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Thread: Drowning in "Stuff"

  1. #1
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    Drowning in "Stuff"

    I will be moving in a few days and have finally gotten around to sorting thru and packing my quilting things..Until now I have worked from a little desk in the corner of my bedroom, with my fabric in my Hope Chest and the ex-husbands dresser..I have found boxes of assorted suipplies everywhere else in the room..I have filled a few bins with UFO's In my new house that I am moving to, she has delegated the Den for my sewing room...Any suggestions on the best way to organize and sort things out?? I am excited about all the space, but afraid I will just create the same mess I have now, but just spread out more!!

  2. #2
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    If you are going to have lots of room, get a couple of the large wardrobes or closets with shelves and doors to move some of your stuff into. Ask yourself as you move things into your sewing room, "does this belong in my new room or into a box for the charity shop. " This is your chance to have the sewing room of your dreams, seize it.

  3. #3
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I agree with Tartan have the room of your dreams! Keep it as organized as possible. Enjoy!!!!!!

  4. #4
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    Label everything as you sort...it really helps when you need to find things.
    Linda

  5. #5
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Go through as much as you can and sort as to what you really want to finish/keep and what you are willing to donate to a guild to finish or use. Do you have duplicate tools you can also gift or donate to a guild?

    When I moved I found I had waaaay to much thread. I donated it and that felt good. Also donated things I didn't want to finish, which is why they were UFO's. Most were from learning new techniques and were only for the learning process.

    Sorting fabrics is you own personal choice. I prefer to keep batiks separate and then work from there. I can tell how much fabric I have in each piece by the way I folded the piece.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  6. #6
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    you might want to visit our forum at this link http://www.quiltingboard.com/mission-organization-f23/
    best wishes as you resettle
    Nancy in western NY
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  7. #7
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    I re-organized my fabric stash with the comic boards idea talked about on this board and will never do it any other way again. I have some plastic drawer units purchased at Target for other items. I purchased a Brother label maker and labeled every drawer. In a small wooden chest of drawers I placed notions and labeled every drawer. I was fortunate to be able to use a large bedroom for my sewing area and that helped.

  8. #8
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    The REALLY important thing is to put your stuff back into the labeled drawers when finished for the day. Taking the 10-15 minutes to tidy up daily will pay off big time......just like walking into a clean kitchen every morning. It took me a long time to develop the habit of putting things back but I no longer spend time searching for scissors or buying duplicates because the original item was "lost" in piles of other stuff. Consider hanging up pegboard. It is amazing the amount of rulers, hoops, scissors, etc can be placed on a 4x4 foot sheet of pegboard. I use a dogfood clip to keep all sewing catalogs together and hang the clip to a specific hook on the pegboard. No more searching for the latest Jo-Ann flyer.

  9. #9
    Power Poster gabeway's Avatar
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    Lot of great ideas here but main one is starting organized helps you stay organized.
    Wayne & Gabriele, the married quilters.

  10. #10
    Senior Member leighway's Avatar
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    It's always tempting to take a pretty box, save it and put sewing supplies in it. That's the way you get 5 boxes with thread and you only look at one.
    Take your supplies out and group them by type- needles, pins, scissors, thread, buttons, etc. This gives you an idea of how much you currently have of everything. Then go to Walmart (I like their prices for plastic storage) and purchase however many boxes you need per catagory. I find that buying the same box for all makes for neater storage.
    One important thing to buy is a flat plastic box with a lid of about 8x11 or so, around $3.00 for your UFO or the current project you're working on. Put your pieces in the box and work from it. That way, at day's end, you pile all the pieces back in, put the cover on and put it away.
    Find an inexpensive bookcase on which to stack all your boxes and resist the idea of cluttering it up...if you work with a system like this, it will make it easy to find your stuff and easy to keep it clean.

  11. #11
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    I have wall to wall; ceiling to floor shelves; one wall is for patterns and books; the rest is for FABRIC Stash and my projects are in 2.5 gallon plastic bags with the pattern for the quilt(leave bags open so air can circulate) ready to piece together. my cutting table is in the middle of the room with sewing machine and a small space for the ironing board next to the wall. Have fun creating your sewing space; I measured the room and put all on paper with the shelf measurements first.

  12. #12
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for all the advice..I can see how my disorganization has created problems ...Now that my daughter is giving me an entire room in her new house for sewing, I think I will be able to get things set up better, as you all have advised! I know the hardest part will be getting it all set up before I begin to work...I usually get tempted to dump it all in a box and keep going..It's amazing how much duplication I have because I couldn't find something!

  13. #13
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    I can relate to your problem, as I don't even have 1/8th the space I had in my sewing "room" before we had to move from a 3-bedroom home with full basement to a 2-bedroom apt. where my sewing area is about 6 feet. Get a good table for your sewing machine, a place to cut fabric and if you are fortunate enough a large folding table to use for sandwiching quilts. I still have some work to do, but I wish I had one of those labeling machines, instead I used large 4x6 index cards to write what was in each box, and it goes a long ways toward finding things and I really try to put everything back when I'm finished with it. But I've found that clear plastic "boxes" large enough to hold quilt magazines but about 6" high have been the best for storing things. I have clear shoe boxes for thread and lots of other smaller items, which work great. Start with a clean slate, try to map out your space and go from there. Lucky girl to have your own sewing room.

  14. #14
    Super Member rosiewell's Avatar
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    if you have some space, get transparent plastic containers and label them as you go, then start filling the containers with the appropriate stuff. I just moved back to my sewing room/laundry room in the garage and I found that all my stuff was put away in no time, and easier to find.

