Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Reviewing the situation.

When we selected our new home we choose one with a good big downstairs to accomodate the whole family for meals etc, and what we thought was a good layout upstairs for us, guests and a shared hobbies room. In theory this was a great idea- the reality is somewhat different- we both seem to have less space than we did in a smaller house. This is the situation.

Barely space to sit down!
Mr E- 3 D printer and electronics

and my crafting table

sorting out the materials for one of the tags!

Think we might have to think this out again! Shelves maybe? Move house? Convince Mr E to give up electronics or relocate to the garage? Sleep in a tent in the garden? Ideas anyone please?

Comments on: "Reviewing the situation." (47)

  1. I’m going back up the comments in a few moments but I feel your pain here. My friend Alys came a couple of February’s ago and organized my sewing room. I had to do it again last week. Everything is in CLEAR containers. I’ve rid myself of any that are not. I need to see what’s inside immediately. Still purging as I have more than I’ll ever finish. I have gone straight up the walls in my tiny rooms to add storage putting what I use most at arms reach. I cannot afford Ikea except for the book shelves and more books are going too. I label all the bins so the hunt is no longer as long or intense. Now I’ll look for any ideas here I can use. Kate is the best at organizing ideas from what I’ve read here so far. It will be easier if I have a lot less to stuff into closets. Square footage is not equal. My smaller apartment had better layout and storage than here. So frustrating. Good luck.

  2. Shelves! Storage is an awesome solution – get vertical 🙂
    Or you could get Mr E his own house (smile)

  3. I really am not the one to ask. I would love someone to come in and sort me out!

  4. Many good ideas already, so I am confident you will choose the ones that work for you and Mr. E, and get your space working for you very soon.

    • Kathy I needed to read this comment. surely now I have acknowledged there is a problem I am some way on to solving it.

  5. Hahaha!! Oh, Cathy! I think we can all relate to something in this post. I feel like the more space we have the more stuff fills it. Shelves, yes. Maybe bins for storing similar items?

    • Thank you, it’s nice to know I am not alone. we thought house with more rooms= more space. it just means more walls ! Shelevs I think is the way to go.

  6. Cube storage has saved me! I use the upper sections for things like books and magazines and have the baskets on the lower shelves for loose stuff like fabric and yarn. I also really like the plastic bins for storing things and lots of labels. You will get there. I have moved my set up around so many times since I retired.

    • I reckon I have too many half empty containers with similiar things in them that don’t stack nicely. I have to be a bit more practical, and spend sometime sorting myself out. Thank you for the ideas- I am especially bad at labeling anything!

  7. Oh goodness. I’m not the person to ask about things like this because my solution is to always throw everything away and start over again. But don’t be like me!! Like other people have said – you’ll settle. The house is still new to you! And I think you’ll find that an organizational system will begin to sort itself out as you use the space more and more. Enjoy your hobbies!!

    • Katie thank you- there is something to be said for throwing or giving things away. Better organisation I think would help.

  8. You will settle in! Probably some shelves and other storage solutions will have to be involved, but you will get there 🙂

  9. Ok, Cathy, shelves. Lots of shelves, and plastic boxes with labels. Also, cube storage systems laid on their sides to be long and low, placed under your work table so you can use them for stuff you don’t need every day, but you still have leg room. I have a rule that works for me: Only one active project on the table at one time. The others have to be put into their own large plastic storage basket and put on a shelf till you want to come back to them. It’s the multiple projects, multiple materials in the workspace that does your head in. Fold fabrics around the card backing of A4 pads and store it on edge instead of folded in piles. It takes up less space. Office filing tray stacks for paper and card, stacked as high as you need. Put a pegboard on the wall and use it to hang scissors, tape, rulers, cutters and small baskets for ‘thingies’. Remove any chairs you’re not actually using to sit on – they become ‘stuff’ magnets. Screw the lids of button jars to the underside of shelves and screw the jars back onto the lids. It means you don’t have to move them around to access the one you want. Put hooks on the side of shelf units and the edge of tables to hang things on. And definitely don’t hide stuff in cupboards. You need to see what you have so you don’t go and buy it again!

