Articles (Blog), Decluttering

Unfinished Projects ~ A Tidy Lady Story

Chloe was completely over all the half-finished crafts she had stuffed under beds, in wardrobes, in boxes in the garage and completely taking over her dining table.

She loved to try new things, and always made sure she had everything she needed to create the very best version of the craft that had excited her. New things and new projects just made her so happy.

But what did NOT make her happy was seeing half-done things sulking in cupboards and taking over spaces she could be using for doing more crafts… if only the half-done things weren’t in the way.

She ended up doing crafts on the couch and coffee table. Her nifty little wheeled craft trolly was overflowing with so many bit and bobs, tools and useful things that she couldn’t move it without things falling off. Let alone find what she needed.

So what to do? How does one declutter things that cost quite a lot of money, that are gorgeous and that you KNOW you will finish one day?

Luckily there’s an answer! Big or small, if your projects are important to you, it’s important enough to go to some trouble to make it a real pleasure for you to practice your craft.

I am yet to called by a minimal crafter. In fact I’m yet to even meet a minimal crafter! Most of my crafty clients prefer to keep as much as posible in the space they have. So my job is to organise everything to make them findable, doable and to free up space for actual crafting fun!

Is Your House Too Small?

Here are some easy steps to follow:

  • Clear a work space like your dining table, just clear it onto the couch or into some big carrier bags.
  • Prepare a space to temporarily store your newly sorted materials, like the spare bedroom. Maybe do some pre-decluttering to make space, it’s worth it!
  • Prepare boxes or carrier bags to hold your sorted projects.
  • Choose one kind of project or material type and retrieve every single kit, scrap and related tool (obviously not sewing machines or other Really Big Things just yet).
  • Have a quick look to see if there’s anything you really don’t want anymore. You do NOT have to get rid of anything. If you do, check if it’s donatable before you bin/recycle it.
  • Sort into logical groups and store in your boxes or bags. Label them with easy to read descriptive words. Blue Quilting Fabric, Stamps, Polymer Clays.
  • Keep going until you have sorted each type of project. Now you know what you have on your hands.

At this stage I would suggest that you assign a space in your home to permanantly hold your organised projects and their accoutrements. It can be a cupboard or a whole room.

Once you have assigned a space it’s time to really get organised.

  • Transfer each sorted bag into a permanent labelled container that is easy to use and holds the right amount.
  • You may need to install shelving and drawers to hold everything, it’s worth it! If you get really organised it will be so much easier to actually DO all those projects!
  • If you pause when organising this more permanent space and wonder if you really do need some of the things you’ve sorted, it’s a good oppourtunity to do another declutter.
  • Ask yourself, does each project deserve to take up room in your crafting space?
  • Make sure you have a clear working space. Are your cutting boards laying flat or hung against a flat surface? Can you sit comfortably?

Now you just have the challege of fitting in the time to work on your projects. Some of my clients love to have a goal of finishing a project before they start another. But Chloe didn’t work that way. She preferred to dip into different crafts as she felt the need, and felt guilty for having so many unfinished projects laying around, making her feel bad.

Happiness ~ Are You Mean To Yourself?

We set up a system in her spare room, with two desks as working spaces. One was always clear and held her sewing machine. The second desk was her Current Projects Desk. We set up some white baskets along the back of the desk to hold them.

She learnt the habit of returning things to their assigned basket when she was over that craft for a bit. This kept the space clear for her next bit of fun. The little wheely craft trolly was assigned to one knitting project and one beading project at any one time, and easily moved near her chair in the sitting room.

Over time Chloe actually decided that she really didn’t want some of the projects she had stored. She looked at her beautifully organised craft room and didn’t want things she didn’t love cluttering it up. Her crafty friends were delighted to receive some of them, and the rest went to the op shop.

Now she feels wonderful when she wants to craft and she’s freed up so much space around her home. Her dining table is only used for cutting dress fabrics prior to sewing and is now (mostly) just for dining!

Getting organised can make such a difference in your home, not just for unfinished projects. It just makes your life easier!

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