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Thread: Organized?? Who is?? And how did you do it??

  1. #1
    Super Member QweenBee's Avatar
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    I know everyone is not a fanatic about keeping everything organized. I'm not, and I'm trying to get everything organized, but I do feel as if I'm just treding water, or should I say treading in fabric, patterns, paints, crochet needles, CCStitch, knitting needles, yarn, garment fabrics, garment patterns, scraps of fabric. OOOOh so many sizes, and I could go on and on!
    Really, how do you organize a ton of different size pieces of fabrics? I've got the big sections down, Holiday, everyday, garment, home interior. So, what about everything else. If you are wondering why I'm asking these questions, My DEAR MOTHER, passed away the week of Christmas, and was a avid quilter, seamstress, crafter, painter, jewlery maker... and since I was only girl I got most of her craft stuff. So here is how my dining room looked for a couple of weeks! I had to move it out of the dining room, I was sick of eating on the couch, gross!
    Anyways so now most of it is stuffed into my sewing/office and the side bedroom! Please I'm embarassed enough, I need help organizing, not comments about how I should give her things away. I do the same crafty things as she did!
    Thanks for reading!
    Qweenbee

    Left side of Dining Room
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    Right side of Dining Rom
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    Some of the fabric!
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  2. #2
    Super Member QweenBee's Avatar
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    Oh yeah the balloons where from my birthday, and my Christmas tree never got decorated. I was with my Mother the whole month of December until she passed at 3:18am December 26, 2010 :cry:

  3. #3
    Super Member shawnemily's Avatar
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    You are so lucky to have shared your hobbies with your Mom. I am sorry to hear of your loss. I know it is devastating when we lose our Mom's. And having her "stuff" is a help!
    I cant help you with organizing but will be watching this thread to see what they come up with for you! :)
    You will have fun and a lot of good memories whenever you work with her materials.

  4. #4
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    I'm in the process of refolding and organizing now. I found a bunch of small pieces tucked in between the bigger pieces. I'm talking about 1/4 yard pieces. Hopefully I will figure how to organize them.

  5. #5
    Super Member SuziC's Avatar
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    I am so sorry for your lose!!! What a wonderful thing that you shared some of her crafting. Although it may seem like a big task, just sort a few things at a time according to groups. Using clear bins will help you to see each group. I wish my Mom had kept her sewing things, i would love to have kept them after she passed. My heart goes out to you :!: (prayers too)

  6. #6
    Super Member Pamela Artman's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. That must have been a terrible holiday season for you and your family. I wasn't always a good organizer, but I started organizing my office at work many years ago after taking the place of a very disorganized person and it felt so good, that I gradually started becoming more and more organized, both at work and at home. I'll give you an idea of what I would do. First I'd buy or have built, a whole wall of shelves in your sewing room. Then I'd buy some plastic bins that would stack. Then I'd start with the category that has the least amount of stuff, whether that's cross stitch, knitting, etc. and sort through everything in that category, and then find a home for it. The secret for me has been finding containers that fit the purpose. I have baskets for balls of yarn, (which fit in 2 baskets) and a bin for all the skeins (which fill one big plastic bin). If you are short of space, think vertical. Buy or build tall bookshelves, add high shelves above windows, sewing tables, etc. It's so easy to pile things up on the floor, but once you have shelves, it's easier to stay organized. I'd move a portion of the stuff into a spare bedroom and clear one end of your sewing room and start there. I would look through everything carefully, and if you think you will use it in the future, I'd put it away. But if it's not to your taste or something that you probably will never use, I'd start a bin for future donation or sale. It might be hard to give any of your mother's things away right now, but if you put stuff in a bin and look at it again in 6 months, you might feel more able to part with it. Good luck with everything! Take it slow, but work on it steadily and before you know it, it will all be organized and easier to find and use!

  7. #7
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Im not a neat freak or have OCD but I keep my sections separated...

    Clear shoe boxes for my accquilt cutouts
    see thru colored Rubbermaid snap case keepers for charms
    cd racks for fqs- where there is wall space available
    bookcases for folded fabs 1/2-2 yrd
    Fabric bolts for anything over 2 yrds
    15 gal tubs for novelty
    30 gal tubs for holiday and seasonal and backing fabs
    shoe cubby keepers for my fq & 1930
    Peg board for notions,paterns, stencils and such
    SHoe organizer on the back of door to hold suplies
    over the door the wrapping paper organizer for stabilizer and whatnots
    med 3 drawers on rollers for scraps
    large 3 drawer for strips

    My room is never completely organized but for the most part I know aprox what vicinity it should be in if i'm looking for something..


    Sorry to hear about your mom..Sorry for your loss..

