Sewing Room cleaning and organizing tips

fat quarter storage ideas
fat quarter storage ideas

Image courtesy of Lisa Calle of vintagemodernquilts.com

How to get started on cleaning and organizing 

Making a resolution to clean your space is great but actually having a plan of attack is even more important. Below you will find our plan of action, a few tips and tricks to help you get started and maybe even maintain the area. Write a list of what you need to accomplish and set a date for each action item. Hold yourself accountable but be realistic. Don’t expect to work a miracle in just a few hours.

The cleaning plan of action includes:

  1. Folding stash
  2. Sorting scraps
  3. Donating & purging
  4. Paper Pattern storage
  5. Tool Organization
  6. Sewing machine maintenance
  7. Kiting projects
  8. Schedule time
To get started make a list of your cleaning goals. Start with clearing off your works space. If you need to put everything in a box to do so it is okay… as long as you don’t ignore the box. Really, don’t ignore the box. 😉  You can check out Pinterest boards for ideas on how to make your storage systems attractive.

Fold your fabric for starters.

You can organize it by material, color or season. How ever you need to organize just do it and don’t worry if your system is not perfect. Your goal is to get it clean so you can create more and as you use it up the system will change. You may not need 4 bins for Christmas and Easter once you use it.

Click here for more ideas to organize your fabric.

Cleaning and organizing tips

Sorting your scraps:

To begin the process cut them into useable sizes and shapes. Then sort them by size and color. Store them in boxes, bins, zip top baggies or even jars. Keeping them covered and visible is very helpful.

Donating and Purging:

Check your local quilt or sewing guild to see when they will be hosting a swap or a stash sale. Donate to local charities that sew items to give to those in need. You can join de-stash groups on Facebook. We have a list of charities that make for good maybe there is one in your area. Find out if a local boy scout or girl scout troop or 4H is in need of fabric and maybe even volunteer to teach a young person to sew on your own.

Paper Pattern Storage:

Again, baskets and bins are very helpful. You can place them in zip top bags and then in the bins. Make sure you label the bag and the bin. Knowing what you have is very helpful, so you don’t go to the store and purchase duplicates or download the same pattern over and over. Print your patterns when you download them from online and immediately label and place in storage for later use.

Tool Organization: 

Clean and organize your tools. If you have not had your scissors sharpened, now is a good time. Place  tools in a caddy or on a spinning organizer to have them at your finger tips. Tools that you don’t use often, box up and label.

Sewing Machine Maintenance:

If you have not cleaned and oiled your machine get out your manual and do it.  Mark your calendar for regular maintenance you can do. There are videos on youtube that will help too. If your machine came with a cover get it out and use it and your machine will thank you. If not you can make one using this video.

Kiting projects:

As you are cleaning and organizing you might come across fabric or pattern you forgot you had or that you bought for a specific project and never got around to starting. This is the perfect time to create kits.  Find the pattern, fabric, notions and anything else you might need for the project and place in a bag or bin.  We like to use the plastic zipper bags that sheet sets come in.

Schedule Time:

Once you schedule the time to clean and organize place time in you daily or weekly schedule to create. Treat it like you would an excursive class or a lesson for a child. Don’t be afraid to set aside some “me” time! We can all use it and you will be happier when you do things you enjoy. Don’t forget to include time to clean up and for regular maintenance of your tools and machines.

Our last tip is to make a list of supplies you are running out of or know you will need soon. There is nothing worse than running out of thread or batting or not having enough Polyfil to complete the project.

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