Can we EVER have too much storage space?
I sincerely doubt it. As a woodworker/painter/crafter, there always seems to be an endless amount of supplies and materials that we need to have at hand. Some of us are more conservative than others. We only buy exactly what we need to complete each project and have little build-up of 'extras.'
But as a designer, I am very far from that description. If I like a certain product, medium or even type of wood, I like to have it on hand when inspiration strikes so that I can just pull it out and get started. It keeps the flow of things going smoothly and when I can do that, I am at my most productive.
The only 'issue' that I have is that I live in a small, one bedroom place. Besides the small size, everything about where I am is PERFECT! The rent is low, which means I don't have to worry as much about meeting expenses, it is quiet, clean, modern, the neighbors are wonderful (yet far enough away to not even know they exist!) and I live along the banks of the beautiful Meteghan river in Nova Scotia. It is truly paradise.
So what to do when we are bursting at the seams with "stuff"?
Reorganize, of course!
The past couple of entries have shown some "before" photos of our little place here. While it isn't what most people would consider a mess, we felt that there was room for improvement and several ways to better use our space. This entailed re-evaluating what we were using each area for now and how we could change things up a bit to use it more efficiently. We began with the first closet:
In it we keep our shorter, thinner pieces of wood (such as wood we use to cut ornaments and so forth) on the shelves on the left side. A couple of years ago, Keith had built small shelves in the back where he used to keep his pen blanks, as he also kept his lathe on the black stand you see in the foreground of the photo. The lathe would be able to be pulled out to work on and easily tucked back into the closet when not in use. Under the lathe we fit our large shop vac, which we use just about every day.
At the time it worked well, but now we feel that since he doesn't work on the lathe much, it is a lot of wasted space.
Our first order of business for this makeover was to ask our landlord to remove the large 10" duct that ran up the right front side of the closet. This duct ran from the basement through the closet to the attic and was no longer being used. They were happy to do so and it cleared the way for some new shelving.
Keith built five custom shelves, which were notched out so they were "U" shaped. This not only allowed room for the shop vac on the bottom two levels, but also allowed easier access to the upper levels. So often when people build large shelves or storage areas, the items that are placed in the back become hidden and inaccessible, making them far less practical and functional.
Getting the shelves into place was a challenge, but Keith was able to do so (with my help at times!). He used 3/4" plywood for maximum strength and he supported them from all sides in the closet. They should hold a very heavy load without sagging of bending at all. He primed and painted them so they were clean and neat. He wasn't overly fussy about the paint, but they look good enough for a closet.
"Inspector Pancakes" made sure that everything was sound and sturdy:
When we got the OK – we began putting things back in. Below is a photo of how much space we gained. ALL the wood and the vac that was in the closet prior to the re-do is back in it in this photo:
We only used up the floor space and ONE of the five shelves!
How's that for increasing your storage space?
For now, we are taking our time filling it in. We have two more closets to do and some more great ideas to share. We don't want to just 'spread things out' and add MORE stuff, we want to better organize the stuff we already have!
I hope that this gives you some ideas as to how you may want to reorganize your own creative supplies and areas. It will really make a big difference to us!
Throughout the process, you can imagine the house here was in a bit of an upheaval. It is amazing how removing the contents from one closet could clutter up a small place so quickly. However, I still forged ahead and I am in the process of working on three new projects that are heading to Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine for their holiday issue. I promise to show you some pictures tomorrow.
I hope you all had a nice weekend and those of you in the States a wonderful holiday. Besides the projects at hand, I took some time off for some thoughtful reflection on things. I think it is good to unplug from social media from time to time. It rests my soul.
It is a quiet and slightly overcast day here in Nova Scotia today. Not dreary, but calm. It kind of matches my own mood. I look forward to working on finishing up my projects. It is going to be a great day!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"