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Thread: Suggestion to organize this?

  1. #1
    Super Member QuilterMomma's Avatar
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    Suggestion to organize this?

    This only one section. I have much more on other side in cupboards. How best to tackle this so it is not so overwhelming.
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    Life is short, live it while you still can. QuilterMomma

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    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    Just jump in!LOL My DH says just send it all to us for safe keeping.
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  3. #3
    Super Member drivingsusan's Avatar
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    W e l l.....first you can get pants hangers for your hanging quilt tops.....many tops will hang on just 1 hanger & at Walmart they are 2 for $2 something!!
    That is the easy part....but a good start!!
    I would start separate piles for all that fabric....one pile for each color. This is going to take time so do it is small bunches of time!! Just piles, sorted will give you such a great idea of what you really have!!!
    Then.....fold each pile neatly (I ruler fold all my larger pcs,). Now you have stacks of fabric where the piles were!!! Accomplishment feels soooo good at every step!!!!
    You can then store them according to color or style in tubs,dresser drawer, bookcases or what I have done is watch craigslist for curio cabinets and as my stash grows I squeeze in another cabinet!!!! (have totally run out of space for another!!!)
    Good luck with your organization...mine took about 3 weeks 3 years ago and I am so happy I did it!!!
    Last edited by drivingsusan; 09-13-2013 at 07:56 AM.
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  4. #4
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    I too like the hangers with little clips for WIP and small completed things like place mats and table runners. I would start with putting my fabric on mini bolts. If you prefer ruler folding, then organize your fabric into colour piles. ( I do leave collections together though. ) Once you have a good size pile of 1 colour, fold that up and then you can say, " the blues are done". Take a break and do another colour later and/or do another colour tomorrow and so on. You can do this, get cracking!

  5. #5
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    I would take a deep breath and then set the timer for 30 minutes after getting these items. Some items I would need are the following: 2 Gallon and 1 Gallon ZipLock bags, clear shoe boxes, velvet flocked pant hangers (I use a flocked 4 pant hanger for completed tops waiting to go to quilter), index cards, pens or pencils and a few larger totes or even brown paper bags (I like sorting in them because they stand on their own and even if you leave them out- they still look organized if labeled). Once done with the paper bags, fold flat and use for patterns or another sorting session. Next hang all finished tops with binding/backing on a hanger. The flocked hangers or even wooden pant hangers are strong enough to hold the top and binding fabric. Label index card and poke hole so you can put on top of the hanger. Next stand up a few brown paper bags and label "scraps", "patterns", "misc", "quilt for XXX", "DONATE or SHARE" ... Then empty just one of your bag/box and sort (if you need to label more brown paper bags, do so). Do this until timer goes off then take a 10 minute break and head back in for another 30 minute session. For fabric pieces, I ruler fold and sort by color, batiks, or by holiday/civil war/1930s and even by line. Over the course of a few weeks, you can conquer this. Please keep us posted.
    Last edited by AUQuilter; 09-13-2013 at 08:05 AM.

  6. #6
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    What clear containers you already have scraps/material in set off to the side. Use an industrial marker to label contents. I see batting, fold, roll, and use sticky notes or scraps of paper to label type of batting and approx. size. If any empty cardboard boxes toss aside. Any quilted material like in the upper left corner on the pile, put that in a separate pile. You can use one of the empty cardboard boxes (if big enough) to throw your books and magazines in (mark it mags & books). Another thing mark the boxes so you can read it! You can start by making piles, 1 for novelty, containers for holidays, then separate colors. Don't just toss to this pile and that pile. Fold as you go. Also TAKE A BREAK! You don't have to do this all in one day, That would be nerve racking. Watching some of the YouTube videos may help on organization. You don't have to spend a lot of money on organization just be sure you are able to see what you have. A friend of mine uses shoebags to hang on her door. She keeps many of her quilting patterns in them. Any dresser drawers you don't use are good for what you don't use too often. Good luck!

  7. #7
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    You can also go through some of the past video on organization on the board and see what works for you.

  8. #8
    Super Member sewmom's Avatar
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    Just tackle one thing at a time. When my girls were little, their room looked like this. Yikes! I would start by throwing all the clothes on a made bed.then made piles of toys, stuffed toys etc, in your room, i would sort by colors, then sub- sort(is that a word?) into scraps, yardage, FQ etc. then you could finish one color at a time. Have containers nearby for different things, hang everything you can. Break it up into smaller jobs and it won't seem so overwhelming. Good luck.
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  9. #9
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    Oh, QuilterMomma, I would LOVE to be there to help you. I really like to organize things, especially sewing rooms! You asked how to start.

