Is it time to move? A month ago I relocated my home to a new address the sixth time in six years, and would like to share some thoughts on removals with things that fill a medium-sized craft room. Maybe you are facing moving, too? Read on for some tips to make it less daunting!
In This Post
I will cover the following in this blog post:
- The Old vs. The New
- The Home Size
- The Craft Storage
- Living Amidst Crafty Stuff
- The New Space
- Moving With A Craft Stash
- Your Own Storage Solution
- Wrapping Up
1. The Old vs. The New
1.1 The Home Size
I have lived in small spaces most of adulthood and my sewing machine was bought when I had a studio apartment of 37,5 sq m (404 sq ft).
Next there was a burst of sharing space with flat mates, and part of my belongings were put in a storage unit. I prioritised having access to the full craft-supplies stash though, so there has been a fair bit of moving with this.
The home I moved from a couple of years ago was even smaller, a 30,5 sq m (328 sq ft) studio apartment, but investing in a tall Billy shelf by Ikea made all the difference in that space.
1.2 The Craft Storage
Years ago I had started collecting the white Kassett series of storage boxes, also by Ikea and unfortunately discontinued now. Putting “like with like”, as is said in the organising and decluttering community, was a game-changer: zippers with zippers, needles with needles, and so on.
Some of the dvd-sized Kassett are by no means full to the brim, but sorting items in a way I can actually remember, in addition to a proper labelling system, a lid for dramatically decreased need to dust regularly, and a visually soothing front towards the room makes my stash practical and inspiring to use.
The Billy shelf has become a permanent way to store these Kassett and other boxes I have invested in over the years. Now they keep everything from buttons and ribbons to needles and presser feet, fat and skinny quarters, and more.
1.3 Living Amidst Crafty Stuff
The white surfaces make my heart sing because a small-scale chaos of texture, colours and materials is beautifully as well as accessibly stored, without my being forced to look at all of it constantly. Some people enjoy open shelving in the kitchen and elsewhere, and others like myself detest the clutter and cleaning.
Finding a way to store crafty paraphernalia in a way that speaks to you, if you live smack in the middle of your craft room like I have done, is key to avoiding overwhelm.
Early on I was trained to think that I can’t keep my sewing machine and works-in-progress out at all times, because I sewed at the small kitchen table. This need to be flexible has followed me through many homes.
1.4 The New Space
Now, after all these years and removals, I am finally in a space in which I can see myself staying longer. There have been various severe problems previously to cause the frequent address changes, but hopefully my current home will serve me for a good while.
The flat has an excellent floor plan, the house has thick walls thanks to new building standards, and there is a complete no-smoking policy, so now it is up to the neighbours mostly.
I finally have a proper craft space created in a portion of the home, and need to put the last touches to it by investing in a design wall, which will be free-standing of all things. More on this when it is done!
2. Moving With A Craft Stash
So how does one move a craft stash? If it is stored in boxes, these are put in moving boxes on the old address and taken out swiftly on the new address.
Once the Billy shelf was uncovered from its cling film—one of the first steps I took after the removals crew were gone—the right moving boxes were located and emptied. I spent an hour on having the foundation of my craft space go from scattered in boxes to sitting in its correct order in Billy.
Having one contained area of low-hanging fruit completely finished motivated me to keep going elsewhere.
There are a few moving boxes in nooks and crannies still, and for comparison I will give you a mental glimpse into one of them, the one with supplies and on-going projects in a total mess.
Since I have yet to figure out how to store embroidery-related projects and supplies, this recently expanding mix of DMC mouliné boxes, skeins of yarn used for needle punching, a collection of punch needles, cross-stitch WIPs and more were thrown into a large moving box without any sense of organising.
Kassett boxes were placed either on their bottom or side of box into the moving boxes, and it was neat, pretty and clever, ready for efficient unboxing. These other things are scattered around still and the mere thought of all decisions to make is slightly unnerving.
“Craft supplies and projects kept in a messy state maintain overwhelm and hinder creativity.”
Mess correlates with decisions not yet made. I should add that I don’t subscribe to the idea that keeping my home clean means time away from crafting. A disorganised, dirty home means my mental health suffers and as a result I don’t want to be crafty, but I realise we are all different.
3. Your Own Storage Solution
If you are looking for a similar storage solution, Kassett is discontinued unfortunately, but equivalent boxes are made by Ikea today.
What you could research are the sizes traditionally used for cds and dvds as well as larger ones to accommodate skinny quarters and larger cuts of fabric wrapped around comic boards of cardboard. I got a set of those from a comics shop in Helsinki (Fredrikinkatu) around 2012, I think, and they still serve me well.
The dvd-sized box is tall enough for both US and metric fat quarters (link to my blog post on Sentti & Tuuma), by the way, although the metrics literally push the lid if not put neatly in the box.
Generally speaking, the more you make organising decisions in advance, the easier moving home becomes. It may seem obvious, but being confronted with my lack of decision-making regarding embroidery stuff as well as WIPs in particular made me remember why I went looking for Kassett in the first place.
4. Wrapping Up
I don’t enjoy permanent mess unless it is the Marie Kondo flavour of “I looove mess!” proclaimed in her Netflix series as a starting point to get rid of what no longer serves me, or to store supplies in a functional and pretty way for maximum sparks of joy. Plus I don’t want to clean any more than absolutely necessary.
If you are like me, taking the time to think deeply about the crafty stuff you surround yourself with will take your craft routine to new heights, even when your physical space is considered small by many in the Western world.
You can craft happily and you can launch a business of your own from a very small space! And you can have a reasonably successful removal, too. Preparing for it by decluttering the unwanted and storing optimally the desired is key though.
Comments and questions are welcome, so don’t hesitate if there is something on your mind related to my thoughts on storing and moving a stash of craft supplies!
Photo credit: Kelli McClintock.