It’s that time of year when you step into your craft or sewing room and want to turn around and shut the door. What happened? After the explosion of making for the holidays, it’s not unexpected to be confronted by a messy workspace that sucks out your creative spirit. How can you get back on track? It’s not as hard as you think.
All my heavy-use rotary cutters are in a cub on my desk. Lesser used are on the peg board.
Start fresh. Pull out your cleaning supplies and give your workplace a good cleaning. Use a duster to gather the cobwebs from the corners and dust from hard-to-reach spaces. Sweep or vacuum the floor, polish the windows, wipe off the furniture. Sometimes, making the place feel cleaner is all the motivation you need to carry on.
All the heavy-use rotary cutters were taken apart and cleaned!
Clear off your work surfaces. If you’re like us, you probably just kept pushing supplies to the side as you finished each project – and then went on to work on the others – surrounded by towers of fabric and tools. Mom always said, “A place for everything and everything in its place”. Sort through the remnants of holiday sewing and put everything back where it originated. Give unused containers new life by having them hold your rotary cutters, scissors, and other tools you use frequently. A wooden silverware sorter offers a stylish way to organize – extra points if it’s vintage!
Sort your projects – both the ones you want to do and the half-done ones, too. If they were intended as gifts, group them together so you can work on them during the rest of the year. Nothing better than being ahead before the next holiday! For those that you needed to abandon part way through, determine where you left off, write yourself some notes, and put the entire project in a project bag or basket so it’s quick to pick up again. This is a good time to visit a container store to purchase baskets or projects bags that make your space look organized and not chaotic.
It helps to make a master list of all the projects you want to complete. Designer Sarah Ruiz is sharing her UFO tracking list so that you can keep on task throughout the coming year. Download it here to see what order you want to work on completing unfinished projects, to know what other supplies you need, and best of all, to be able to show the date you completed it!
By now, you’ve reached a midpoint where you need to figure out a better way to organize your fabric. Take a break and read this article by Daisi Toegel. This is her first post on our Scrap Organization Series where she talks about sorting, storing, and ways to keep your fabric supplies organized.
Once you’ve tackled the big pieces, Daisi has another article where she explains her method for sorting scraps. Scraps just seem to mushroom magically, don’t they? She shows her tricks for getting the most use out of them and keeping them organized so they don’t look messy and also aren’t forgotten. You’ll find that article here.
Now that you’ve had a little breather and a snack, it’s time to head for the finish line. Be realistic about what you have remaining. Are there tools you’ll never use? How about fabrics or projects you’ve lost interest in. Move them out! Find new homes for them at your guild’s free table or donate them to a thrift store or church rummage sale. You’ll feel lighter having them out of your space, knowing that they are headed to someone who will enjoy them.
Finally – you’re almost done. Wipe off your cutting surface and rulers. Clean your sewing machine, use a damp cloth to wipe lint from it and its sewing table, wind a bunch of bobbins in the colors of thread you use frequently, clear any remaining clutter. Now you’re ready to begin to work! Pick a project from your UFO list – preferably an easy-to-finish one – and get ready to enjoy the process of creating in your spic and span workroom!
I took everything off the desk and dusted it! Holy moly that was needed. All spare parts and miscellaneous things were also put away and it felt good getting the desk back in order. I have way more than two projects happening but the two on the desk are first up to be completed as they are closest to being done.
P.S. If you’d like something new to create before you tackle your list, we’re suggesting the Colorful Tool Organizer Wall Hoop. It’s fun, fast, and will add a colorful piece for you to use.