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Thread: Organizing misc. things?

  1. #26
    Member kyrose's Avatar
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    Organizers

    Check out other places for neat ways to organize your stuff such as Walmart hardware dept. The large flat clear box I have contains small boxes that allows me to organize my machine feet. Each one in it own box by foot number. This came from Walmart's Hardware dept. I have a matching tool box that I use to carry what I need to the Guild sewing events. Both are purple and white and were Christmas presents. Hey they asked me what I wanted. Lowes and Harbor Freight are also a couple of sources. I use the plastic shoe boxes from the Dollar General to sort my smaller pieces of fabric by color. And I use the boxes to keep projects together.

    For my collection of buttons (I also have my mother's) I use small cute jars and sort by size. You can spray paint the tops to match you sewing room or cover them with bits of fabric.

    To organize my magazines, I use organizers from the stationery dept. You can make these from cereal boxes. To organize small books and mags I make organizers from pancake mix boxes. I cut them to look like the mag organiers and use spray glue and wallpaper to cover them. I found a wooden file cabinet at Goodwill for $9 to keep papers and patterns I got off the net.

    And to top it off, I plan to make the wall organizer I saw on an eralier post of this thread. This would be great hanging over my machine.

  2. #27
    Junior Member sjdal's Avatar
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    Love your idea of sorting by color. I'll put that to use.

  3. #28
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    One of the recommendations for kitchen storage is to store/file the item at the point of first use. This method could work in the sewing room/studio as well. For example, if you have a pressing cloth you would store it near your iron which is where it would first be needed.

    For those longer design thingies like 12" rulers and bias bars, I store mine near my sewing machine in a tall square vase (about 4" square x 10" tall) found at a thrift store. It's plastic so I'm not worried about it breaking if it tips over, but glass would be nice too--you can see through it and know what's in it at a glance. This has turned out to be one of my better storage ideas for my studio.

  4. #29
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    I use a shoe organizer than hangs on the back of my door for lots of stuff. Got it at the dollar store. I'm still organizing stuff. Think it is an ongoing process...at least for this quilter.
    If you don't work on it you'll never finish it.

  5. #30
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Such great ideas here!

    Linda

    Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.
    [John Newton (1725-1807)]

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  6. #31
    Senior Member cny_sewer39's Avatar
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    I have a cutting table that is opened all the way. Underneath on one side is a cabinet that has all Quilting related items in it. The cabinet on the opposite side is for all things ironing related. (Ex. irons, water bottles, bias tape maker machine and tips. I also have 2 four drawer tackle boxes (in a seperate cabinet) for all of the "little things". You can see some of it in my avatar. Good Luck.

    Have a blessed day.

    debra
    cny_sewer39

    Sew Much Fabric, Sew Little Time...

  7. #32
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    I love the Closet Maid line of storage found at Target. The small "hutch" with the fabric drawers came from there. The hutch is around $15 and the fabric drawers are 2/$5.99 if I recall. I have one of these on my home office desk. Now I just need to make luggage tags for identifying what each drawer holds. YOu can use the hutch "as is" for storing FQ's, etc...It is not very deep.

    sandy
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  8. #33
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I love the little plastic drawers, they hold so much.
    Also love peg boards.
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  9. #34
    Junior Member homebody323's Avatar
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    I keep those rolling carts you have all talked about and use the two top drawers of one for tools and parts for my machines, another cart is for all those cute things for holidays, like valentines day trims and such, halloween, one drawer is for leather type ties and attachments(I forget what they are). Shoeboxes (clear plastic ones ) are for zippers. Each box holdes a different length. Things that are like booklets, charts etc go on the shelving unit i have. That pressing thing for applique goes in a open top plastic filing box i have near the ironing board and in that box is also my holder for knitting needles and crochet hooks. I mostly group things near where I will be using them. My templates for the longarm are in a rolling cart under the machine. You will figure out what works for you, just give yourself some time. if you are really anal about this organizing thing. I started a data base once (didn't follow through) that lists the item and where I stored it. Thought it would help me find things in a hurry. I just numbered all those plastic drawers. I've moved twice since so there went that plan. Now I just spend 30% of my time searching for things like the rest of the world.
    Sally Dolin
    Rock Island, IL

  10. #35
    Super Member champagnebubbles's Avatar
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    I like the hanging shoe rack. I will be using that idea. Thanks!!
    Nana of 1 E and 2 G's

  11. #36
    Senior Member Prissnboot's Avatar
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    Does no one else have a junk drawer?
    She looks for wool and flax And works with her hands in delight.

  12. #37
    Super Member fleurdelisquilts.com's Avatar
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    Red face

    Oh, I love this post. I'm a librarian who loves to organize! I can give a few tips. At least I can tell you what I do, right?

    I have several systems made of drawers, boxes, glass jars....whatever I can get cheap and can label. I use one system for misc. stuff, one for precuts, one for notions and so on. The easiest way to describe it is to say the more often I use something, the closer to my sewing table it gets to live; which means the less often something is used the farther away it is stored.

    Most important tip: label every box, drawer, bag, etc. in letters large enough for an old person to read (cause you'll be old and half blind before you're ready). Also important: put stuff where it belongs (cause if you don't you'll have to clean every week or so. Ask me how I know.)

    A "system" is any storage set (drawers, boxes, bags, etc.) that stay together. Most of my systems have the same type of storage but in different sizes; such as small drawers on top, medium drawers in the middle; large drawers on the bottom. (Stacking as much as possible to save floor space.) Some systems have the same type, size, color so that they match.

