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Thread: Ready to cry over my quilting clutter!

  1. #1
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    I have spent the last two hours working on my former sewing area (in my laundry room) and don't feel like I made a dent. A few months ago, the mess actually forced me out into my dining room so I could sew without cleaning off my machine each time, but now the dining room is getting messy too because I keep pulling stuff out of my laundry room to work on and don't want to just dump it back into the room when I am done.

    I think I am too messy to be a quilter.

    I am feeling overwhelmed. I have a room downstairs where I keep a lot of my fabric and my mid-arm frame, but it doesn't have enough room for my machines, so I keep bringing fabric up to use. Lately, I am buying more fabric and notions because I get tired of looking through a mess to find something. I need to hire a professional organizer if I am going to keep quilting because the mess is driving me NUTS and I am not a naturally organized person, but once I get organized, I seem to be able to stay that way for quite a while.

    Does anyone else get that overwhelmed feeling about their quilting spaces? (Or lack of it?) Am I the only one who loses their notions and what-nots in a clutter?

  2. #2
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Mercy, my sewing things are nomadic, too. I know some are in the living room, some in the guest bedroom and yet more in the hall closet. The room picked out for my sewing space needs put together but I never seem to have the time, the energy, and the husband's muscles at the same time to help me get that done. So for now if I need something I have to check around - or buy a new one!

  3. #3
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    No, you are not alone. I try and have a party at least quarterly at my house. Then I have to clean!

  4. #4
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    You know, have you thought about taking out one box at a time and separating it into fabric, and notions? Just two piles. And then you can choose to divide up THOSE piles some other time, but at least then all of your notions are together and all of your fabric is together...somewhere else.

    I think that's how I would tackle it.

  5. #5
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    You and I are complete opposites LOL!! I over-organize everything--I'm very anal. I put things away and then I can't find them so I go and buy another of the exact same thing. I'm kidding--I really do know where everything is and have to put everything in its exact place when I'm done. My sewing room is upstairs so no one sees it but I still have to have it totally cleaned up or I can't function. I'm like that in all aspects of my life---cannot work/function in clutter.
    I think that is good advice. Each day take one box or one section of your area and just concentrate on that until it's complete. Good luck---

  6. #6
    Super Member Jill's Avatar
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    If my sewing room gets messy, it drives me crazy and I won't do anything until I get it cleaned up again. At the end of every day I put things where they belong so that I don't walk into a mess the next day. When I set up my room I took everything that I used and separated them according to categories: rulers with rulers, pins with pins, etc. Then I bought a few vinyl drawers and the things I saved I put in drawers according to category. Everything I use is in this room, I don't have it scattered throughout the house. If I had extras I decided whether I'd keep it or donate it to a quilting friend, Goodwill, etc. I think the most important thing for me is the straightening the room at the end of the day. Surely wish I could help you get it cleaned and organized!

  7. #7
    Super Member raedar63's Avatar
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    " my sewing things are nomadic"

    LMBO!!!!

  8. #8
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    maybe you need a quilting buddy to help you. Find someone is in your same situation and help each other out. sounds like once it's done you will be much happier.

  9. #9
    Super Member DA Mayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilterjody
    maybe you need a quilting buddy to help you. Find someone is in your same situation and help each other out. sounds like once it's done you will be much happier.
    This isn't a bad idea, sometimes we do better organizing someone else's things, if you could just find someone to trade with.

  10. #10
    Super Member JanetM's Avatar
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    I wish I still lived in Highlands Ranch, 'cause I love organizing and would see that as a fun challenge.

    :-( :-( :-( Sorry I can't help you.

  11. #11
    Super Member bjnicholson's Avatar
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    I started reading a book on organizing and the author suggested to start at the door and take the closest think to you and put that away or separate it from the rest. But only work for 45 min and then take a break. Then go to where you left off and continue from where you left off. That's as far as I got in the book! :roll: It was just too darned organized, know what I mean? LOL

  12. #12
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    Last year, my sister and I got my fabric downstairs all organized. However, I bought more, pulled more out of storage, and was given a bunch more. A few months ago, I brought down a bunch of it to get organized. However, I haven't found much time to do that. My dh is deployed, I have two young kids, I am a full-time middle school teacher, and I am currently taking 15 hours of graduate classes, so when I find a few minutes here and there to quilt, I hate using it to organize.

    My kids are both home with the flu today and my mom is coming in a few hours to spend the next couple of days helping me out, so I have been cleaning. My mom is a neat person and she always gives me such grief about not being like her. She drives me nuts when she tries to organize for me, because it always comes with a lecture.

    My mom was a stay-at-home mom, so she just doesn't understand how hard it is to juggle everything I do. She tells me to clean instead of quilt, but I quilt to de-stress. However, lately, the clutter is actually causing more stress.

    I better get back to my laundry room and keep cleaning. Wah!

