Sometimes I think I am the world's messiest crafter. Each time I start a project, I vow to pick up as I go along. I do pretty well at the beginning of the project but by the end, I've pulled out every item I own without putting a single thing away! And trust me...it's not just this table. The entire room (including the floor) becomes a danger zone when I am working on a project. This is definitely an area for improvement in the new year.
Tinsel agrees! There's barely any space for her to sit!
The worst part about being a messy crafter is losing stuff. As I worked on this particular project (a set of 12 cards), I misplaced everything, including the cards themselves. I'm sure I lost a lot of time looking for things!
I will say, however, that my craft space is organized and there really is a place for everything! And because of that, it's actually pretty speedy to clean up after a project. I have a little process that makes things go smoothly and prevents little problems like accidentally throwing away a die or part of a project, which I have done before! :)
First, I put away all of my tools. Scissors, rulers, and a few other often-used tools go in my tool caddy. (The green Lazy Susan came out of my dad's garage where it was covered with grease and held some jars of bolts. Prior to that, it was in my grandma's kitchen.) It's very convenient to have the tools on a spinning surface.
Next, I put away my dies and embossing folders. My thin dies go on magnetic sheets. I have one binder for shapes and a second one for nesting dies. I set up the binder system a few years ago and still love it. If an organization system is still working after a few years -- and can grow or change as needed -- then it's a very good thing.
The binders sit nicely in one of my cubes. (As a side note, the CD cases are filled with acrylic stamps, an example of a system that is only marginally working for me. The cases contain stamps I don't use, partly because the racks are cumbersome. In addition, they can't hold my larger stamp sets and, to make matters worse, I only have two racks and I can't get any more that match them. So I'm not sure if I'll keep this system long-term. I'm thinking about making the switch to stamp sleeves which sit in a basket.)
Next, I put away all of my consumable supplies. It's always good when I get to this part of the process because you can start to see the top of the tables and floor! Adhesive that I use most often goes in a galvanized tin tub.
Stickles and Liquid Pearls go in a box which stacks nicely in one of my canvas bins.
Finally, I pick up all of the leftover paper and cardstock. Anything related to a class project goes back into that bag so I'll have it when I'm ready to make kits for the class. Everything else goes into the trash or recycle bin.
Look! A table! (For the longest time, I have been planning to get a piece of glass for the top of this table. Adhesive is a real pain to remove from a painted surface! This year, I am going to get that done.)
Here's the set of cards I was working on when I took these pictures. I counted them to be sure I didn't throw any away! :)
For the next project, I'm going to promise myself to pick up as I go along. We'll see how that goes! :)