Thursday, January 4, 2018

Organizing the Sewing Room

Hello and happy Thursday! As I mentioned the other day, I've been spending a lot of time in my sewing room this week; however, not very much of it has been spent sewing!  I normally clean and organize in-between Christmas and New Years, but this year we had a family wedding to attend out of town during that time, so the cleaning got pushed back!

Anyway, even though I'm not quite finished, I thought you might want to see a

few progress photos and hear a little bit about how I'm organizing things.

A few years ago I purchased my first Elfa drawer unit from the Container Store. It's easy to design the perfect system for your space on-line--you can choose the height and width of your unit and customize it as needed with drawers of different depths.  This year I purchased two more units (all Elfa products are on sale for 30% off during the month of January, so this is the time to buy)! Elfa storage units can be shipped (you assemble at home), or you can pick everything up in the store if you have a location nearby.

I never added labels to the first drawer unit I purchased a few years ago, but now I'm adding them to each drawer.  They are so helpful! Additionally, they are easy to change out if you move or rearrange the contents in a drawer.

This drawer is labeled "Scrappy Works in Progress." I really love scrappy, so I might need to have two of these drawers soon!

I can't share what is in the "Next to Finish" drawer because it's top secret for now.  But my "On the Plus Side" quilt occupies the drawer right below it! I love the mesh drawers for their breath-ability. I still keep project boxes on hand for traveling, but keeping things in these easy-to-access drawers is sure nice!

One drawer has already quilted Soft & Stable along with some pot holders that are cut out but need quilting.

The Christmas fabrics I sewed with this fall are in the Christmas drawer.  Confession: I'm not ready to stop sewing Christmas things yet!

Here is a list of the drawer labels I've used so far:
  • Next to Finish
  • Current Project
  • Scrappy WIP's
  • Soft & Stable Projects
  • Christmas
  • Borders and backings
  • Works in Progress (x5)
  • Aurifil
  • Stabilizers and Interfacings
  • Orphan Blocks
  • Sewing Kits and Project Bags
I'll have to snap a picture of the last one listed and share with you on my next update--I was pretty happy to think about storing my binding kit, Clover Wonder Clip bag, and Sew Together bags along with project bags in an easy to access drawer.  Some of the project bags are empty while others have hexagons and other handwork projects I can take to work on anywhere.  It's so nice to be able to easily access all of these!

While organizing I realized that coming up with great label titles is half of the battle here.  You want to be able to easily find and access what is in each drawer, and the labels make such a difference. I have quite a few projects in the Works in Progress drawers that I expect to finish soon; however, when I put new projects in those drawers I may change the label to more specifically name the project.

One more thing that I should mention today...I really feel like it is so very important to empty everything out of a space before reorganizing it.  I didn't want to take the extra time to do this (believe me, I have sewing things in the hall way and in a spare bedroom right now), but it really has made a huge difference.  Having something out of a space really makes you think about where you want to put it...or if you even want to keep it at all! (Check out my Cleaning and Organizing your Sewing Space series for more ideas).

I'll be back tomorrow with a fun contest for you for this month and on Saturday with the next edition of the Saturday Seven!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Chelle (Dana) said...

Thanks so much for sharing your organizing tips! I've been trying to figure out a way to organize my projects and be able to work on multiple things. You've given me some wonderful ideas. Look forward to seeing what's next.

Hildy said...

Thank you so much for your tips! I hope I can clean my sewing space this weekend.

Jeanna said...

I love that Elfa system! I agree, it does make it easier to sort, purge and reorganize when everything is out of the room. My daughter graduated college just before Christmas so I didn't get to clean my sewing room either. This is very timely!

eleni_s said...

This was so helpful, thank you for sharing this post!! I never thought of using a storage system like this for my ufo's and quilting bits, I keep them in a plastic bin, one on top of the other, and I cannot really see them, I have to dive into the box every time. I love the "breathable" feeling of this system. Thank you again.

T Holzer said...

I wish I had that drawer system, Sherri. It would make things so much easier and more organized in my sewing room. Right now, my WIPs are all on my sewing table in their own little area and its just a mess because I have three quilts on the go! I'm usually a one quilt at a time girl, but I'm on a mission to use up some of my scraps and one thing led to another! Have a great day!

eramysmom said...

One question about your elfa drawers (which I love by the way), how wide are they? I will be checking them out to see if they will fit under my cutting table. Your room looks amazing.

Monica said...

It's nice to see (not just hear) others ideas/plans and the cabinets are perfect for organizing. I use chalkboard labels for identifying some of my drawers/wicker baskets, etc. I have things sorted seasonally in a few areas and one full area for Christmas "to do" gifts and projects for me. Seems we do spend a lot of time organizing..and then reorganizing..and then rearranging-doesn't it? lol

Michele said...

I love that drawer system! The mesh drawers are wonderful for fabric. What a great idea!

Rosemary B❤️ said...

As I start another project (bc I am saving the hand sewing for doctor visits for myself or my daddy) I am also finding, digging and trying to organize the chaos.
These drawers are a marvelous idea.
I read a blog a couple of days ago.... this quilter had a professional bakers rack and had her projects filed in there. I thought that was a cool idea. We have a "restaurant supply store" right down the road (I just noticed it) and maybe I will make a quick trip over there... see if they can give me a deal since I am nice.
Happy New Year.

Bella Pink said...

People: IKEA has a system titled ALGOT which has similar stacking mesh baskets which cost less than the Elfa systems. I love the Elfa but have added some ALGOT into the mix!

Gretchen Weaver said...

Your system looks very nice. It's more fun to sew in an organized room. Happy stitching in 2018.

Carla said...

I need to do more organizing but at this time it will have to wait until my new quilt room is ready. Which will be 6-8 months from now but I know it's gonna happen. LOL Can't wait. So for now I'll live with semi organized and cluttered.

Eloise said...

I am so happy!! Been wondering how to store all my projects. I went down to the Container Store and bought a stack of drawers. I think Ill buy a set every year when they are 30% off. My hubby was impressed and may even start on some of our closets. Thank you!

OPQuilt said...

I love all your organizing tips, even if only to be a voyeur on how a sewing room should look! Thanks for sharing all these posts on organization!

Donna Cutting said...

Wonderful drawers, I just bought plastic ones, wish I had seen your ideas first. I am organizing my sewing room. Yes you do have to nearly empty the room. Thanks for sharing your tips. Our sewing rooms are a very special place where we create so many treasures. I think I will add a special area to put crafts and toys, dolls(with extra clothes) for my granddaughter.

margot said...

I love elfa and have converted all of our closets to this system over time. Being able to reconfigure as our kids grew into adults was a huge benefit. I have 3 tall shelving units in my craft closet. The one thing I did last year that ended up being a lifesaver this year is that I put all of the units on casters. We replaced our upstairs carpeting a couple of weeks ago and being able to wheel these units, packed with my crafting supplies, from room to room was a breeze!

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