…blogtober day 16 :: home is where the craft supplies are…
Living out of boxes is fine for a season. A season was all it was supposed to be. But January 2020 me could not have foreseen exactly how much the world was about to change, and exactly how long this “short” season would blow out to be. Truth be told, if I had known, I probably would have cried, and then turned tail and hauled my craft supplies all the way back to our town house, dreams of wide open spaces be damned.
But we didn’t know, and we continued to do the days, even as delay after delay pushed our one year adventure out to two, and then three. I would like to say I’ve taken the changes in good stride, but I will confess I have not been my best self in all moments of this journey. In the midst of one such temper tantrum, my very wise husband took himself off to Bunnings, and came home with a large heavy duty shelf for my very own. Over the next week, he brought home paper boxes from his office. I would rather not know what, exactly, he told the admin staff to explain his sudden obsessive collection of items previously destined for the recycling.
The paper boxes, combined with some old Kiwi Crate** boxes, became the perfect non-insta-worty storage system. (**if you haven’t tried the Kiwi boxes yet, my referral link will give you $10USD off your first month)
Everything got sorted by category. Bigger items got a paper box – felt, embroidery, paint, cricut supplies. Smaller items, the kiwi crates. Needlework fabric, zips, dies and punches, drawing & markers, tapes and adhesives. As we move down the shelves, things get a little more ad hoc. A plastic tub for stamps, an IKEA trofast crate for general crafting supplies that didn’t fit anywhere, a wooden crate leftover from my market days for finished journals and other small projects. To the far right are comic book boxes to store pattern envelopes; just the right height & width, though a fraction too long. The bottom level (not shown), contains 2 large crates. One is apparel fabric, the other yarn. Rounding out the shelf is a stack of three flat under-bed style crates; quilting fabric, novelty & speciality fabrics, and scraps.
It’s not the prettiest system, but it’s functional, and makes it so easy to find what I am looking for. The new house, however, is coming, and with it, a craft nook with exposed shelves. I am blessed to have a handy dad who will build me whatever I care to draw plans for (I’ve shared previously some of the awesome furniture he’s made for my last craft room). To do that effectively, though, I need to be getting organised NOW. It will be far easier to build the shelves to fit my storage boxes, than it will be to buy boxes to fit built shelves. When we were in the big smoke last week, IKEA was top of my list to start collecting some different boxes to start filling and playing with.
I had a lovely time wandering through the various areas. Somehow, they make tiny space living look so much more glamorous than the actual reality. I took lots of photos. I started a note on my phone – “this bench w/ these baskets for school room standing desk” “this hanging rack for nook” “this for that child”. Somewhere along the line, I collected a bag, and with it, more than just the boxes I went in for. By the time I got to “marketplace – home organisation”, I had a a pack of craft paper for the kids, a shelf for Mr16, two dish mats, 6 pillow cases and 8 forks. “While I’m here” is a dangerous mindset to have in a place like IKEA.
As I made my way through, looking at the various options, I thought I had settled on the Tjena as my boxes of choice. They are clean and white and come in multiple sizes and being IKEA’s trademark flat pack, were priced just right for an over-resourced crafter looking to buy in bulk. I popped two large and five medium in my bag. Sadly, no smalls were to be found, but I wasn’t too fazed – the aforementioned list will necessitate a trip to Brisbane IKEA once the house is built, so I can add more. This was just a fact finding exercise. After loading up on the Tjena, I stumbled across the Uppdatera system. They were more expensive, true, but that beautiful natural bamboo was just so pretty, AND they are stackable. A small and a medium accidentally fell into my bag as I went past, and silly old me didn’t notice until after the checkout. I promise that’s how it went.
I finally managed to escape after only being slightly attacked by the Christmas section on the way out. I surrendered the pretty wrapping paper, but managed to fend off the cute oversized gnome that seemed to think he needed to be coming home with me. Not today, sir, not today.
I haven’t yet had a chance to get into the container and make a start on setting up the white boxes and packing into the bamboo. Hopefully this week might be slightly calmer, and I can steal a bit of time. The final decision will come down to whichever system fits my belongings the best, obviously, but going in, the bamboo are a definite favourite. Imagine how cute they will be all lined up and stacked up, with pretty little tags? Probably the real question will be – which will stay neater? The boxes with lids or the boxes that stack. I have a nasty feeling I may not like the answer…