If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me ‘how the heck do you have time for craft?!’ I’d be a rich woman indeed! Seriously, I’m asked this question every week, and usually it’s more than once. So I thought I’d share my top tips for finding time for craft (or anything that you might like to do for yourself) while running the household and caring for 5 kids…
1. Plan your day
There is no way I could cope without having some kind of plan for the day. Bearing in mind that I’m a planner by nature, and I actually enjoy planning and making lists, I fill out my to do list pretty much every day. Except when I’m being a rebel and don’t write a list, then I usually pay for it later!
I’m currently using the daily docket printable from The Art Of Simple blog, but when I’m not using that, I use a daily planner pad from Kikki K. I won’t go into too much detail with this process (that’s a whole other blog post!) but essentially I list the 3 most important things I need to do that day, and a few other things, including what craft project I’m aiming to work on. Sometimes I even note down when during the day I can fit it in. For example, if I know I’m going to be home all day, I will try to be organised with my housework tasks so when it’s nap time I can be ready to sit down for some craft time.
2. Organise your projects and supplies
I am a crazy person when it comes to creative projects and if I don’t give myself limits I end with way too many half finished things and an overflowing basket of supplies sitting around. So each month, I try and decide on 3-4 projects to work on and stick to those until they’re finished. At the moment I have a crochet floor rug, a knit cowl, crochet chevron blanket and a chevron cushion cover on the go. When I get sick of one, I work on another and so on until they’re all (hopefully!) finished.
The second part of being organised with my projects, is organising the supplies. I have all my knitting and crochet projects in individual project bags in a basket in the loungeroom. I don’t have a dedicated craft room or studio, so I have a table and cupboard set up in a corner of our living room with all my craft supplies in easy reach. I can leave a project that I’m working on out on this table and work on it here and there when I can without having to unpack and repack things up all the time.
3. Embrace nap time as craft time
Nap time is craft time. Or me time. At the moment, the baby has 2 day sleeps. The first one I try and do things on my to do list that require concentration, like paying bills or updating the budget, making phone calls etc, then any nap times after that are left wide open for creativity, yay!
If I’m under the pump and I know I really can only spare 20 minutes to work on my craft projects, then I set a timer for 20 minutes, get my craft on and then get on with my other jobs once it goes off. The timer trick works equally well for things I don’t really want to do, like cleaning the shower. I know that I can stop when the timer goes off so I just start and get as much done as I can. Most of the time I manage to beat the timer.
5. Involve the kids.
Choose projects you can work on with or alongside your kids and make craft time something you do together.
Max is almost 4 which I find is a great age for being able to do a crafty activity for a reasonable amount of time. I set him up on the dining table with glue and sticky tape and the craft box, which is full of bits and pieces he can use at his leisure to create a masterpiece while I sit at my craft table. and work on my own project. Sometimes he helps me with whatever I’m working on.
Win win 🙂
6. Book it in
Sometimes I might have a bigger project that I need a few hours to work on it to get it finished, like quilting a quilt. If we don’t have plans on the weekend, I’ll organise it with my husband. He’ll take the kids outside and entertain them, or get dinner organised so I can have some time to finish my project. You could organise with your partner to have an afternoon or an evening to work on your craft. Again, a bit of forward planning can really help to make time for the things you love to do.
So if you were wondering how I do it, I hope this answers your question and maybe even helps you to find time for yourself!
Tell me, how do you fit craft time around your little people? Any tips for me I haven’t thought of? Do tell!