Arts, crafts inspire Indy hobbyists to seek professional organizing help

Arts, crafts inspire Indy hobbyists to seek professional organizing help

With three young children, Iva Caldwell of Zionsville, Ind., tries to capture their early memories in scrapbooks. But pulling out craft supplies and packing them away each time she wanted to work on a page felt like wasted time.

Yet the perfect craft table proved elusive until her husband, Dustin, stumbled across a brochure for California Closets advertising craft room designs. They consulted with the highly rated company, and in December paid about $2,800 for a custom craft cabinet in their basement. “This allows me to have everything in its place, and I can keep supplies out or put them away,” Iva says.

The Caldwells represent a growing number of homeowners carving out dedicated spaces for their creative crafts. Erin Moore, senior design consultant for California Closets of Indianapolis, says her team started seeing an uptick in craft room requests about two years ago, and today they add up to about 15 to 20 percent of business. Moore says designs vary and prices start around $2,000. “At the very least it’s a large wall and a lot of times it’s a whole room being converted,” she says.

The Craft & Hobby Association’s most recent survey found that 59 percent of Midwest households engage in some type of crafting. The rise of websites like Etsy, where crafters sell homemade goods, and Pinterest, where users share images of crafts, also indicate being crafty is cool again. Amanda Mauer Taflinger opened Homespun: Modern Handmade in Irvington in 2010, following the success of the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange annual craft fair, which she helped found in 2007. This spring, the store, which sells local handmade goods, also began offering classes on various crafts. “People are interested again in handmade goods,” Taflinger says.

Michael and Susan Porter of Carmel paid highly rated Innovative Cabinets & Closets of Westfield, Ind., about $3,000 to outfit a basement room with cabinets and a custom table for Susan and their children to work on art, sewing and other craft projects. “A lot of stuff can be put in that room, out of the way,” Michael says. “It’s a place to leave the mess and close the door.”

Beyond building a dedicated space for craft supplies, professional organizer Becky Gaynor of highly rated Time 2 Declutter in Indianapolis says many crafters need help organizing supplies. “Many tools and items are needed for crafts and hobbies,” says Gaynor, who charges $59 an hour. “Unfortunately, by the time they find me, they haven’t been able to be in their craft room at all. Their talent and outlet has been shut down because their inventory got out of hand.” She recommends culling duplicate and outdated supplies, and organizing by theme, whether by season, color or type of product. After using an item, put it back immediately.

Angie’s List member Joan Elliot of Greenwood, Ind., turned to Gaynor in January because she couldn’t use her loom room — a space she built into her home for her weaving hobby — because the looms, bags of wool and other objects crowded her out. “With such a strong personality, she was able to work with me when I’d get wishy-washy about getting rid of something,” Elliot says.

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