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Thread: Any words of wisdom for the helplessly disorganized?

  1. #1
    Senior Member DeniseP's Avatar
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    Any words of wisdom for the helplessly disorganized?

    I have been trying to reorganize my sewing room for the past four days. This is my job, I have my products in five shops on the coast of Maine. I should be sewing, but my sewing room is such a mess I have no room to work. I have to do it.

    I decided to refold my fabric to make better use of the space I have. I have been folding fabric for three days straight for at least 3 hours a day and I'm so sick of looking at it I just want to quit. I know it will look great when I'm done, but it seems never ending. Anyone else felt like this? How did you stay motivated?

  2. #2
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    I work best on a reward system for any job I dislike. I would have a cute little sewing project lined up and waiting for me after I put in my time organizing. The nice thing about getting all your fabric folded or on boards is you can really see what you have.
    When I did mine I discovered buried treasures in my stash. Now when I want to start a new project I can easily see what I have and decide what I may need to pick up to finish my projects. I found that I was lacking pieces big enough for backs so I have been picking up sale fabrics in general light tones to finish up some UFOs.

  3. #3
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    Once, I helped my sister fold all her fabric just so I could fondle and enjoy it. Having a friend over to help might make it easier and faster.

  4. #4
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    My studio was a mess before I decided I HAD to get in there and reorganize etc. What a blessing it has been since I donated some things and gave away other things. Getting new furnishings didn't hurt either!! Take it one day at a time and soon your room will be looking great and you will be SO glad you took the time to do it.
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  5. #5
    Super Member CindyA's Avatar
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    I am not an organized person and have to really work hard at it. I follow Flylady and one of her motto's is "You can do anything for 15 minutes." So I set a timer for 15 mins and work. Then I can take a little break or set the timer for 15 mins longer and maybe move on to another task that I don't like and take the break after that. You can get more done in 15 mins than you realize. One of the keys is to FINISH after the 15 mins, if you have something to finish putting away or throw away etc make sure you do it before moving on. That doesn't mean the entire project - just what I worked on organizing during that 15 mins. It's still a struggle but it's helped me a lot! Good luck, you can do it!!

  6. #6
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    Don't be so hard on yourself. Some people can only create in chaos. I had to completely empty out my sewing room for new flooring to go in, then I went to the hospital to have both knees replaced. I thought I would never get my new sewing space back in order because I wanted to strip wallpaper and repaint before I started moving stuff back in. I just started setting small goals for each day based on what I could physically handle. So, you could just set aside an area each day you will get organized before you do anything else that day. If you find things in that one area that belong somewhere you haven't yet organized yet, just put it somewhere in the area it belongs and get right back to the area of the day. If something belongs in an already cleaned area, put it where it belongs. Most of all, enjoy the process.

  7. #7
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    A very long time ago I was given one of the best life lessons I could ever receive. Do the most distasteul task first whenever you can. The rest is icing. I put things back where they are stored when I am done with them. I practice this in just about any task I have to do from cooking to housework, gardening and at work. It follows me through my sewing too although there is nothing I dislike about sewing! I do have the most problem with selecting fabrics for projects, pulling lots of trial pieces from the stash wall and then not choosing them. I have found over the years that waiting till the end of the selection process to put all the fabric away works for me. I put the chosen pile in one basket then take my time to enjoy refolding and returning the rejects back to the shelf for another time. It is sort of a self perpetuating rotation of the fabric stash wall.

    It is not a chore if you love it!

    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  8. #8
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    My suggestions to use if they work for you:
    Play music. It makes time go faster (even when getting cavities drilled... Don't ask how I know)
    Grab 3 boxes: junk, donations and homeless items so they don't get handled a million times or clutter where you have already cleaned
    Use those new temporary/removeable hooks to hang things like stencils
    make a list of goals and a cleaning schedule. Do the room one section at a time.v
    make your reorganization as functional as possible.
    get rid of decorations that take up space you need for storage.
    get rid of stuff that you reasonably believe you will never use and don't feel guilty about it.
    post pictures of progress to get encouragement

  9. #9
    Senior Member DeniseP's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone who gave me encouragement. I am trying to do some of it every day, but I am starting to dread going in there. I think I may end up taking a day off and sewing for a while. I will have to make decisions about getting rid of some of it. I could never use all of it if I sewed all day every day for the rest of my life, and I keep buying more!!

  10. #10
    Super Member fleurdelisquilts.com's Avatar
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    Eeek! I'm a very different organizer. Actually I like organizing but hate cleaning...go figure. I try to mix them up and do them together so that I don't "suffer" the cleaning so much. Sometimes I do have to make myself stop sewing to clean and put stuff away so I can find space to work. Mostly, I just try to have fun, if I get messy having fun......oh well!
    Mary

  11. #11
    Super Member Colbaltjars62's Avatar
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    It always helps to organize with a friend. Gives you someone to talk to and the time goes by faster, plus you get twice as much done.. Which reminds me... WineWoman, 2 Doods, Karen, when ya coming over to help!!!! LOL!!
    Love you guys!!!!
    Lack of planning on your part does NOT nessessitate an emergency on my part.
    Faith :-D

