Tidy mind, tidy stitches

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Be warned, this will not be a pretty-picture post. While I admire many a crafter’s wonderfully organised yet cheerful, pretty and appealing studio or crafty corner, in my present circumstance of living in a 3×3 meter room in my parents’ house I’ve found that functionality trumps looks. This is the space in which I sleep, dress, work, craft and relax. Fitting that many activities (and their tools) into such a space is no small task. So my yarn shares a space with my dictionaries, my armchair serves as a shelf for finished objects, and the “studio” in which I do most of my crafting is my bed.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining too much! This was my childhood room which gives it a very warm feel, and I prefer smaller spaces to huge ones. But a few extra square meters wouldn’t hurt. I’ve found that the best way to make use of a small space is to go up – use the height, stack things up. It can be a little annoying, when you have to lift up five heavy dictionaries ten times a day because you always somehow need the one that ended up in the bottom of the heap, but it’s better than having to go into the next room ten times a day. The problem with knitting projects, though, is that they don’t exactly stack up. Which brought me to the idea of shoe boxes.

This was a total breakthrough for me! Shoe boxes are the perfect size to keep several balls of yarn, needles, a printed pattern, and all those other itty bitty things you need for a knitting project. Not to mention that it’s easier to dig out a tiny stitch-marker from a box than from a fabric project-bag, where it hides in the curves and the darkness… Aaaaand they stack up! :)

Apart from noticing that I am a big fan of Clarks, you may also notice in the photo that I label my projects with post-it notes too. That way I know what is where and when I feel like working on a project, I just pull out the labeled box and get to it, it contains everything I need. And I have a constant visual reminder of all the projects I have going, which I like to tell myself keeps my WIP count from rising. With all those boxes looking at me a little accusingly, it’s easier to give up on starting another new project and grab a WIP to finish instead. All in all, I’m very happy with the shoe box idea and will surely be keeping it even when I have more room at my disposal. Though I might do something to pretty up the boxes – sorry Clarks, nothing personal!

Now, if you’re looking at the above photo and thinking that it all looks super nice to you, let me present – the bigger picture.

Note that the WIP area also serves as a bookshelf, a shoe-closet, an umbrella stand, a shelf for my iron, and many many more things. As I said, this is a multi-tasking space! ;)

Happy Wednesday! I look forward to picking up a few good organisation ideas from other crafters today! :)

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About fridica

I started knitting completely by accident, when I was visiting my parents for a holiday in 2008. On a boring Sunday afternoon, I decided to dig through their stash of books to see if there was anything interesting to take back to my apartment. A knitting manual happened to be one of the books I found. I got curious, my mom immediately dug out her old needles and yarn stash (which she hadn’t used in a decade at least), and in a few minutes we were both casting on - she by memory, I by following the instructions from the book… :) Since I normally prefer learning from books, this was ideal.. I took the book home with me, and very very soon - I was an addict.

31 thoughts on “Tidy mind, tidy stitches

  1. You are the second person I’ve read about today who uses shoe boxes. There must be something in this. I think she covered her boxes in material or pretty paper. They do seem to be the ideal size.

    • I think I found that post later on! I’ll definitely have to look into covering my boxes with fabric (so much more appealing than covering with them with paper that rips easily – this would be so much more durable!).

  2. I was just going to say the same thing as NoddingViolets. Sometimes I think having a limit on space is a very good thing for the wallet. I really am thinking more and more about shoe boxes, or maybe those clear plastic ones you can buy so you can see what is inside – ooo that’s an epiphany right there – I’m off to surf the net looking for some?

    • On the floor in front of the shelf, as you can see :) Also, I don’t have as many shoes as the boxes there! I’ve just started snatching shoe boxes from everyone around me! :)

  3. What an excellent idea! I love the shoe boxes! I use them for other things, I can’t believe I didn’t think of using them for wips! And it does look like a good way to finish the projects too.

  4. Eureka! I never thought of shoe boxes! I keep my stash in plastic boxes: not very pretty and not very environmentally friendly (I feel guilty about it). Cartoon shoe boxes might be a solution for me. Thank you for the idea!

  5. ah, sweet memories. I had something like that before moving into my own place with couple of closets, which are now full of things that I kept in boxes of all sizes.

  6. Anyone in a small space (not so tidy, not so neat, not so organized) could learn a lot from you. Well done!

    • Uh, it’s the space that makes me neat and organised, actually! The thing is with such a small space – the moment one thing is out of its assigned place it immediately looks incredibly messy. And there’s nowhere to run and hide from the mess :)

      • Yes, but trust me, many in tiny spaces, while you’d THINK would be forced to learn to live neater due to the surroundings, would only learn to live with the clutter until they could stand it no longer. And then it would drive them mad. ;) (I’m speaking from experience here!)

  7. I got some nice stripy boxes from Lidl not so long ago – slightly bigger than shoe boxes and with a hole in the sides for carrying which is great for seeing what’s inside. Sadly, it hasn’t made me any tidier – my room is just a mess.

  8. I don’t even have an organization for my WIP! Two in the living room, one on the kitcher table, one on my “project” table next to the computer… At least, I don’t have too many! I’ll keep the shoe boxes in mind it case the number grows…

  9. That is such a great idea! A coworker mentioned how she kept all her future projects (yarn, needles, patterns, etc) in plastic bags, but this is much tidier. And stackable :)

    And I hear you on the small living quarters. I still live at home :(

    • Kupila sam one kvalitetnije, koje due dre. A ionako ih zamijenim kad zavrim jedan projekt i zaponem drugi, tako da i trebaju biti privremene :)

  10. I’m planning to buy a wicker laundry basket, lined with some nice fabric, in which to store my WIPs. That way they won’t be a focal messy point of the room and I can have more than one project stuffed in there. And it’ll look nice.

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