5 Ways to Cope When You’re Forced to Downsize Your Creative Space

collage of small craft area images with text: 5 Ways To Cope When You're Forced to Downsize Your Creative SpaceDo you need to downsize your creative space, but you’re really not sure where to start. Keep reading for lots of ideas to help you do just that.

One of the things that keeps coming up in the 52 Weeks Facebook Group is that creative mamas are downsizing. Apparently there are at least a few of us who, for one reason or another, will no longer have a dedicated space for making stuff. What a tragedy, right?

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The ironic part is that I’ve been there and done that. If you recall, I gave up my creative space for the little guy. Side note: I’d do it again in a heartbeat. There is nothing in life that I’ve ever wanted more than to be a mama.

Before The Studio Project was ever even a pipe dream, all of my craft supplies were in the living room. And then when that failed, I moved everything upstairs into a corner of our bedroom. Yep! I know. Indecisive.

scrapbooking desk in front of closet with open doors filled with scrapbooking supplies organized neatly on shelvesLet me tell you something. I definitely don’t miss those days at all. I remember coming upstairs, sitting down, and feeling less than inspired. There was just something about not having a dedicated space that frustrated me.

Today I wanted to share some ideas about how to make it work. You know, because you totally can. It took me awhile to figure it out, but when I finally did, having a creative space smack in the middle of everyday life was all kinds of awesome.

Here are 5 ways to cope when you’re forced to downsize your creative space.

1. Start with what you absolutely love and can’t live without. This is actually kinda the opposite of what I would normally suggest. But when you’re so limited on space, it’s really the easiest way to go about the process of getting organized. You want to pick out the supplies that you use the most often and that matter to you more than the rest. Unfortunately everything else is probably going to end up packed away. For what it’s worth, there are still craft supplies hiding in the little guy’s closet. Shh… Don’t tell anyone. A creative mama has to do what a creative mama has to do.

2. If you’re a little bit unsure about whether or not you want your supplies out in the open, then consider closed storage that blends in with everything else. Have you found a fun cabinet? Give it a fresh coat of paint, and go with it. Even a dresser could be repurposed to store craft supplies. You just need to figure out what your style is and really work it. Don’t forget to check out garage sales or thrift stores or even ask your friends and family. Either way, it’s totally possible to mix things up. You just need to be resourceful.

3. If you’re short on space, then you’re definitely going to want to build up. Take your organization vertical. Add shelves. Stack things. Basically, whatever it takes to get the job done. I’ve seen cube storage on top of dressers and even floor to ceiling shelving. Think about exactly what you have and plan accordingly. Be creative, but be careful. Oh, and of course don’t forget to secure everything. After all, you wouldn’t want anything falling and either hurting someone or ruining your supplies. No good can come from that. My workspace is home to at least a few organizers, though. And bonus points for being able to reach exactly what I need without getting up.

4. Be ruthless with your purging. It’s actually easier if you go through your supplies more than once. Decide what you think you absolutely can’t live without and then split it in half. Ask yourself if you really need those cute embellishments and if you’re actually going to use all 100 rolls of washi. Force yourself to choose only a few things in each category. As creative mamas, we have this tendency to accumulate entirely too much stuff and it’s hard to change that mindset. Forcing yourself to decide between a few favorite supplies is an awesome way to give yourself a little extra push in the right direction.

5. Go undercover with your organization so that no one knows where it’s at except for you. I remember when I first started scrapbooking and I had a translucent, Tupperware container that I could slide underneath my bed. My entire stash fit into that one, single container, but I digress. It’s been a long time since that’s been the case. My point is that it’s worth trying to consolidate and keep supplies that you think you might want to use someday. Obviously you can’t keep everything, but when I downsized I had a lot of supplies still out as well as a few put away in rather unique places. Basically wherever I could find a little bit of extra space. After all, I knew it would only be temporary.

Of course something that’s probably more important than anything else is to remember that good things come to those who wait. I was without a creative space for at least a year. Maybe even longer. I survived and so can you.

You can totally do this, mama. You know what they say about things that don’t kill you, right? If you start with what you absolutely love, store it behind closed doors, purge your supplies ruthlessly, and build up and/or go undercover, you’ll totally rock this downsizing thing.

And hopefully, it’s only a matter of time until you end up with a brand-spankin’-new creative space. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Are you ready to finally get your creative space organized once and for all? Join thousands of other creative mamas who are doing just that with this free 52 Weeks to an Organized Workspace challenge.

Do you have any ideas of your own? Leave a comment and share your coping mechanisms for when you’re forced to downsize your creative space.

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