Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A little organization goes a long ways...

This shelving unit used to be home to a few books and some decorations until I took over the dining room as my sewing area. The decorations were shuffled into new spots elsewhere and now the bottom two shelves (not pictured) in this unit hold my sewing books and some patterns. The three ascending shelves now are home to my notions and fabric strips. I started out years ago using see-through rubbermaid stacking containers, which work well, but my needs outstripped my budget. Then I realized that the plastic salad tubs that I buy organic greens in during the off season would fit my needs.

I decided to organize my fabric strips by size into individually labelled tubs. This system has the following benefits:
1. of keeping the size I need for a project within easy reach
2. it has cut down on my re-ironing these same fabrics
3. it has prevented the strips from ending up all frayed from being overhandled
4. it has allowed me to maximize every bit of fabric in my stash because I can save larger pieces of fabric from being cut up when I only need a small strip for a project (such as in the quilt-a-long blocks I recently put together) or for giving me the variety I need for making the scrappy projects I love.

Gone are the days I just tossed strips of every size into one basket (said basket being on the top shelf of my photo). I'm amazed at the time it has saved me in putting together projects. How often do I actually use the fabric strips? Well, much more often now that I can see what I have! I know, each bin seems to be well fed...but the reason for this is that I cut strips from any leftovers in the larger projects I make. For example, I have a bin entirely devoted to plaid fabric strips - the leftovers from my 'Manly Quilt'. I don't think of these fabric strips as useless scraps. Oh, no, they're bins of 'Creative Potential'. Anyways, this bit of organization goes a long way for me. What do you do to tame the chaos from your creative endeavours?


  1. You are serious about your scraps!! This is genious! I especially love how you re-use the salad containers!

  2. Well this looks sooo organized! Wonderful idea to store the fabrics pieces by size! Impressed!

  3. Looks great..and I very "green" with the re-use of packaging and all. There is something about this time of year that gets one thinking about sorting etc... My cupboards are in my dining room too and I although I do sort them out regularly, I can't help but thing it's time for another sort out.

  4. What a lovely organised cupboard. I am usually organised but just lately some of my drawers and cupboards have got in a bit of a pickle, I really must be ruthless and sort out what I really need and what I don't. I know I shall feel so much better for doing this. x

  5. If only "organization" was something you could buy. I would rush right out and buy some! But it's not. I love your cupboard! I think "organization" comes more easily to some than others. (Can you tell my sewing room is A MESS?!?!?)

  6. I color code my scraps. I tried throwing all the scraps into one large tub and it was chaos. so back to color coding it was. (thus the monochromatic quilt idea.) and I use my scraps more often than I use my stash. (how wrong is that?)

  7. Will you come over and organize my sewing room now? LOL

    Love those clear little bins. They're the perfect size.
    Kimberly :)

  8. Great post. I'm all about gathering new ideas to get myself more organized. You did a great job here.

  9. Wow Katherine...I love the salad box idea..I always hesitantly put those in the recycling bin thinking surely I could use them for something! This is perfect, especially as I grow my stash!


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