Hello and happy Wednesday! Wednesday is typically my work in progress day, but in the month of January I’ve been doing something a little different most Wednesdays. I hope you’re not tired of organizing ideas…it’s really been my main focus for January (other than designing new patterns I’ll get to start sewing in the not too distant future). I promise there will be a lot more sewing to share in February! But for now I’ve been doing a lot of more mundane tasks.
Sometimes, though, it gets to the point where it’s not just about organizing. It
really is about clearing out the clutter. I de-cluttered my kitchen and pantry last summer, and it’s been really nice to see how much easier it is to meal plan, meal prep, and cook. And so I’m facing the same situation in my sewing room: getting rid of some things I’ll realistically never be able to use (or that will continue to sit on the back shelf when newer things come along). Purging really is the word to use here, as much as I didn’t want to! Here are the things I’ve made note of as I’ve worked this month:
7 Tips for Purging your Fabric Stash
1. Take everything out of your sewing room or the dedicated space where you store your stash and supplies. This is hard. I ended up moving everything section by section into another room.
2. Only move things back in you love and will use. This really is easier to do when the items are out of the space to begin with!
3. Keep a trash and a donate bin or bag close by. If you don’t have someplace to put items, you’ll end up keeping them where they are.
4. Try to be realistic. Here is an example. I love 30’s quilts. I’ve made a couple over the years but not recently. I would like to make another one someday…but I had 4 drawers/bins of 30’s fabrics. I let myself keep one drawer of these fabrics and will donate them if I don’t use them within the next year. The rest went into the donate pile.
5. Reward yourself for all of this work–1 hour of sewing for every ½ hour of organizing!
6. Donate or sell everything you don’t love.
7. Finally…keep at it! Don’t expect to get it all done in a day! In fact, you might need to make a list of different tasks you’ll continue on with throughout the year. I have a dresser full of fabric I haven’t even touched but decided that by tackling one drawer each Saturday I can have it organized in no time (and maybe even have some empty drawers for guests)!
I am rewarding myself for all of my organizing with some extra fun sewing time this weekend…I will have a lot to share soon!
Thanks so much for stopping by!
sandi collins says
I am loving your organizing posts. I recently moved to a new house. It looked much larger when it was empty
Laura McFall says
These are very helpful tips! Thank you for sharing.
Jane Holbrook says
What a concept. Maybe this will help me with the mystery of the never ending fabric stash. I think this is worth a try! Thanks so much, Sherrie!
Cotton Blossom says
It really is incredible how much stuff you can collect. I am enjoying your post and recently spent a day and a half working to organize my stash. I feel energized to finish some projects and start some new. Thanks for the inspiration!
T Holzer says
Thanks for your tips, Sherri. Have a great day!!
Gretchen Weaver says
I reorganized my fabric room last summer. I went through all the kitted up projects and decided if I still want to make this quilt. If yes, I put it back in the kit tub, if no, I repurposed the fabrics and put the pattern in the pattern box. It felt so good to make those decisions. This week I made another decision. My mother died 11 years ago. Before she died, she told me since I was the daughter who quilted, I could have all of her stash that I wanted. I brought home a lot of fabrics. I've used all of the blues and most of the reds, what was left were the 1980's browns and weird oranges. I went through the boxes yesterday, picked out the few pieces I actually liked. Tomorrow those boxes will head to the charity shop where they'll be used for good purposes. For the first time in 11 years, the space under my cutting table will be bare. What a great feeling that is.
Robin Davis says
Thank you for your organization tips. I will never get tired of reading them.
Thank you for all your organizing tips htey are really great and I love your posts:-)
Always enjoy reading, even if it's during my lunch- half hour! 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to share your ideas. I'm thinking i have a few books/patterns and some fabric that I think is UGLY and would be a good start…..:)
LINDA D TOWNSEND says
Every day when I see your blog, I am envious and inspired to get my room looking as refreshing as yours. It is
sooo nice and organized.
Rosemary B❤️ says
This is good advice, Sherri. We should be making a schedule to clear out and clean up. It is best to take small steps instead of looking at a huge mountain.
Clearing out the room is perfect
I am taking the plunge! Flipping from the . tiny quest room that is so full of my stuff there is only one path and into the much large guest/sitting room. After all people only sleep in that at most 10 days a year and I sew every day ( or close too it. However I am determined to purge as I go here and there is a deadline, family coming to sleep over for 4 days mid February. So once i start I have to keep moving! Thanks for all these tips…the 30's comment struck directly home.. I have 2 30s ufos in the pile and several shelves of it too. To say nothing of the container of real feedsacks. Lets of work ahead but I am excited!!
Linda Nelson says
Thank you for posting! I just completed purging my 2 sewing rooms and it feels so good. Suggestion of best place to sell fabric! Ebay? Craig’s list? Thanks!
I’m really enjoying your organizing tips. I can not sew in a messy surrounding and it has literally been two months since I’ve sewn because of it. Your an inspiration…thank you! Hopefully by February, I will be sewing again!
I so wish I had another room to move everything in to as suggested but my sewing room is the only room on that floor other than a small bathroom. This would mean carrying everything downstairs into my living space. Sigh I'll have to come up with another way. It's hard living in a small condo and being a fabriholic! But you're right – all the clutter is not conducive to creativity.
Very helpful post. I like various styles/genres of fabric but recently decided to focus on only one. It's been very useful because now when I see new fabrics, even if I love them, if they don't fit into my focus, I let them go.
But I do have a stash that needs purging. I'd be interested in suggestions on where to donate fabric. I find so much easier to let go if I know it's going to a good home – someone who can make use of it. Helps me get over the guilt of having bought something I didn't use.
Robby H. says
So here's a dilemma I'd welcome thoughts on. I have a substantial stash of fabric from when I quilted in the early 2000s. I took a hiatus and now I've got some fresher fabrics. The challenge is, I like scrap quilts and I'm having trouble ditching the old fabric for that reason (more variety). Maybe I need to integrate it with my newer stuff so I can see it and then cull in 6-12 months?
I just came across this post and laughed! That's what I've been doing ALL day today. I will admit it. I LOVE FABRIC! I had such a big stash it was starting to take over the spare rooms. It was hard BUT my time sewing is limited now and different….I don't have 5 boys to constantly sew for. I took 5 garbage bags of fabric to donate and I'm not done yet. (don't judge me LOL) I know it will make it easier to start and finish projects.
Quilt Knightly says
It feels so good to have things put away and sorted! I found it very helpful to know in advance where my fabric donation was going to go. It made a difference to the process if I knew it was going to be sewn into things for children in need rather than just going to the thrift shop. As well, my sewing friends and I have decided to swap scraps in a few months, so that makes it easier to let go of small pieces of fabric that I am tired of seeing and using. Sort on, Friends!