Frightened of My Craft Room

By Veronica Smith – 36 Comments

My craft room is my nemesis. I am very lucky I have a craft room all to myself that doesn’t double as anything else. In 2000 we built a house to our needs, once again we are very fortunate to have been able to do that. So why then does this one room terrify and intimidate me at the same time?

It all started so very simple, we moved in and all was perfect in there. I gave up my job when we moved in to become a full time mother to our then 3 and 10 year old daughters. Money was short so I worked from home. First I did piece work sewing for a company so everything had to be perfect in the craft room in order to determine what was theirs and what was mine. I slowly went mad doing that so I began my own business sewing and crocheting. An odd assortment of fabrics, cottons, zippers, buttons, lace, and various other things all built up in my room with my precious yarns and threads.

Then I started to study, something I had always wanted to do and I just completed that. It took me five years so the poor craft room fell by the wayside more each day. No sewing happened, only crochet was done because I could bring it downstairs out of the scary room to be with the family, and to get away from “the chaos room”.

I am as much of a culprit as anyone else in the house for the room’s demise. Somebody would need something for a school project, hubby would need some soft cotton for a ‘rag’ to polish his car, needle and thread were required for quick button fixes and yarn was needed for me. Since I wasn’t really using the room as much, when something was pulled out and the relevant item retrieved (sometimes causing a mini avalanche), it never went away properly. It sat on the sewing table, the wrong shelf, not back in the cupboard or more unfortunately the floor. I have teenagers and when they are asked to help with the weekend clean-up they put the things that are too hard to deal with in my craft room. I have found bandages, band-aids, a Tupperware container, pens, pencils and anything else that was deemed ‘fiddly’ and they couldn’t be bothered to put away correctly. As per usual Mr. Nobody did it. As the room deteriorated so did my desire to fix it and my fear of it escalated. I am sitting here typing this instead of actually doing something about it. I am also looking at general housework as something I ‘want’ to do, I want to do anything instead of venturing into “that room”. In fact I was just looking in the kitchen and thinking that I could wash the walls – who wants to wash walls? Me apparently.

I need to get it tidy and sorted so I can finish putting away my yarns that I have sorted and cataloged, that are still sitting in my bedroom because I cannot finish the final step of organization (see my inability to do this final step in “How to sort your yarns – method 1 and method 2)

Are you stuck in the same situation or something similar? How does your craft room or craft area look?

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36 Comments

  1. Sharon says:

    I am also fortunate enough to have a craft room. I’m going to confess that it has some of the same characteristics you confess to about yours. It has become a catch-all for many things. I call it my “yarn warehouse” because there is no organization to it. This year, I’ve been trying to stick to the rule, projects are based on stash yarn and the only purchases of yarn are to supplement yarn on hand to complete projects. I’ve slid a few times but gotten back on track. I need to organize to see what yarn I have but the space to do the organizing is a problem too. Sigh…

  2. Penny says:

    If the thought of doing the whole room in 1 day overwhelms you then tackle just 1 thing at a time. Today pick up all the yarn that you immediately see and put it where it belongs. Tomorrow pick up all the fabric that you can immediately see, and store it. The next day pick up all the things that don’t belong there and dispose of them. So on and so forth.
    This way it is not to time consuming, you get to spend time in there possibly finding things you have forgotten you had (treasure!), and last but not least it gets finished while you still have time to do other things.

  3. Jan says:

    I was so happy to read the above posts, cause I thought it was something unique only to me.
    I have so many projects that I do, card making, sewing, painting, knitting and crocheting, embroidery and have all that “stuff” in one room. I have to remove my card making stuff off the table if I want to sew. I have also started to use “plarn” so I have bags of that around, some cut, some whole, some in balls.

  4. Angie says:

    I don’t have a craft room however I’m sure if I did it would probably look a lot like yours sounds. My crafts currently take up the living room and I mean THE WHOLE living room. :) It started out as a small corner which included my desk and computer and then it seemed to have traveled to the couch so I can watch TV as I crochet, then from the couch to the floor and now….now it’s out of control. I have yarn hiding in desk drawers, I can NEVER have company over b/c there is no place to sit w/ all the yarn and projects that seems to have accumulated on the couch. One day I hope to have a craft room of my very own, although that seems to scare me too w/ the looks of the living room I can’t imagine what that room will look like. :)

  5. renee says:

    i’m so jealous…at least you have a craft room…best i can do at this time is boast about my 1/3 portion of the couch which has my binder, needles and yarn as i try and finish up a couple of projects for my girlfriend…everything else is in a plastic container behind the couch but according to my boyfriend, the container has to move because it doesn’t match the living decor (couch is white, rug is beige, container is blue.)

    one day, i’ll have my room…just hope it’s sooner rather than later…

  6. Whitley says:

    i currently have a bin for all my yarn and it looks like chaos. what’s bad is i can still find what i want in it. i wish i had a whole room where i could sit, watch tv, and crochet, but it doesn’t quite look like it’s gonna happen for a while.

