Craft Closet Organization seems like the holy grail of creatives. By nature we tend to be a little chaotic. After completely redoing my studio a couple of years ago it was time to conquer the last space. I found that I was leaving piles in my office – piles that should be in the closet. I also I had to bring in the step stool to get something that I had places on a high stack in my studio closet. I had to dig my tripod out of the back corner. Basically I could feel the chaos creeping into my nice space and decided that drastic measures needed to be taken.
The closet needed a complete overhaul. Instead of trying to find furniture to fit it – I would make the closet fit my needs. It’s a very large walk in closet – my husband refers to it as my second office. I new if the space was used properly that it has more than enough room. It just needed to be utilized properly.
I also had a vision of what I wanted to feel like when I stepped into it. I wanted to feel happy and peaceful – ready to create. I wanted to have everything available at my fingertips and be able to find things easily.
I’ll show you how I went from this:
Craft Closet Organization – The Ultimate Guide
Step 1 – Assess the Problems
Before beginning the craft closet organization it’s important to look at the things about the closet that were causing problems.
I repainted my studio space and was very picky about the color. You can read all about that here. I didn’t paint the closet, I left it the old that has a major green undertone and so it would mess with how fabric/ paint and colors of items would look.
I had furniture in my closet that while it fit, it was taking up too much precious space. And it didn’t work trying to shoehorn everything into a perfectly square cubby.
While I love the KALLAX shelves from Ikea – they are on the bulky side and took up a lot of space.
I also had a SCRAPBOX MINIBOX in the back of my closet. I loved the storage it has it was hard to open and shut in a confined space. If a piece of furniture is making organizing hard – it needs to go.
The lighting was an issue as well. The color temperature of the bulbs were different than my studio and I didn’t like where the light was placed in the closet (off center and towards the door and it’s a deep closet).
Finally I took a look at my stash. I have SO MUCH! Since it had been a couple of years since I did a major purge, I figured it was a good time to reevaluate my stash. You can learn some basic organizing tips here.
Step 2 – Have a Vision for the Project
Now that I identified the problems I can come up with solutions to make the space work for me.
I need the closet to be brighter so I can see everything clearly. That means painting and switching the light fixture. I want the shelves to fit the closet (not the closet to fit the shelves) so that means something custom to suit my needs. I also knew the feeling that I wanted entering the closet – I wanted it to be happy, peaceful and a place I would love to be in. This means not just keeping it organized – but keeping it feeling fun.
My biggest goal was for my large closet to feel, as spacious as it is. I didn’t want to walk into a congested, tight space.
Step 3 – Have a Plan for the Craft Closet
The difference between a vision and a plan is solid details. I took measurements of my closet and drafted them in Adobe Illustrator (to scale 1mm = 1 inch). This would allow me to be able to make drafts of the closet so I could settle on a design.
I researched all kinds of different closet systems and even systems that stores use (like slats and pegboards). Nothing was out of bounds. After really looking closely at all possibilities I decided that the Elfa system from the Container Store was for me. Instead of using their design services (which you can use for free) I opted to design my closet my self using the measurements provided on the Container store website.
While I was drafting I also drafted “zones” that wanted. Like a camera and photography zone. A craft zone, etc. So I already had a rough idea of what would go where.
I also made sure that the shelves would fit the storage boxes that I already had.
I also made sure that I tried to to look at it from every angle – including the top view down to see how the shelving and spacing would be.
After coming up with my plan, I also made sure to visit the Container store and actually touch/ see the system in person to make sure I liked it before I invested in it to organize my craft closet. Because the Elfa System costs a pretty penny.
Step 4 – Put the Plan into Action
Now that I knew what I wanted the closet to be it was time to get going! Since I wanted to paint I had to pull EVERYTHING out of the closet. which makes it the ideal time to go through my stash.
If I hadn’t used it or thought of using it in the past 5 years it needed to go. I donated most of the items I wasn’t using to charity. I donated a lot of minky and fleece to Project Linus – you can too! Learn how here.
I also found duplicates of things because it wasn’t organized. I made sure that I put everything together so that wouldn’t happen again.
I organized what I kept into containers – everything needed a home.
I took down the hanging bars in the closet since I wasn’t using them. I left the shelf that was there as it served as a good break point in the closet. I filled and sanded any holes or dents in the wall. I painted the closet the same gray as my office.
Since I have Photo/ Video lights in my office I opted to put something fun in my closet. I love this modern looking chandelier. I also made sure to sure bulbs that were the same color temperature as my studio space so the closet wouldn’t look yellow in comparison. Since my studio lights help light the front part of the closet I hung the light deeper in my craft closet so that the light would be distributed better.
I took all the shelving and extra furniture out of my office to be used elsewhere in the house. It was finally time to start installing the Elfa system!
Step 5 – Be Willing to Tweak the Craft Closet Organization Plan as Needed
I opted to put the Elfa Shelving/ drawers in phases so I could get the closet just right, and I’m really glad I did. In my original draft of my craft closet I had shelving and drawers on the back wall. After installing the shelving on both sides of the space, I saw that I wouldn’t like having it there. It would be a mistake and make the closet feel more confined than I want t to.
Instead I opted to put a pegboard that I made at the back of the closet. You can see that easy little tutorial here (it will also save you TONS of money).
Since I had the big pegboard in the back opted to eliminate one of the Elfa Pegboards and add some utility shelves instead. If you want more of a deep dive into the Elfa closet system you can read my post here.
Step 6 – Make it Pretty and Personal
I took my time and began to fill up my closet once I had all of the shelving and drawers put in. If I had a lot of an item in different colors (like my felt) I put it in rainbow order so I could find the color I am looking for fast.
I also used the handy drawer dividers to keep items separate.
The majority of my containers are clear so I can see what’s in them.
Because I wanted this closet to feel more fun I added some cute bright décor on the shelves. I found most of it at this cute Etsy shop – I love supporting Etsy makers! I also added my college diploma on the wall because I feel it’s important for my kiddos to see that.
The desk space is there so I can put projects/ piles of things I am working on there. It’s my planned space for chaos. My goal is to keep my closet tidy to help me be a better creative. But I know myself I love my piles.
I love having my photo equipment behind the door and neatly hanging. I really hated having my tripods/ stands falling all over the place.
I have to say that I LOVE this closet. I love walking into it and having all of my materials at my finger tips.
I also really like having some supplies out and ready to use – not having to grab a step ladder or shuffle things to get them.
Having zones for things has also made life easier. I have all of my photography equipment in a section. Crafting and sewing in another.
Sometimes it’s just a fun place to sneak away to.
I confess for me organization is a hard, stressful process. But the results are worth the pain.
While I’ve tried to make it pretty it is first and foremost about function.
Everything has a home and a purpose.
Can’t wait to see what inspiration this will spark!
You might also like:
- How to organize your sewing space (Part 1 of the Makeover series)
- How to choose colors for your sewing studio (Part 2 of the Makeover series)
- Sewing Room Furniture Ideas (Part 3 of the Makeover Series)
- Cute Craft Room Decor Ideas (Part 4 of the Makeover series)
- Craft Room Ideas ( part 5 of the Makeover Series and Final Reveal)
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Karen Hinson says
Wow! I am impressed.
Jackie Koepnick says
WOW how nice you did a wonderful job