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Thread: Share your best organizing tip!

  1. #26
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    Five things that have helped me
    1) I always clean up, organize and put away after completing every project/before starting a new project. This keeps me more organized and a clean space to begin.
    2) I, too, try to purge once a year and get rid of "stuff" - I do this for my Scrapbook, Embroidery and Quilting hobbies
    3) I love the Sew Stack Tool Trays; I keep one next to my machine with all of my must needs AND
    I have one that I can fill and put in my carry all when I am going to a class. (I love the idea of a cookie sheet next to the machine - I am going to check to see how many Sew Stack Tool Trays I can fit on a small one -- Great Idea!
    4) For quilting, I use the plastic project bins to separate projects: patterns, materials, etc. (Hobby Lobby, Jo Ann's and/or Michaels).....Oh my, I just counted them - 14 waiting to be started....
    5) I also have my embroidery designs categorized. I have them on flash drives right now but have been told to get them on a disk.

    This has been a great thread from which to read and LEARN. Hope what I do helps someone.
    Last edited by Little Lulu; 06-02-2018 at 06:18 AM.

  2. #27
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Label Label Label!!!!!
    .............. and to do that use green painter's tape.
    It sticks for a long time and peels off without residue.
    Works well on plastic box ends as well as on fabric.

    Otherwise things get lost in all those stacked project boxes and totes.
    A quick glance and I know which is the one I want/need at the time,
    ... with less "hide and seek" required and less stacking and re-stacking.

    Plus makes shopping my stash much easier when I have the yardage marked on it.

    Moral of the story ... more sewing time!
    Last edited by QuiltE; 06-02-2018 at 06:44 AM.
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  3. #28
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    My best sewing tip: As much as I hate to say this but do you all remember hearing the words ‘put it back from wherever you got it!’ Oh how I hated to hear those words growing up. But guess what???!!! Believe it or not all that haunting screeching really works….who knew?!!!! I believe my best tip is to practice, practice, practice, good habits. (See all those ‘practices’….yeah….it took a while for them to sink in!) You will need to make a deliberate effort in putting things back where they belong because let’s face it, dropping those scissors, or glue sticks or seam ripper where ever there is a square inch of open table space is so easy!
    That is my best tip E V E R !!!

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snooze2978 View Post
    My best organizing tip is when I changed out my bookcases to freestanding shelves on the wall. My sewing room is in the basement and the prior owner had put the downspouts toward the house under the porch. Needless to say I didn't realize the water was seeping into the front wall where my bookcases full of fabrics were. When I moved them, that's when I found out. Now if it leaks (I've replaced all the downspouts and have them going in the correct direction away from the house) so if it leaks the shelves are up off the floors and the fabrics are safe. Also using those comic book boards are a great way to keep your fabrics folded up nicely.
    Downspouts directed to the house ! How brilliant ! (Sorry, I had to say it )

  5. #30
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    could you post a picture of golf tee/embroidery thread hold. Mind has gone blank.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I keep this cookie sheet to the right of my machine. I have recycled chocolate clear boxes to divide the areas and keep small things from moving. The best part is I can move the cookie sheet when necessary without having to move a million little things. I have my machine needles, extra bobbins, machine feet, straight pins and safety pins, special pens and marking tools etc.Attachment 595320
    You made me laugh, because when you said you 'had your chocolate' before I even finished reading the sentence, the first thing I thought was, "Great going, she has her chocolate right there for when she needs it." It is amazing how we sometimes get stuck on one word and our minds starts to fly and make up its own conclusion. Obviously, you had me at chocolate.

    By the way, I did finish reading the whole thread and you do have a great idea. Of course, I think adding chocolate would be an excellent idea.