  7. Caroline says:

    We live in a 700 square foot apartment with a dog and a baby on the way. You can just imagine how cramped our space can get. That being said, my loving husband won’t let me buy ANYTHING related to crafts at this point because the items that I do have related to crafts, specifically the not started or unfinished projects, have taken over half of my walk in closet and overwhelmed my “craft area”. :( The only way it stays organized is by having storage boxes (pretty ones though!). *sigh* I think the only way I’ll gain control over it is if I finally finish some of these projects.

  8. Mary says:

    My area is small, but I try to keep it neat. It annoyed me a lot when it got messy so I made it a habit to have it neat, at least neat enough to find what I’m looking for.

  9. Tina K says:

    I too have projects stashed all over our house, and the corner of my living room has been quite over run with yarn, patterns, books etc. My husband tells me I need an intervention and from the sounds of it I might not be the only one who does. :-) Craft room someday soon I hope.

  10. Oldnbroken says:

    I think we are suckers! My sewing room bit the dust in exactly the same way you described! Whenever something didn’t have a place my family opened the door tossed it in and closed the door quick.
    While cleaning it one day I came acrossed stuff that had my husband’s signature all over it.It was a remote control basket filled with various papers etc that belonged to HIM not to MY sewing room. I hollared for him to get it cleaned out. Good thing he did not just toss all the papers without looking. It turned out there were $3000 worth of savings bonds amongst those papers. I became angry about the situation and finally went and bought a new doorknob that locked and had hubby put it on. Of course I keep the keys. I think it is the only way to go.

  11. While I do not have a craft room as of yet ;) I can totally understand where you are coming from. My bedroom closet, living-room/dining areas are the “messy” craft areas. I am the kind of person that likes to do a bit of everything so I have books everywhere, crochet yarn, pieces of material ready to be sewn, patterns and recipes here and there…so you are not alone :) Btw where did you start doing your piece work? I am working hard on my business @ MyCoCreations.com but it’s still a baby and not bringing in the bucks as of yet and I don’t want to go back to a “real job” I need to do something with all the creativity that I have inside.

  12. Cathy says:

    Well, what to say? I have a room called my office, my sewing room, my craft room etc. depending on who or when somebody in my home talks about it. But GEEZ!! This is my room and neither of my roommates touch it or go in when I am not there myself. Soooooooooooo, The chaos is because I need to fit two things in one room-an office and a design (sewing, creating and work desk with reports). I am trying to design a line of patterns for purses, bags etc and I am a mystery shopper. All of this paper mess is there. My fabric and yarn stash is there too. They tend to overlap. I feel like I am drowning in a sea with no hope of recovery.

    I crochet in the living room because I like to be around people or my dog when I relax. Relaxing is what I do when I crochet.

  13. Nancy says:

    Hang in there, Veronica! We have all been there, ha! A good friend of mine told me once that she gets the most done around her house when she is putting off the one thing she really needs to do. Sounds like you and washing your walls :-). So think of it as a good thing. As far as getting to your craft room, try setting the timer for 30 minutes and see what you can do in that amount of time. When the timer goes off, you’re done for the day. Good luck, and keep us posted!

  14. Barbara says:

    I am also fortunate to have an office/craft room. I sew, bead and crochet. It’s fairly organized but I don’t seem to have time to work on anything. I mostly crochet because it’s portable. Have you heard of flylady.com ? She has excellent ideas for decluttering and general housekeeping. I’m a flybaby……I’m a work in progress in keeping up with housework, meals, crafting, etc etc! Check it out! you might find some helpful ideas. Good luck and keep smiling!

  15. Cindi says:

    Now that my children have all moved out I have a grandbaby room and a craft room. Unfortunately, until I get the craft room cleaned out of the “storage” junk I can’t even get in it! It seems that 6 kids and 5 grandbabies have stored my craft room to death! Now that I am taking a break from college for a few months, cleaning that room is HIGH on my list! Baby stepping 15 minutes at a time I will get there!

  16. Ingrid says:

    I live in a small apartment in NY, 1 bedroom, and I have cats. All of my sewing, yarn & supplies are kept in my bedroom because my cats are very destructive. They would rip it all to pieces if they could. I have mini avalanche on the floor of yarn right now. I have to crochet & knit in my bedroom with the door closed or I get no peace.

