By Kelly Kreuscher

May 2nd,2020

Isolation has given us all lots of time at home. I, for one, have been making my jewelry and art more than ever. Over the past few weeks, my workspace (also known as my dining room) has become a disaster zone, and it’s started to get in the way of my work. I spent about three hours organizing everything today, and now I feel so much better and ready to spend my time filling orders. No more searching for every little thing or worrying that I’m running out of something when in fact I’d just lost it. If you have a craft or sewing room, or just an area in your home that you work in, it’s easy to let everything become a huge mess. Spring cleaning is upon us, and now’s a great time to set aside a few hours to put some good music on and reorganize. I took some before and after pictures to show the results of my own work and to share some tips. 

Before I started, the table was so covered in stuff that you could hardly see the surface, much less work on it.  For me, the easiest way to start is to get a garbage bag and start throwing away any trash laying around. This is also a great time to bring anything that doesn’t belong with your crafting stuff (like my phone charger) to the room it goes in. This shouldn’t take too long, and it helps you get the ball rolling. Keep this bag with you as you work for easy access. While cleaning this room I managed to fill an entire trash bag!

Next I started taking things off the table and bringing them to the organizers in the corner of the room. I love using plastic drawer organizers like these for crafting supplies. They’re cheap, easy to clean, come in a variety of sizes and colors, and can be moved around easily if you don’t have a permanent workspace. I emptied out each drawer and reorganized the contents, along with everything from the table that belonged in there. 

Some of my best results came from my drawer of glitter and paint. This one was a challenge because it’s packed with stuff that I’m constantly taking out and putting back, but I think I managed to make it a little more presentable and easier to access. 

I also managed to find a better way to organize my general supplies, like mixing cups, sticks, gloves, and lighters. These are the things I always need but am never able to find, so this will make my work a lot easier as well.

Most of the things on top of the drawers actually belong somewhere else, so I moved all that and repacked everything into the clear bin so that it wasn’t all just piled together. Now, I know what’s in the bin and can easily grab it. 

After that, I started working on the corner where I keep my shipping supplies. If you sell online, you know there is a ton of stuff you need to package orders. I was able to consolidate the stickers, candy, and letters that I send with each order into a tupperware container for easy access. I also put all my packing tape together and designated a bin for my mailers, tissue paper, and bubble wrap. 

What probably took the longest was seperating my dried flowers. I have hundreds of flowers that I dry using various methods, and all of them were just thrown into one box, which made them hard to use and more prone to getting ruined one way or another. I split them up, using different sections of tupperware containers that I used to pack lunches with that haven’t left the kitchen cabinets since I graduated high school. Now, I can grab whichever type of flower I’m looking for quickly without having to dig through them all. 

In the end, all I had left on the table were pieces that I needed to finish, so I knew exactly what I needed to get done today. With everything in its place, it was much easier to do it. A little spring cleaning is a great way to kill some time, and seeing my space so much cleaner made everything a little less stressful.

Here are a few tips from me for your own spring cleaning process:

  1. Put time aside

I find it easiest to clean when I know that I have a few hours to focus in on everything. If I know I’m short on time, I’ll end up cutting corners just to be done. Knowing you have plenty of time to get the job done right makes the process much easier and allows you to relax during it.

2. Organize, then buy organizers

I used to buy containers, drawers, and other organizers and be so excited to use them, only to realize after I’d cleaned that they were the wrong size or not what I needed. To avoid this, clean beforehand and take stock of what you have. Then it’s much easier to find the type of organizers you’re looking for and not buy a bunch of stuff you don’t really need. Tupperware containers are my favorite organizers for small objects. They’re cheap, come in any size and color, and can be sealed shut but also opened easily. If you’re like me, you may even have some old ones in your house that can be repurposed. My other favorite are the plastic drawer organizers I mentioned earlier. You can buy ones with clear drawers to see what’s inside, and many come with wheels for easy transport. Paints, fabric and sewing supplies, or any other art materials would fit well into one of these.

  1. Trash first

I brought this up before as well, but it’s one of my favorite tips. Sometimes you look at a huge mess and want to give up before you even start. The best way for me to get the ball rolling on a cleaning project is to just grab a garbage bag and get rid of anything that obviously needs to be thrown away. You’ll notice after a few minutes that everything’s looking better already! 

  1. Work by section

If there’s one area that just seems worse than all the rest, (for me this was my mailing area) clear the space out and just focus on that one spot until it looks the way you want. It usually helps me to fix one space at a time instead of being overwhelmed by the room as a whole. 

I hope my own experience and these tips are helpful for anyone looking to do a little spring cleaning of their own!

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