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Artful organization can minimize household clutter


Courtesy of Amanda Kuzak
Organization can quell chaos in any room as this craft room project can attest.

Now that school’s out for summer, you’ve got time to tackle those fabulous craft masterpieces lingering on the patio, and more daylight hours to tackle that do-it-yourself project you’ve been shaping on Pinterest.

But thoughts of running out of glue-gun sticks or the kids dripping paint on the new carpet may hold you back. Did you already drive to the craft shop to repurchase the supplies you know are hiding in a drawer?

My clients often call me because organizational problems stymie their creativity. Following are my top six organizing tips to release that creativity blockage and enable you to enjoy your dream craft and hobby space this summer.

• Define a craft storage and workspace in your home. Whether in a kitchen cabinet or within an entire room dedicated to creativity, define a single area in your home for storing your supplies. Align this area with a clear work space so that you and your family can create easily on the fly. By creating a defined storage area and workspace, you can avoid the dreaded “craft creep” of projects and supplies taking over your entire home and garage – and having to move projects around.

• Visibility is key. Picture an old-fashioned confectionary. If you need a visual reminder, visit The Sweet Shop at 994 Los Altos Ave., where all the candies are immediately visible. Instead of gummi worms and licorice wheels, repurposed clear glass jars and open containers will hold your supplies. Group like items together – for example, glues and tapes, glue guns and waxy sticks in one zone. It’s a simple concept, but look around your current craft space. Do you know where your paint brushes are? Your scissors? Your eyes should be dazzled and everything accessible at your fingertips.

• Narrow your interests. Dig deep to determine the projects you really enjoy working on. Whether it is painting, pottery, drawing, beading, scrapbooking or fly-tying, keep your interests as edited as possible. Honing in will help you save money when purchasing supplies and encourage you to maintain the space.

• Undertake one project at a time. Juggling a dozen half-finished projects at any given time is stressful. Instead, don’t start a new project until your current inspiration is completed. I often refinish furniture from my estate-sale business and allow myself only one project in process at a time. This will keep your garage from filling up with treasures that you’ll get to “someday.”

• Add regular purging sessions to your calendar. It is difficult for creative minds to let go of items that might turn into a project, but I firmly believe that removing clutter will change your mindset. You will instantly see what you can do instead of what you need to do. Plan a craft supply swap party with your friends, or donate to a local nonprofit organization like the Resource Area for Teaching in Sunnyvale.

• Create a display area. If you have children who are always creating and building a work of art, a designated display area is key. Encourage your children to pick their favorite pieces to remain on display, and select those to be stored in a memory box to make room for new artwork. Teaching kids basic organizing skills will give them greater satisfaction with their craft results and equip them with building blocks for mastering efficiency.

Amanda Kuzak is a Los Altos-based professional organizer and estate liquidator. For more information, visit kuzakscloset.com.

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