  17. Nancy says:

    I agree to accomplish one thing a day. Make yourself a project jar. Write down projects that can completed or at least show some improvement in 1-2 hours. Don’t forget to add some fun stuff: have lunch with a friend, read, relax and do nothing, work on sewing/crochet project. Don’t cheat – whatever you draw, you need to do. I do this and feel such a sense of accomplishment. The Projects will eventually include more than your craft room. We all take on more than we can humanly accomplish and this is a rewarding way to get and stay on task. Even that pesky closet or “junk drawer” (we all have them) gets whittled down to an accomplishable feat!

  18. Caroline says:

    I have 7 projects on the go at the moment, and they all need different stuff. I sit down with every intention of finishing one of them, but then some fabric or a bit of yarn will catch my eye, start me thinking “What if I tried THAT with THIS?” Next thing I know, there’s another project started! I can put things away tidily, I have just about enough space in my section of the wardrobe (my clothes cohabit with my hubby’s clothes) but that only happens when I’ve not got anything on the go. Which is about once a year after the Christmas gift-rush!

  19. Roseanna says:

    Oh, yes. I have my own room in our finished basement. It is a hot mess of supplies, projects, holiday items and etc., etc., etc. I have organized it several times but it always ends up the same way…it is more of a cluttered large closet. I do not work in there because even though there is a window, it still does not have the light I need. I work upstairs, dragging up all of my supplies for any given project. I think my work now requires a studio. A place where I can leave projects as is until the next day, as well as great storage. If I am working in it, I think the room will stay as organized as the rest of my home.

  20. Laurel says:

    Hi Veromca,
    I have an idea for you that could make the prospect of organizing your craft room less scary. First change the door knob on the door to a one that requires a key to lock and unlock it. Any and all keys to the lock to remain in your possesion only. The room cannot get worse and when you organize and clean it out it will stay that way because no one but you will have access to it. No one coming in and sticking things in there that don’t belong or borrowing things and putting them back in the wrong palce. Also if it takes a few days to get the job done no one can come in and mess up your work in progress. I’lm sure once that lock is in place your motivation will come back.

  21. MaryM says:

    I do not have a craft room,but i do have a corner thats all mine. i keep my yarn in a large bin, and i use the top of my bin to store my binders which hold my patterns. I hope oneday to have a room for myself, where i can put my computer, and my crafts finished and unfinished. i also have a question for you: i have a pattern for an afghan , called Crochet Sampler Afghan, one of the squares is called the Wagon Wheel

  22. MaryM says:

    i hit enter before i was finished. As i was explaining one of the squares is called Wagon Wheel. I am having a problem with this pattern. I think this pattern is what some call catherine wheel . Do you have a tutorial for this pattern?

  23. Grace says:

    I am currently in the process of thinning out my belongings so I can move without fear or too much effort. I feel your pain. Trust me. I don’t have the several years of built up avoidance, but there is still a lot of junk. I do mean a LOT! I can’t wait to really be pressured to throw away all those ancient paints that probably are even dried up. >_>

  24. Veronica Smith says:

    Greetings Mary M,
    I do not actually have one however i googled “crochet catherine wheel” and came up with these 2 sites that look pretty comprehensive. One even has a link for left handed people.
    There are a lot of others but here are 2

    http://crochet-mania.blogspot.com/2009/04/large-wheel-stitch-catherines-wheel.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bceiQrDTJw0

    So type in your search engine “crochet catherine wheel” if these 2 don’t help. Good luck with the afghan.

  25. Veronica Smith says:

    All of you make me feel quite humble – and quite silly. I love the idea of doing just a few minutes at a time. I shall set a timer for 15 mins at a time and see how i go just doing small increments. The job doesn’t sound quite so daunting. I looked at the “flylady.com” makes me feel like a really lazy individual. Maybe i can invite her over to demonstrate for me!
    For those of you without a craft room, hang in there. Our first place was a bedsit and my stuff was outside in a non-working car! The second house was 700sq feet and had 3 bedrooms. When there were 2 of us that was great but then 2 children arrived and due to health problems with one they could not share a room. My husbands “office” was part of the main living area and some of my craft stuff was squashed beside our bed – i had to climb out from the end! The living space also had many boxes with cloths over to make them ‘coffee tables’. We got by and hopefully you will all have s special space one day. Took me until i was 34.
    BTW – my current craft room does have a key lock on it but i never thought of using it! (hanging head in shame)

  26. Barbara says:

    Hi Veronica!
    You’re on way! I goofed on the website address I suggested…………..flylady.net is the correct one. I’m glad you found it even so. One of her mottos is “you can do anything for 15 minutes”. I have found my timer very useful! Like you said the task doesn’t seem so daunting!
    Keep smiling! Barbara

  27. Veronica Smith says:

    Thanks for the correction – not sure why i typed it as a “.com”. Force of habit?

