5 Steps to jumpstart your craft projects this year
This is your key to making more stuff. You can choose to do all these steps in one day, or spread it out over a week, doing one step every day or two.
Step 1 – Clean Off Your Desk / Work Surface
You’re not going to get anything done with a cluttered desk. It’s all well and good to make jokes about only having a 12″x 12″ space to make your next project, but you know you feel better when you start with a clear surface. Right?
Your task today is to clear off all your working surfaces: desk, scrapbook table, workbench, painting table. Get them looking spic and span. I promise you will feel so much more prepared to tackle to rest of this week’s tasks once that is done.
If you want to take this a bit further, feel free to actually organise all the things you’re clearing off – this might be less stressful in the long run!
When I do this however, I try not to dwell too much on organising everything, because then I end up spending days instead of just an hour or so. I just put things away as best as I can while moving quickly.
Step 2 – Do a Brain Dump
First you cleared your desk, now you’re gonna clear your brain! If you’re anything like me you have a looooong list of projects to finish, projects to do and projects you’d like to do floating around in your head. And you wonder why nothing ever gets done!
It’s time to get things out of your head and down in black and white with a brain dump. (I know some people don’t like this term, but get your mind out of the potty: this is like dumping stuff out of a dump truck, that’s all).
Find 30 minutes to an hour, grab a sheet a paper or your favourite notebook and a pen. Now empty that long list of craft projects you want to tackle out of your head. In the beginning, don’t stop to think, just write. Big projects, small projects it doesn’t matter. Just get it all out. Once the ideas slow down, you can walk around your home, and poke into your craft bins, closets and boxes to see what projects and ideas are lurking there.
Here’s a link to a printable worksheet you can use if you prefer.
There. Don’t you feel better already?
Next, we make sense of that list!
Step 3 – Prioritize
Time to make sense of that huge project list!
You probably have all sorts of random and unrelated things on that brain dump sheet. Let’s make sense of it shall we? We’re going to go through and assign each item to a certain category. I suggest the following, but you can choose whatever makes sense for you.
- Unfinished projects – things I may or may not complete one day
- WIPS – projects I’m currently working on
- Projects to do in the short term
- Projects to do in the long term
- Wishful thinking (ha ha!)
For example, you can divide yours up by craft type: knit, crochet, sewing etc.
Now choose a different colour highlighter or pen for each category, and go through and highlight or underline each item as you see fit.
Then transpose each item into its category. I just listed mine in columns on the next page in my notebook.
Our next step is to come up with a plan of attack!
Step 4 – Plan your attack
Ready for Step 4? This task will be more intense and take some more time than the previous three days, but this is where the rubber meets the road! Working through this planning process is going to be the key to your future successes. So take a deep breath and dive in. Here we go:
Now that everything is categorized, you can make a plan to get things done. I like to go through category by category. Have your planner, bullet journal or other planning system on hand.
The first thing to deal with are those pesky unfinished projects! Now is the time to be very honest. Are you really going to finish that afghan you started three years ago? If not, can the yarn be used for something else? If so, decide to recover the yarn to use in another project. If not, what needs to be done about it? Yes it hurts to get rid of stuff, but that just might be what needs to happen. Do this for your entire unfinished list. You will have to make some tough decisions, but you can do it!
With the items that ARE going to get finished grab your planner and make a note of when you will pick them back up, and set a finish by date if possible.
Next turn to your WIPs. Set realistic dates by which you want to finish them, or at the very least see how you can schedule in some time for working on them in the upcoming weeks. Are any of them needed for a specific date? Make sure to come up with a plan to finish them by then.
Now decide when you want to tackle your list of short term and long term projects – the ones you haven’t started yet. With all you have going on with your Unfinished and WIPs, is it realistic to start anything in the next week or even month? Keep this in mind as you decide when (and if) you plan to get these done. After all, you don’t want to end up with yet another pile of Unfinished things right?
I quickly noted in things to do this week in my daily pages, scheduled next week’s task in my weekly, and so on. Plan out as much as possible over the next two months on monthly spreads.
Make sure to also delegate tasks that others need to do. Yep! Add to that Honey-Do list!
And that’s it! Now your brain should be relatively clear, and you can proceed calmly. Now you can take the first step to moving forward with your actual craft projects.
Step 5 – Organise and Gather Supplies
Hurray, you did it!
Now that you have a plan it’s time to get crafting! But first, take some time to organise and gather the supplies you need for the projects you’ll be working on in the short and medium term.
Make a note of those things you still need to purchase or acquire, and make sure you have those on hand before getting too far into your projects. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to put a project aside because you ran out of what you need!
To help plan out bigger projects here’s a printable craft project planning sheet. It’s sized to print out letter size, but you can also print it at A4 or A5. Or use the project pages in your craft notebook or Craft Planner.
If you feel a bit daunted by having to sort out your supplies, this blog post might help!
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