  8. #8
    Senior Member FranW's Avatar
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    First I am so sorry for your loss. God's Blessings to you.


    Second, if it were me, I would have to organize in steps (it is just how my mind works). First, I would separate into large boxes per craft activity. Then I would work on each craft, separating by what I will use the most. Honestly, if you have a basement, or some other storage space, put whatever you are not actively working on out of sight. Then just do as much as you can at any one time. I would not suggest discarding/donating/gifting anything right now. Too soon, wait a while before making any decisions.

    My craft room is a 10 x 10 spare bedroom: I have shelving units along one wall for fabrics and sewing supplies. Books and patterns are in shelving units along another wall. A large table has my sewing machine and laptop at a right angle to the third wall, and my embroidery center and TV are located on the fourth wall. Yarn, beadwork, cross stitch supplies and stamp supplies are in rollout carts with drawers/shelves located in the walk in closet. I also have extra supplies stored in the walk in closet in wheeled suitcases. Makes double use of the suitcases!

    Hope this helps. Just take it a little at a time!

  9. #9
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    I am so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. It is wonderful that you share the same hobbies and can now use her stash of crafty items and fabrics.
    I am very organized at the moment. Though I have overflowed my cabinets and have plenty of fabrics in the garage (which is a few feet from my sewing machine area) and also in a few other totes in my sewing room.

  10. #10
    Senior Member quiltnmom's Avatar
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    I agree with those above. Clear plastic storage containers. Start by sorting each craft items into their own section then begin with the section with the least that was mentioned above. Do you possibly have a crafting buddy that might come and give you a hand. That way maybe it wouldn't seem like such a daunting task. I get ideas from looking at the pictures of sewing rooms posted here. Just go to the top and click on Search and type in sewing room. You will love what you see -- great ideas!!

  11. #11
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltnmom
    I agree with those above. Clear plastic storage containers. Start by sorting each craft items into their own section then begin with the section with the least that was mentioned above. Do you possibly have a crafting buddy that might come and give you a hand. That way maybe it wouldn't seem like such a daunting task. I get ideas from looking at the pictures of sewing rooms posted here. Just go to the top and click on Search and type in sewing room. You will love what you see -- great ideas!!
    I am so sorry for your loss. Clear totes would be a great to help organize. I seem to never have enough of them.

  12. #12
    SEW
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    So sorry for your loss...it must feel overwhelming to have to go through and organize your mom's crafting supplies. She sure liked her crafts! You've received some real good advice here. Don't try to do it all at once, divide and conquer the various crafts. See through containers...lots and lots of see through containers! Integrating your mom's things with your own will help you move through your grief. Again, my deepest sympathies.

  13. #13
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Thanks for the topic! I am sooooooooooo disorganized!! Maybe I will get some help too :)
    I remember you lost your Mom, honey.
    More hugs, Sue

  14. #14
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    Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your mother. Not that I'm all that organized, but all my quilting fabrics are folded with a 4" ruler, then put into the appropriate drawer, according to the background color and stood on it's side, so that I can see a portion of the fabric print. The non cotton fabrics are all in large plastic totes, sorted by the type of fabric, fleece, upholstery type, etc.

    I think what I would do is to go through the fabrics, folding as you go and decide if you want to keep it or not and do the same for the rest of the items. I used to sew clothing and had tons of zippers, which I had sorted into large zip lock baggies according to size, I did the same with elastic, seam binding, etc. I would do more or less the same with the craft supplies, like paint. I would check the paint to make sure it's a good bottle, since it tends to dry up after a while, even when it's shut tight. Whatever you decide you aren't keeping, donate that to a local charity, school or the like or have a yard sale. But, if you don't do a lot of garment sewing, for example, then I wouldn't keep most of the stuff. I have my threads sorted by color in the small plastic totes, the 100% cotton thread are separate from the regular thread by color also.

  15. #15
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I agree with the plastic tubs/totes. See if you can find 2 sizes, one a shoe box size and the other a 12 to 15 gallon size. I would also suggest that if it's financially possible to purchase all the totes at the same time. It's sooo much easier to stack/arrange the boxes if they are all the same size. a 12 or 15 gallon tub can still be moved. I do have one 30 gallon one, but I think it's too big. Can't move it around easily. I am so sorry about your mom, and can totally relate. I was actually making progress on organizing when my mom passed. I got all her crafting stuff and even though I didn't do some of the crafts, I couldn't get rid of the stuff. It's been 3 years and I have finally been able to donate some. Logically, it makes sense to not keep everything, but emotionally, well, that's another story. Don't be too hard on yourself. Just get materials for the same craft together, like all jewelry, and put it in a box. I would also suggest getting some 2X4" labels and putting a label on the front and back of the box, this way a label will always be visible.