    First, get a big glass of water and then set a timer for 15 minutes.

    Looking at just that area pictured, take everything out and put it in the hall or spare bed --somewhere close that you're not tripping over and it. Don't try to organize anything, just pull it out and empty that space for now. Seeing a huge expanse of free space will make you SMILE and start helping you feel NOT overwhelmed. It will also force you not to keep anything/put anything back that you don't need or love.

    After 15 minutes, set your timer for 5 minutes and gather 4 things: 1 BIG trash can , biggest you can find. 1 for giveaway/sell, 1 for keep, 1 for CAN'T decide (unless you are very decisive). The idea is to make quick decisions, don't overthink.

    Set your timer for 25 more minutes. Sort your fabrics into color piles. Do it FAST. Don't pet your fabric, don't wax nostalgic, don't plan your next quilt, don't overthink, don't grab fabric from the other side of the room. Focus on this area we see in the picture, It's enough for now. Just sort fabric by color as fast as you can.

    In the time remaining, fold in a ROYGBIV'ly way. Reds, Oranges, Yellows, etc. I love the ruler method I saw on youtube. Makes everything look as neat as quilt shop stash> . When you hear the timer, stop! Breathe. Take another big drink of water. Admire your progress.

    That was 45 minutes. I am only good for 45 when I'm overwhelme
    d. I can ruler fold fabric in front the of the TV because it's mindless. But if you find you're just moving piles around and not getting rid of anything, you need to stop.

    Think how much fun we, your QB friends, will have looking at your progress (DO take pictures as you go!) and then at shopping your stash when (not if) you decide to offer it up to us!!

    You can do this. 45 minutes. 4 Boxes. Attitude and clothes on. GO!

  10. #10
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    I meant your "giveaway/sell" pile as "stash" for us

  11. #11
    Senior Member asimplelife's Avatar
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    I easily get overwhelmed with where & how to start. What works for me is take one pile, bag or bin at a time. Put like things with like (notions, fabric, scraps, blocks quilt tops, books). If you have time - do another one.

    Once everything is sorted and grouped then it's time to start making decisions as to how it will work best to organize and store each group. Where to put it, how to organize it and what to put it in? I find this to be the fun part. Again work on it in sections time & energy permitting. Fabric takes a long time to organize but having it done is a wonderful thing!

    You can do it!

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    Get a book case, cut out cardboard pieces so they will fit the verticle and depth dimensions of the bookcase. Use on piece of cardboard for each piece of fabric big enough to fit around the cardboard and pin the fabric in place after wrapping it up. Put small pieces in a plastic tub container. All your fabrics will be visible, you can arrange them by color so it looks like a rainbow. It sounds fun I want to come over and help you. Also you can get those hanging shelves made of thick fabric at Walmart, meant to put sweaters in, well I would fold up your quilts and batting and put in those pockets, they come in several sizes. Make sure you get a bookcase big enough for all your fabrics. I don't have a place for a bookcase so I have one of those plastic drawer rolling carts in the closet. I don't like it because it leans from the weight of the fabric and the drawers are super hard to get back in, my husband has to do it for me, and I can't move the closet sliding door to open the other side of the closet until the drawers have been pushed back in. Those hanging shelves might not be too hard to make??? they velcro to a hanger rod. The biggest expense will be the bookcase, but I would get a nice quality one and bolt it to the wall to be safe because the fabric is very heavy. I would get a tall one if possible with large space shelves, a tall one definitely needs to be screwed into the wall. My husband made a hole on the top shelf, on the back against the wall, try and find a stud to bolt into. Good luck and God bless you.
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  13. #13
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Just ...... s.t.a.r.t!
    Set the timer for 15 minutes, and allow yourself to stop after that if you wish.

    Keep up the timer setting ... soon you will find that you will take less breaks as you will be anxious to continue to see more progress.
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    MY advice--it's simple. Just one piece at a time. Put like things together, then determine what kind of storage will work best for those objects. I've been working on mine for the last few days. Thankfully, I'm almost done. Good Luck. You can do it. Vonda
    Vonda-Texas MiMi of 4 Beautiful Grandbabies

  15. #15
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    Plastic bins are a wonderful thing. They stack and some you can see through to see what is in them.
    Separate out the need to be quilted finished tops to one (along with the backings, bought all project fabrics that are ready to be done together with the pattern in a bag together and in a plastic bin, organize small pieces of fabric by color in a three drawer plastic container (walmart) , large pieces together by color.
    RedGarnet222

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  16. #16
    Super Member Nanny's dollface's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zozee View Post
    Oh, QuilterMomma, I would LOVE to be there to help you. I really like to organize things, especially sewing rooms! You asked how to start.