    I decide where it goes first by how often it's used, then by how much space it takes, then by whether it needs to be with (or separated from) other like items. Let's take buttons....I have lots and lots, they are used very often, they are in sets and singles, they could easily be separated from other sewing notions. Buttons are stored in small tackle boxes that can be arranged in multiple ways. I have 7-8 of these boxes: whites, darks, pastels, brights, metals, etc. I also have vintage buttons from my late mom that I keep separated so they aren't used on a whim. Those are in clear glass jars on a shelf (sort of part of the decor).

    Seldom used tools go in the drawer with the items they are for. IE the pliers to put in snaps go with the snaps. One drawer is specific for "guy tools"--hammer, cutters, screw drivers, etc. plus nails, screws, picture hangers, etc. that I don't need often but I don't want to have to go to hubby's shed to search for days either. PS on tools: my guys would never touch them: 1) the tools are small (girl sized) and 2) the guys are afraid of me. :-)

    If you're lucky enough to have wall space, add shelves above a system with baskets or jars (forget fancy expensive ones, go to the dollar store and buy cheap ones--they hold stuff! If you hit a sale, buy lots of the same color and size. They will look good together, and when labeled, they'll do their jobs just as well as expensive ones would.) Again, label!

    I use a basket system for notions: bias tape and bias maker, ribbon and fray block, elastic and bodkins, zippers and zipper foot. My reasoning is that when I need the item, I need the tool; they're together, so I can grab both at the same time or just take the basket. If something takes two baskets, I either use a larger one or separate but the info goes on the label. Zippers are labeled neutrals and colors. Plus the baskets are kept together but the neutrals are used more often so it's on top or in front of the stack.

    Cover cardboard boxes in the same gift wrap and label for patterns and magazines. I also have binders for patterns I've designed and for articles, etc. that I've printed from the web. Everything is in sleeves and, yes, labeled.

    I use a peg board for thread sorted by color. I keep only the items that I used every day near my sewing machines or on the work table. I also understand that organizing is a work-in-progress. Editing and adding are part of that process and getting messy is part of creating, so it's a symbiotic relationship. lol Sorry, I may have overdone it!!!

  13. #38
    Super Member Phannie1's Avatar
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    About the time I get organized is when I start to lose things. I know where I kept them before I "put them away." I am the only one that uses what I have so I do better to leave them where I put them in the first place. (I am kind of a creature of habit.) I do have places for fabrics and threads and then a place for all sewing machine parts. Projects is what I have sitting everywhere. They are in baskets that get suffled all over the place. Their are on the bed till I need it for company or designing. then they get shffled to the cutting table and then back again....Maybe a hutch would be good.

  14. #39
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    i have 2 spaces in my sewing room that have all my pretty special touchstone things from the rest of my life. They are out of the way, but easy for me to see. Family pics, great grandmothers wedding ring, a sea urchin shell that I found 40 years ago with my first crush on a beach, childhood gifts, and a jar of fairy dust from disney land I bought 15 years ago. I could go on and on. Keeps me grounded

  15. #40
    Senior Member wichypoo's Avatar
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    Wow, some great suggestions, and well, I've tried some of them. I could use a little OCD about right now.!
    I have a peg board but it hasn't been hung up yet. I have a few cup hook (large ones) hooked to my wall
    next to my machine ,holding rulers and templates. I am giving away most of my shoes and will use my shoe
    organizer....keep up your genius ideas.... I need all the help I can get.
    thanks for the sharing.
    Karen

    Finished is always better than PERFECT!!!!

  16. #41
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    My favorite newest storage item is this. It is a drawer from an old treadle cabinet. I got it at a garage sale filled with empty wooden spools for $3. I have all my different scissors and rotary cutters in it. It sits on my sewing table. I used to have all of them in a skinny drawer and I would always have to dig and dig because whatever I wanted was always at the bottom.
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  17. #42
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    A crafty friend of mine put her supplies in the little plastic boxes and labeled each one - wiggly eyes, pom poms, feathers, buttons, patriotic, jingle bells, hooks & eyes, snaps, grommets, etc. She used the shoe box size for projects.

    I use various size ziploc bags for all sorts of organizing.
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    Just discovered I qualify for FABLE (Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy)

  18. #43
    Super Member DebbE's Avatar
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    I use the metal (or heavy plastic) cabinets that are made for nuts and bolts. I have 3 smaller ones that I put safety pins in (use 2 for those), misc tiny trims, zipper heads, etc...and its really handy. I could attach those to the wall if I wanted to (they are sturdy) but don't have much wall space. I use the clear plastic shoeboxes for others: doll clothes supplies, zippers, elastics, the polyester threads that I use to make clothes that I bought eons ago, glue gun & glues, etc. Those are stored overhead, and if I need one I use a small stepstool I keep in the room. I use every inch of space possible.

  19. #44
    Super Member quiltjoey's Avatar
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    I have found that I organize, reorganize, organize, reorganize, etc. and have decided that if I spent sewing instead of the time organizing, folding, moving, etc., I would accomplish more finished projects. I think all this "organizing" for me is a way to procrastinate or put off something, especially, if the project is not working just right. Sometimes, I think it is a time for me to reconnect with some of the beautiful fabrics I have like just to touch them and remember why I have them and what I was planning on doing with them when I bought them. I think it is also a way to "defrag" and get myself re-set... hope this makes sense... Oh, I need to finish organizing the 3 new book shelves I bought 2 weeks ago! Yikes!!

  20. #45
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    I have a basket on a shelf that holds misc. items like lace, elastic, measuring tape, rick rack, etc. Things I don't use much, but are there if I need them. In my sewing machine cabinet drawer I have granite cups and small granite pans that hold needles, extra rotary blades, thread, things I use all the time. A place for everything and everything in its place. I organize things according to how much I use them.

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