Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Clutter !!!

Edited to add pics

My sewing room is a mess - not an organized mess, just clutter !
I'm considering posting a picture (hmmm, I'll think on it).

Yeah, ok...

I stood in my doorway and took 4 pics moving clockwise - for the last pic I squeezed in the corner by the iron and took the opposite corner. I will admit, this is not a true 'before' picture as I started this cleanup on Saturday. And looking at the pictures, it doesn't seem as bad as I had in my head - It definitely needs organizing but I'm not sure why it's been haunting me to this degree.

There seems to be a few posts lately regarding stash-busting and the ever-present 'do you stash, or don't you' - I definitely stash and have decided to go with the word 'Collection'. It seems a more productive word. Right now I like everything I have and have enjoyed the collecting. So, this post is not about having too much of a stash but just of having an organized system !


Before Christmas, I could ignore it and do what had to be done. Now, I've stalled.

When I look around my room I see:
  • piles of fabric, some prewashed, some not; some catalogued, some not, some organized, some not - this doesn't include the fabric sitting in the laundry room
  • UFO's - my coat (some pieces on the cutting table, some on the shelf, some on the ironing board, some next to the sewing machine), my duvet cover (and the pile of pieces that go with it), 2 totes, and others that are not as conspicuous, but I know they're there.
  • Mending - sleep pant elastics to be replaced, buttons to be resewn on pants and shirts.
  • Bookshelves - horizontal surfaces that collect everything, not necessarily books.
  • Books - some on the bookshelves, some on the fabric shelves, some in the other room on the coffee table !

Now this room is only 8'x10' and it is home to my computer desk, chair, cutting table, 2 bookshelves, a sewing machine cabinet that opens to approx 7' long, 3 plastic rolling drawer units, wide ironing board and a steam generator iron which is sitting on a TV tray table.

There are shelves on the walls of course, but everything listed above is sitting on the floor. Since Christmas, I go in there and immediately FREEZE ! There's no room for me - so I leave.

In the fall, I bought shelving. The kind that has the vertical wall supports and laminate shelves sitting on brackets. There are 2 - 6' long shelves now pretty much filled with fabric - no rhyme or reason, just piles. The bottom shelf is a bit narrower and holds patterns, small boxes of notions, and pressing notions.

Through the year I started to note down the applicable info regarding my fabric stash (a lot of it was still in bags with receipts, believe it or not :-) !) Somewhere on the Net, I'd found a .pdf template for organizing fabric. I printed out some pages and started logging it all in - after a while I stopped. Yes, I kept buying fabric though.

Thread storage - After looking around for quite a while, I did manage to find plastic storage units somewhat like the CarJammers that Carolyn uses – so all my thread is now all in 1 box .

Notions - zippers, markers, elastics, etc. Now in ‘labeled !’ plastic storage boxes (gotta love those portable labellers).

This past week, I decided it's time to 'really' clean it up.

BOOKSHELVES - I need to sort the bits and pieces and clear the shelve so I can actually use them as bookshelves (is it me ? I find it so much easier to deal with the large items, the bits and pieces are always a pain in the butt)

Shannon posted that she keeps her stash logged in an Excel sheet - now THAT's more my speed - Thanks, Shannon !

I borrowed her template, modified the list of headings, created an Excel sheet for me and got to work.

Every drawer and portion of shelf space now has a number assigned to it and I added a 'location' column to my file. To make it onto the list each piece of fabric must be prewashed and be physically filed (did I ever mention ? I'm a secretary - filing is my middle name LOL ! )

So far, I've logged in approx 80 m of fabric - my final total is going to be scary !

I want/need to finish my coat but am way too distracted. Once the brain clutter has eased, I can get back to sewing.


  1. I don't try to catalog my fabric. I just know (sort of) what's there. Sometimes I find a surprise. And sometimes I have to just get rid of something that I have decided I can't stand. I think it drives you nuts because your brain is too organized - you did say you work in an engineering firm, so even though you aren't an engineer, you're inclined or trained to be orderly like one!

    The verification word is "mingl". Maybe that's a sign that you should let your stuff "mingle" together!

  2. Marjie, I spent all day, just about every day, being nitpicky ! My documents, my filing, etc. I drive the engineers nuts - BUT, I can find anything they need !

    It's now an ingrained personality trait that I have very little control over.

    My stuff's been mingling for a year now - now it's mingling right into my 'personal space'. You know when people do that, it drives you nuts, right ? If I have to clean a tiny bit of space before I can work, I just get aggravated. My sewing is supposed to be 'happy time' :-)......soon, soon.

  3. That's an amazing amount of stuff you've got in such a small space. It doesn't look like that much until you list it all, does it?

    Good luck on the re-org.

  4. Good for you getting all organized! I can't stand it when everything is all willy-nilly - but then I am an OCD neat freak :) !

  5. it pretty much looks like mine does most of the time.


Thanks for talking to me - I love comments !