Tisa’s Craftroom Clean Up

As a birthday gift to my sister Theresa Irene – yes, the Irene Buddy Bag is named for her – I sent her a pallet of TT goodies and promised that my mother, Tamara Merril, and I would show up for a major craft room clean up. Then COVID happened…fast forward 15 months and we finally made it!

Mom and I arrived on a Friday night, made a plan with Tisa (Theresa Irene), and got right to it on Saturday morning.

We chronicled the whole thing on Facebook and Instagram, but I’m going to try to consolidate it all here.


Tisa’s craft room, not unlike many other craft rooms, maybe even yours, had a lot of horizontal surfaces, which naturally lead to piles. In this case, she also had a huge advantage – all of those surfaces were on wheels – which meant it was easy to roll everything out.

TIP #1 – Completely empty your room, closet, totes…if you can.

It’s always easier to do a thorough job organizing when you can start with an empty space.

Her living room, however, was not empty.

Once everything was out of Tisa’s room, she gave it a quick clean and we started moving her IKEA Kallax cubes into place. There were a few sets of cubes that we weren’t sure we were going to use, but Tisa whipped them together in a few minutes once the decision was made to keep them.

Tip #2 – Clean & paint

Tisa’s house is new, so no paint was needed, but if you’re working in an older space, a quick coat of paint can make you feel like you have a “new” room. It’s the least expensive way to get the biggest change.

Mom’s first task – assemble a bazillion 12×12 paper handlers. – check!

How many Kallax cubes did we use?
We used a total of 53 cubes – in the following configurations.
1 – 25 cube unit (basic general craft storage)
2 – 8 cube units (ScrapRack and paper)
3 – 4 cube units (Yarn, under window storage, & basic craft storage)

We sorted and organized mostly in the living room.

With the exception of paper and ScrapRack we did most of our sorting, organizing, and storing in the living room.
The paper and ScrapRacks were heavy so we wheeled the carts back into Tisa’s craft room and sorted them directly into/onto the Kallax units.

Sorting outside of your room or space helps with the process of putting things back in an organized manner. You are less likely to just “stuff” everything into a hole if you have to carry it there and think about it.

Questions from viewers

We did have several questions from viewers throughout the weekend. Here’s a synopsis:

Can we see what is in each individual cube?
Yes, I’ll put together a separate blog post with each of the cubes (or at least those I have images of) but it will take a little while. It’s definitely on my list. Here’s a quick peek at some of them.

How many “man” hours did you work?
YIKES – this was a little bit scary to add up, but between the 3 of us and a little help from Tisa’s husband Ron, we put in a total of about 65 hours. That doesn’t include doing the final video on Tuesday morning.

What work did you do before filming?
Tisa was the only one who did work before filming – mostly just putting together the IKEA cubes. She also worked hard to keep us fed. If you ever get an invite to her house for Shrimp & Grits – say YES!

Did you put things in cardboard boxes for storage while you were sorting?
Not really. Some things were boxed when we started, but generally we were able to work right off the shelves and put things into organizers.

How much delivery time did you allow for furniture?
Not enough, LOL. We thought we had planned well in advance, but with COVID, retail stores are still behind. We did plan about 6 weeks out, but Tisa is still missing her work tables. She picked everything up at IKEA rather than having it shipped.

How did you plan for furniture that would fit the space?
We designed the room around the idea of having an open center with movable tables. Tisa needed space for at least one other person in her craft room and possibly 2. That left us with easy calculations for walls and windows. Tisa had some existing shelving that we used in the closet.

This photo is a little weird because it was taken in panorama mode, but it will give you the basic furniture layout.

How did you know how many 6 level stadiums you would need? How did you know they would hang on the wall?
I shipped 4 of the Stadiums to Tisa’s on her pallet. I actually had no idea what she would need. The Stadium are designed to hang on the wall so that was easy.

How will Tisa label her supplies permanently?
Once Tisa starts working in her room, she’ll have a good idea about the organization system – where things are versus where they should be, what she uses most often, etc,. When she’s comfortable that everything is the right place and in the right containers, she’ll add permanent or semi-permanent labels. Possibly iron-on vinyl or laminated labels that stick with velcro. Velcro labels will make it easy to re-label when what’s in each container changes.

Thanks so much for stopping by today and following along with Tisa’s Craftroom Clean Up. There will be a few more posts as Tisa and Mom put the finishing touches on the room.

Happy Crafting,

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