January 17, 2022

Narrowing Down and Cleaning Up Crafting/Hobby Stuff

I have been keeping super busy the last couple of days by organizing my crafting stuff. (I also milled down a couple of oak boards that Brian gave me, but I'm not done with those, so I'll save that for later.)

The problem I have with crafting is that I love all of it--I like knitting, crocheting, cross stitching (which is rare, but I like it), sewing, woodworking, flipping furniture, journaling... and probably things I'm forgetting. Anything DIY, basically. And when you have that many hobbies, it takes up a LOT of space.

Which is fine if you have a room that is dedicated to crafting (I don't) or an attic or a basement (I also do not). I don't even have storage closets! But the biggest problem for me is that I tend to go through phases of one thing or another for a while. It's not that I want to give up a hobby--I just switch to a different one when the mood strikes me--but all of those *things* still need space.

Right now, for example, I'm dying to work in the garage (I need to build shelves for Noah's bedroom) but it's so cold that I can only stand it for a couple of hours. Also, none of the batteries in my tools work when it's that cold!) Shawn (my brother-in-law) is supposed to help me install a gas heater in the spring so next year, I should be able to work in there).

Lately, I've been trying to convince myself to give up some stuff. The knitting and crocheting should probably be the first to go. I don't do it nearly as often as I used to and after Duck swallowed that yarn, I just get a bad feeling when thinking about it. So, I actually sold ALL of my yarn a few days ago! I couldn't bring myself to get rid of my needle and hook sets (mainly because they are difficult to list for sale--they are complicated sets). So now I only have one small box of knitting/crocheting stuff, which consists of the needles and hooks.

I've pretty much given up on the bullet journaling, mainly because it just takes up too much time. I could do it faster and more efficiently, but when I see the beautiful spreads on Instagram, I just become more of a perfectionist and I never get anything done. Thankfully, I didn't spend a fortune on the bullet journaling--the journals weren't cheap, but I still use those for sketching out things for woodworking and stuff like that.

The bullet journaling also took up the least amount of space. So getting rid of that doesn't really help much as far as creating space. I do like to keep my fill-in-the-blank journals (the Some Lines a Day journal and my Clever Fox planner - Amazon affiliate links). Those are fast and easy to fill in.

I was really enjoying flipping furniture for a little while (I didn't do a lot, but I could see myself doing it and selling pieces). Unfortunately, I really messed up my body and developed bad carpal tunnel syndrome; painting furniture is what makes it flare up the most. So that took care of that "problem". 

Since I can't work in the garage much, I've been thinking about sewing (there are clothes that need mending and I also like to upcycle old items). This is what led me to clean out my sewing stuff the last couple of days. 

Unfortunately, sewing takes up SO. MUCH. SPACE. I really love sewing and I don't plan to give it up, but I really need a way to organize it efficiently. I have a lot of fabric (most of it small pieces), all sorts of sewing notions, thread, accessories, and tools. And the two biggest things--my sewing machine and my serger.

The worst part about sewing has a hobby is where to put the sewing machine and serger--they should be easily accessible (otherwise they're too much of a hassle to get out and use) but out of the way of everything else (I can't keep them on my dining room table, for example). This was my set-up with my sewing machine when I made what felt like 8 million masks in 2020:

BY FAR, the biggest, most expensive hobby I have is woodworking. It also happens to be my favorite. We have a three-car garage and literally half of it is taken up by my tools! Almost all of my tools were bought at a fraction of the retail price (via Facebook Marketplace) but even buying used tools can be expensive. And they just take up a ton of space.

However, I've built myself a nice little shop over the last couple of years and I love love love working out there. Even if I'm not really making anything in particular; I just like tinkering around with tools to see all the features they can do.

Anyway, my tools and workshop aren't going anywhere in the foreseeable future, so I wanted to work on organizing my other stuff. I feel bad that it takes up so much space! Today, I took out my sewing stuff--which was in several different places--and I organized it into three separate containers. That may still sound like a lot, but believe me, I narrowed it down to the basics! (Not counting the sewing machine and serger, of course.)

This is what the mess looked like before:

Trying to keep the cats away was the worst!! I didn't want them finding stray thread to swallow.

And then this is what I condensed it down to (I've taken a couple of things out to show you the inside, but the second picture shows it neatly tucked into the three containers). 

Eventually, my goal will be to condense everything down to a small box of fabric and a box of essential sewing notions/accessories.

I always wonder how people live in those "tiny houses". I would love to be a minimalist like that, but I would miss my hobbies too much!

Okay, here is my desk calendar's random fact of the day (in honor of MLK Jr. day, of course!):

I'd reckon that Hoover had some serious mental issues--good grief!


  1. Wow that fact about MLK is haunting. I need to brush up on my history again, I did not know that. Very interesting. I love seeing a good organization post! This always inspires me to organize something! I've been meaning to start on my bookcases. Maybe I'll take my "before" picture tonight and then do a little bit each night!

  2. I love that wooden sewing box! And whoa, yes. Hoover was, well, ugh.

  3. I have a sewing table that converts into a normal end-table sort of thing, that allows me to use the sewing machine/serger when I want to, and hide all that when I don't. There are various levels of tables, with some just storing the sewing machine and some goods when it's closed, or ones where the sewing machine sinks down into the table when it's not in use, and has a ton of drawers/cabinets for storage. And it all just closes up into a tiny, normal-looking table when not in use. The fancy ones are super pricey, but maybe start looking on marketplace?

  4. You're so organized compared to me. My sewing stuff is everywhere. I have a guest bedroom, but it never gets used. So I've thought abought clearing that out for a craft room. And there's the room where the treadmill and elliptical are that I could change to a craft room. I can't make up my mind, so it's craft stuff everywhere.

  5. i don't know what you have for cordless tools, but we run DeWalt and they work fine in the cold. My husband works outside 8+ hrs a day with them. The only thing he does is charge the batteries inside our basement at night. Put some warm clothes on and work in your garage, millions of people in the trades do it every day.

  6. first off, wow! i didn't know that about hoover. he seriously had issues.
    and second, i have the same issue with hobbies. i love doing everything. thankfully i do have a room i can store it all in (except bandsaw and wood), but it is so unorganized and the upstairs isn't heated, so it's too cold to work in there in the winter and too hot in the summer. there are few days i can actually work upstairs, so everything gets cluttered on the table on the main floor of our home. i love how you neatly stored all your sewing supplies. i have too much fabric to do that. i have been downsizing, but still have a ways to go. i do have an outlet(s) to sell my crafts, so things do get used, but then i buy more. this year i'm trying to buy as little as possible and use up as much as i can with the supplies i already have.

  7. Oh my gosh I hear you about the crafting stuff taking up so much room.

    I was SO proud when I rearranged my room a few months ago (and sent it to you for a transformation Tuesday), but after summer in Australia I gave in and moved my treadmill into the office (for the aircon). I ended up throwing out so much stuff, and now I have a messy bookshelf that I need to organise.

    I lust after the tiny houses online but I most definitely couldn't live without my craft and treadmill so I guess tiny living just isn't for me!


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