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ellen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseP View Post
    Thank you everyone who gave me encouragement. I am trying to do some of it every day, but I am starting to dread going in there. I think I may end up taking a day off and sewing for a while. I will have to make decisions about getting rid of some of it. I could never use all of it if I sewed all day every day for the rest of my life, and I keep buying more!!
    I'll bet you shop at Maaaahhdens. So much temptation!!!!!!!
    Ellen......I'm gonna go play now

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  13. #13
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    My best suggestion would be to throw all the fabric you can fit in a large box, then go to your private message box on this forum, and send the fabric to me. LOL. seriously, take a break and IF you want to sell some, this board is an excellent place to do it. Good luck and take the weekend off. Start next week refreshed, or as My mom used to say "Bright eyed and bushy tailed.".
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  14. #14
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    Fly lady is wonderful! Do set a timer and work for a short time on a task. 3 hours at a time is too long to work on a project. I would be exhausted doing that. So, get out your timer, set it and get to work. You can work with the timer several times a day, just don't try to get it all done in a day.

  15. #15
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    I don't have nearly the amount of fabric that some have but I didn't even want to go in the room because it wasn't organized. I started cleaning it up and setting aside some things to sell or give away. I also got frustrated and discouraged, but I decided I can do anything for an hour (like sitting in the dentists chair) so I certainly can work on my sewing room an hour at a time. That's what I did. When the time was up I walked out and closed the door. Then I would do it again. I think in all it took me three months to clean and organize. Some days I didn't work on it at all. But, it is done.
    Marilyn

  16. #16
    Senior Member incoming2me's Avatar
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    How do you eat an elephant???

    Answer: One bite at a time.

    I've been working on organizing my sewing room this summer.
    My room has been torn upside down and inside out. First, decide on where you want things to live. Set up stations if you'd like. For example, I've set up a Cutting station/Sewing station/AccuQuilt station/Pegboard wall/Stash Storage/Design wall, etc.

    I just set out to accomplish small goals each session at working on the room.
    Ex: Today I will clear off my cutting table and put those things where they live.

    Take breaks and sew some, otherwise you'll lose all motivation.
    At least I do.
    So many ideas... so many projects.. so little time!
    ~Phadrea

  17. #17
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    I agree with the "play music" suggestion. Nothing like a little Motown (or whatever turns you on) to get a body moving while working. A little dancing lets you multitask and get healthy, too. I also love listening to books on tape -- now they are actually on my MP3 player, courtesy of the local library. I have "read" so many books while my hands were busy with other things. This works great if you are doing mindless work that doesn't require concentration. Another suggestion is to plug your bluetooth into your ear and call friends and relatives you need to catch up with. Leaves your hands free for your labors and makes the hours fly by.

  18. #18
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    I asked an acquiantance (she's very organized) if I could hire her to help me organize. When she came to my home to look over the 'mess', she told me that she would help me organize if i would teach her how to quilt. What a deal!!!!!

  19. #19
    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    I feel your pain! Good luck prayers and thoughts your way!
    Country 1

  20. #20
    Super Member rushdoggie's Avatar
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    Remember that being organized is a learned skill, and you can't go from one extreme to the other without some mistakes along the way. The "one bite at a time" advice is excellent. You would be amazed at what you can do in 15 minutes, and once you realize you don't have to do it all at once, you will find it easier and easier.

    The best part is that in the long run, being organized saves time and you will have more time to play without ever feeling guilty like you should be doing something else.
    Beth

  21. #21
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    an aorganized sewing room.. only in my dreams my sister has helped 2 -3 times in the past 2 yrs but it doesnt take me long ...some days just to be able to see the floor would be a blessing ..wishing you good luck..

  22. #22
    Junior Member njh2351's Avatar
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    I do not know but when you find out how let me know!

  23. #23
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    Maaahdens

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellen View Post
    I'll bet you shop at Maaaahhdens. So much temptation!!!!!!!
    Sure Love that place. Take a pile in another room and sit and fold fold fold, then go get another pile and do the same. I did that last winter. My sewing room is in the basement and it gave a different scenery for me. And I watched tv with my husband while I folded. Lots of luck Pal. I m not that far away here in Augusta. I thought sometime we could meet at Mardens but I guess that wouldn't be a good idea now. LOL Take care and keep plugging away. Barb

  24. #24
    Super Member champagnebubbles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CindyA View Post
    I am not an organized person and have to really work hard at it. I follow Flylady and one of her motto's is "You can do anything for 15 minutes." So I set a timer for 15 mins and work. Then I can take a little break or set the timer for 15 mins longer and maybe move on to another task that I don't like and take the break after that. You can get more done in 15 mins than you realize. One of the keys is to FINISH after the 15 mins, if you have something to finish putting away or throw away etc make sure you do it before moving on. That doesn't mean the entire project - just what I worked on organizing during that 15 mins. It's still a struggle but it's helped me a lot! Good luck, you can do it!!
    I also use Fly Lady. I am so happy I found her.
    Nana of 1 E and 2 G's

  25. #25
    Super Member DebbE's Avatar
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    Funny how we're all so different. Figure out a set amount of time and put in that much time each day - first thing, to get it out of the way. Playing music definitely helps. I don't mind organizing but I HATE cutting fabrics, and that's what I'm doing right now. Eventually I'll get it all done, but at least I'm only doing it a bit at a time, and then take a break with something FUN.

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