If you have a closet to spare for your crafting hobby -- well, lucky you! Closets can hold lots of equipment and supplies, especially if you have a strategy for outfitting them to take advantage of every inch. They protect paper and fabric from sun damage and dust, and can hide bulky or unattractive items like ironing boards and dressmaker's forms. A dedicated craft closet can also provide a home for that serger, template maker or embroidery machine that only sees action a couple of times a year.
The key to a functional craft closet is flexibility. This year, you may think you'll never be into knitting, or beading or sewing, but who knows where your hobby will take you in the future? Experimentation and discovery are two of the delights of crafting, and some crafts just naturally overlap others. To be prepared for your next adventure, choose modular closet shelving you can customize to fit your changing needs. You may benefit from installing shallow shelves to hold card and paper stock this season. Next year, you may want to use that space for your collection of willow and grapevine wreaths or rolls of silk ribbon.
Before you actually shop for shelving, empty the closet and measure the space. You'll need to know how much room you have to work with. Closet height, width and depth are important. Buy a stud finder and locate the wooden studs behind the closet's walls. The shelves you install will be able to hold more weight when they're secured to the studs.
Don't just think about shelves when you're considering closet storage, either. The space just below the ceiling is wasted in many closets, but you can install hanging hooks that can store twine, lengths of chain, ribbon and other supplies. The walls behind the shelves can be outfitted with pegboard to hold small bins and hooks so no space is wasted. If the closet is deep enough, you can even install pegboard on the side walls for flexible small item storage and easy access.
Think in three dimensions. You may have a greater need for shallow shelves than deep ones, so customize where you can. Take the time to analyze the objects you need to store. If you'll be sticking a dress form in the closet, the layout you choose will be different than if you're storing small or stackable items. If you'll have floor space available, consider adding a plastic drawer organizer or moving a small chest of drawers into the closet. This is an inexpensive option that can free up space in your craft room and increase closet storage by using floor space that would otherwise be underutilized.
You're still not done. If your closet has a stout door, install an over-the-door wire shelf, plastic door-storage craft organizer or even a wooden peg shelf for spools of thread. Space along a door's interior may be shallow, but it can still hold quite a few small items. If you can't find the right door organizer for your supplies, try modifying an over-the-door shoe cubby. You can find shoe organizers made of clear plastic that can easily hold rotary cutters, crochet hooks, stamp pads and other precious tools. Even better, you can place often used items on the door for easy access. Heck, you can even place a second organizer on the front of the door to double your storage.
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