More Living Ideas

Our editors share their inspirations every day

hdr_img_spring.jpg Get The Technique

Behind the Scenes : Hoarders

Posted by

I don’t know why they call it spring-cleaning. It seems like the best time to tackle those daunting organization projects is in the dead of winter. These past weekends after the New Year I’ve been slowly attempting to address my storage situation. Basically, my rent for a 5’ X 8’ cubby is equal to what my rent was in college. This dilemma is unique I feel mostly to New Yorkers. My friends who live elsewhere have basements, garages, attics, or maybe even a guest room to keep their extra things. I don’t have that luxury, but I’m determined to purge half of it and incorporate the rest back into my apartment. Getting rid of stuff in NYC isn’t as easy as one might think, because everyone I know is grappling with the same space issues and many donation centers are very specific about what they will and won’t accept. The other weekend I finally bit the bullet and rented a van for the day to create a sort of book-mobile full of old art supplies and fabrics. I then drove door-to-door to all my artist friends in Brooklyn and let them riffle through boxes and bags of the junk I wanted to get rid of. I was 80% successful, with the final 20% being donated or finally thrown out. At least now I have access to the things I want to put up on craigslist or ebay.

At work we are in a similar mindset. A few weeks ago Hosanna’s voiced her frustration of how many bins there were filled with useless items accumulating in our department. This led to a guessing game for the four of us. We each guessed how many bins we thought were on the shelves in our workroom and secretly wrote it down on a folded piece of paper. Kirsten guessed 853 and amazingly it was with-in 13 bins, the total being 866. I guessed 1000 and was second closest. Hosanna has since taken it upon herself to mainstream our tool section, both hand and power tools, screws, nails and hardware. All of this happening while A&E’s Hoarders is being broadcasted on the monitor above. I can't watch it. It makes me feel damaged. Below are just a few pics of the improvements to our department.

Back
1 of 10
Hosanna demonstrating our version of Parkour. Actually this is how we climb our shelves to reach higher bins when we are too lazy to pull out the ladder.

1 Hosanna demonstrating our version of Parkour. Actually this is how we climb our shelves to reach higher bins when we are too lazy to pull out the ladder.

This is one of two walls of just MS craft punches

2 This is one of two walls of just MS craft punches

A closer look at our punches. Notice that someone was clever enough to have a punched piece of paper in front of each one so we know where they go back.

3 A closer look at our punches. Notice that someone was clever enough to have a punched piece of paper in front of each one so we know where they go back.

Our pegboard wall of mostly measuring tools.

4 Our pegboard wall of mostly measuring tools.

We keep all of our combustible paints and liquids in a specially marked cabinets.

5 We keep all of our combustible paints and liquids in a specially marked cabinets.

Hosanna tackled organizing all the nuts, bolts, nails, and screws into clearly labeled drawers.

6 Hosanna tackled organizing all the nuts, bolts, nails, and screws into clearly labeled drawers.

This is just a sorting picture. Later she went in and glued wood dividers for several of the drawers. I envy her commitment.

7 This is just a sorting picture. Later she went in and glued wood dividers for several of the drawers. I envy her commitment.

This is our new tool storage area. It doesn't look like much, but it really makes sense where it is now closer to our work bench and electric outlets.

8 This is our new tool storage area. It doesn't look like much, but it really makes sense where it is now closer to our work bench and electric outlets.

OK, so this is just a glimpse of my storage unit. As you can see it's to the roof.

9 OK, so this is just a glimpse of my storage unit. As you can see it's to the roof.

This is a dress form I'm getting rid of. I think it's a size 8. Hopefully one of many things I can sell on-line.

10 This is a dress form I'm getting rid of. I think it's a size 8. Hopefully one of many things I can sell on-line.

Comments (15)

  • I think all crafters/creative types suffer from this! We see value in everything. I just did an overhaul of my collection of sewing/crafting/making materials (which is maybe an eighth of the size of this collection) and it felt great afterwards. I did feel a pang of regret as we drove away from the charity shop though...

  • Oh my, it's Martha punch heeeeeaven!! I need to do a studio re-org too...thanks for the inspiration! Where are you going to sell your dress form...it's gorgeous!?!

    Jamie :)

  • This post makes me wish I worked for your department!! WOW! So much cool stuff and fun people!

  • I've always said that a job in the Martha Stewart Crafts Dept. falls into the "dream job" category for me! I still have to share a craft space with our guest room and with guests visiting in a few weeks I've got the looming task of cleaning up and organizing to do... But here in AZ it's sunny and 75 degrees outside, so it's really hard to focus on indoor projects at the moment!

  • I'd call this Craft Heaven. I'd LOVE to have access that that many types of craft supplies. If you ever want to get rid of any...............
    :-)
    Love your crafts Martha, et al...

  • That dress form is awesome. And, lucky me, I'm a size 8. Sold!

  • Being The Frugal Fraulein it is against my nature to throw things away. I would have a yard sale or Craigslist them then donate what was left (being sure I got the tax credit). I really think some of you Martha Stewart minions need me around to get a grip on the real finances of crafting. You have such an unlimited abundance of everything and that is not the common reality of a true crafter. How about some bits on using up things that are around and not having to buy anything new? Call me I am available for consultation or to be on the show.

  • Oh you lucky girls to be with all of that great stuff. If you ever get tired of cleaning, give me a call, I organize for just the sheer joy of it!!! (Much to my husband's displeasure.)

  • i would buy that dress form in mere moments.

  • Is anyone else worried this balancing act shown won't end up in a safety and heath issue? Don't get hurt, use the ladder. You've got a wonderful place to work there.

  • I'd love to be there!

  • I love love the dress form! Please let me know where will you be selling it? Hopefully, on eBay. I am not from NY.

    Have a lovely day!

  • I am in love with your paper punches collection. I am slowly adding to my collection. I teach preschool and they come in handy on a daily basis to make games, art projects, etc. - Sincerely the green-eyed monster (just kidding)

  • Oooo I am just drooling over that wall of punches! The punched paper labels are a fantastic idea. I would absolutely love to have that organized and complete a set of paper punches!

  • this is SO dreamy! oh my gosh. i love behind the scenes looks :)

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.