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Thread: Downsizing

  1. #1
    Senior Member nikki128's Avatar
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    Downsizing

    I am moving my sewing space from a 10X10 room with a closet into a 4 X4 walk in closet. Has anyone ever done something like this? Any advice is greatly appreciated. I am kind of flipping out as everywhere I look I see stuff I need. I also run a sewing business. So need most of my stuff. One of the walls is slanted as this is a space under the stairs. Just call me Nikki Potter lol.
    Happy Sewing

  2. #2
    Senior Member just janet's Avatar
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    I ran an embroidery business for 10 years in a 5 X 5 room. It's possible, you'll be surprised how inventive you become. Wishing you much success!

  3. #3
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    Put lighting on the wall or ceiling. Look up and put shelving over your head. Do anything you can to save floor space for your sewing machine and chair.
    I hope you have other places in your home to store supplies such as under beds, closet shelves, etc.
    Good luck. I'm sure with a bit of creative thinking you can make it work.
    Sally

  4. #4
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    Check out google. I lsearched at " photos of under stairs sewing spaces " and found some neat looking spaces. Pictures can some times help more than words.

  5. #5
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    I used to do a lot of fashion sewing and sewed in a 6 X 6 (approx) "breakfast room" in our townhouse. I had things stored on shelves. I have one set of plastic drawers that you could stack and mine were stacked about 5 ft tall. I also had a drop down ironing board that fastened on the wall that was good enough for pressing small pieces. I used to make all my suits I wore to work (back in the day when we wore suits to work) out of the small space so it's doable. I cut large pieces of fabric on the floor (we had no dining room table because my husband was running a business out of the townhouse at the time.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

  6. #6
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    Floor to ceiling shelving and bins. When I moved, I took the extra time (and it is time consuming) to sort thru items and organize. I purchased 2 of the plastic stacking drawer cabinets (4 thin drawers and 1 larger drawer)and sorted notions and tools in them. They stack on top of one another. On the backside of the door, I mounted pegboard and have my rulers on it and 2 wooden thread caddies at the top. I stapled a thin vinyl at the very top and this lays over the thread for a dust barrier and yet full visibility. Mark on the outside of the bins what is in them and use the very high shelves for those items rarely used (keep a footstool inside the closet). A side tip is that I have a stack of medium size pizza boxes (the local pizza shop gives them to me). I stack them with orphan blocks and write on the cardboard edge 'black/white', 'patriotic', 'childrens', etc. or WIP. They stack easily and have everything in one spot (also the cardboard is great for items you are working on and may have moisture from your hands). Once done, you will be amazed at how much easier it will be for you to be productive and how GREAT you will feel about your accomplishment. Also, good idea to have some wine chilling in fridge!

  7. #7
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    I just mounted a 16+ shoe bag (clear plastic) on the back of my closet door to put my smaller sewing notions in; I got tired trying to remember where I put things when I lost my sewing room. This way I can find my Rippit, scissors, tape measure, and some of my few remaining rulers.

  8. #8
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    I like the clear shoe bag so I can see my supplies.

  9. #9
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    i recently downsized my whole house, including 3 bedrooms of sewing space (what was i thinking???) - anyway, most of the fabric is now stored in recently purchased bathroom & kitchen cabinets with a formica countertop...purchased from a home improvement store...books, etc. are stored on several of those wire shelf units, different heights, b/c i too have the slant....my ironing surface is now attached to the wall collapsible legs & can fold up & out of the way when not used...my embroidery machine sits on a cupboard meant for a bathroom...yes, get creative & use every space you view...also, clear storage boxes are my new, found friend...all my threads are stored & sorted in them....GOOD LUCK

  10. #10
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    You will need to be super organized. My bedroom growing up had a slanted ceiling, so I had my dresser and bed there. It didn't slant all the way to the floor. The wall that was perpendicular to it had shelves and they were went to the wall so they were different lengths. Are you able to store items in another room? In my current sewing room, one wall is a murphy bed so I cannot store anything up against it. But I store my projects in the project boxes that are 14 in x 14 in and pull them out as I work on them. The biggest thing I would have trouble changing is the roll of batting, it takes a lot of space. Once I have a quilt top done, I sandwich it and quilt it - but you could wait and do several at one time so when you buy batting you can buy a larger piece to save a few dollars.

    Good luck with your move - it will take time to adjust but you will.
    Last edited by quiltingcandy; 05-03-2017 at 12:44 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member nikki128's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the suggestions. You all made me feel so much better. I am actually getting excited about being more organized and feel like I might be more productive in a smaller space. I am thinking about putting a stand up pantry with doors in my living room for my extra fabric. That really is the only extra space I will have. Although maybe if I eat less I can use one of the kitchen cabinets for notions(hehe).
    Last edited by nikki128; 05-04-2017 at 08:19 AM.
    Happy Sewing

  12. #12
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Some type of cabinet in the living room sounds like a great idea for fabric storage. It would be a lot more scenic than plastic tubs.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

  13. #13
    Super Member MarionsQuilts's Avatar
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    For your tables, shelves, ironing board - see if you can have them "drop down" (I know someone already mentioned a drop down ironing table). This will save you a ton of space - they are up when not needed so you have that space to move / sew in. Also, pictures, pictures, and more pictures ... google small sewing spaces - it is amazing what some people have done with super small spaces.

