Storing Your Craft Supplies
Crafters live in a world where everything can always be something else.
So they always have too much stuff! Some artists purchase craft supplies
for a special project while others, purchase “on spec” or
because they can’t resist the a new material, a new solution,
colors, textures or even good sales on expensive materials.
It is smart to buy a few extra pieces of something when working on
a special project color matching a yarn, paint mix or even beads won’t
be a problem. Consequently, we all have a lot of excess materials that
need to be tracked, organized, sorted and stored.
An inventory system is a great method especially if you are
going to craft as a business. To store beads, paint, fabric
yarn, paper, whatever – it needs to be sorted so you
can find it again. First, sort it according to color, material
etc. or sort it according to the intended project.
Storing it becomes another issue which can either make you
or break you. Spending hours searching for that special bead
or rubber stamp can be incredibly frustrating. So find a method
(plastic bags, lidded containers, file folders, plastic bins)
then note where it is stored (closet, under bed, file cabinets,
etc.) If you have a wide variety of materials, and they are
stored in many different locations, noting where each item
is on a 3x5 card and putting it in a card file is a good way
to keep track. You can then note when each item was purchased
and how much it cost. It is a simple, but easy way to manage
your inventory. There is
now an entire industry
dedicated to organization. Everything from household inventory
books to bookkeeping and tax receipts.
Old file cabinets can hold an incredible amount of raw materials
and are easy to hide in a closet are the garage and have deep,
pullout drawers that allow you to easily see what is in the
drawer. Each drawer can be labeled with the drawer contents.
Used file cabinets can be found at garage sales, used office
furniture stores, etc. Large clear plastic containers with
lids also make great storage container and if they are clear,
you can easily see what is in the container. Well-established
Graphic and Fine Art supply shops like
Utrecht Art.com have a variety of boxes, tubes and envelopes
made specifically for storing artwork. If you need archival-quality,
start there first. (They've got everything from spray booths
to flat files.
To store patterns, papers, anything that moisture might damage, zip-type
plastic bags are great to keep all the pieces together in one place
and protect the contents. They can then be stored in plastic boxes or
a file cabinet drawer. These days every dollar store and craft shop
has tons of different types of organizers. You can literally spend more
on the organizing bins than on your craft materials, so think deeply
about how you want to organize your items before you spend your hard-earned
money on them.
No matter what type of system you use, knowing what you have and where
it is located will make your craft business more successful.
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