Big Craft Clean-Up Revisited or Old Habits Die Hard

Crafting is a stress-reducer for me and something I really love and look forward to.  My time for crafting is limited but I try and do it as often as possible. Lately I haven’t been crafting as much as I’d like and it’s my own fault.

The reason? I’ve been falling into old habits and not keeping my craft space organized.  I have to admit it: I let my beautiful craft desk get buried in stuff.  I worked hard to carve out this space for myself last year when I took on and completed my Big Craft Clean-Up.

This is what my desk looked like the other evening.


I want to make the most of every minute of craft time and don’t want to use those precious minutes for putting stuff away.  It doesn’t take long for things to pile up.

That polka dot book is my address book and it has a very nice home in the bedroom.  The heat gun lives in a drawer and I don’t even have to stand up to put it away.

Address Book

Paintbrushes and pens all have their place.  A receipt I don’t need?  The wastebasket is within convenient reach.  Glue and Fluid Matte Medium (used in my Art Journal and on some Easter Eggs) also have homes.

Brushes & Pens

An egg carton?!  OK, it was right after Easter and I’ve been blowing eggs to decorate, but this particular carton was empty.

When I started putting away this pile of supplies, I found paper from cards I’d made for Easter, St. Patrick’s Day and yes, Valentine’s Day.

Egg Carton

More receipts! A calculator, which has a place in the green bin right next to the address book, and a pile of mail. I’m shaking my head at my own disrespectful treatment of my craft space.

Receipts & Calculator

Not surprisingly, the mess had crept over to my craft dresser..  More egg cartons, at least there were some eggs in evidence, and stamping supplies.

Eggs on Dresser

And overflow onto the floor next to the dresser. My bag of needle felting supplies has a less visible place behind the couch. But it had been sitting in this corner since February, when I felted hearts onto the sleeves of  sweaters.   A bin of 12×12 paper was open and the paper inside was sagging in the gap..


I realized, as Easter approached, I was feeling the sadness of another big family gathering and holiday without my dad.  It sometimes feels like all I can manage is to get to work and home again and I have no energy for anything but lying on the couch with a magazine after dinner or looking at Facebook.

However, I also knew that looking at the mess on my desk was only adding to my depression and keeping me away from the crafting that I love.  Piles of supplies had shrunk the available space until once again I was crafting on the dining table.

With cards I wanted to create in mind, it was time to clean up my act and occupy my desk. I was keeping myself from the joy of crafting and the very real benefit of stress relief I find in sitting with my art supplies and making something.

Clean Desk

That’s much better!

I updated my cork board with some new, favorite cards.

Cork Board Cards

I put things back where they belong and gave this new tin I picked up recently in Chinatown a spot in the corner.

Very Special Tin Box

Inside the tin are some stickers, jewels, washi tape and other embellishments that I love to use in cards and my art journal.  Having them in one container makes it easy to bring them along when I go crafting with a friend or up to Sea Ranch.

Contents of Tin

The pens and brushes I use most frequently are in mugs – others have been put away.

Mugs with brushes & pens

Without all the supplies and stuff covering it,the desk is inviting and spacious.  There is room to notice the small things like this little feather I picked up on my walk yesterday.

Little Feather

I seemed to find a lot of them in the weeks and months after my dad died and that was comforting to me.  I hadn’t found one for a long time but yesterday, this small bit of grey plumage caught my eye.  It was on the trail and it made me smile.

It would be great to say I will always keep my desk nice and neat but I know myself.  For now, it is clutter-free and it has been restored as a place where I want to sit and spend time. I even sat down this morning and did my taxes!

Happy Happy Joy.

Thanks for coming by.


Filed under Crafts

17 responses to “Big Craft Clean-Up Revisited or Old Habits Die Hard

  1. violetannie63

    Funny that you would post this just as I was about to post a similar entry about MY mess. Glad I’m not alone! 🙂

    • Yeah, you are certainly not alone. I think it’s important to keep it real. I see pictures of gorgeous work spaces but they don’t look that way 4/7. After cleaning up and writing my post…I ended up not doing any crafting this weekend!. Taxes, groceries, walk, library, bank, gas station but no crafts. The desk is ready and waiting and I hope to make some cards after work this week.

      • violetannie63

        Oh I don’t believe those “where-women-create” type of studios – they CANNOT be real. Who can work like that? I’m always a mess inside and out – that’s just me! 🙂

  2. michelle barrett

    Wow, love your space DIanne, You did a great job pulling it together. My space is the same. Just about every time I try to get it cleaned up and organized I get distracted with a new discovery. I am constantly fighting with myself to just finish cleaning and organizing before starting something new.

    • Thanks, Michelle! I remember being envious of a friend who had a whole room for crafting. She had a big desk and an even bigger table, big shelves with bins in them and even room for a couch and some chairs. But what I loved most was how tidy it all looked. Now I look back and it occurs to me that she probably hardly ever used it! Or maybe just cleaned it up because company was coming over.

  3. You’ve inspired me, Dianne! I haven’t been doing much crafting either…for the same reason. My space. Is. A. MESS! And you’re right. It’s all about respect…for yourself, in this case. I’ve got a couple days off this week. I think I need to carve out an hour of time to take care of the mess that’s keeping me from enjoying what I love. Thank You SOOOO much for sharing. 🙂

    • As Violet Annie mentioned (above), it’s nice to know I’m not alone! Us creative types are often kind of messy. Yes, take that hour. It will be time very well spent and I think you’ll feel lighter and happier when it is cleaned up and ready for your creativity to blossom! I will TRY to put things away as I go but if someone came a month from now with a camera, they just might find my desk a little bit burried with creative supplies.

  4. Patrice

    Love the faux vintage Chinese art cigar box – I have a lot of BlueQ merch myself and all of it is very clever like that.

  5. too familiar!…but, they say Artisst are like that!…so we must be true artists…isn’t that grand!

  6. Love your space Dianne! I have a craft room, when I prepared it, it looked all pretty and pink, now it’s all messy and pink! after I finish my projects or write my posts I don’t always have time to clean up the mess! I should take a picture of how messy it looks and you would be surprised of how it doesn’t look like the “before” picture! 😉 it’s nice that the feathers remind you of your father! hope you are well!

    • Hi – thank you! I think if I had a craft room where I could close the door, I wouldn’t be as concerned about cleaning up the creative debris. But in our small apartment, the messy desk in the middle of our living space just suck my energy and makes me feel guilty. I’d rather feel creative! But messy and pink sounds cute.
      I am doing well – the feathers have given me a little lift when I find them and I have them tucked around where I’ll see them and be reminded of my dad. I’ve got one in my office at work and a bunch at home.

      • 🙂 even if I can close the door; I just know the mess is there 🙂 but it’s true it’s not so bad because I’m the only who knows about it! Glad to know you are doing well! 🙂 As for the feathers maybe you could frame them and make a nice “frame/feather/art” gallery! (just an idea!)

      • I’m not sure what I’ll do with the feathers…right now it feels like the collection isn’t complete. It’s a nice idea – thanks.

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