Hi everyone, and welcome to the last of the Spring Cleaning series! I'm glad you're here to wrap this up!
Well, it has been a long haul, what with all the cleaning and tossing and organizing. But I hope it's paid off for you in the same way it's paid off for me. Today I want to talk about my organizing/ cleanout experience, show you some pictures of my sewing room, and say some final organizing things. Plus at the end of this post is a celebratory giveaway! Last month was the third anniversary of this blog, which I completely missed, so this is a sort of double celebration.
I should say right up front that my sewing room never looks like this. NEVER. It usually looks like a dozen preschoolers have abandoned an art project in the middle of the floor--and the tables, and the rug and everywhere else. I cleaned up just for you!
I am lucky enough to have a 12 by 12 foot bedroom as a sewing room, and it's basically square, which made it pretty easy to set things up the way I wanted them. This is the major sewing area, where I keep both machines set up and ready to use all the time. I call this "the nest," and I love how it works for me. I have a small ironing table tucked under the longer table, and I use this while I'm sewing, which is really super-handy.
Although I seriously lust after one of those Koala cabinets and/or a Martelli table, I got these two tables at Ikea and they were really, really inexpensive. Before we moved I had an old dining table and that worked well, too. The best thing about these tables is that I can move them around pretty easily, so if I need more work area I can just swing one of them around. I used to sew on a used dining room table, so I'm thrilled to have these, actually.
The shelves behind the tables hold everything I need right at hand, including a little warmer for my tea, because sometimes I forget it's there and then it's cold. Hey, sewing takes concentration! This is where most of the notions live, and it also houses the one essential for every sewing area, the junk basket. Nobody's perfect!
Next is this shelving unit, which I consider the centerpiece of this whole room:
This is a Kallax shelving unit from Ikea in the biggest size, and it houses just about everything. This was really one of the best purchases ever. This is all my fabric except for the scraps. The yardage is on comic book boards, and then the top cubbies hold precuts, half yards, and panels and other specialty pieces. The books are on lower shelves, and then the bins at the bottom hold scraps of specialty fabrics (like flannel), bags of cut scraps, and other essentials with no other home, like some Insulbrite fabric, some felt, and a few pieces of wool.
The baskets on top of the storage unit are functional as well as pretty. These hold all the "backstock"-- things that I need once in a while but not every day, like bias tape makers and the scrap bindings I've made, as well as a few things I couldn't bear to part with.
I have this shelving unit because the closet in here is very small and fairly useless. I added more shelves to it so that I could store project boxes (which are too big for the shelving unit) on one shelf and the scrap boxes on a shelf above them. The top shelf is all the tops I have to quilt up, and the batting is stored down on the floor. I keep intending to add another shelf, but I haven't gotten to it yet.
Finally, here is the cutting/ ironing area and the design wall:
This area is obviously still a work in progress. Right now I'm using the card table, which is not ideal, but we are making some changes in the kitchen and I will eventually have an old kitchen cabinet here. This can't happen soon enough for me. I have an ironing blanket all ready to fit over it, too, so that I'll be able to press longer pieces more easily. The design wall is really working out for me, though!
So that's it! It may not look like much, but I am so, so happy with it. I feel lucky to have any space at all, but I'm really pleased with how my cleaning out and organizing turned out. It took me more than six months to get it near the way I want it, but it was really time well spent, even though it was very tiring and some of it was emotionally draining. I can tell you that I honestly had some serious jitters about the whole thing. What if I got rid of things I actually wanted or needed later? Would I be able to sew without worrying about everything? Almost none of my fears came to pass, and I don't miss the vast majority of the things I got rid of. And I'm happy every time I walk into the room, even if it is usually messy.
Here's some last bits of advice from me (for what it's worth!):
--It can take a long time to clean out and sort many years worth of stuff. Don't get discouraged! Do a little at a time and it will start to come together.
--Go slowly and take frequent breaks. Everything looks impossible when you're tired. Small treats also help.
--A positive attitude is everything, and a sense of humor doesn't hurt, either.
--Don't know where to start? Start anywhere, with the thing that is closest to where you are sitting. Just getting started will raise your spirits.
--Read and take the advice of others, but remember that you have to arrange things the way they work for you. If somebody else's system seems great, it is-- for them. Your way will be great for you.
--As always, whatever you decide to do with your own fabric and sewing materials is up to you! It's yours, so you get to decide!
So that wraps up our series! And now for the giveaway! I am giving away this lovely small package of organizational pieces to help you in your organizing endeavors:
Included in this package is a decorative box that will hold a lot of goodies (sorry that you can't really see the box! But aren't the flowers pretty?), two apothecary-type jars for notions, a package of page protectors for all those papers, six comic book boards for you to try, and a book on creating a perfect space for you to enjoy. (All of these things are new, not toss-aways from my cleanout!) To enter, leave a comment on this post about your biggest cleaning/ organizational challenge. I'll use the random number thingy on Monday morning, May 29, to pull one winner. **Important--if you are no-reply, please leave your email also! If I can't contact you, you can't win!**
Thanks so much to everyone for coming along on this journey with me. I hope you got some good ideas, at least, and some encouragement to make your sewing area work well for you. I can tell you that all the hard work is worth it! And for future reference, I am collecting these posts on a tab at the top of the blog, so if you want to find them later it will be easy.
Okay, enough cleaning! Let's go sew!
Sharing at Let's Bee Social.