How do you organize? Jennyjen42’s Studio


Jen McBrien from Jennyen42 shares studio and her organizational challenges & solutions for today’s edition of  How Do You Organize?.

If you want to share your organization solutions, problems, before & afters or anything related to organization, send me an email. I’d love to take a look.


1. How would you describe your studio’s organization? Is it more “everything has its place” or “a little clutter breeds creativity”?

My organization skills have been tested with each craft season. I have just moved my shop onto the largest bedroom of my house to give myself more room for storage and shelving. Finished products go into the glass cabinet and above it. The open shelving houses all of my fabrics, organized by its purpose, such as canvas on one shelve, felt takes over two shelves, pillow forms another, I have separate file boxes for zippers, piping, bias tape and ribbon. When I’m really busy, it all kinda lands where it lands until I have that special cleaning day at the end of the season. I’d like to think it breeds creativity, but it mainly is what I have enough energy for.


2. Is organization a chore or something that you do gladly?

I’d like to organize when I’m feeling stressed. I am one of those insane people who need a clean house in order to think straight. My mother was one of those people who not only cleaned all the time but also lived to re-decorate and re-arrange rooms. I think I go t that illness from her. It’s not something I love unless I’m in the right mood, but I always love the final result.


3. Share a storage or organizational problem that you solved.

My biggest problem is that I have large items like pillows and handbags that need to be stored in a safe place where they won’t get crushed. The glass door cabinet is great for flat items and the smaller pillows. I bought these wooden boxed called “Snacks” from Ikea that serve as awesome storage for my pillows and bags and can also be great for my display for craft shows. I really wished I had more but good old Ikea stopped making them.

4. What’s still a problem child for you in terms of your organizational set-up?

I have a massive problem with my felt storage. I have so many little pieces that I see birds in that I can’t just throw them away. So I have the large pieces in a colorful pile that is organized by color. Cut pieces in another pile on a shelf. Then the smaller pieces go into larger bags and plastic cover bids for me to go through first. When it gets really crazy I start to throw the tiny pieces away. The felt problem still haunts me. I still am not very happy with it. I need to invest in some other type of small shelving so that I can put similar color families in the same place.


5. What’s the story behind the glass-door cabinet and that trunk? Also, what do you store in them?

The glass cabinet was my great grandparents that my mom gave me a couple of years ago. I have always loved this cabinet from childhood. It housed my favorite books as a kid. The trunk is from my other grandmother’s attic. It houses my winter or summer clothes. I have had for clothing storage since high school.


6. Finally, why do you have what looks like a ‘Pooh’ costume hanging on your door?

That‘s a funny story. I used to live in fells point and had a border collie named Noodles who was a favorite of the neighborhood. I had a dream one night about walking Noodles through the neighborhood dressed like Winnie-the-pooh. I had been reading the Tai of Pooh at the time and have always loved Pooh as a kid. I told my one neighbor who had worked at the Disney Store. The next day, there was the pooh costume on my front steps with a note, make the dream come alive! I did on Halloween and made tons of people smile. It is a bit scary as it hangs there on my door. I painted a painting if it a while ago and titled it King Pooh. Its serves as my sweatshop guard and hall monitor.


  1. Always fun to have a look at other studios. Love this one as it’s much bigger than mine! Happy weekend from Tokyo!

  2. As always, it is wonderful to peek into someone else’s work space. Insightful and inspirational! I have a common bond with Jen regarding her storage frustrations for felt pieces, especially the small ones for birds. My issue is “small, smaller and smallest” glass pieces for various glass collage projects. Storage by color families is the best! And I find cleaning and organizing my studio & house helps me sort through thoughts and ideas at the same time, which is always a good thing…

  3. I love organizing stories. I have a really small space and am always looking for inspiration on keeping it tidy and organized!!!! Thank You 🙂

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