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Thread: PLEASE HELP I need some guidance on organizing my stash. Problem- shelves too deep.

  1. #1
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Hi everyone,
    I think I figured out why I can't get organized. I have a big closet but the shelves are too deep. Does anyone have any help for me??
    I'm really frustrated.
    I'm going to take a pic. Please don't faint!

    Thanks,
    Sue


    PS. Okay I took pics. I just can't get a system down and end up sewing in the kitchen on my FW.
    That's NOT a solution lol

    Tried to do plastic bags with zippers- no luck
    Name:  Attachment-196479.jpe
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Size:  68.0 KB

    I can't stand it! :(
    Name:  Attachment-196480.jpe
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Size:  54.7 KB

  2. #2
    Super Member Grama Lehr's Avatar
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    Oh, I can't wait to see this!! :shock: :shock: :shock:
    I will take 50% of your stash, and half of your problem will be solved!! :lol:

  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    And I'll take 25% of the stash!!
    (aren't I kind?)

    How deep are the shelves?
    What about a bunch of plastic bins that you can sort into?
    No, won't be as pretty as seeing all your fabric.

  4. #4
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I'll measure them. It's a double closet.

    Okay, about 24 inches deep. Lots of room for sure, but not able to find things or get organized.

  5. #5
    Super Member rushdoggie's Avatar
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    I like plastic bins or even boxes that you can use like drawers...slide them in and out to get what you want. You can always decorate the outside to make them look pretty.

  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sueisallaboutquilts
    I'll measure them. It's a double closet.

    Okay, about 24 inches deep. Lots of room for sure, but not able to find things or get organized.
    Yes, they are deep ... much more so than I had thought from the photo.

    Look for plastic bins with lids ... and looks like you could stack them two high. Try a few ... and once you know what you want, buy all the same for all the shelves you want to do. Or coordinating bins ... one series I like have different sizes, though they all stack nicely together.

    I have a mishmash of plastic bins ... and wish I could switch them all out for a matched set for easier stacking.

    Watch ... be sure the lids are flat, for the stacking ... there are some bins that I have that have rounded tops and just don't cut it when stacking!

  7. #7
    Junior Member maxsoncreations's Avatar
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    I agree plastic bins you can put whats in it and fold them in fq size and fit lots in a bin! Great room view. I stare at a wall!!

  8. #8
    Super Member TonnieLoree's Avatar
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    I bought a whole bunch of plastic bins at the Dollar Store. I'm not necessarily organized, but at least I can pull out one bin at a time, unless they are stacked 4 or 5 high on the top shelves.

    I LOVE your sewing area. I would feel right at home there. :-)

  9. #9
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    There are some really nice plastic bins at Walmart, about $4 or $5 each. They have clear lids and clear bodys, which is nice for seeing through, they are stackable even in different sizes, and they have nice flip-up handles to secure the lid. These bins also come in larger and smaller sizes. My caution about getting the biggest size is that they become heavy when filled with fabric. I prefer sticking with the medium-size bins unless I want to store something bulky and light, such as batting rolls or perhaps a single large sandwiched quilt.

    A really nice, easy way to label clear bins is to use a permanent marker on a notecard and slip the notecard inside, so you read the card through the bin wall. If you change your mind about how you want to organize your fabrics, this makes it really easy to change the bin label.

    With shelves 24" deep, you would probably want to store these bins 2 deep. I would do that by creating 2 bins of pink, 2 of yellow, etc. so when you go looking for a color you know to take down a row 2 bins deep.

  10. #10
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Prism's comments about the big deep boxes are bang on ... plus you lose fabric in them!

    Those big deep ones, might be perfect for along your bottom shelves to put magazines in, or other bigger more awkward things to store. And then you can pull them out to the floor, like drawers!

    It may seem like a lot of $ to do it right, but do so!! ... you'll b rewarded with SO much storage. What we can see now will take only a small portion of your shelving ... and you'll have room for even more additions to your stash!

    We've seen the before ... so now we ll want to see the after!

