I took over one end of my living room for felting/art and crafts a few years ago when I realised it’d never be used as a ‘conventional’ living room again, though to be fair, it’s never been what most people would call conventional anyway! Alhough it was better than what I’d had before, it wasn’t brilliant. I was putting something away last week, shoving things out of the way, leaning over boxes to get what I wanted and thought there must be a better way to organise the room so I’m not contorting myself all the time. I tried to picture things moved around, and had an idea of what I wanted, but thought I could do with something to help me visualise it better. I suppose I could have found some fancy site online or something, but went for simplicity: paper, pen and tape measure. I taped a couple of pieces of paper together to make a scale outline of my room, then measured everything in it and made cut-outs. Then I put them in the places where they were:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou can see there was space, but it wasn’t very functional, and since no one ever sits and watches telly, it seemed such a waste that there was a large amount between the couch and tv which was unusable. I started to move the outlines around to where I wanted them, and was quite surprised that they fit almost exactly how I imagined:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat was easy enough, I thought, so shifting a few boxes around should only take a few hours. Ha ha. About 3 and a half days more like it. But it works, much better than I thought actually. There’s a bigger area where the free space is ‘consolidated’. And it was nice having somewhere to sit and rest and flick through my plant books in between moving stuff. This is the table end, with my carder and some fibre boxes on the left, and wool and some more fibre boxes on the right:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThese are the boxes on the right, I inherited the red box, it has wheels, I wish all the bottom ones did!:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd these are the book cases. I have another on the left, you can just see the edge of it and the corner of the couch (and yes, eagle eyed Brits, that is a 1960’s candlewick bedspread as a throw!) and the other book case actually has books on it. I bought the middle book case as a replacement for the little one on the end, but that soon filled up:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you can see, I have a nice collection of shoe boxes. I could make it look neater and buy some more plastic storage tubs, but it seems so wasteful to recycle cardboard, and then buy plastic, so I’ll go for messy over tidy. It hardly matters when it’s all out across the floor anyway!  The big yellow Dunlop box contains my tubs of threads and yarns scraps, filling up nicely for the 4th Quarter challenge. How do you organise your studio and felting supplies? Do you have any tips for being tidy or efficient?

29 thoughts on “Rearranging

  1. I should hire you to do the same for me here, Zed 😀 Space is always an issue, isn’t it? You did a very good job, and I bet you feel more rested in that room now that you’ve organised it all. Well done! 😀

    1. Thanks, Leonor 🙂
      I don’t think I’ll be taking any job bookings for room rearranging any time soon! It does feel good in there now, I was looking forward to a more functional workspace, but having the couch near the books and away from the window has been nice.

    2. I thought you’d know by now you just have to offer us Brits a brew to get us to help out! 🙂

  2. Shelves, shelves and more shelves ! Boxes on top of each other are a disaster for me – it’s always too much trouble to put something away in the bottom one, so it never happens. Using the height of the room rather than the floor as far as possible is best. I’m just reorganising my house to make a bigger studio, and I’m planning to have knobs all along the picture rail so that I can hang hanks of yarn and fleece instead of putting them in boxes. All these years, I’ve been using the biggest room in the house just to sleep in, so I’m moving into a smaller bedroom and setting up in the bigger one. It’s very satisfying to organise things better, isn’t it ?

    1. Our ceilings are really low (newish house), I can change a lightbulb on tip toes, so it starts to feel claustrophobic if I go too high. I’m not ruling out another book case though! I have too much wool for smaller boxes, and unfortunately carpet beetles (despite lack of carpets) so don’t keep things out. It sounds like you’ve got yours all planned out!

    2. My bedroom is now my “studio”. With IKEA kallax shelves down one side and billy bookcases down the other. 2 kallax units sideways pushed together for a large worktable. Almost there. Not quite yet. The ensuite has become my “wet area”. Very convenient😁!

    3. I love the way Ikea stuff can be used, especially those kallax units, the variety of boxes abd drawers that fit in them. It does sound like you have a very useful studio now 🙂

  3. Looks like you have a great space. I like clear bins and boxes so I can see what’s in them and labels. Shoe boxes and solid bins just never work for me. Use the height of the room is a good one so either places to hang things or tall shelves. I need more nails in my studio walls. I am still trying to get everything to the easiest to use configuration.

