Creating things has always relaxed me. Unfortunately, gone are the days when I can hop in the car and head to Hob Lob (as I refer to it) or Michael’s. It has just not been feasible in the last two cities I have inhabited–San Francisco and now Chicago. Adding to my consternation, both of my apartments in each of theses cities were and are studio apartments. Space is at a premium. In SF, I did a lot of spray painting on the fire escape (completely safe! haha) but in Chicago, with its winters, outdoor space (especially now) is hard to find. If I were to spray paint indoors, not only would I suffocate myself but the entire floor. So I needed to learn the art of crafts and DIY in small spaces.
There’s also the issue I have where I think that even the most mundane or small thing might maybe, someday, be used to make something. I found myself with way too many of these things that may be used someday to make something. Is anyone else like this? Please say yes.
Furthermore, I am also the “saver” type. As in: oh, I don’t want to use the good glitter on this project because what if I need it for another project that I haven’t even thought up yet? These two issues, if not combatted, could get me on the show Hoarders if I am not careful. So what’s my solution? Here are a couple of things I am just recently learning.
1. I bought a cart at Ikea and I told myself that everything had to fit in the cart or I had to purge. So (gulp) I purged.
2. I am also now enforcing a new rule that when a new craft item comes in (like a new set of paints) another one needs to be used up (or thrown out but I always go with the used up choice) and without the remorse and what if I need this specific leopard ribbon for a project two years from now that I can’t even think of but oh my goodness what if.
3. I actually use my supplies instead of worrying over if I will need them for another hypothetical project down the road.
4. Because I can’t have unlimited supplies of things, I have to prioritize as well. For instance, I’d love to have a wrapping station with ribbons and paper for all occasions but it isn’t feasible. So instead this Christmas I bought brown paper (packages tied up in string…) and kept it simple. I just used that same wrapping paper and some other supplies to create my own wrapping paper for a friend (I’ll show you the tutorial once she receives the gift).
I don’t have room for a sewing machine (sad), let alone a craft room. If you are unfamiliar with studio apartments, I technically don’t even have a bedroom (although my Chicago place is not your momma’s typical studio). My place in Chicago is smaller than SF (but a WHOLE lot nicer) and the space is more useable. Still, the old adage holds true for any smaller dwelling: everything has to have its place. I love the Ikea cart because the shelves are deep (honestly the photos don’t do it justice; you have no idea how much stuff I have crammed into those shelves) and I can fit so much in it. I can also move it if the need arises and even though it’s open and people can see all my crafting supplies, keeping it neat isn’t that hard. And besides, the people who come into my place already know (usually) that I am a creative nut who sees something at a store and says: I could make that.
Do you have a hobby that comes with a lot of stuff? How do you stay organized? How do you keep your hobby from getting out of control? And for all the crafters out there, how do you do it? Also, if you have a craft room, consider me jealous. I would probably take that before a bedroom (ha!).
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