[ Advice and Life Lessons ]

Resolution – Get Organized!

January is a fresh start. Have you resolved to finally get organized?  There is a flurry of activity for a few days, with consistent efforts at clearing the clutter for a few weeks, and then we blink. Suddenly it’s December again, we dig through piles of half-finished and barely-started projects and we resolve to get organized in the new year!

crafts get organized

Didn’t someone say at some point in history that clutter is a sign of genius?

Or, maybe it was something like “An organized fabric stash is the sign of a broken sewing machine.”

Whether you are a neat freak or a clutter bug, we can all take steps to organize our craft spaces so that the supplies we need are easily found when we have the urge to create.  Here are a few tips to help you get organized in your sewing room.

Fabric Storage

My dream home has a warehouse-sized space for fabric shelves – and a staff to keep things in their proper place! Alas, I have only taken over one bedroom in an average American home so I need to keep things contained. I sort my fabric in a variety of ways: by project, by size, and by color.

get organized by color

Sort by color

Keep fabric organized by color to make it easy to plan new projects. Use containers with transparent sides, like the metal drawers on this rolling cart. This will control some of the mess as you dig through the piles to find that perfect shade of blue.

When you get organized by color, it makes shopping easier too. A quick glance tells you what colors need to be re-vitalized during the next trip to the fabric store.

Sort by fabric size

A popular method to tame the fabric stash is to organize the scraps and precuts by size. I have an old dresser in my sewing room that holds yardage while various plastic bins hold fat quarters, jelly rolls and smaller bits of fabric.  Bonnie Hunter is an organizing master and you can find her scrap-sorting method of cutting down leftover fabric here.

I sort my scraps in common sizes, 1.5″, 2.5″, and 3″ then store them in bins, baskets, and boxes for easy access.

tbq scraps get organized

Storage for Quilt Projects

WIPs, UFOs…whatever they are called we need to get organized with our on-going projects!  Confession time…I tend to pile things. With a portable cutting mat, I easily transport projects from cutting table to sewing machine to pressing station as needed. When my sewing time is up, everything can (should!) be put away in a project bag. Souvenir tote bags come in handy for storage.

Notice the commercial items that help me get organized (no affiliate, just a fan):

tbq get organized

From the bottom –  my projects reside in a Thirty-One tote (similar to these), an art storage box from a chain store, and a fat quarter zipper tote from my local guild.  How do you organize your quilt projects?  Share your best tip in the comments.

quote for beginning

Get organized to find more time to enjoy, experiment and excel as we quilt!

About Author


Longarm Quilter, Pattern Designer, Teacher

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