    • Brilliant suggestions!

      • I have been where you are. Still am in parts, if truth be told.

        • Thank you so much for all these ideas. I absolutely love the idea of a stacking shelf for paper- why ever didn’t I think of it! And it’s probably something I can still buy from a supermarket- half our shops are still shut here.
          I am a sucker for pretty tins and use them for lace, or stickers, or pretties of one kind and another, but none of them fit anywhere or with each other. I must have at least 7 tins of buttons, all half full and all rearranged with each new project.
          I think I probably need to start from scratch and do away with silly containers!
          Thank you so much for all the ideas- I think I will be returning to this post and its comments throughout the year!

  10. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    It’s funny thing, there never is enough space 🙂

  11. Personally I would have cupboards as then you can close the doors on all the stuff and it keeps the room looking tidy. Ikea do some wardrobes that are only half depth 35cm I think and into these you can fit shelving, wire baskets and drawers. You can also get different heights depending on your ceiling height and if you cannot afford them all at once you can add on as you go. Teamed with a billy bookcase or two would give you loads of storage. And if the bookcases were the lower ones you can dispay things or store things on top.
    We have also found the Alex drawer units very versatile for crafts – they come in varying widths and heights of drawers but are great for papers and crafts.
    As well Ikea do an interest free loan for goods over £600 where you pay monthly to spread the cost..
    If you are doing it on a tight budget then you could buy old stuff from the local Facebook market place or try Freecycle and paint it. At the very least you could invest in some bankers boxes for the least used items for now to get the stuff off the work surfaces.
    I think having a study /craft room quite streamlined helps to keep things in place and stops the mess piling up so sorting it now might seem a bit of an outlay but would be well worth it if it is a much used room.
    Good luck – there are plenty of ideas here from other readers.

    • I am in an undoubted muddle- One thing I keep doing is trying to divide stuff into uses rather than into what it is- so paper for cards in one place, for journalling in another etc- which means I have lots and lots of odd shaped boxes that don’t fit anywhere. Paints and crayons are the same- thanks for the info on the Ikea things- it’s clearly sily having the blanket box where it is- valuable wall space is lost.
      It took us so long to move with two failed moves and then caught in lockdown both of us were just desparate to unpack and live again, with the result of not thinking things out better.
      Thank you so muh for taking time to help.

  12. it’s nice to have both yours and Mr E’s crafting stations set up in the same room, because you can craft & chatter while you work ^^ Looking at that green wall, yes, I’d go with Lynn’s idea and get some cubes with the storage square baskets to go inside. The cubes aren’t very deep (mine are something like 33cm I think) so they wouldn’t encroach on the rest of the room anymore than the unit you’ve got in place now, and they would be ideal for having each thing in its rightful place, yet easy to access. Could also leave some of cubes free to stand pictures, jars and is that a doll I see?
    And maybe some shelves up on the wall to the right of Mr E’s work station.
    I agree with other comments that you both need to keep workstation free of everything except the project you’re currently working on.

    Mind you, the idea of camping in the garden sounds like fun too !!!!

    • Mr E has put up shelves over his table with neatly labeled boxes, most of which are still empty. I have to say and he wouldn’t disagree he is even more disorganised than me – uses something then leaves it out, then looses it…
      I think everyone is right about more cubes- if I move the blanket box to the landing- it’s full of the yarn stash- I could get in a new unit. Our windows are much smaller here which means less space for ornaments etc- they are all over the place..
      Yes that is a doll you spy!

  13. Did you have more floor space in the previous house? It does look like a small room. Shelves would definitely help. If you have an integral garage it might be a good place for storing stuff you don’t need to get to every day. ‘Really Useful Boxes’ are very good. Depending on the style of beds there is also under the beds in the guest room. That is where I have ‘it might come in handy one day’ stuff. Organisation, organisation, organisation. Though I am a fine one to talk; I always have lots of clutter.

