Note the missing sewing machine, which is currently occupying my dining room table for mask making.

Do you ever have that feeling that you just need to get control over something – anything? I am sure we are all feeling a bit of that lately. When I get that feeling, I generally dive into some type of organizational project that I have been putting off because I just don’t have the time.

This week, my sewing studio was the target. For years, I have just added fabric and notions to bins and stuffed them in the closet. At this point, the bins started creeping out of the closet and I could barely access my sewing table. This project was way overdue. I was going to evaluate what I had, get rid of what I didn’t need, take note of what I might need, and organize the rest so I could find it!

When I get into a deep clean mode, I go all the way. I emptied the room with the help of my son. That even meant removing some of the shelving units. I vacuumed the whole area (carpet cleaning is next on the list). Once the room was relatively empty, I took the opportunity to decide what I really needed without spending much money. I borrowed some wooden shelving units from another area of the house to replace the metal mesh ones I had. This would enable me to display my fabric so I could use more of what I have – a novel concept for a fabric collector. I moved a dresser next to my sewing table to double as a cutting/ironing station (the drawers face the window now). I borrowed another large unused dresser and put it near my longarm machine to hold other materials.

Next, I started unpacking all of those boxes and bins….I carefully folded the fabric and arranged it by type and color. To fold the fabric, I used a cardboard template to ensure the fabric would neatly fit on the shelves. The shelves will not get any direct sunlight, so I am not concerned about fading. As you can see by the picture I have plenty of reds, greens and creams, but I have very few blues and purples. Now, I know which colors to buy – blues and purples. I don’t have many oranges or yellows, but I tend to only use them as accent colors, so I don’t need very many. I did find some fabrics that would be great for face masks and have set those aside. My next challenge will be how to organize the plethora of precuts and scraps I have.

Then, I decided to organize notions and tools. I put all of my patterns together in a bin – it was quite a large bin. Threads were organized by type and color. Tools were placed together in easilty accessible containers on the shelves behind my sewing table. I am waiting for some clip pant hangers so I can hang my rulers in the closet, which will keep them from warping. Beads, ribbons and buttons were placed in small containers, which found homes in different drawers of the dresser. Up until this week, I had trouble finding a needle, now I have a small tin full stored in the dresser. Amazing what you find when you unpack!

Still to be organized…..

Now, I need to take an inventory (yes – on an Excel spreadsheet) of the quilt kits and unfinished projects I have. I was astonished at how many kits I had…. These will be organized on my new shelving units in the closet. With the projects on a spreadsheet, I can plan out when to do them. My objective, like most quilters, is to finish them all. I work best on a deadline, so I may have to put purposes next to each one – like birthday, Christmas, gradution, wedding, anniversary, etc. to give me goals to work toward.

Over the next week, I will tackle the kits, precuts, scraps, and miscellaneous stuff like yarn, scrapbook materials, etc. The dilapitated cardboard boxes and plastic bins will find their way to the recycle bin. Other crafts will be placed on shelving or donated to a good cause – like homebound parents looking for a distraction for their children!

I still have quite a way to go to be organized. Once organized, I will be able to tackle projects a little more efficiently. I think there really is something to the feng shui and positive energy. I will keep you posted on my progress.

Happy Quilting (and organizing)