    First, get a big glass of water and then set a timer for 15 minutes.

    Looking at just that area pictured, take everything out and put it in the hall or spare bed --somewhere close that you're not tripping over and it. Don't try to organize anything, just pull it out and empty that space for now. Seeing a huge expanse of free space will make you SMILE and start helping you feel NOT overwhelmed. It will also force you not to keep anything/put anything back that you don't need or love.

    After 15 minutes, set your timer for 5 minutes and gather 4 things: 1 BIG trash can , biggest you can find. 1 for giveaway/sell, 1 for keep, 1 for CAN'T decide (unless you are very decisive). The idea is to make quick decisions, don't overthink.

    Set your timer for 25 more minutes. Sort your fabrics into color piles. Do it FAST. Don't pet your fabric, don't wax nostalgic, don't plan your next quilt, don't overthink, don't grab fabric from the other side of the room. Focus on this area we see in the picture, It's enough for now. Just sort fabric by color as fast as you can.

    In the time remaining, fold in a ROYGBIV'ly way. Reds, Oranges, Yellows, etc. I love the ruler method I saw on youtube. Makes everything look as neat as quilt shop stash> . When you hear the timer, stop! Breathe. Take another big drink of water. Admire your progress.

    That was 45 minutes. I am only good for 45 when I'm overwhelme
    d. I can ruler fold fabric in front the of the TV because it's mindless. But if you find you're just moving piles around and not getting rid of anything, you need to stop.

    Think how much fun we, your QB friends, will have looking at your progress (DO take pictures as you go!) and then at shopping your stash when (not if) you decide to offer it up to us!!

    You can do this. 45 minutes. 4 Boxes. Attitude and clothes on. GO!


    This is great advice for any major organizing task! Thank-you for providing some structure to achieve success!

  17. #17
    Junior Member Toni-in-Texas's Avatar
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    All of the above hints are great, especially the timer. But I like to have music that I can sing along with. And please be careful with the fabric on the floor, there may be spiders.

  18. #18
    Senior Member lildinks2013's Avatar
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    HOLY MOLEY THATS ALOT OF FABS.! Well if it were me, take advice from some of the experts on this site. There are some great ideas. I would just dig in and start at one corner and work my way thru. Good luck.

  19. #19
    Super Member SewExtremeSeams's Avatar
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    Zozee, great ideas! I bought some big clear plastic bins to dump everything into to 'get out' of my sewing room. I can't think inside all of the clutter. I need that room empty, including wrong type and size of furniture and a broken chair. Now... to begin!

    Linda

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  20. #20
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    If I knew how to organize it, my room wouldn't look the same as yours! And it does!!!!!!
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  21. #21
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    get your bestest girlfriend and a bottle of wine ......jump right in ....

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    Yep, that is what my sewing room looks like! This is my reason for sewing on the dinning room table.

    Sorry, I don't have ideas for you but I do have empathy.
    Quilter 68 who is now 69/and now 70

  23. #23
    Senior Member Letty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuilterMomma View Post
    This only one section. I have much more on other side in cupboards. How best to tackle this so it is not so overwhelming.
    Turn the fan on ??!! Or maybe that's what you already did----sorry, only joking,my room often looks like that ! Love Letty

  24. #24
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    I too like the hangers with little clips for WIP and small completed things like place mats and table runners. I would start with putting my fabric on mini bolts. If you prefer ruler folding, then organize your fabric into colour piles. ( I do leave collections together though. ) Once you have a good size pile of 1 colour, fold that up and then you can say, " the blues are done". Take a break and do another colour later and/or do another colour tomorrow and so on. You can do this, get cracking!
    This sounds like a excellent plan!!!

  25. #25
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    If you have the space I would take everything to another room. Maybe set up a few tables or use a bed to put the stuff on. Then you will have an empty room, that will help when you put the stuff back in. Then sort into piles by colors and/or size. Fold the larger pieces, roll up or fold the batting. The completed projects or WIP's could either be folded or hung on sturdy hangers. After the sorting, folding and hanging is completed then go out and buy the appropriate size bins and hangers for your stuff. Also shelving or storage units that fit the room if you need those. Get plastic bins that you can stack and see thru. Put a strip of blue painters tape on the ends of the bins and label them. Then put it all back in the room so it is accessible to you. If you can reach it, and see what's inside the bins you are likely to keep things organized and put stuff away.

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