    • You are right, what I lack is organisation. In our last house I had myself set up in the guest room, Mr E used our youngest son’s bedroom for his tables once he’s moved out. Both these rooms had huge built in wardrobes with massive shelves and both of us filled them. The double bed where I was had huge drawers, also packed. When we moved we lost most of the airing cupboard so sheets etc are now in the bed drawers and shelves in the built in wardrobe.The double bed fills most of the space in the guest bedroom and a a single most of the space in a fourth bedroom, which leaves us both squished into the remaining one. No cupboards there at all.
      I have spent today going through my crates of fabric- just sorting them out has created less muddle and some space- they live on the floor of built in wardrobes – what might be sensible at some time would be to get the wardrobes re designed with some shelf space- we don’t need hanging space- well just a bit for guests as and when.
      Next up will be the yarn stash which is much depleted thanks to lockdown. I’ll get there!

  14. This is my current situation lol although my husband says it’s me taking up all the space! I have loads of shelves, bookcases and bins all crowded with supplies and whatnot. I even did a declutter! I saw an awesome, organized craft room with beautiful and simple cabinets from Ikea. Maybe you Could utilize all the walls with more shelves. My hubs says if I bring in more furniture, I need to take something out. I just got a microwave stand to put two printers on and I still don’t think it’s quite the right solution.

  15. Shelves, floor to ceiling if necessary, and stacking boxes, see through so you know what’s in them. And a very ruthless de-clutter – anything that hasn’t been used in the last 12 months goes in the bin.

  16. It’s not so much a lack of space in the room, is it? Looks like a storage issue really.

    Is there room for a big cupboard or stacking boxes for your craft supplies? Crafting does seem to require such a lot of tins, tubs and bags.

    Is there another room or storage place in the house where you can put supplies and grab them depending on what you’re making?

    • We do have a storage issue here- we had so many large cupboards in our last home with useful shelves, and loft space and a large airing cupboard. The airing cupboard here is full of pipes, so the contents of that had to go in the guest room wardrobe, with the floor used for crates of fabric and other useful items. The loft space here is miniscule, too full of water tanks and what not, so all the stuff that Mr E had there is now all over place. I think I do have to replace the pine blanket box- yarn store for something better.

  17. Oh, my — oh, dear! You do have a problem there.
    I’d suggest shelves and storage cupboards, depending on size of materials. Other than that, I couldn’t say as I’ve no idea what’s on offer over your way these days. 🤔

    • Lynn’s suggestion above, for Ikea, sounds wonderful! I’d like to look at that one myself . . .

      • Thanks for the thoughts, what we have isn’t working and that’s for sure- neither of us can find a thing.

        • Have you done an overall sort out – all yarns & yarny stuff in a box(es), fabrics in another, threads, etc. and labeled each container? Then looked at each and thought about whether you need bins or drawers, open or closed – that sort of thinking?
          Might be you just need time to recover a bit more before tackling the hurdles.
          How’s that back patch coming along – anything poking up to surprise you? Might be time to get out a bit and let Nature refresh you.

  18. I’m not the best person to ask at the moment but I have to say that the Ikea cube system I used in both my old house and now this one make for great storage. I have two walls in the new sewing room with floor to ceiling cubes, some left open, some with the fitted baskets that you can hide less attractive stuff in and just pull out and a couple with specially fitted drawers which I use for threads and the bobbins for my overlocker.
    You need to keep surfaces and floor space as clear as possible and use those walls.
    Good luck.

    • I think another larger cube rather than the pine chest might be a good solution- thank you for that one.

      • Definitely. You could go further along the wall and further up it than the one you have there at the moment.

        • Plus. Pegboards are useful to keep in plain sight and easy reach any tools (scissors, rulers, rotary cutters etc). that will hang from a hook .

  19. I’d try and get my hands on some boxes and shelves. It’s difficult now, of course, but that would allow you to have free tables, and while you are repacking your things into boxes, you can not only organise them, but also check if you truly and really NEED all of it.

    • Yes do I really need things- I’m big on hanging onto stuff just in case!

      • Then we’re similar in this regard – I get so emotionally attached to things, and I always need to get in THE ZONE before I can give stuff away. (Plus, I’m a bit of a packrat 😉 )

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