Happy Tuesday! I’ve decided that Tuesdays lend themselves particularly well to all things “tidy” for several reasons, so on this day of the week I shall be sharing more of my cleaning and organizing wisdom with you. For starters, I have a thing for alliteration, hence “T-idy” and “T-useday”, however cheesy that may be, and secondly, I need rhythm here! I can feel it, so you can probably feel it too, so I will be using days of the week to share certain Homesong topics with you in hopes that I will post more consistently with care. As you’ve read, rhythm paves the way for both simplicity and freedom, so it’s about time I folded it into my writing and work in this space. So on Tuesdays you can expect all things on the topic of “homemaking”, specifically cleaning, tidying, nesting, decorating, storing, and seasonal tinkering around. More to come tomorrow about Wednesday’s topic, and so forth.
Onto the second tidy home tips and tidbits, which is all about finding a home for your small supplies, and in this case: arts and crafts. I don’t know about you or your home, but several things are true regarding ours:
- We love to make things.
- The supplies we use to make things are aplenty and live everywhere, aka: are homeless.
- Most of the time, it’s a cluster and stresses me out.
Except not anymore, because I recently converted our old pie cupboard into a craft cupboard to keep things simple, beautiful, and orderly. Our home is older which means there is very little built-in storage, both a blessing and a curse for reasons which I don’t have the time nor space to draft here. Alas, this quandary means I’ve come to rely on secondary storage items to give many of our belongings a place to live so they can be more accessible and organized, all the while our home embracing a minimal and clutter-free lifestyle. I have tried many methods, and this one seems to be the winner. Let me share a few reasons why creating a craft cupboard is a good fit:
- Less Searching | Art supplies all over the house means I am always searching for them. Where did you last see the scissors? The tape? Where did all the wool go? And why is glitter everywhere? Are we out of white paper? Alfie, did you take the glue gun, again? These are no longer questions I frequently have to ask because all of our arts and crafts supplies have a home in our cupboard, and not in every room on every floor of our home. Less searching = more time and energy.
- Accessibility | The location of said cupboard is also an important factor because it turns our dining area into a craft area during the day. You may not prefer this, or you may have an entire room devoted to making, but we don’t so where we have supper is also where we apple stamp and draw pumpkins. It works remarkably well for us. Our table is marked with all sorts of little one scribbles and paint splatters, and I have given up on fussing over it. It makes so much sense to keep the home of our crafts in a place where our kids (and myself) can be encouraged to get messy and make things.
- Respect | When we are done with a particular craft supply, we promptly return it to its home. Because the crayons and makers and pastels and so forth do not live on a random shelves or shoved in drawers with other pantry items or seasonal decor, and instead lives with it’s craft friends, returning them to their rightful home is much, much easier to do. When something doesn’t have a designated space to “live” it gets tossed about without care, and often times, gets ruined or broken. Keeping everything in one spot makes clean up so much easier for everyone, and it also instils respect for the art supplies because we learn to take better care of them.
- Beauty | Another reason creating a craft cupboard is working well in our home is that it’s beautiful. Just look at it. I want to make something right now after looking at these photos! Beauty is an important factor in making a home because it offers us delight and gives us pleasure. I used various jars, enamel pots, baskets, and bowls to store each individual craft within the cupboard, thereby keeping things orderly but pretty to look at. Because this cupboard is on the main level in our home in a room we use quite a bit, this is important to me. I want everything in our home to be something I love to use or look at, and this cupboard is no exception. I gathered almost every receptacle and small storage solution you see above second hand from thrift stores and garage sales and they work well. You do not need to go out and spend buckets of money creating an organizational space for your belongings. First, use what you already have. Second, buy used. I find so much beauty in knowing that many of the items in our home have been used by someone else. For me, it creates depth of meaning and writes a meaningful story.
- Economy | And lastly, creating a craft cupboard is a wonderful tidy solution because ensuring the tiny bits and pieces you use to make things have a place to live, you are able to see what it is you have on hand, and what it is you need more of. When things are scattered about or hard to find, we forget they exist. This creates two major problems: 1. excess 2. waste. When you cannot find the tape, for example, you might buy another roll at the store next time you are running errands. Now you have two rolls of tape, and when you have more than one of something you are more less to take better care of it, thereby creating more opportunities for waste. The tape example is a simple one, but think about all the times you’ve bought something you already own simply because you didn’t know where it was, or couldn’t take inventory of said item before stocking up for good measure. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve done this with Ketchup, and my grandmother has done this with soap. At one point last year we had somewhere around the ballpark of five ketchup bottles, and yet I kept buying one when at the store because I never stored them all in the same place. They didn’t have a place to live, so I never knew what I had on hand. Now, I keep all our condiments on one shelf and before going to the store, I check in and see what’s low. Simple is as simple does.
Tips & Tidbits:
- You don’t have to have a large cupboard of supplies to create this tidy solution. A small dresser or book shelf will do just fine. The point is making a home for your craft supplies, and making sure they always live there.
- Make sure you organize the contents of your cupboard so everything inside of it has a place to live. Use secondhand as much as possible, or even better, what you already own to do this.
- Ask for art and craft supplies for birthdays and holidays instead of toys. We do this each year and the reason we have so many great creative tools is because of that.
- Use glass storage as much as possible. It helps you see what is inside, and when you can see it, you’re more likely to use it.
- Get rid of all craft supplies that are broken, rarely used, and no longer inspiring.
There you have it! What questions about our craft cupboard do you have, and do you think you’ll be making one for your family? I hope this inspires you in all your homemaking endeavors. xx