  13. #13

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    Misty..... I am about an hour from you, you want to to come give yyou a hand? I know what it's like to be 'stuck' and frustrated with stuff. Sometimes you need a fresh set of eyes to see what you have and where it needs to live.


    What I did....
    I designated a tote for rulers and then every time I find one I stick it in there. I did the same with cutting things- all scissors and rotary cutters. I bought a couple of the plastic rolling rubbermaid units with drawers and made each drawer have a purpose. It was very loosly defined groups for each drawer and if I needed a bigger one I decided if I would purge some or get a bigger drawer or spilt into 2 more specific piles.

    I also tried to pack projects with all the patterns and fabric needed for it that way it's ready and I am not digging.

    Start small. Feel success with small goals.

  14. #14
    Super Member LeslieFrost's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry! I am messy also, sometimes. When I was the Exec. Dir. of a small nonprofit, I did have an organizer help me to clean up my office and get a better organization scheme set into place.

    It is sometimes easier to work with someone else on this type of project. It is so easy to get frustrated and just quit!

    Is there anyone you would trust with your secret mess who might come over to help for a couple of hours?

  15. #15
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I lost a rotary cutter in my sewing room about 10 years ago ... still has not shown up. I loose a ruler almost daily .. now I have a few , and a rule to not "close -up for the night" with out tidying up a bit... at least put the rulers back to where they belong..... and the sissors..... and the rotary cutters..... and the seam rippers.... and..pin cushions and empty the trash.
    I have a carpenters type apron that I put on when I am in a production mode. So I can keep some of my most used tools in the pockets and close at hand.

  16. #16
    e4
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    It is easy to be overwhelmed. Start small - Think of something small you can do (like sorting fabric and notions as already mentioned taking one box or stack). Set a goal of each day or each week to tackle one stack or bin. Organize anyway you want, but if you aren't a very organized person, start simple and just get a box for notions, a box for threads (or rulers or whatever you have a lot of), and a box or laundry basket for fabrics.

    Fold your fabrics into the same size pieces (there are several tutorials on this board or look on youtube for "fabric stash folding" - there are videos. I didn't think I needed this until I realized all my different size folds meant I couldn't see what was underneath other fabrics.

    Once you fold the fabric (its a really boring task, but essential), stack it up against a wall somewhere and let it sit until you are ready to separate by color or however you want.

    Again, slow and easy - don't stress over the current mess - that gets you no where. Small steps and before you know it you will be more organized.

  17. #17
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    Okay... so here are some pictures of the disaster. The counter in my laundry room took me two hours to de-clutter and that is as far as I got.

    This is how it looks now
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    My dining room table
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    The mess... in my dining room
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    Attached Images Attached Images

  18. #18
    cjr
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    My fabric migrates also. I cut on the kitchen table. Right now I have a machine on the dining room table because I'm quilting a large quilt. It is working very well, but other quilting things have migrated there.

    Suggestion for you, that I try to do. When you are going to storage area take one piece of fabric with you and put it in its home.

    Good Luck, It is very easy for our many projects and many fabrics to overwhelm us. Believe me I have been there.

    Quiltingly CJR

  19. #19

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    I am messy also. I get frustrated also. I am of no help to you but I do feel your pain. You really have a lot going on in life. I thought I was busy but not near as busy as you. I admire you. I so not know how you do it.

  20. #20
    cjr
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    Thank you for posting pics. First suggestion Remove all things NOT quilting or sewing, like cans of paint, coffee cup etc. Then work on a table, Use that to start your sorting.

  21. #21
    Super Member quiltlonger's Avatar
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    Put in a call to Peter Walsh!! Only he will make you get rid of two thirds. That got your attention, now buck up princess and get busy if you want to keep it. Think I need to take my own advice thats why I've hid out here today..

  22. #22
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    I was just thinking... if this was my kitchen, nobody would EVER want to eat at my house. Thankfully, this mess is NOT indicative of the rest of my home. I cannot stand cooking in a messy kitchen. (Just don't open my cupboards!)

  23. #23
    Super Member QuiltQtrs's Avatar
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    Have recently re-organized again ... but end up with too many "categories"
    of quilt related things, fabric, UFO's, newly planned projects, patterns, etc.
    However, after doing clean-up once again, am more inspired to tackle and
    finish my projects. Cannot "work/sew" in a messy area.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Dingle's Avatar
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    Ok, I'll have to admit if I walked into that I would be overwhelmed. There is no way I could work in something like that. I try to stay clean as I work but I also clean up after every project. I have found having peg board helps alot. Anything that can get hung up is hung. Keeps everything at reach too. Just take one thing at a time until you're done. Then try really, really hard to keep it that way. :thumbup: Hope I didn't offend you. :-D

  25. #25
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    Part of the reason I want to get all this organized is the new embroidery machine that should be arriving this week. I don't want to even take it out of the box until I have everything cleaned up in the laundry room and dining room. I would get sucked in playing with it and the mess would not get cleaned up for months again. (My dh comes back in October, but I don't want to wait until right before he gets home to get it done!)

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