  15. #15
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    Linda Miller creates beautiful quilt tops monthly. She taught me to put things away each day before you leave the room. By putting things away neatly, I am welcomed into a bright and cheery room each day. My creativity has increased, as well as, mood improved and time spent sewing is truly a refreshing delight.

    I only kept those things I use and shared the UFO's that I had decided not to finish. This made organizing much easier. Also, I use pretty dishes in unconventional ways as containers in my work area. One turquoise clear bowl is the home of my rotary cutter, postette note pad, pencil and small scissors. The beauty of the bowl brings a smile to my face each time I look at it. Not all storage has to be purely functional....

    I have purchased folding, plastic top tables which are very sturdy and flexible in the design of the room. The six foot table (3' folded) is resting on bed risers for a perfect height for cutting. The four foot table (2' folded) serves double duty as a work base near my machine when managing a quilt which would normally drop to the floor when I am sewing.

    Happy New Year in your home!

  16. #16
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    Sort through things as you box them. No reason to take stuff just to unpack it. Many things can go to resale shops.
    some stuff to the trash. Have fun putting together your new sewing room. Remember orgainization, organization, and organization, know is the perfect time to get organized.

  17. #17
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    Put shelves on the walls BEFORE you move in. Put up MORE than you think you'll need, because you'll use them. Dollar stores have $1 clear plastic shoe boxes - great for FQs and thread and all sorts of things. JoAnn's has 12" square plastic boxes on sale right now - perfect for current projects.

  18. #18
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Good luck. My stuff never stays organized no matter where I move it.
    Be the best that you can be at everything you do.
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  19. #19
    Super Member terri bb's Avatar
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    oh DEAR! i am doing the same thing! i have 4 totes and BAGS all in the closet. for Christmas hubband decided to make me shelving for the closet. OH I AM A HAPPY GIRL! but i have spent going on three days now cutting out blocks for a scrappy quilt, making 1.5 to 2.5 in strips and blocks of all sizes from 2 to 6.5. thats only of the stuff that i have pieces of. the bigger pieces are on the floor. i have NO clue how it's going to turn out. i know that when i get done with something i say 'oh ill fix it later' and throw the scraps all in a tote and shut the lid. now its time for me to organize that mess. i am going to take shoeboxes and label the box 1.5 strips, 2.5 squares, etc, and aim for control that way. im sure it will be a mess in a month! good luck on your endeavors!~
    A rolling stone gathers no moss

  20. #20
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    When I moved from one spare room to another larger room, Hubby bought the cubes organizing system from home depot and set it up into the closet. The upper cubes store fabrics and the lower cubes have fabric drawers and that made a big difference in my storage woes. He then put upper cabinets above the sewing area and attached a tube light for better lighting while sewing. A true help for me old eyes. I have the stacking plastic drawers in one corner that holds threads, quilting accessories and the like. Under the quilting table there are also drawers that have individual plastic covered boxes that hold current projects and accessories for the quilting table. A bookcase for the books and booklets a seperate small table for the serger or embroidery machine.

    I think that if you go in organized, you can add on as you find the need growing. It is a very personal thing and you will know where to put what as you know where you use it.

    It took me two months to originally set mine up, but, I also washed and pressed all of my fabric for the change.
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  21. #21
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    Here is the link to what mine looks like. It has more fabric in the shelves and there is the cabinets put above the seing desk now. But, it has stayed organized and easy to find things. Click on the link below...

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...ar-t61710.html
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  22. #22
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    Good suggestions here. I find I am visual and the transparent containers whether plastic tubs or glass jars help me out a lot.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by leighway View Post
    It's always tempting to take a pretty box, save it and put sewing supplies in it. That's the way you get 5 boxes with thread and you only look at one.
    Take your supplies out and group them by type- needles, pins, scissors, thread, buttons, etc. This gives you an idea of how much you currently have of everything. Then go to Walmart (I like their prices for plastic storage) and purchase however many boxes you need per catagory. I find that buying the same box for all makes for neater storage.
    One important thing to buy is a flat plastic box with a lid of about 8x11 or so, around $3.00 for your UFO or the current project you're working on. Put your pieces in the box and work from it. That way, at day's end, you pile all the pieces back in, put the cover on and put it away.
    Find an inexpensive bookcase on which to stack all your boxes and resist the idea of cluttering it up...if you work with a system like this, it will make it easy to find your stuff and easy to keep it clean.
    This is really good advice.

  24. #24
    Super Member Pat625's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedGarnet222 View Post
    Here is the link to what mine looks like. It has more fabric in the shelves and there is the cabinets put above the seing desk now. But, it has stayed organized and easy to find things. Click on the link below...

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...ar-t61710.html
    I love your set up!! This is very workable and the room I am getting has a full wall of cubbies!!

  25. #25
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    The more room you have the more space there is to fill! It just happens that way. My solution is to keep storage to a minimum so i actually have a place to spread out fabric and patterns and layouts. first choose a place for a design wall and make it as big as you can.

    Place your sewing machine as close to this as possible and then place your ironing surface. next place an all purpose table for design and cutting near that. Any left over space can be utilized with shelves, book case. If you can go all the way up with shelves that would be great.


    My space is geared toward the work area rather than storage and if storage is going to be a problem you may want to consider altering the way you like to work. Do only one project at a time or just a few you have space for.

    Hang as many things on a wall space as possible near the work area, like peg board to hang stuff rather than shoved in drawers where things go to get lost.


    With all the info you will get from QB, you will gather lots of tips to make your new space workable and most important, enjoyable.

    have a great time planning.
    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

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