Organizing a Small Craft & TV Space

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Today’s messy situation was submitted by Christine and I’m going to tell her how organize her craft and TV room!

“My organization challenge is my craft/sewing/tv room wannabe . The couch will be moved out, and I have a reading chair I want to put in there. Every time I go in there to do something with it I just turn around and walk out it is so overwhelming! It is a very small room.” – Christine

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{Photo Credit: Winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net{

Christine, thanks so much for e-mailing your photos and questions – I’d love to help you out! We’re going to break this down into a few sessions to make this feel more manageable for you.

Session 1:

I have bad news for you - you’re going to have to get brave and brace yourself before you walk into your craft room because there will be no more turning around and leaving!

The good news? You don’t even have to start cleaning during your first session. You need a game plan, so before you even start organizing, go ahead and envision how you want your space to look. Do you want to keep the furniture laid out how you currently have it or can you do a little rearranging?

Don’t just do something because that’s what you’ve always done – really think about configurations that would work for your family. I personally think it would look nice if you want to put your new chair at an angle in the corner of the room (a little to the left of where the couch currently is). You may also want to consider either moving your desk  in front of your window or putting cubbies above the desk to hold craft supplies..

While you’re thinking about furniture placement, also think about creating little areas or zones for your items.  For example, if you have any important documents or business supplies in your craft room, those should be put on a shelf or in a bin together, so they’re easy to access but out of your way.

Also consider the craft supplies that you have and think about how often you’ll use them as well as where you’ll use them. Will you sit on the chair to knit while you watch a movie? If so, you’ll know that you want to fill a little basket full of knitting supplies and put it next to your chair!

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And, unless you have a really great reason for keeping two desks, I think you should also consider getting rid of one of them because both of them is practically begging for clutter piles to accumulate! Lastly, think about the artwork you have leaning against a shelf. Will you hang it up soon? If not, then donate it.

Again, don’t actually do anything yet – just breathe, dream, and envision. Once you’ve thoroughly completed those steps, session one is over! Go take a break!

Step 2:

Step two is when you’ll actually start to declutter and here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Start small. Clean out one pile, one corner, or one shelf – you want your space to look better, not worse, as you declutter!
  • Purge! If you haven’t used something in a year, then you probably won’t use it at all.
  • Corral like items. Pens with pens, fabric with fabric, etc.
  • Rethink your current systems. Maybe you currently keep fabric in a drawer but you think it might be better on a shelf – try that out and see how it looks!

If you have any paper clutter in your craft room, then you absolutely must read my article about taming the paper clutter. For tips on how to decide what craft supplies to keep and which ones to donate, as well as tips about organizing what’s left, check out Laura’s fantastic post about craft room organization. And for even more specific ways about how to break down cleaning sessions, check out this office mess sos post!

I hope this helped you Christine – don’t forget to send after photos so you can receive your gift card! I can’t wait to see your organized space!

PS Don’t forget that if you submit your own mess by October 30th, you’ll receive a free copy of Chaos to Clutter-Free, plus you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card! Details and submission information are here.

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A Reader’s Laundry Success!

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{Photo Credit: hyena reality / freedigitalphotos.net}

I’m so excited to have another success story to share with you! Anne e-mailed in about her laundry situation a couple of weeks ago, and after following some of the tips I suggested, she’s tamed her laundry monster!

Here’s what Anne had to say:

“I’ve attached a photo of the clothes that I cleaned out of my closet and storage bins today. The large pile on the left is going to a local thrift store that supports individuals with developmental disabilities, and the pile on the right are socks that I threw out. Thanks for the advice on getting rid of clothes, I’m so glad I did this and I’m so excited to be able to bless the DD ministry with some nice things! Thanks so much!” – Anne

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Then Anne e-mailed in a few days later to share about her new maintenance system:

“I bought two $3 over-the-door hooks for the laundry room to hang wet washcloths and rags so that they’re not trying to dry wherever there’s room. I’m also keeping dirty laundry in the laundry room in stacked baskets instead of letting in creep all over the floor.

“I’ve made it a priority to do laundry before anything else after I put my daughter down for her nap. I have to make sure I bring her hamper out of her room beforehand so that I don’t have the excuse that I can’t get her clothes out of there. This has made a huge difference in the amount of dirty laundry around the home.

“I organized the clothes in my closet, my dresser drawers, and my daughter’s dresser drawers to make sure everything has a place. Semi-clean clothing goes back with clean clothing instead of on the bookshelf.” – Anne

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Anne, your laundry organization looks fantastic – thanks so much for sharing your success story with us! Your gift card is on its way :)

Go here to see Anne’s questions, my tips, and a before photo.

PS Don’t forget that if you submit your own mess by October 30th, you’ll receive a free copy of Chaos to Clutter-Free, plus you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card! Details and submission information are here.

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Overwhelmed at Work

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Today’s messy situation was submitted by Janine, and I want to extend a special thank-you to Keri for taking the time to answer this request!