  16. #16
    Junior Member Whitney60's Avatar
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    I feel your pain.. I lost both my parents this year. Mom,88 in April.. she taught me to sew, and my Dad 97, Nov. 12.. on my birthday. I want to wrap my arms around her old sewing machine, but can't get it where I live yet. I was blessed to have them so long... but back to you.. This will be emotional for you... You have lots of helpers out here for ideas & support.. use them and reach out to us as you go. Decide on the day you are going to start... get up early, shower, have a healthy breakfast for energy, a strong cup of coffee, kneenx and advil... and start your day with your Mom and talk to her.. she'll help too. You will feel really good about yourself. Maybe only 2 hours at a time.. but you have to make that first step. Keep us posted.. Good luck and God bless you. d

  17. #17

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    i am sorry for your loss. i lost my mom the day before Christmas in 2006 and think about her every day. we did not share the same hobbies, but she always enjoyed seeing the things i had made. she was an avid reader and would tell me about books she thought i would like. press on with your organizing, it will be worth it.

  18. #18
    Super Member QweenBee's Avatar
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    Wow, What alot of great advise! I have taken in each and ever persons pieces of information, and I promise to put to good use!I just don't want to feel like I'm treading in a mess! I do have a fellow quilting Sister but she now lives hours away.Thanks again for your heartfelt thoughts and prayers! Great friends are made right here!
    Qweenbee

  19. #19
    Super Member grann of 6's Avatar
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    I am so sorry about you losing your mother. It is a very difficult adjustment when you shared so many things together. Take your time to mourn her. I lost my very dear neighbor a couple years ago and her husband gave me all her fabric and craft stuff, including her sewing machine. I piled it all up in my basement sewing room and just looked at and touched it until I was able to get it combined into my stash. I would get bins and put the various crafting things together, paints, crochet, etc. It took me over 2 years to be able to get rid of the counted cross stitch books she had. I knew I would never use them so they finally went to Good Will, and her kits. Just cherish all your memories while you are organizing, it will help with your pain.

  20. #20

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    I would go buy the three drawer units at Wal-Mart and start around the room and fill them up. You can stack them two high. Easy to get in after you finish. Don't give anything away. I wish I had some of my mothers things. Some day I will learn to post pictures and show you my sewing room my DH had fixed for me for retirement gift. I have them along one wall and another wall I have shelves. Everything is easy to get to and my iron board, chair, and PR600 roll around my desk, shelves, and draws. I can watch TV and sew on my 4500D I love my brothers machines.

  21. #21

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    Sorry to hear of your loss.
    I would decide exactly what hobbies I am going to pursue.(1-2)
    Theres not enough hours in a day to do them all.
    Then sell/trade/donate all the other craft stuff you have.
    This will help you eliminate about 75% of all the other craft stuff.
    Then, you can start organizing the hobbie stuff you have decided to keep. This will allow you devote your time on a hobbie you love. And not be overwhelmed with all the stuff
    that you have accumulated with your things and your mothers things. Happy Quilting!

  22. #22
    Senior Member 1barron's Avatar
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    So sorry for your loss. Get some empty boxes and an egg timer. Set the timer for 15 minutes. Use the empty boxes for catagories, example: quilts, crochet, fabric. Be sure to mark the outside of boxes. After 15 minutes, go do something else. Give yourself a reward. Continue this until you have the catagories. Then look at your room and visualize how you want to store these things. All of our sewing room are evolving. Have patience with yourself. And take a box of tissue in with you. This is a way to be close to your mom and smile at your memories.

  23. #23
    Super Member janiesews's Avatar
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    So sorry for the loss of your Mother. There have been lots of wonderful ideas to help you get organized and just work on it awhile and then take a break and return later-you will get it done. Take care.

  24. #24
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    Oh my what a job. I am in the process of cleaning out my things too so my room is a mess but I am going to send pictures.

    I found out that the plastic drawers can be taken apart and rearranged to fit what you need. $11 at Family Dollar,
    the baskets in the closet, $4 at Big Lots , there is a bunch more, are organized by color, or type , flannel in one and holiday in another and the shelves hold my books and ironing things.
    I don't know if it will help any but maybe it will give you some ideas for things you already have.
    Attached Images Attached Images



  25. #25
    Senior Member DirtyPaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QweenBee
    Oh yeah the balloons where from my birthday, and my Christmas tree never got decorated. I was with my Mother the whole month of December until she passed at 3:18am December 26, 2010 :cry:
    My condolences to you and your family. I understand how it feels to loose a loved one. My mother too passed December 23, 2010.

    Many blessings...

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