As many of you know, last year we had a Craft Room Clean Up Sweepstakes drawing. The winner of the drawing was Kate Rothacker of Lititz, PA.
The prize included a variety of Totally-Tiffany products and 2 days of organizational help from Karen and I. Our winner Kate, owns a crop house, 2 of them actually, in Pennsylvania. Her request was that we come in and help organize the tool and supply room at her Cozy Crop House in Lititz.
Last Monday, Karen and I arrived in Lititz with Park and Petey in tow. Because we were there early in the week, the Cozy Crop House had a couple of empty guest rooms and Kate was kind enough to let us stay while we were there. I've included some pictures of the Cozy Crop House at the end of the video (posted at the bottom of this post).
Kate’s tool room was an ideal challenge for us to share with all of you. Tools come in so many shapes and sizes and organizing them can be a real challenge.
Monday night we took a few “before” pictures….
Step 1 - Clear everything out.
We were lucky to have the large crop room next to the tool room. The extra space made it easy to clear everything off the shelves, out of the cupboards and off the walls. Like so many organization projects, things often get worse before they get better, and this was no exception.
A fresh set of eyes
One of the great things about having someone else come in and help with a project like this, is seeing things through a fresh set of eyes. Whether it's your craftroom, your office, your closet or your garage - we all get "used to" seeing things and then go a bit blind to them.
As we worked through the tool room at the Cozy Crop House, we were able ask Kate how and why things were where they were - and if they needed to stay. Kate was incredibly receptive to changes within the space and we were able to open up the space by combining and consolidating.
Here is a few pics of things that didn't need to be in the tool room space...
Horizontal Surfaces are DANGEROUS
It's so easy to set something down and walk away from it when you've got empty horizontal surfaces. They're like magnets for "stuff." After awhile, we just stop "seeing" them. At one time these 3 areas had a specific purpose. They were no longer needed, so out they went.
Putting things back
This is where the fun begins! With everything or most things out of the tool room, we were able to rearrange, repurpose and reload.
On the tool wall, we took out a couple of shelving units and added in another piece of slat wall. We removed all of the tools and reloaded the wall. Kate will add examples of each tool to the wall so croppers can easily put things back in the correct space.
The white shelving unit was a catchall of tools of all types. We used several Desk Maid organizers to create a visible offering of dies, stamps, specialty punches, embossing folders and the tools needed to use them.
This cupboard is primarily used by Kate for storing her personal supplies as well as class & make-n-take supplies. The cupboard has doors, which can be dangerous.
Although it looks a mess, most of the things in this cupboard actually belonged there. With a little consolidation we were able to organize the cupboard and create a lot of space too.
We emptied everything out of the cupboard and sorted through each box.
Our main focus here was grouping things together Kate uses together - individual classes and make-n-takes were labeled for easy access.
Kate has a collection of large wallpaper books for mixed media classes and projects. These fit perfectly in the bottom section of the cupboard.
From horizontal to vertical - same shelf better access.
This shelf is used to store idea books. Because these books are large, they will not stand vertically on the shelf when it's in its intended position. We turned the shelf on it's side and moved it to the top of the tool shelf - the books can stand vertically; are easy to see, easy to reach and easy to put away.
The imprinting station
Album imprinting is part of Kate's business at the Cozy Crop House. Her customers needed to see the album samples as well as the foil options. A quick tidy up of this area made samples more visible for customers, and supplies more accessible for Kate. (Pardon the less than perfect pictures - these are the only ones I've got.)
Paper Trimmers are difficult to store. When we moved Kate's imprinting samples up over the machine, it opened up a full panel of slat wall. Though not practical in a home environment, this is perfect for Kate's tool room.
Thanks so much for stopping by today to check out the Craft Room Clean Up.
To see more - watch the video above.
PS - As many of you know, my younger son Max is home from college this summer. When I arrived home from this trip the house smelled strongly of burnt pizza. If you look closely, you can make out the vague outlines of pepperoni. It's a good thing he's not enrolled in culinary school...