    I have done the opposite - 6 years ago it was my dining room table, and now I have my own room - well, I share it with my parrot - but I have to say it's nice to have space LOL

    I don't envy you having to downsize - but with all the new gadgets out there, I'm sure your room will be fabulous!

  14. #14
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    I have a big board ironing board up all the time. I think pressing/ironing is such an important part of the process, that - when possible - a pressing/ironing surface should be out - or easily accessible - all the time.

  15. #15
    Super Member osewme's Avatar
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    People are downsizing to smaller homes. You should watch some of those tv programs (Tiny Houses) & they may give you some great ideas.

  16. #16
    Super Member tuckyquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikki128 View Post
    I am moving my sewing space from a 10X10 room with a closet into a 4 X4 walk in closet. Has anyone ever done something like this? Any advice is greatly appreciated. I am kind of flipping out as everywhere I look I see stuff I need. I also run a sewing business. So need most of my stuff. One of the walls is slanted as this is a space under the stairs. Just call me Nikki Potter lol.
    Sounds like the kids are coming home....LOL
    Jackie
    Lover of Scrappy, Chocolate and Wine

  17. #17
    Senior Member nikki128's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckyquilter View Post
    Sounds like the kids are coming home....LOL
    Nope. I have no kids I just have to downsize.
    Happy Sewing

  18. #18
    Super Member Judith1005's Avatar
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    You didn't share, do you have a large stash? I think do the little things first, Like go through and eliminate doubles. Look at the space, can you go UP with your storage? Or, below your work surface? Or is your room under the stairs just for storing your sewing/quilting things. Does that mean you will be sewing at the kitchen table?

    I used under the bed storage boxes that were great for storing fabric. Folded small with the folds facing up by color. It's just a thought. They slide easily and the tops keep the dust off. You just won't be able to see your stash.

    A lot of people are down sizing these days. It can be done. And, I hope you have a lot of great fun planning and finding what works for you. Do a lot of looking on Google. I googled under the stairs sewing rooms. And, it was a great eye opener to see what other people have done.

    I used to sew at the kitchen table. All my supplies were in my bedroom. When the kids moved out, I commandeered the sun room which was there hang out space. Boy, I almost have too much room. But, am determined to keep my fabric space limited. (I need to sew faster!! lol

    Have fun. Down sizing is not bad. It will just be one small compromise. You can do it!!
    My little shinning stars. Brantley, Kaylynn, and Emmalee
    https://www.quiltinaday.com/eleanora...nontheFarm.asp

  19. #19
    Senior Member nikki128's Avatar
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    I just moved into my space. I have to use it for my stash and sewing. I do not have a lot of fabrc but I have 9 bins of scraps. I am thinking my first move may be to get the scraps to people who may be able to use them faster then I can. I can add shelving. I do not have slanted walls like I thought I did. It is actually 5 X10. So, it is not as wide as I would like but I am hoping I can use the walls and shelving to my advantage.
    Happy Sewing

  20. #20
    Senior Member AnnieF's Avatar
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    Nikki, your question came at just the time I also needed some ideas. My husband and I are selling our 4 bedroom house and moving into a townhouse or apartment (we don't know which right now) but need to have our stuff sorted because we've lived in our house for 30 years and need everything painted and new carpeting installed before we can sell. I told my husband that 75% of the things we own will need to be sold, given away or trashed and am in the process of doing just that....it's an exhausting project. I thought he was the pack rat but no....it's me!! I'm moving along on the rest of the house but find I am having problems with my quilt studio. It's a 10X12 foot room with lots of stuff everywhere. I decided I'd start with getting the fabric I want to keep in a pile and I already have a place to give the fabric I don't want. Problem is: I'm a scrap quilter so have lots of fabric. It is a daunting job but I've been chipping away at it each day and actually see some progress. I have hope I can get it together in the next month so the painters can reach the inside of the closets. Good luck with your downsizing.
    Life is Good!!!

  21. #21
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    I read somewhere on here, that if you have a bathroom with a tub that you don't use it's a great place to store batting. I have a guest bathroom with a tub so I done just that and with the shower curtain closed you can't see what's behind it. When we downsized I lost 2000 square feet of house and thought I had gotten rid of enough stuff -- not quite so I am working on gradually going through stuff now.
    QuiltnLady1

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

  22. #22
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    I googled mini sewing spaces. Get a nice storage chest comfortable enough for you and use it for storage. Attach a cushion to the chest and put casters on the bottom so you can easily move about like a chair. Like a toy chest. A chest/bureau would be great for storage and can be utilized for an ironing station.

  23. #23
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    That definitely wouldn't work for me, 9x15 wasn't big enough, new room is 14x32, and I'm not sure IT'S big enough, but it will have to do, definitely much better than the 9x15.

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