  7. #32
    Senior Member mrs theo's Avatar
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    My pegboard hanging in my sewing room holds rulers, a thread rack, scissors, rotary cutters, etc.
    Barb

    No one can make you feel inferior unless you allow them to...Eleanor Roosevelt

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie8801 View Post
    could you post a picture of golf tee/embroidery thread hold. Mind has gone blank.
    Maggie, Not sure if you were asking me about storage but I will reply. Measure the drawer space. I use Elfa wire rack systems with single height baskets. The inside measurements are approx 18x 18.

    https://www.containerstore.com/s/elf...uctId=10014851

    H0me dep0t will cut the dry erase board to your measurements. Use a sharpie marker and start one inch in from edge. Mark dots 3 inches apart in a grid on the whole board. Just a light dot with the sharpie will do. Glue golf tees onto the board. I use hot glue g*un. Golf tees purchased are 2 3/4 inches and already painted white. Each of the boards (18x18) hold 81 spools of EMB thread (Exquisite, Floriani and brother). I did 5 drawers like this and it keeps the threads from shifting in the drawers.

    You can adjust the spacing of the golf tees as needed depending on thread spools. Someday, I will arrange the serger threads in a similar method.

    Hope that helps!

  9. #34
    Senior Member Crispy_Frog's Avatar
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    I have an over-the-door shoe holder with mesh pockets to store notions, fat quarters and precuts. The mesh is great so I can see what is in each pocket.

  10. #35
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    If you take it out and don't use it, put it back. All the organization in the world is useless if you don't do that.

    Unfortunately, I was born without the 'put it back' gene.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  11. #36
    Super Member tesspug's Avatar
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    Command hooks. If I can hang it I do. Rulers and templates by the cutting table. I crochet little bags to hold FQs. I call them wall pockets. Both side of the shelf unit has hooks for tools. At Camping World I bought a drawer unit for an RV silverware drawer. Put two under my cutting table and in go scissors and cutters/blades. https://www.campingworld.com/add-a-drawer
    I promise not to buy any more fabric until I see something I really like. Or it's on sale. Or I think it might match something.

  12. #37
    Senior Member Faintly Artistic's Avatar
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    When I cut all my scraps into useable sizes it was a tremendous help. Now I cut scraps during/after each project. If I am cutting a bunch of pieces and have little bits left, those get cut at the same time so I don't have to do it later. I never used my scraps until I cut and organized them.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by cathyvv View Post
    Unfortunately, I was born without the 'put it back' gene.
    I do get it in the room, just not back in the proper bin. DJ I think I need to hang this quote, it is so perfect for my house. Thank you all for the grins & the practical suggestions.

  14. #39
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    For my embroidery thread I bought the bamboo flatware trays at Ikea under the Variera name. I can lay my thread on its side so I can see the colors better. For the regular cotton thread I use the thread racks I bought at Joann's (I think). I had planned to use the golf tee idea mentioned above but the drawers don't come out all the way so I needed something I could remove and if necessary stack. I also see the colors so much easier. But it doesn't fit as many spools as it could if I had them all upright.

    My worst attempt was using the spice holder trays - too much work to get everything to fit the way I envisioned it should fit.
    Last edited by quiltingcandy; 06-02-2018 at 09:08 PM.

  15. #40
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    Years ago, when I was into machine knitting, I stuck 10 little suction hooks along the edge of the windowsill next to my machine. I then hung the numerous small tools etc needed for machine knitting on them. I was very pleased with myself for having such a good idea - the room I worked in was small, my tools were now organised and easy to find.

    I then went and took a bath.

    As Iím lying in the tub I could hear the sound of the tools falling onto the floor as the hooks detached themselves from the windowsill.

    When I finished in the bathroom I put the tools back in the pot they had been in originally and binned the hooks.

    Not such a good idea after all!

  16. #41
    Power Poster ube quilting's Avatar
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    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.

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

  17. #42
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    I hang quilt tops to be quilted on hangers in a closet where I store extra batting, project boxes, and my spare machine (I only have two - one to use, one as back up). Every time I open the closet I am reminded that I have quilts waiting to be quilted, and I eventually do quilt them. I try to cut my binding out after I finish a top, put it in a small bag, and hang it with the top.

  18. #43
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    I love your idea of re-purposing a jewelry armoire!

