Clear tape is the “fabric of our lives.” In our household, various objects are precariously held together by fine pieces of tape—and “Krazy Glue—“ including ceramics projects, pens, and a cabinet door. I know full well that we can easily add to this list, so I’ve squirreled away adhesives, scissors, pieces of paper, markers, and miscellaneous office/crafting supplies—and I’ve neatly placed them in organized “crafting nooks” throughout the house. This way, whenever anyone asks, “Where’s the tape?” I can confidently answer, “Everywhere! It’s everywhere!”
This task was not an easy one to complete because I had to think like all of the members of my family at once: What would we need to grab right away during a crafting/office supply/home repair emergency? Would we be able put the items back neatly and quickly? How might we avoid running up and down the stairs every time we needed something? Luckily, when we moved here to Washington from Ohio two years ago, I resisted the urge to go full throttle Marie Kondo on the previous house. Though I got rid of a lot of stuff, I also decided to look at some of our things and NOT ask, “Does this bring joy?” but rather, “Can I store lots and lots of other things in it—but in a very neat manner?” As a result of asking this question, I kept my beat-up office desk because it has several ample drawers, and I talked Alex into keeping some of his decorative storage boxes for his room. Oh, he resisted, but he thanked me later on when we finally moved into our new house and he opened them for the first time and said, “Oh, yeah! My stuff!”
Additionally, a wooden cabinet that I once owned as a teenager made it onto the moving truck. I wasn’t really nostalgic for it or anything. I simply had plans for it.
“Do we still need this?” Nate asked.
“Oh, there are plans for that cabinet, Nate. Plans,” I replied while rubbing my hands together and laughing like an evil villain. Nate had no other choice but to back away and let the movers load it onto the van.
Finally, a changing table that Nate’s dad hand crafted for Alex is something that definitely brings joy and is beautiful, but now it also serves another purpose as a “super nook.”
When the movers arrived to our new house, I placed the small wooden cabinet from my teenage years on the first floor, near the kitchen. The door to this cabinet, by the way, is held together by “Krazy Glue.” This cabinet is strategically placed near the door that leads to the garage as we enter the house from that area. So, when we come home laden with important papers like take-out menus, we need to unload them immediately—but in a very neat stack that must not get very high or unwieldy.
Inside the cabinet, on the shelves, we’ve placed tape, glue, scissors, pieces of paper, pens, a few small tools, and paper clips. We also have boxes and boxes of chalk because above the cabinet, there is a chalkboard for all of our important lists. For a long time, we had “cell phone covers” listed on the chalkboard, but someone in this family makes c’s that looks like l’s, so we kept seeing the words “cell phone lovers” on the chalkboard every time we went by. What else is there to do in that situation, but make inappropriate jokes—for months? So, it took us a while to finally buy the cell phone covers we desperately needed. In the meantime, we thought about using clear tape.
Also, the reminder from 2016 to get a “Nexus Pass” went ignored until this year. We finally filed the paperwork, but we still need to schedule an interview and now I need to remember to add “Nexus Interview” to the list on the chalkboard. That’s why we have plenty of chalk—and we know where it is!
In the master bedroom upstairs, we keep the “super nook” or the diaper changing station/cabinet that Nate’s dad made for Alex. It houses wrapping paper, bows, more tape, more scissors, more markers, and crafting projects. Here, I’ve also stored my wood burner from a project I did nearly two years ago for this blog. It was a “breakthrough” project that helped me realize that I should not be around tools that heat up. I also should not be around crochet patterns or knitting needles, yet I have them in the “super nook,” along with some green yarn. I was going to make a Christmas “cozy” for the remote control, but I only ended up making about four daisy chains before shouting, “This is not relaxing at all! It hurts my hands! It hurts! How do people find this relaxing?” I decided then that my remote control needed a cozy like I needed a ball gown for the midlife crisis prom. But I keep these items (the yarn/crochet needles) in case Nate wants to knit because he can actually knit. He’s the one who tried to teach me, but I can’t be molded into a crochet artist. I just can’t. And I’m okay with that.
In my office desk upstairs, I have all kinds of tape, scissors, paper, staples, etc., so if inspiration strikes, I can slap together a craft without having to run to the first floor once. Alex’s storage boxes are also stuffed with notebooks, pens, tape, glue, and other school supplies, so he shouldn’t have to leave his room for days. Once, I even found Clif Bars, granola bars, and candy stashed in his closet, so he can eat AND make crafts, which is genius. Just genius. You always want your kids to turn out better than you did and Alex is on his way for sure.
So, if you want to set up some crafting nooks and super nooks, here are some steps you can take:
1) Don’t limit yourself to just one room or floor. Stash crafting and office supplies everywhere in the house.
2) Straighten, straighten, straighten. Everyone in your family will help themselves to your crafting and office supplies and they won’t put them back neatly. Develop super-power-strength-hearing to listen for doorknobs turning and cabinets opening. Then, wait a few minutes and return to straighten the mess that’s waiting.
3) Fill every nook with plenty of tape and other adhesives. Use these items to hold the nooks together, especially if the nooks are more than a few decades old.
4) Use a chalkboard to make–if nothing else–amusing lists that include cell phone lovers and Krazy Clue.
Your Turn: How do you stay organized?