Get Thee Some Organizers

Ever since we moved into our house over a decade ago, I have used the “back counter” in our dining room/kitchen for crafts.  For a long time, it was all-scrapbooking, all the time.  Having everything “out” but also “out of the way” made all the difference with toddlers in the house — I could do a page or two, when I had time, and not have to constantly put things away.  But, as the kids got older, and I got busy with dogs and knitting … I didn’t scrapbook nearly as much.  I accumulated a pile of knitting by the living room couch.  By then, my kids and the dogs knew better than to touch my stuff! But, last winter as we decided to get a new puppy … I knew the knitting had to move, or risk becoming puppy chew toys.

At that point I had to admit realized my scrapbooking had been gathering dust for the better part of a year.  As much as it pained me, I packed it all up and put it away in my bedroom.  I transferred all the yarn and knitting to the empty counter … where it has been growing and breeding for the last year.  I tidied up a bit for Christmas, but it was still a mess — anytime I wanted to poke through “yarn assigned to projects” I had to dig through baskets of loose balls and some Ziploc-ed yarn + patterns.  I wanted to be able to see everything that was downstairs, without such a struggle.

I’d been doing some online browsing, and I looked at some things while out for Christmas shopping, but nothing really screamed “ME” until I was out late last night to pick up “5 lbs of dirt and 5 lbs of sand, and also pans to put it in” for a school project. At Wal*Mart I found cheap turkey pans (yay!), but I saw something I hadn’t seen before, and decided to take it home.  Then, at Home Depot I saw Martha Stewart’s take on fabric cubes & cubbies, and was smitten.  I took those home too.  Then I stayed up until after midnight, putting together the two shelves and putting everything away.  I really like my new knitting area though, so it was worth it!

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As far as I can tell, the Canopy Shoe Organizer is available only at Wal*Mart, and only in stores (which explains why I hadn’t seen it before).  It is LOVELY.  The canvas boxes are held taut over a metal frame — only 8 screws to put it together.  It protects my yarn** from dust and light, yet I can still see it all! Bonus points for not being made of plastic or cardboard.

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The Martha Stewart Living Stackable 6-Cube Organizer seems much more readily available.  I’d seen items like it (by Closetmaid, etc.) but the details on this were just a tiny bit nicer.  I also liked the colors the fabric cubes came in. It took a lot longer to put together, but luckily I enjoy IKEA-style directions.  I put it together while listening to This American Life, which was talking about a reporter who visited factories in China where little girls (12 years old, and younger) lived and worked in conditions not dissimilar to 1900-ish New York City, except on a much grander scale.

I put sweater-quantities of yarn in the fabric cubes.  I know what they are, and I don’t need to see them all the time.  For now I’m using the empty shelves for other stuff that was cluttering up the counter (empty project backs, my bag of swatches, yarn that needs to go back upstairs, etc.).

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**Here is where I say, this is not (nearly) all of my yarn — this is just yarn that has been assigned to upcoming projects, and needs to hang out downstairs.  There is more yarn upstairs.

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