    I use the clear egg cartons for storing thread. The thread is covered up and safe from the dust but easily seen. You can stack 2-3 . I do use the hair elastics around each spool if needed to keep the thread from unrolling.

  19. #44
    Super Member WMUTeach's Avatar
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    My best organizing idea is to dump what you do not use. From time to time I get the "itch" reorganize and clean up the mess. What I always end up doing is getting rid of what I am not using. It may be cleaning out the books that that are primarily duplicate patterns of what I already have or those bargains or freebees that now with the light of reality shining, I know I will never use.

    Last week I went through about 10 binders that had downloaded and printed patterns, monthly patterns from my guild meetings, directions for mystery quilts and on and on. I put all of the downloaded patterns in ONE binder. I recycled those that I will NEVER make. Others I stapled pages together and I will take them to my guild meeting for others. If they don't want them, I'll recycle them. In the end my Farmer's Wife patterns are now in one binder with my check off list of finished blocks, one binder of future patterns, two of guild blocks and a pile of binders to give to good will.

    I have done the same with my stash. The itch comes floating by and I look for cuts that I know deep in my heart that I will never user because I so dislike it. Why keep it? Let someone else love it and use it.

    My final suggestion is to Stop fussing with organizing this and that and finish a project. Get it off the sewing table, out from under the pressure foot and out the door. The feeling of success when you finish a project is a endorphin buzz that is better than drugs! It works for me.

  20. #45
    Super Member juliea9967's Avatar
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    I use a Parmesan Cheese container for this same thing. I love it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Watson View Post
    I don't have a mess in my sewing room. I just have ideas lying everywhere.

    One small suggestion. Keep a little container next time you empty something little with a lid (I had a small plastic spice container) to put your used needles and rotary cutting blades in, anything sharp. That way , you always have them contained when you are done with them and when it's full you can throw the whole thing out.

    Watson

  21. #46
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=mandyrose;8069116]
    Quote Originally Posted by DJ View Post
    DH's motto is "A place for everything, and everything in it's place." I joke that my motto is "Everything is someplace." He doesn't think it's funny ... which makes it even funnier to me!

    LOL! thats funny
    I like that too. I usually say "A place for everything and everything in a place."
    Peace

  22. #47
    Senior Member dahlshouse's Avatar
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    Love all the ideas,
    I use a lot of pencil boxes all with labels on them for things like needles, markers, guides, rick rack, hand sewing things and small templates, etc. Comic boards are fantastic for keeping 3/4 yd or more fabric organized in bookcase. Also the 12 in sq totes.. for projects are fantastic...

  23. #48
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    Got it. Today I got it. Yesterday, I thought you were putting skeins of embroideree thread (like dmc) over the spools. Sometimes my mind is a scary place. Thanks for taking the time to explain.

  24. #49
    Super Member Tiggersmom's Avatar
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    Peg boards and hooks of different types. My DH just put up 2 more for me as I'm revamping my sewing room. I also added a clear over the door shoe type pocket where I've put my embroidery machine stabilizers. My other over the door one had various sewing/quilting items.
    I was also born without the "put it back in the right spot" gene........all my life has been frustrating.....I've tried and tried and tried again to change my ways. Too much 'stuff'=clutter and you can't organize clutter. I'm being selective but I'm purging as I go!!!!!! Yeah for me. . . .and some of my friends are getting blessed.
    Jennifer: Organized in my dreams.
    🌷RIP dear Tigger....you are missed!
    Buddybear's Mom ...Yorkie Fur Baby

  25. #50
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    I really learned a lot from y'all here.

    I'm the one who has boxes, etc., of fabric (both yardage and scraps) all mixed together. Every so often I try to purge and pass on stuff I will never use, but then I think, "Well, maybe one day, it will come in handy."

    I am in the process of doing better. I started cutting scraps into squares. Now I have tons and tons of 5" to 8" squares in dozens of plastic containers. I can see what I have and even have made 4 or 5 baby quilts already from the
    squares.

    I m using a few other ideas from this thread also.

    So, thank you for your help!!

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