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Thread: Share your best organizing tip!

  1. #1
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    Share your best organizing tip!

    Hi all,
    So, (sew?), please share one of your favorite organizing tips or strategies with us. And, if you are really feeling brave, one that may have felt flat.
    I haven't done this yet but I'm thinking of repurposing a tall, freestanding jewelry armoire to store sewing notions in, using each drawer for a different notion or type of tool.
    Happy Stitches!
    lots2do

  2. #2
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    Get lots of boxes, bins, bags and dump all your stash in to them... any which way, any size and any color. It doesn't work! I'm in a real mess!

  3. #3
    Junior Member Nerys's Avatar
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    From the grocery shop I have plastic lid clear screw top jars ( sold housing mini tomatoes) when empty I have one for each color of all the small items. They can be stacked so I have row of four and more on top. The top row are the colors I use most. Now I see what I have and is in easy reach.

  4. #4
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    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.Name:  image.jpeg
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Quiltlady330's Avatar
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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.Name:  image.jpeg
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    This is a very smart idea.

  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    A very simple organization strategy .... project boxes!

    One for each project, whether active .... or as I accumulate what I need for it.
    I keep adding fabrics, notions, pattern switch ideas embellishments etc. without discrimination.
    Once I am ready to work on the project I go through what's there and make decisions.
    Everything stays in there til the project is totally finished.
    Sure avoids the upset when I discover a fabric I used in stage one, has been used for something else,
    ...... and then later I want to use it again. OOPS!

    Same topic ...
    Worst decision ... different shapes and sizes of these boxes did not stack well.
    Best decision ... eliminating some, so that I have all the same and they maximize space best.
    Last edited by QuiltE; 06-01-2018 at 07:02 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Each machine gets its own Yazzii bag (or some other zipper pouch ) for its attachments. Each project gets its own Art Bin box. Since I don't have a dedicated sewing room (just one side of a multi-purpose one), things generally get put away or at least nicely consolidated for visual calmness... however a quilt in progress (being actually quilted) stays out and under the needle. I guess the key is keeping it all neat but still ready to go when that free moment happens.

  8. #8
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    Similar storage tips as mentioned above. Each sewing machine had it's own box for the extra feet. Needles are kept organized in a small plastic bin. Embroidery threads are organized on golf tees glued onto dry erase boards.

    I use a double stack tackle box for sewing notions by my machine.

    Fabric is re-folded and measured when I get it home. Attach a small sticky note with measurements on each piece.

    I keep a list of rulers, stabilizers, embroidery threads, and accuquilt dies on my phone/ipad. Easy to check at store to prevent duplicates.

    Embroidery designs are listed in alpha order by year. They on a separate hard drive in alpha order also. I keep a master notebook of all on-line designs purchased.

    Machine manuals are downloaded onto PC along with serial numbers.

  9. #9
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    Get rid of everything you don't like or use. Don't try to organize meaningless stuff. Pare it down first.

  10. #10
    DJ
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    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!

    I do find his motto is very helpful, though. When I decide to clean up the craftermath, it goes much more smoothly when I know exactly where everything goes. I try to do the craftermath control when I finish each project, but when I get more than one project going at a time, it can be chaotic.

    I also try to keep fabrics together that I intend to make a quilt or something with, but often end up raiding it when I need something for my current project. It's okay, though, because those fabric collections are often ones I gathered up from the sale table.

  11. #11
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    put it away

  12. #12
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    The biggest help for me are the plastic drawers on wheels ( they don't have to have wheels because I don't move them. It's 18 inches wide, 2 small drawers and 2 deep ones. Cutters, blades, small scissors, needles etc on top drawer, screw drivers, large scissors and other tools 2nd drawer. Cone thread in the 2 deep drawers.

    Another big helper is a slotted wood ruler holder that sits on the end of my sewing desk, it liens on the wall, I love having the different size rulers handy.

    A copy of my pantos in a binder, rather than unrolling and showing to customers.