  11. #11
    Super Member JanetM's Avatar
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    How about the ruler method of folding fabric. Because you have such deep shelves, after folding your fabric around the 6 x 24 ruler, slip the fabric off, and just fold it once, in half. Your fabric will then measure approx. 6 x 22 (width of ruler x the 44 width of fabric)

    Here is a tutorial to help you,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkTlaMqRlwo

  12. #12
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    My room looks worse than yours I just have piles all over the place. The thing is I need to get rid of other crafts.

  13. #13
    Senior Member AnnieF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushdoggie
    I like plastic bins or even boxes that you can use like drawers...slide them in and out to get what you want. You can always decorate the outside to make them look pretty.
    That's exactly what I was going to suggest. I used that approach in my stand up freezer and it really does work. They give you the control you need. Measure so that you can get maybe 2 stacks of fabric in each box.

  14. #14
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sueisallaboutquilts
    I'll measure them. It's a double closet.

    Okay, about 24 inches deep. Lots of room for sure, but not able to find things or get organized.
    OK, if the shelves are 24, then 1/2 wof is 22 and they will fit well if you just fold the wof in half and wind it around a 6 1/2" ruler - mine is 24" long, so it works perfectly.

  15. #15
    Super Member Quiltgranny's Avatar
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    Thanks for bringing up this topic as I have the same problem, only my shelves are only 17" deep. I'll definitely be watching to see what others recommend.

    One idea I saw once, but have yet to try is where a gal folded her 1 yard and up cuts onto comic boards and then stood them up in the rear of her deep shelves. In front of them, she placed her smaller cuts of fabric - some were wrapped on half size boards, others were neatly folded, probably like FQ's etc. At least she could see what was behind the front row, but seems to me there would still be the issue of having to possibly move something in front in order to get the back fabrics out. Hmm...

  16. #16
    Junior Member doris.meek13088's Avatar
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    I have most of my stash in plastic bins in the downstairs guest closet (I pray for no more guests than will fit in the upstairs guest room so I don't have to move them). I then label the bins for the project I am collecting for (Halloween, blue and yellow, or the name of the collection) or the project I am planning on using the fabric for (bags, wall hangings). I confess that sometimes I take a couple of them into another room and just go through the fabrics.
    We need to start another organization (although I think one may have been started already)
    FA (Fabricaholics anonymous) Hello, my name is Doris and I am a fabricaoholic. I haven touched fabric in 3 hours.
    .

  17. #17
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I found plastic bins at Staples that are 21 x 14 for $1.60 each. They fit my shelves perfect. I bought 10 of them and just labeled with masking tape. Oh, and they are clear plastic. I bought all the store had. Now I have bins for all my colors and for specialty fabrics like Christmas, batiks, 1930, backings, flannel, backgrds, etc.
    The bins are about 4 in to long but are not a problem.
    I have those cheap metal shelves that are cubby holes that you put those fabric (expensive) bins in.

  18. #18
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I folded all my yardage on boards cut to fit my shelves. It works and you can get hundreds of boards on one book shelf. I bought the Wilton white large rectangle cake boards. I can cut twice and have three boards from one. I also have the comic book board and they are a little thinner but works great for smaller cuts of fabric or fat quarters. I use a yellow head pin to hold the end after folding. But on some I have rubber bands around the board. Someone said the bands may harm the fabric if you leave them on for a long time.

  19. #19
    Super Member Rebecca VLQ's Avatar
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    http://reformedsupermom.blogspot.com...anization.html

    This is what I did a few months back, and it's still going strong.

    The basic setup is "sets" of things are folded together. The fabric is folded in half (selvedge to selvedge) then folded in half again, so what would be the length is about 10-11 inches.

    I have lots more that I don't necessarily have plans for, so that is sorted by color and then colors that are "most alike" are in a bundle of about 5-6 yards.

    Batiks are all together since i have a few of those, and usually go looking for batik, instead of using a blue batik when I'm looking for blue, kwim?

