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Share your best organizing tip!

Share your best organizing tip!

Old 01-03-2019, 07:55 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Birmingham, Sweet Home Alabama
Posts: 473

For me, it's all about being able to see what I have. That means everything needs to be visible, but neat and orderly. Otherwise I have too many things hiding in plain sight. I have created several sewing spaces over the years and moves, and as my collection of garage sale, thrift store, and dumpster salvage storage pieces evolved, it began to look very cluttered and overwhelming. Nothing was the same size, the same color, the same style... But I didn't want to spend hard-earned money for fabric buying new organizing stuff. I eventually wound up painting every stick of furniture in my sewing room white. (Fortunately there were no valuable antiques or family heirlooms in the conglomerated jumble. That way at least the visual "background noise" is limited. What I see when I look around my PACKED sewing room is fabric neatly folded on shelves or in clear plastic bins, tools hanging on hooks, etc, not a jumble of different storage pieces.

The other thing I'm learning as I get older is to label EVERYTHING. Even if it's in a clear bin, unless I can see it from all sides, I forget what's in it. I list contents on a 3x5 card, then the card goes inside the front of the bin. Same goes for most of my plastic storage drawers. I've rearranged enough times that I sometimes forget where things are. And like some others have mentioned, I also have to store a few things under this desk, behind that bin, or on top of that armoire. I will put little sticky notes in likely places that tell me where the item I'm probably looking for can be found. Saves me time looking for stuff. The older I get, the less I feel like digging around all day looking for things, so the more little sticky notes I have.

It is probably high time I let go of some stuff, but I've had pieces of some fabric so long they seem like old friends, ya know? And then when my mother passed away a couple of years ago, I "inherited" some things from her that I know I will never use. One of them is a pair of scissors that is so old it is beyond repair. But in my mind's eye I can see those scissors in her hands. There is still part of an old green Dymo label with her name on it. You remember the kind that made the raised letters? That's how old I am. Those scissors hang on a hook by the door of my room. Every time I go in or out I see them and think of her and remember the fun (and aggravation) we had making things together.

And that little story brings me to my last "organizing" tip. Whether you sew in a tiny nook behind that fits behind the closet doors, or you have a dedicated, free-standing two-story studio, dedicate at least a little space to something that inspires you or just plain makes you happy.
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Old 01-04-2019, 10:23 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Southwest
Posts: 731

ScrapLady, you made me smile with your post. I too keep things that in my sewing room that remind me of others that have passed. I use my Dad's measuring tape thing (the kind that men use to measure stuff) to measure the quilts for borders and bindings. My brother-in-law's magnetic bowl to hold my pins. My Mom's wool pin cushion and the little hen pin cushion she made me. I love using them and ......remembering, just like you. I also have a huge bulletin board (office size that covers a wall).....it's just got little things that make me happy......a napkin from a place we ate dinner, a wedding announcement, cards from grandchildren, drawings from little nieces and nephews, scraps of fabric from a quilt I made, etc. So...my sewing room is definitely "my happy place".
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:23 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Mendocino Coast, CA
Posts: 4,269

Originally Posted by ube quilting View Post
personally, I like to see all my few tools. Don't like hiding things in drawers, they just get lost. My solution for a small space was this over the door storage hanger. I posted this a few weeks ago but will share it here too. It really is easy to keep stuff in its place when you are not the neatest or most organized quilter, like me.


Practical and beautiful too! I love it!

~ C
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Old 01-05-2019, 05:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 85

Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
Don't get too much stuff in the first place! says the person that did!
Where were you and your super advice 30 years when I first started accumulating all this stuff?
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:48 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Central Iowa
Posts: 2,313

spend more time on using the stuff and the fabric you want to organize have fun with it.
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