Dear Quilt Doctor,
My family is relocating, and the sad news is that I’m losing my big sewing room. I’ll have my own space in our new home, but it’ll be smaller. I won’t be able to spread out as much. In addition, I’m prone to being messy. The move is a fresh start for me, and I’m hoping I can get my quilting area off to a great new beginning. Do you have some tips?
Here’s your chance to get organized! That’s every creative person’s dream, you know. It’s hard to work in a mess and so much more fun to have a pretty and organized room to retreat to.
First, come up with a plan. Visualize what your new space will look like and imagine yourself working in it. Will you have storage in another part of your home? It might help to take photos of your new room, enlarge them, and then draw in what will go in each area. The requirements will be the same no matter where you work: a distinct cutting area, a place for sewing, another for pressing, and space for storing your supplies.
You know you’re going to have to purge your pile of stuff, right? Do it before you move. It’s easier to be ruthless if you know you have the expense of a moving company. Also, when you get to your new home, the reality is that you’ll be spending time and energy getting your life and home set up. Those boxes of sewing “treasures” could go into storage and soon be forgotten.
Remember the drill about making piles: one for things to keep, another for things to give away, a third for things to dump. Become emotionally detached and realistic. It’s the only way you’ll survive! When you’ve finished, immediately take out the trash and then call your quilting buddies to sift through the leftovers. You could always have a tag sale or sell the surplus on Ebay--more $$ for the quilt shop in your new town.
Find a focal point for your room, such as a great cabinet or the desk and chair shown here. If you have one spot to admire, it makes keeping the room organized a lot easier.
Before you move, sort items into baskets, bins, and bottles that will work in your new room. When it’s time to unpack, you’ll be able to set them out on shelves. Think about covering boxes with fabric and packing items in those as well. Attach a cute manila tag to help you identify what’s inside. Pack your book collection in cardboard holders. This would be a great time to organize them by theme or alphabet. Purchase three-ring binders, plastic sleeves, and magazine holders to store patterns and magazines you can’t part with. Corral fabric in clear containers, stacking crates, under-the-bed storage boxes, or filing cabinets. Use cutlery trays for tools.
In your new sewing space, cover a large piece of cork with fabric and mount it on the wall. Use it as a design area or place to tack up your current project and instructions. Magnetic knife racks, pegboards, and tabletop mug racks are all helpful in storing and displaying tools and embellishments. Use wall-mounted organizers to keep smaller items visible. To make the jar holders shown, drill two holes 2" apart through the lid. Lace the lid with ribbon and tie the jar onto a decorative rod. Cute and functional!
Finally, label everything! It’s easy to forget what’s inside a bin or basket. Then put your things away when you’re done using them. And clean up after yourself. It’ll make quilting so much more fun!
Wishing you a clutter-free life,
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