  28. Katie says:

    I have a small (504 sq ft) apartment. I have 3 comforter bags of yarn in the living room, plus anything I’m working on, since I work while I watch TV. I do have a table in Mom’s basement to do scherenschnitte (paper cutting) on. I have a lot of dreams, but not much space.

  29. HIRSTY says:

    I am not fortunate enough to have a craft room however I have a craft cupboard in the study/toy/xbox/darts room. I have managed to organise it using shoe boxes and plastic tubs. Each yarn colour has a tub, hooks have a shoe box, patterns have a tub and the all the miscellanious stuff (tea towels, sheepskin, ribbon, elastic, zippers, buttons, face washers and polar fleece) have shoe boxes and tubs. My husband doesn’t mind me buying stuff so long as it fits in my cupboard. I have been as strict with him when it comes to xbox stuff being in his TV cabinet and darts stuff fitting on his dart board box that I can’t complain. :)

  30. [...] read all your responses to my Frightened of My Craft Room post, I have had yet another change in the way I do things [...]

  31. MariAngel says:

    My craft room doubles or would that be trebles as my bedroom and office. So I have yarn stashed in large rubbermaid tubs (8 of them), in under bed storage plastic bags (4) and in the living room. My bedroom is not very big and we have no storage locker and no closets to speak of. So to say it’s cramped in there is an understatement. The whole apartment is quite small which means we live with our storage bins. I keep my hooks, paraphernalia in a velvet lined theatrical makeup case which my daughter picked up at 2nd hand store for 5$ and I have one shelf on one of the many bookcases lining the walls of my bedroom and living room for my books. I also have a 5+ feet tall pile of regular boxes in my bedroom that hold completed crochet and knit items I’ve designed and hope to market one day.
    My biggest wish at this point would be to have a storage locker. Unfortunately, we’ve been living in this apartment for 7 years and the landlord still hasn’t cleaned out the storage locker that should be ours to use. If I had the money, we would be out of this place so fast…
    Since my work area when designing and crocheting/knitting is located on the couch in the living room, there are several piles of yarn, notebooks, a large laundry basket filled with multiple projects on the go.
    I have tried to organize the lot, but having to live with the bins, etc, it becomes disorganized as soon as I sit on the couch and extract what I’m currently working on from the pile of ongoing projects.
    I hate living with this clutter, but there is no alternative except to move (requires money) to a larger apartment that has either a craft room or a storage locker.

  32. [...] buttons and braid for the above mentioned (Aboyne fabric purchased earlier at $48 meter). Off to the sewing / craft room, the craft room that needed cleaning still. I solved this problem by shoving it all out in the hallway and squished it into another [...]

  33. Olivia says:

    When you type in the websight are you supposed to type in crochetspot or your websight or blog?
    Anyway, I agree with Penny. Do yarn one day, next fabric, then stuff that doesn’t belong. After all that when you can see the floor you sort out the yarn. Don’t just throw it in a bag or a closet either, you got to untangle it and roll it into balls. A yarn winder helps A LOT with this. Next put all of the sewing projects in a box or bag. But fold them and sort them. Now you can get all the supplies (crochet hooks, stitch counters, needles, etc.) and sort them out and put them away in little boxes or baskets near the crafts they belong to (you know like crochet hooks near the yarn and so on). Now you do any finishing touches, sweeping, vaccuming, dusting, etc.
    Warning: Members of your family may faint when they see your craft room clean. Be prepared.
    Hope this helps you get your craft room in order! P.S., I wish I had a craft room all to myself. I have my own room but its not the same.

  34. Olivia says:

    Oh and by the way you should tell everyone not to leave things in the craft room that don’t belong. You can get a small box or basket and let them put all the ”fiddly” items in there. Then every week someone can put all the things away. BUT, tell them NO trash goes in there, lke bandages or old papers.

  35. [...] have finally done it! I have cleaned my nemesis of a room. Well, there is one really high shelf to go with boxes of wool. My craft room now has a floor – [...]

  36. Julie says:

    Oh Ladies! Think outside of the box! Storage ottomans in the living room (three together look nice) and bookshelves with baskets against the walls will give you lots of places to stash your stash!
    I am lucky enough to have a craft room. I have a closet organizer with shelves and basket drawers. I have enough room for all my supplies with room for more. I like to knit or crochet or tunisian crochet (my favorite!) in the living room while watching tv. Next to my chair I have a decorative box with a lid (like a hat box) that I keep my current projects in. I like the idea of setting the timer to get started organizing. If you are overwhelmed you’ll continue to avoid it. If any one wants to pay my air fare I’ll come do it for you!