KonMari for Crafters

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Why This Crafter Needs KonMari

This is the stuff of horror movies and I’m putting the carnage and chaos on full display.  I’m ashamed to admit that my beloved crochet room is no longer the pristine, restful place that it was just a few short months ago. When we turned our spare bedroom into a space for my own creativity I proudly shared a tour and was so incredibly proud of it. (You can read more about that here: A Room of Her Own: A Tour of My Little Crochet Room and What it Means to Me). Fast forward to today and it’s a complete disaster. A big hot, unorganized mess. The video below isn’t for the faint of heart! Lol!

I wish I could write that I purposefully trashed this room for dramatic effect for the blog. But sadly that would be a lie. This is the state it is currently in and I am bound and determined to do something about it! I’m sure by now you have heard about Marie Kondo, her book, and her Neflix series. KonMari has become a household word in my neck of the woods and has me so excited about taking control of my spaces.

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Fabric scraps in a mason jar, crochet books, and magazines piled high on an overstuffed dresser.

The KonMari Method

1 – Commit yourself to tidying up: 

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I’ve been avoiding this particular step for some time now. I’ve made excuses for why this space stays so unorganized like, I’m creative so it’s going to be messy. I’ve even equated messiness with creativity. But in actuality that is just a crutch and it only gives me a reason to keep the junk. So although this may seem like the easiest step it is probably the hardest for me. I’m committing myself to tidying up my crochet room and I’m no longer going to give myself a hall pass.

I do think it’s important to understand why this space has become so completely unorganized while the rest of my home is fairly neat and tidy. I think the number one culprit is too much clutter. There’s way too much furniture in this small room and it always feels crowded no matter how organized it is. I want to remove pieces of furniture to allow this space to breathe.

2 –  Imagine your ideal life

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When I imagine my ideal crochet room, it is roomy, uncluttered, organized, and beautiful. It creates a feeling of calm when I cross the threshold. It sparks my creativity and inspires original thoughts. Currently it is the exact opposite. It stifles my imagination. It causes me to feel anxious. I avoid it. It’s claustrophobic.

3 –  Finish letting go first

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I’m actually really looking forward to this part. I’ve been telling myself the lie that I need to keep certain things like yarn I don’t like, because I may need it some day. But truthfully I only use a handful of yarns and I rarely if ever even look at the others. I need to donate the yarn that I am never ever going to use again. I need to toss the scraps that somehow I have talked myself into keeping as well.

4 –  Tidy by category, not location

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Crochet tools in a repurposed makeup caddy.

This makes the most sense for this space. Tidying by category, not location, will make my job much easier. I’m going to keep yarns separated by brand and weight. (You can read more about my favorite yarns for amigurumi here: Yarn Recommendations). I want to keep my tools in a more logical order as well. Knitting needles and crochet hooks need a place of their own. My patterns have a file box but somehow when I pull them out they just end up in a pile on the floor.

5 –  Follow the right order

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Marie Kondo recommends tackling clutter in the following order:

  1. Clothes
  2. Books
  3. Papers
  4. Komono (a.k.a. Miscellaneous Items)
  5. Sentimental Items

I think for my crochet room I will adapt this since it doesn’t really fit for this space. For the clothes I will substitute my yarn and all other fiber materials. I will keep the books and papers in the above order. I’m also going to substitute tools for Komono. The final step will will be for miscellaneous items like my camera equipment. I don’t really keep sentimental things in my crochet room so that category can be eliminated. Here is my revised order for tackling this space:

  1. Yarn, embroidery floss, fabric, and ribbon
  2. Books and magazines
  3. Papers – patterns, certificates, printed articles
  4. Tools – crochet hooks, knitting needles, embroidery hoops, scissors, etc.
  5. Miscellaneous (anything else in the room like camera equipment)

6 –  Ask yourself if it sparks joy

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This is the part of the KonMari method that really speaks to me. Since I was a small child I have been personifying every single thing in my life. In middle school I remember a pair of Esprit espadrilles that had seen better days. I didn’t wear them anymore because they were so battered and worn out but I couldn’t bear to throw them out. I kept imagining how sad and betrayed they would feel at being discarded like just a piece of garbage.

Marie Kondo recommends holding each item to see if it “sparks joy”. Does it give a thrill or happy feeling when it is in your hands? If not, thank the item for serving you and either put it in the donate, sell, or throw away pile. I can really get behind this action. I love the idea of thanking items for their service, but at the same time removing them from my own home. It is acknowledging items for what they are and have done and letting go without guilt. img_4046

I’m actually looking forward to this process now. I have a plan and for me that is half the battle! Do you follow the KonMari method for your home or crafting area? How do you keep your creative spaces organized?

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26 thoughts on “KonMari for Crafters

  1. The yarn can go to the Women’s Guild ladies that make the prayer shawls for the ill and shut ins that are distributed by Mary’s Visitors. As for the chaos, when I am scrapbooking, my sun porch looks a HUGE mess. Have tried many approaches to keep it under control, but no success … still resembles a HUGE mess. You keep fabrics and yarn scraps. I keep all sizes of paper scraps.

    • That is such a great idea, Mary Ann! Thanks so much for the suggestion! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one making giant messes! I know this space can be better and I will be working on it this week! I can’t wait to share when it is all finished!

  2. My most successful studio organization was done using Julie Morgenstern’s method as outlined in Organizing from the Inside Out. She helps you develop a system that works based on who you are and how you think, work, live. I need to apply it now that I’ve moved and have a new studio space. I’m not sure I could get the method you outline to work for me, although it has a lot in common with Inside Out, including committing to the process (because it takes time and effort to get organized!). Good luck with your clean up. Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  3. I need to do this…bad! We will be setting up my crafting room when my oldest moves out after they have their baby. I WILL do this when moving all my craft stuff in!

    • I am excited to get this done. The room still needs to operate as a spare bedroom but it can be much much better organized. I will need to wait to get some of the heavy lifting done since I want to remove some furniture and rearrange it as well. It feels SO good to clear it out!

  4. My craft room has become a catch all this holiday season. We also use it as another guest room with a blow up mattress. I really need to get in there.

  5. I’ve been hearing more about the KonMari method lately, I need to check it out! I’m all about avoiding the clutter but I completely get how it can “sneak” up on you.

    • I am not a strict Konvert, as they are called, but I do think she makes a lot of sense. There is a great Netflix series titled Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. It’s fantastic! It’s extremely motivating!

  6. This is the second time I’m hearing of KonMari. I must look into this further. I love organization and I’m really really making a promise to myself not to clutter certain rooms when we move into our new farmhouse lol. Really, I am. Thanks for the tips!!

    • KonMari is a fantastic method for organizing. I’ve been doing my clothes in the way she recommends for a few years. Now I’m slowly but surely going through everything! Moving is such a great time to purge and organize!

  7. I have totally stopped buying all craft supplies because I am incapable of organizing them! My guest room closet is sad collection of failures… scrapbooks I never made, dresses I never finished. They definitely do not spark joy. I needed this encouragement to just let them go.

    • Yes!! I so understand! Sparking joy is the genius to her entire plan! It feels so good to be in a space that feels so dang good to be in! Can’t wait to get mine finished and share with everyone!

  8. Sounds like a plan, and I wish you luck – hope you have your dream creative space emerge from this organization! I don’t really follow any particular methods for organizing my space, but I guess that works because I’m terrified of messy spaces in general. 😀

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