And now from Keri…

Hello friends, thank you Davonne for letting me hop over and share a little again. Organization is one of my favorite things and I love sharing about it over at Living In This Season and love being able to help others! So let’s get started!

“Where do I begin?  How do I start?  My office does not portray the image that I want as a professional woman.  I have piles upon piles.  I have stacks upon stacks.  I just look around and literally want to cry.  I just don’t know where to begin to develop a system that will work for me in my office where it seems like I have a million and one different things going on.” – Janine

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 Where Do I Start?

First, take a deep breath and get one of your favorite drinks before you start working. Get the TRASH out of your office first. A lot of it can probably be tossed or recycled. So do that first!

Also, don’t try to organize your entire room at one time. Start in ONE stack, then move on to the next. You need some quick little successes and that’s going to be the fastest way to give yourself a boost.

If there are any items that do not need to be in your office, collect in a box and bring home to put in the appropriate spot. Get in the habit of putting the item back in it’s home, it will help eliminate building clutter.

Melanie recently shared some very useful tips for organizing paper clutter that you will find very helpful and applicable.

How to Create a System of Organization

I would suggest setting up a system for papers that are coming in your office. Perhaps an inbox? Put in your planner or your phone when you will go through this inbox so it will not get overflowed. Perhaps this will be every Thursday – or even every day – at 9am, whenever it is schedule it like it is a date! Go through the box and recycle or file right away!

Baskets such as these from Vinea would be helpful for an inbox or you could use one that is hanging on the wall to free up desk space.

desk inbox

Storage: For papers you want to keep, use labeled binders or files. Have things labeled and have a plan. When you go through your inbox have a 3 hole punch nearby if needed, and put in binders or file away.

There are many other helpful tips that Davonne has recently shared that I think would be very useful: Solving The Desk Mess and Simplifying the Paper Mess.

I hope this all helps you! Remember, take it a pile at a time- when you start feeling overwhelmed take a break. You can do this!

{Note from Davonne: For more pretty office organization solutions, make sure to check out this article from Dani!}

About today’s organizational expert

AboutKeri

PS Don’t forget that if you submit your own mess by October 30th, you’ll receive a free copy of Chaos to Clutter-Free, plus you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card! Details and submission information are here.

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Front Entry Organization

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Tonight’s messy situation was submitted by Tonya*!

*Name has been changed to protect the messy.

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“My question is about how to best utilize the space in my house to make my mud room less of a disaster. We have a very small entryway as you can see, and both the front door and back door lead into it in addition to a bathroom door opening up into it.

“The bench does open up and holds winter hats and mittens. But, one has to walk through the bathroom to get into the mudroom, which makes everyone less inclined to actually hang their coat in the mudroom or put their shoes in there.

“We do not have any closets on our main floor. No coat closet or cleaning closet, so our mudroom contains coats and shoes, etc. and cleaning supplies. I make my own cleaners, so I have big bottles of vinegar and Castile soap and boxes of baking soda to store. I also buy food in bulk which makes storing that difficult, too.

“We do have lockers in our garage, but being in a cold climate, we hardly want to store coats and boots in there, because they do not dry in there if they are wet. And who wants to put on cold snow-gear?!” – Tonya*

Tonya, you have some great questions and it looks like you have a pretty good handle on organization! I love the wall color and the little coat rack with the welcome sign by your door!

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Have you considered only allowing one coat and one pair of boots per person in the entry area and having your family members keep the rest in their closets, thus completely removing all shoes and coats from the closet? I don’t have a coat area by my door either, so my family keeps coats and shoes in closets with the rest of our clothes (when they’re put away, that is!).

Since you do have the lockers in your garage, you may also want to consider using those for dry coats and shoes if you don’t have room in your bedroom closets which will still allow you to keep the main closet free of clothing.

I also want to encourage you to think outside the box – who says those lockers have to be used for coats?! If you move most of the coats and shoes to bedroom closets, maybe you could choose a few of the bulk cleaning supplies or food products that can withstand the cold to move to the lockers.

It looks like your pantry is fairly organized, but it seems that you may want it to look a little more attractive. I recommend reading this article I wrote about how to organize a pantry – it includes tips for how to make a small pantry more attractive, plus the pretty pet food storage idea may be something you could try out for some of your cleaning supplies or bulk food items instead.

I also notice a lot of hanging bags in one of the photos – I recommend limiting the bags to one per person and moving the other bags to bedroom closets so they don’t clutter up the closet or entryway. Or consider putting the extra bags into a basket or bin inside the pantry to keep them nearby but out of the way.

Really, though, your space doesn’t look bad at all and I think that a couple hours of reorganization will give you a space that’s both beautiful and functional for your family!

Thanks so much for submitting your questions, Tonya! I hope this helps you out and don’t forget to send after photos when you’re finished!

PS Don’t forget that if you submit your own mess by October 30th, you’ll receive a free copy of Chaos to Clutter-Free, plus you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card! Details and submission information are here.

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