Kelly Pratt is the owner of Spaces Limited Organizing. What began as a little something to keep busy while her kids were at school has developed into product creation, speaking and training, writing and regular television appearances. Professional organizing has become quite a journey!

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Organizing Your Hobby

Whether your favorite hobby is crafting, scrapbooking, cooking, entertaining, exercising, reading or collecting antiques, at some point, you need space, systems and storage for your creations and collections. Boost your creativity with some of these organizing tips.

General Guidelines

Go Vertical

If you have a dedicated hobby area, it is likely small. Otherwise, you probably share creative space with other areas of your home, like the kitchen, laundry room, home office or garage. To increase your storage space, make use of vertical areas on the back of doors, on walls and on top of high cabinets.

Go Granular

Most hobbies employ numerous pieces and parts (think of scrapbooking and card making, for example). To make creating more fun and efficient, separate small items such as brads, buttons, screws and other small items into like colors and sizes rather than having one bin for all.

Go Simple

Simplifying your systems and storage, particularly when starting a new hobby, will save you money in the long run. Until you know you’re going to really stick with a new hobby, don’t invest in expensive storage systems or equipment. For example, it’s easier and more economical to store craft painting supplies in clear plastic boxes to start and then to move to more expensive specialty stands when you’ve firmly established the hobby. Hobbies tend to expand as well, so having simple storage and systems in place makes that expansion easier.

Go Quality

Particularly with hobbies that require expensive equipment or equipment you will use over a long period of time (such as crafting, woodworking, athletics, etc.), use the best quality containing you can afford. Quality containing will help protect your investments and is much less expensive than replacing the equipment itself.

Hobby-Specific Tips

Sports

Use vertical and quality storage. Favorites for arranging and containing sporting and exercise equipment include—

The Loop. This ingenious hook is great for the exercise balls that otherwise sit in the middle of the family room floor as well as for stability bands, cones and ropes, to name a few.

FlowWall storage systems. FlowWall’s modular system and extensive offering of bins and hooks help you customize an equipment storage space that is both highly functional and aesthetic.  Plus, the quality of this product is fantastic!

General Crafting

For general crafting, choose vertical and granular storage. Some favorite tips and containers for crafts are—

  • A craft magnet board (or peg board) and shelf display. For all you crafters, you know that you could literally fill an entire 10’ x 20’ room with crafting containers and supplies. If you have such a space, congratulations! If you’re working with much less space, consider going vertical with either a magnet board or peg board to hold your crafting supplies. For a sample of this set-up, check out the most recent Better Homes and Gardens storage publication. The product provider for this particular peg board sample is Azar Displays.
  • Over-the-door shoe holder with clear pockets. This unbelievably versatile and portable craft supply option generally comes with 24 pockets that can hold everything from markers to glue guns. You can hang it on the back of any door when not in use and carry it to your crafting destination if you wish. You can find this item at most big box retailers.
  • The Craftmate locking caddy. This caddy has individually locking sections for storing small items like brads, buttons, embellishments, screws, etc. If you’ve ever tipped or dropped a compartmentalized caddy full of tiny pieces, you know how long it takes to resort them. This caddy, available in two sizes, is available at most big box craft retailers.

Cooking

If you are a cooking or baking enthusiast, your best organizational friends are good zoning and simple storage. One of our favorite pics that addresses the issue of overflowing recipe boxes and books is the Demy. Recently featured in both Martha Stewart Living and O Magazine, the Demy is the first and only kitchen-safe digital organizer and holds 2,500 recipes! The Demy syncs to a personal recipe account on www.keyingredient.com when you plug the Demy into your computer USB port. You can create multiple cookbooks, create a “short list” of favorite recipes, and use the included timer, conversion and substitution features.

If you’re interested in ordering, visit www.mydemy.com. Having personally experienced the Demy, I can honesty say it’s a perfect and unique gift for the recipe lover (particularly if that recipe lover is you).

Entertaining

Again, zoning, vertical and simple storage are ideal when it comes to storing entertaining items. Here are some ways you can implement these methods in your organizing:

  • Create an entertaining zone for specialty items (stands, trays, linens, etc.).
  • Use high cupboards or shelves for storage (above the fridge, at the top of the pantry, on top of cabinets [if inconspicuous]).
  • Store leftover paper products in large Ziplocs sorted by color or theme and place in a clear plastic tote. You may also want to include a little note in the bag with leftover plates or napkins to remind yourself where you purchased them.
  • Take pictures of your table settings, events, etc. and store them in a dedicated computer file, on a disk or in a binder.

Very happy hobbying and organizing!

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