavy duty, metal movable shelves and NOT deep. No matter, I had filled them to capacity with paints and glues and other things that had long since jumped the shark.


Don’t judge! I have a lot of rubber stamps, many of them wood mounted. I have been sewing more and stamping less over the past few years and I divested of quite a few stamps that are just no longer my style.


As you can see I was sorting my stamps into themes and I have bagged them up accordingly to sell as sets.


I also nabbed that superb mirrored peg board when the mister’s store moved. It truly serves a purpose. This room is in the basement side of our daylight basement….READ: It has no windows. That is why I opted to hang french doors in the entrance to this room. Light is so important when crafting or sewing or stamping or writing blog posts. That crazy mirrored business reflects the light coming through those doors, so there is a method to this woman’s madness!

So, a bit of a tour is in order. To the left is the mister’s grandfather’s upholstery Singer from the early 20’s. It is motorized and still works but I have never used it. Above that is a stamp pad organizer made by the mister. Then ahead is pegboard full of tools, and on the floor is an oak box that the mister made to hold all of my cross stitch materials. (I haven’t stitched in quite a few years)


Ugh! This is just cringe worthy. But because I am not usually a good example, I am striving to be a dire warning. Don’t do this! Everything does need a home and that does not mean putting it in a pile. This is one side of my closet.


This is the other side. Just because I found multiple containers to hold my crap and stack them on top of each other didn’t mean this was right either. It still wasn’t organized and I couldn’t find what I wanted or needed….ever! (Those are dog toys on top of that pile. In hospital for repair!)


My printer stand/scrapbook paper and book making supplies. FAIL!


Overstuffed magazine holders and just general disarray. Everywhere. (Did ya check out that uber kewl kokopelli hanging there?)


Bulletin board over flowing, fabric everywhere, blah…blah…blah….

How did I transform this room? First I scoured it from top to bottom. I seriously touched every single item in here. I threw away an amazing amount of ephemera, magazines and dried paint and adhesives. I packed up all the stamps I no longer wanted. I got rid of things that I knew I would either never learn to do (beading) or had never used (crochet). I was brutal.

Next I considered the layout of this room and how I worked. I realized that the location of some things were very conducive to the workflow and a few things weren’t. I kept these issues in mind as I “rebuilt” this room. I am also a very visual person and I needed to have it be an aesthetically pleasing area as well.

One thing I needed to get under control straightaway was all the yardage I had on hand. I ordered 100 comic book backing boards for about 15 bucks and got busy. (You can see that I had begun to put the fabric on boards in the previous photo)

I only purchased two items to assist in the “rebuilding” of this room. First I bought a sweater organizer that hangs on a rod so that I could put small projects in there. Things like the fabric, trim and dishtowels to make some embellished kitchen towels. The other thing was a six compartment organizer that would hold cloth drawers. I use this to hold rarely used and heavy items like headliner fabric and upholstery fabric. It was my intent to repurpose and reuse as much as I possibly could.

Enough with all of this damn chatter, let’s get on with it!


My sewing/cutting table hasn’t moved but the wall behind it is of interest. I have all of my yardage on the shelves, as well as charm packs, jelly rolls and honey buns. I have some of my favorite art pieces on the top of the shelves. Paints and adhesives have been greatly reduced, as have the stamps. I put my Bigshot, punches and cutting pads on the shelves….where I can see them….to remind me to use them.


I rearranged my remaining magazines and books into a much neater and manageable configuration.


Totally cleaned out these storage units and I actually know what I have and I can see it. (and might possibly use it)


I made room on my countertop for my embroidery machine and in the crates below I put all of my layer cakes. In the opposite corner is my oak cross stitch box and a basket on top that holds all of my scraps.


Here is a different view. I can see that I need to make a cover for my embroidery machine. That plastic just ain’t gettin’ it!



That god-awful closet is now a thing of beauty. The unit I purchased (with the green and purple drawers) also provides a nice flat surface for my large quilting rulers. The smaller, more frequently used ones hang just above the shelf. The drawers hold notions, trims and kits and bulky fabrics like fleece and felt.


You can see my sweater storage just at the far right of the photo with some of my “in progress” projects in it. I now have a place to store my iron and Best Press (in that black box). The filing cabinet is full of cardstock. The two plastic containers hold ribbons and yarn which I use a lot in sewing and bookbinding, crafting, creating.

This room has stayed neat and workable for several reasons. I thought out how I want my room to flow and I put things in places that made sense to me. Who cares how nifty and neat something is if you can’t remember where you put stuff? I also purged all of those unnecessary things that were blocking the flow….er, well…..they were really overflowing. She who dies with the most does not win. You want your space to be happy and to make you happy. And happiness breeds creativity. To that end, here is my friend David, who has been hanging around in this room since about 1999.


He is always glad you came and very sad to see you go!





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2 Responses

  1. Wowie Becky!!! You have a huge craft room with thousands of items… Well organized… But not perfect … To tackle that whole room at once was a daunting task!!! You are one incredible chick! In your honor today I am dragging everything out of my huge master bedroom walk in closet . I too am going to be brutal … Here to a lighter more simplified life!! Thanks for the inspiration!! Love you!

  2. I’ve seen your before & after & have always “lusted” after your lil creative space! All in one place & ready to be used at the drop of the dime (a penny would do just as well…lol). After our trip to Italy in 2001…..of course I had to follow your lead with our sweet David. My bedroom now has a perfect “David” ….. He’s quite & always like Becky said: Glad to see ya come & sad to see ya go. In fact we “enhanced” him quite a bit, I must admit. haha
    I was on the receiving end of the discarded Walgreen shelving as well… just right not to “lose” things on the shallow shelves. One day I’ll have some after pics for ya of my creative areas…..NOT all in one place as my creative spurts take me into different areas. Bravo sweetie…and thanks for all those wonderful creative times spent together!

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