  13. #13
    Super Member QuiltnLady1's Avatar
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    I save the internet patterns I download by type (star, Christmas, Halloween, log cabin, scrappy, etc). When I print out a pattern I put it in sheet protectors and keep it with the fabric for the project.

    I have the plastic drawers that roll around that have the small drawers that I use to put my thread in -- sorting it by color and type. I went to Dollar tree and bought some small baskets that fit in the drawers to the thread does not roll around.

    I tie lengths of selvedges on the handles of my scissors and rotary cutters so I can hang them on peg board hooks without them crowding each other -- and I hang the larger rulers on the pegboard hooks. I put my small rulers on the binder rings that you can get at an office supply store. I then hang the ring on peg board hooks.
    QuiltnLady1

    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

  14. #14
    Super Member cathylynn's Avatar
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    "Everything is someplace." Love that DJ! I spent several days last fall sorting / organizing everything into bins / boxes already owned. Now when I finish a project I spend about 15 minutes putting everything back where it belongs. I cut small scraps into 5' squares and refold larger scraps and place both in their proper containers. Makes it so much easier when it's time for the next project to begin.

  15. #15
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    My Best Tip: I use command hooks attached to the inside and outside of cabinets to store my rulers. I also use command hooks to hang my embroidery hoops on the wall behind the door to my sewing room. I use the little metal ones that hold 1/2 lb. just the right size and a couple of them hold multiple rulers.
    Like RhondaK, I keep lists of my rulers, owners manuals, embroidery stabilizers, and things needed for a project . I store them on my computer and in Dropbox and can access them wherever I am on my phone.

  16. #16
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    DJ, I love your term “craftermath!” It describes the chaos I create after working on my various crafts. I think this term should be added to our lexicons. Thanks for my early morning chuckle!

  17. #17
    Super Member mandyrose's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=DJ;8068891]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
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way.
    Virginia Woolf

  18. #18
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    Like QuiltE, I have purchased project boxes (scrapbooking size) from Michael’s when they’ve been on sale 3/$10. I store blocks and notions in each. For example, I have one with my Jen Kingwell Longtime gone I am doing with a modern guild and I also have one that has an embroidery project, etc.

    I also keep an extra sewing caddy/tote ready to take to a sewing group or class. It contains all the necessary sewing notions, seam ripper, scissors, machine needles, rotary cutter, small ruler, fabric marker, bobbins, neutral thread, etc.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  19. #19
    Super Member Watson's Avatar
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    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

  20. #20
    Super Member JENNR8R's Avatar
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    My office was giving away some lateral files. I stacked two of them in a closet with bi-fold doors and folded my fabric to fit inside. Each drawer pulls out, and it's really easy to go through my fabrics now.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  21. #21
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    Thread is stored in plastic shoe boxes by color on an open shelf. I’ve inherited plenty from Mom and Grandma and I’m using it every day so the supply is shrinking. Plastic bags of lace, trim and elastic are in drawers of an old lingerie chest. Old elastic makes good rubber bands of all sizes that won’t desinigrate.

  22. #22
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    I love the plastic storage boxes for shoes. They stack in areas underneath my tables and fit in some inexpensive book shelves. I like to pull out the boxes and use them at my sewing or cutting table then return them to their place. These only cost about a $1 from WalMart. They are flexible, clean and inexpensive.
    "The great doing of little things makes the great life." Eugena Price

  23. #23
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    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.
    Suz in Iowa
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  24. #24
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    Don't get too much stuff in the first place! says the person that did!

  25. #25
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    I use plastic bins for larger yardage of fabric. I also have two dresser for fabric, focus and contrast and pattern all rolled together. One dresser is fat quarters, only. A separate small dresser is for all the notions, threads, scissors, templates. Needles are sorted by type, hand sewing or machine, in small thins as are the various pins with a printed lable. No fabric is stored in this dresser. Closet is for extra sewing machines, each in its own storage container. Books and binders are there too. Magazines, which I am paring down are in boxes by kind. It is always a work in progress, keeping it clean and organized.

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