How to Stay (or Get!) Organized Without Killing Your Creativity

Being organized is one of those things that benefits almost everyone – but comes naturally to very few. For the rest of us, it takes conscious thought and effort, not to mention time.

But how are you supposed to be creative when you’re busy putting everything in little boxes and drawers and bins instead of playing with your supplies? I know that cleaning up isn’t the most creative act out there, and can feel like a chore when all you want to do is craft!

As a professional designer and crafter, I know all too well how quickly the craft chaos can build up. But I have to keep everything at least somewhat organized – it’s my job! So I’ve put together a few thoughts on what keeps me motivated to stay on top of the craziness – and I got a few tips and tricks from my fellow Red Heart Joy Creators too!

Think about what you’ll find!

When I clean up my craft room, I always end up finding some roll of washi tape, yarn sample, or craft idea I jotted down on a scrap of paper and forgot about. And I usually end up feeling inspired by my finds – with new ideas to add!

You’ve Lost That Pinterest Feeling…

We all want to have Pinterest-worthy craft rooms. Or at least ones with a visible floor and workspace! When the craft supplies are a hot mess, inspiration is about the last feeling I’m having. I’d rather shut the door and run away and do something else! Having my supplies organized and my space looking good – at least a little bit – gives me the mental space to focus on my creative ideas rather than the chaos.

Crafting Time Is Precious!

Which is why we don’t want to spend it cleaning up – I get that for sure! But I also hate when I waste my time searching for the right size hook, or that yarn I just know I ordered… When everything is put away, I can get what I need and get on with it while the creative juices are flowing!

My Favorite Tip – Clear Plastic Buckets!

Like many, my craft room is full of cubby storage shelves and pegboard. I like everything in its place – but I also like to see what I have! This is because I have a dedicated room – if your craft supplies share space in the house, you might prefer something more closed up and discreet.

But one of my favorite craft room supplies is just as useful in a hall closet as it is in a Pinterest-inspired dedicated craft room – clear plastic buckets! The ones I have are about 11″ x 8″, and I use them to sort out my projects and their supplies while they are in progress, to carry a small project from room to room, and to keep multiple skeins organizes when working in stripes. Because they are clear, I can see at a glance which project is inside, and if I have all the supplies I need!

And I’ve asked a few of my fellow Joy Creators for their best tips too – sharing ideas is always a great way to stay motivated, and everyone has their own favorite method. Maybe some of these will work for you!

Tips from Red Heart Joy Creators

“Clean as you go! When you finish a project, clean up before going onto something else. Have a place where your WiPs get stored as well so you can put unfinished projects away when you are not working on them. Oh, and whenever you bring in something new, find a home for it, if everything has a home, it’s easier to keep things neat.” – Jessie Rayot, Jessie at Home

“Use some sort of tag that states your hook size you were using with the project. We think we will remember but usually, don’t.” – Kathy Lashley, ELK Studio

“Large Ziplock Baggies and a Black Sharpie. Write the hook size and yarn weight/yarn name on the bag and then if you put down your project to pick something else up, be sure to put your project inside the bag. If it is too large, put the yarn in the ziplock and grab a grocery bag to store your project. If you are designing pop your written sheets inside and if you are working on a pattern pop it inside to save it.” – Rhondda Winn-Mol, Oombawka Design

“I bought a cube shelf and have write-on tags for each cube. Each cube has a different WIP or yarn for a future project. I’ve tried different organizing things in the past and these are the best. Plus I put a 3×5 card in each one with the project supplies and details so I won’t forget.” – Heidi Lee Yates, Snappy Tots

I keep a small notebook with me wherever I go. When I have an idea I jot it down. Or, when I begin something on the fly I jot down the hook size, the number of chains, etc. That way I don’t have to try to remember everything by memory. It really frees up my mind for more creative activities!” – Jennifer Dickerson, Fiber Flux

Your Turn!

What are your best tips and tricks for staying organized and creative at the same time? Share with us in the comments!

How to Stay (or Get!) Organized Without Killing Your Creativity