    1. It’s an ongoing project really isn’t it? Make space, then think of something to fill it 🙂

  4. What a great idea with the scale plan! Haven’t you heard about the craft-room re-arranging time estimator? It’s simple. Take your estimate in hours, then treble it, then add 2 days.

    My ‘tip’ for being tidy is that the mess created whilst working on a project gets cleared away before the next project starts.

    1. Ha ha! Thanks, Lyn 🙂
      I don’t make a mess, I just create offcuts and threads for future projects 😉 Tidying up is the hard part for me.

  5. I’m impressed with the amount of supplies and equipment you have! Well done with organising it. I use shoeboxes for some things, and have put large labels on the front so I can identify the right one quickly. Apart from that, I have great difficulty trying to keep my tiny room tidy and although Lyn is right about tidying away after a project, somehow it doesn’t happen with me due to a lack of time/ energy! Or my enthusiasm to get stuck into another project right away!

    1. Thanks 🙂
      I read something recently, that the only difference between extreme hoarders and collectors is shelving, I think re-organising just put me in the collector category! I know what you mean about the lack of time/energy, and small space, it definitely does help to have more space.

  6. Great job Zed! I have no suggestions for organization at the moment everything is in a mess. I have too much stuff to fit into my room anymore. My hubby won’t let me use the living/dining room area as that would be one hundred percent better for sure. It is always a hard job to reorganize but it’s always satisfying when you’re finished. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Ruth 🙂
      reorganising always gives me new ideas, especially when I find stuff I forgot I had 🙂 It’d be nice to have even more space though, having room seems to give me room to think!

  7. That was a great idea to draw out your plan. It all looks nicely organized. I hope you find that your new space and system works well for you.

    I organized last year and most things are still in place. I use plastic drawers for most of my storage, but still have a day bed I tend to stack things on. But I am getting better at tidying up after each project, most of the time. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Marilyn 🙂
      I must admit, the couch did always end up with things piled on it, and even the treadmill would get stuff hung over it too, hopefully I will be tidier now!

  8. I’ll bet you can’t find a thing now it’s organised. 🙂 It must be good to have all your stuff in the same room. Mine, though organised on shelving, is spread over 2 bedrooms and the garage, oh, and the spinning wheel is in the living room.
    Why oh why did we downsize? 🙂

    1. Ha ha, probably! I did find some dowelling though that I’ve been looking for for ages! This is only the felting stuff, I still have a bookcase upstairs with lesser used stuff and another one for sewing supplies, and zips, fasteners, webbing, cords etc! I’m seriously considering a shed! 🙂

  9. Great job Zed! It must be lovely working next to the window too.
    I’m probably the worst person to ask for tidy-tips, my stash has managed to encroach on every room in our house, including the garage and garden shed! I dream of moving the bed out of the spare room and organising that as my stash room but that isn’t likely to happen anytime soon!
    My storage tips… like Marilyn, I love those large plastic drawer units you can buy in most DIY stores for storing wool and fibres and my huge collection of felting resists are pegged to a piece of string like a washing line, hung at one end of the spare room.

    1. Thanks, Teri 🙂
      Yeah, that was one thing I really wanted-the light from the window. I used to do layouts upstairs on my desk in front of the window, which was nice, but not easy to bring downstairs to then felt! I still have bits all over, my made stuff is in stacked boxes in my bedroom. Can you find a way to convert the spare room so that it could still be used as a guest room if needed, fold away bed or something? I regret not using the living room earlier. I did have scarves on netting wire on my book case but got scared that spiders would hide in them!

  10. Well done Zed, I too am sorting my craft room. I have been doing it for over a week now, and still nowhere finished. I have gone for a big reorganising this time. My hubby always says I spend more time rearranging my craft room than working in it. Despite this I’ve still not managed to get a set up that works. The basic problems are I have way too much stuff so I am having a big declutter, and not enough workspace, so have reduced cupboards to make space for a long worktop. I love the plastic drawers, also the IKEA Alex drawer unit and the Raskog cart. Well must go and do more tidying.

    1. Thanks, Sandra 🙂
      Imagine if IKEA came around and sorted our rooms for us?! The Alex drawer unit looks like one I have for my mineral collection, but mine has wheels. I have a LOT of those Ikea Moppe chests, they are great for sewing and embroidery threads and things like zips, clasps, clips etc. And they fit well on the bookcases I have. The Glis 3 pack of plastic boxes are great from Ikea too. I like Ikea 🙂 Some of my storage tubs are from there too, very sturdy.

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