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The craftier among you may be relishing the holiday season.

Whatever you celebrate, there’s always an excuse to hand out homemade cards and get started on handmade gifts. Of course, as any true craft lover knows, a lot of supplies come with these projects, and the mess can get out of hand pretty quickly if you’re not careful.

Looking for some tips to make less of a mess this year? Here’s a few of our favorite tips to keep things under control:

 

Pick your projects carefully

To start with, you should really try to nail down any holiday crafting you want to get done before you run out and buy a ton of supplies. Pick a few projects that you can conceivably get through in time—homemade tree ornaments or home decorations, hand-drawn cards, etc—and limit yourself to buying the supplies you need for those specific jobs. (A few storage bins to keep everything nearby won’t hurt either.)

 

Keep supplies where you use them

The fastest way to clutter up your house (and potentially lose something you needed) is to store your craft supplies all over the house. Focus on picking the room or area you’ll be doing your actual crafting in and get that organized—all the basement shelves in the world aren’t going to help your crafts too much unless you’re actually going to be working down there.

 

Divide everything by type

A lot of crafts will require a number of different materials to get the job done, and while there’s nothing wrong with that you may find yourself struggling to keep them all together. A good (and safer) way to store everything is to separate it by type to prevent damage and make sure everything is easier to get back to. For example:

  • Paper – Paper, such as tissue paper or construction paper, should be stored flat in a folder and then kept in a nearby desk organizer (or even in the drawers of the desk itself) to make sure they stay flat and safe
  • Liquids (glues, Mod Podge, etc) – Liquid craft supplies, as some of us have learned by accident, can leave a mess if not stored carefully. Try to keep these in a cupboard or a shelf (using wire shelves or metal shelves if possible to prevent any spills from causing damage) to stop them from making a mess elsewhere
  • Paint – Similarly, paints need to be stored on shelves that they can’t easily damage in the event of a spill or leak, and special care needs to be paid to the conditions they’re stored in. Keep them in a cool, dry place without a lot of humidity or heat (and make sure they’re not too close to vents either way)

 

Safety first

Finally, most craft projects involve supplies that you may not want curious little hands getting ahold of. Whatever you’re working on and wherever you store it, make sure it’s high enough or locked-away enough to prevent younger kids from getting into it even by accident. This can prevent messes, injuries, or the ever present “pile of beads on the floor” that so many crafters have run into.

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