Spring Cleaning in February

If Pinterest is any indication, those of us who craft and sew and create are in constant search of ways to organize our stuff.  I know there are creative people out there who thrive in chaos and feed off of that, but it seems most of us get butterflies from organizing into matching bins and marking everything with a label maker.  I tend to reorganize my space in some way about twice a year.  Once after a big bout of creativity and all of my stuff is everywhere, and another sweeping organization when I come back to crafting after the summer gardening season.  In fact, if you ask my family they will tell you that the whole house is like that, and the way we store and organize everything is in constant flux.  Last year I posted pictures of an organized attic space on my Facebook page.  Today I can’t get in my attic to take pictures.  Maybe that’s the next big project…

The big impetus for my latest clean up was my scraps, which were part of the subject of my last post, here.  There have been pictures here and there that indicate just how chaotic it’s gotten.  The “system” I was using just wasn’t working for me anymore.


Here you can see what is mostly scraps from repurposed shirts, separated by color into little baggies and then into bigger baggies, kept in a laundry basket.  Somewhere in another basket is yet even more scraps.


Once I decided it was time again to clean up, I started by gathering all of the scraps into one place.  You’re looking at everything-pieces of shirts, leftovers from quilts, squares from other projects, etc.  In order to re-sort I had to get it out of the way and reorganize my sewing space.

Remember these pictures?  This was my space in the middle of a project, but it accurately reflects what was going on.  Besides needing better storage of scraps, I had come to realize that my sewing machine would probably work better if was next to an outlet instead of me always tripping over the extension cord.


I used to keep scraps of glass in these bins.  When I stopped doing glass work I tore this down and stored it in the garage-for years.  Sydney and Emma helped me gather all of the pieces, get them cleaned off, and put it all back together.  The scraps themselves are still in little baggies because dust, but I’m super-happy with this.  There are bins that are empty, too, and some with trims, etc.


I kept the denim scraps in the big bins and put them in a cabinet with the interfacings/fusible fleece, etc.

The sewing machine moved to the back wall, and I pushed out the wood-topped cabinet.  We used to have a love seat in front of it but that’s gone now, so more room for me!  You can see my fabric yardage folded and sorted by color/fabric type.  It’s an okay system, but digging around to find the right piece usually makes a bigger mess.  I picked up some containers on our last trip to Costco and they are just right.  I need more!

Ultimately, I still share this room with four other people who are using it for entirely different purposes, so this is my space within a space.

The pictures make it seem crowded, but there is plenty of space for little ol’ me.  Everything is close at hand but there’s plenty of table-top space to spread out.  ( I didn’t even notice until now that my coffee cup had it’s picture taken again. )


In  addition, I also have The Wall of Totes along the back of the room.  These are my raw materials, the shirts and jackets and pants I’ve been collecting for a few years now, sorted by color/type of clothing.  Believe it or not, this is after a couple of hard purges.  I’ve embarked on a new project that has me going through all of it again and I’m finding a lot of good stuff.  😉


And finally, here’s my closet under the stairs.  That’s where “the other stuff” lives.  Well, some of the other stuff.  There’s still an attic full of totes, most of which is display stuff but there is also fleece and batting and foam stuff for ornaments and….


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