With spring nearly coming to a close, your enthusiasm around spring cleaning and organization has likely subsided, especially if you didn’t get around to every item on your list. Yet you have a head full of crafting ideas and the enthusiasm to match. But, a clutter of tools, supplies and materials can quickly grind your craft project to a halt. Set yourself up for success by taking time to get organized before the buzz of spring cleaning subsides. When you’re organized, you’ll be free to let your creativity flow. Here are five steps to help you get ready to launch any metal craft project.
Step One: Take Inventory
Whether you’re a seasoned crafter or just a beginner, you may have already collected the tools, supplies and materials you’ll need for your projects. Using a computer spreadsheet or old-fashioned paper and pen, make a list of everything you already have. Divide the inventory into three categories:
- Tools: Items you might use to cut, bend, paint, smooth and so on.
- Supplies: These could be accessories to decorate your project like paint or glue, nails, screws, or other small items you might need.
- Materials: The pieces of metal or other hard items that will comprise the bulk of your finished project.
Within each inventory category, you might also create subcategories for like-items or for similar-sized items.
As you are conducting the inventory, consider making a list of items you need or want to add to your collection.
And remember, it’s okay to throw away, donate or recycle anything that is damaged or unnecessary. Streamlining your inventory is another way to stay organized and ready to begin any project.
Step Two: Plan
Once you have your inventory of items on hand – and a list of those you need to add – you’ll want to identify a space for storing and organizing everything. Ideally, the space where you store your items will be convenient and accessible to the area where you will work on your crafts. If you need inspiration, online sources like Pinterest, Houzz and The Spruce can provide lots of visuals.
Some potential storage/work spaces include:
- Garage: Designating a space for your crafting in the garage may mean taking time to reorganize it as well. Don’t let that daunt you. Let it be an opportunity to enlist family or friends and turn it into a party, instead of a chore. Again, separate items into categories to: Keep, Trash, Donate and Recycle.
- Closet: In addition to work space storage, you may find a nearby closet provides a place to organize smaller items. And, if you need to craft in a shared space, such as a dining room or family room, a closet can help keep your items readily available, yet out-of-sight.
- Spare room: A spare room that is all yours will help make your crafting dreams come true. If you have the luxury of claiming a spare room, think about how to set it up for both organizing and working.
- Shed or Workshop: If you have access to a shed or workshop, much like designating a space in a garage, take an overview and sketch out a plan for storage and work areas.
Once you’ve identified where you will store/work, you’ll also want to think about how you’ll organize things. As you review the inventory and designated storage space, think about what you might already have that can be used to organize your items and what you might need to purchase. Use your creativity to find affordable ways to organize, such as:
- Repurpose old jars, glassware and mugs to hold smaller items.
- A local Dollar Tree or thrift store can be a treasure trove of inexpensive bins and containers.
- Boxes from packages you may have received from Amazon or other shipping companies could be covered with craft or wrapping paper.
- Plastic tubing, pegboard, hooks, desktop file holders and file cabinets can be effective storage options.
- An old bureau or desk might provide both storage as well as a work surface.
- Rolling carts or floating shelves are other potential options.
- And, if your area is small, think about how you can use wall space or corners to maximize every inch.
- Remember to include a label-maker and/or tags and markers to label your containers.
Step Three: Gather and Shop
You’ve got your inventory, you’ve designated a space and you’ve got a plan in mind; now you’re ready to gather the containers you’ll use to organize everything and go shopping for the things you need. Of course, our expert staff are always available to brainstorm ideas with you and point you in the right direction for obtaining storage items, not to mention the tools, supplies and materials you need. To help stay within a budget, do some online research to find prices and source local places to purchase your storage containers. You might find that you’ll need to spread out purchases over time, which is okay. Don’t let that stop you from doing what you can with what you have; it’s a place to start.
Step Four: Get Started
Give yourself time to complete your organizing project. Taking time to do it right will yield dividends over the long term. You may feel compelled to get it all done in a day or a weekend, but when you give yourself the “okay” to chip away at it a little at a time, it will more likely mean that you will actually achieve your organization plan. Look at your upcoming schedule and designate some realistic times that you can devote to your organizing project. It may be a whole day or weekend, but it might also be as little as 30 minutes a day. Cutting the project into small chunks of time makes it more doable and more likely you can complete it.
Step Five: Enlist Help
You don’t have to do it all by yourself. Use a friend or family member to not only bounce off ideas, but ask them to help you with the organizing project. Make it fun. Of course, our team can listen and offer suggestions and input, so be sure to come into the store and chat with us. We’re as excited as you are about the ideas you have to create unique, beautiful and functional metal crafts.