  20. #20
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    Hi Sue,

    Ok, this is a bit long. Organizing is putting like things together and having a place for everything with things used a lot that are easily accessible. Keep frequently used items visible and handy and less used items in a place where you know and can access.

    I would first start with your fabric. I would do the fabric folding over the ruler as found in a tutorial here at QB. Put the fabric together by fabric type and then in color groups. The fabric ends up being all similar sizes. This may take a while but everyone who takes the time to do this has been very pleased with the results.

    I would use small clear plastic containers for keeping smaller items. Put a label on the outside, even if only a piece of paper taped to the side of the container. The dollar store has shoe box containers that can be stacked together on the closet shelves (the tops are not clear but that's ok).

    Once you sort through everything and see what you have, then you can determine the size of containers, etc. that you will need to keep like things together, such as thread, binding, tools, etc.

    If you are on the go alot and have waiting time you might want to think about putting together a small take-along project bag. (Bag, tote, large purse, etc) This could be the time that you have a project for hand work such as a GFG, Grandmother's Flower Garden. These work well for using up small scraps of fabric.

    There is also another section about how to cut, handle and store fabric scraps. To start I would just find one large plastic container to keep all scraps together in one place.

    For your rulers, there are several threads that talk about rulers and their storage. Some have storage boards that hang on the wall and others have a board that sits on a table. There is also new hangers that will hang like a clothes hanger that hold several rulers. You may also be able to find a small container to keep them all together other than maybe a very long ruler that you could then hang on the back of the closet door or on a wall grouped with other sewing items.

    I would keep a list of the rulers you do have, along with other sewing tools, even noting when you have duplicates.

    If you go to classes or quilt club meetings where they sew some quilters have a whole separate rolling tote that has a second set of all the tools they use so that all they need to do is to drop in the sewing machine to be ready to go to class. There are even some who have a machine just for classes.

    You may actually be glad that you have deep shelves. Stand the taller items in the back of the shelf and then put smaller items in front. Lighter weight items will be at the top and upper shelves with heavier items at the bottom. I would put items not used very much on the very top shelves. Usually the top shelves take having a step stool to get to, at least for me as I'm a short person.

    You may actually find that you have room to keep your sewing machine(s) on the bottom shelves when not in use.

    Once you get all of the above completed ask again if you need additional advice for getting organized.

    Hope this long instruction explanation helps. Good Luck!

    Pam M

  21. #21
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    Can u get the cardboards from ur LQS or buy from other places for the lg pieces. Clear bins for the FQ and scraps one shelf for batting ect. I'd love to have those shelves! I need some so bad!

  22. #22
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    You are all the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D:D
    I've been up there about 2 hours folding fabric.

    Bellaboo, I wanted to get those comic boards but with the shelves being deep I thought it would be useless. I'll have to check out the other ones you mentioned.

    I do have lots of plastic bins w/lids (the flat ones). We've used them for years for things b/c of all the cat hair. It's become a lifestyle lol

    I do believe some are empty! YIPPEE. We've been purging our home for about a year!!

    Thank you all so much!!!!!!! Evey single one of you!
    I'm going to re-read this over and over but right now I'm taking a break from being up there HA

    I tried the Youtube but got an error. I'll look it up.

    Thanks again!
    Sue

  23. #23
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    I just watched the video and it was great!! Another question got answered for me- how to have colors together but also different size fabrics. She showed it!
    THANKS

  24. #24
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I agree with the poster who suggested plastic bins. Not as pretty as just plain fabric, but you gotta work with what you've got. I also agree that you need to find a size tub that fits and bite the bullet & buy enough to fill all the shelves. It will be much easier to stack & reorganize in the end.

  25. #25
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sueisallaboutquilts
    I just watched the video and it was great!! Another question got answered for me- how to have colors together but also different size fabrics. She showed it!
    THANKS
    SueIsAllAboutQuilts ... video? Am I blind, as I don't see a link to this? Could you please share the link? Thanks!

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