An organized, tidy craft storage system is the difference between a person who is uncommonly artistic and crafty and a person who is basically an extreme hoarder in need of a televised intervention.
I am possibly across that line and on the extreme hoarder side, but there are some bright spots of clever organization here and there amidst the clutter. One of my favorite spots in my studio is the shelf of antique drawers once used in the 1930s-era general store that still stands on my property. These drawers are more well-made and sturdy than any plastic storage bins, and they stack better, too. And, wouldn’t you believe it–they each have the fixture for a label in the front!
They were pretty much designed to serve as craft storage for me.
Of course, they’d been sitting in a garage for probably 50 years before I rescued them, so they needed a LOT of scrubbing before they could be allowed inside, but once all the dust and dead spiders were cleared out, I brought them in, lined them up, and distributed a surprising amount of my stuff into them. All that random stuff that didn’t have a home, as I was holding off on having to buy yet more plastic storage bins? That stuff all found a place in these drawers. I have a drawer for my bookbinding supplies, now, and my fabric fusibles. I have a drawer for miscellaneous tools, such as my wood burner, heat gun, and glass cutter. I have a drawer where finally all of my sewing notions can live happily together.
Since all the drawers are identical, and they’re not transparent like plastic storage bins, I was VERY happy to have those label frames. I unscrewed each frame to clean out the grime, then replaced it, but I did not clean the rust off of the frames–they look awesome just the way they are.
My ultimate placement of the drawers, stacked high in the center of one closet shelf, may look unwieldy, but barring a complete makeover of the space, it’s the best way to use the awkward set-up of what was once an awkwardly set up clothes closet. Stacking the drawers high, although it does involve the inconvenience of unstacking them each time I want something out of a bottom drawer (I put my least-needed supplies in those bottom drawers), give me much more storage capacity than if I tried to make every single drawer immediately accessible. There are always trade-offs, whatever system you use, and the ability to get more of my stuff out of my way absolutely makes up for having to spend the time getting to that stuff.
I am definitely not swearing off those dreaded plastic storage bins entirely, but anytime that I can repurpose something lovely, that looks better than a modern, store-bought piece and works better than it, too, I consider that a crafting win!
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