Thursday, January 1, 2009

Organizing for 2009

Happy New Year! I love the new year and the feeling of starting fresh with a clean slate and extra motivation. That feeling came to me the day after Christmas and I took advantage of it. I was feeling like I was drowning in fabric and UFOs and projects in the queue. So I asked my hubby for help. It was too overwhelming to tackle myself and I had the best resource right here in my house...Mr. Organization, Mr. Neat and Tidy, Mr Never Procrastinated A Day In His Life. So first we talked about what I want. 1. Tackle UFOs 2. Use stash, reduce stash, try not to add to stash

We started by identifying all my UFOs and projects in the queue and putting them in an Excel Spreadsheet. For each item I added details about what stage the project is in and prioritized it so I know which ones to start with. You should have seen our dining room. It was like a bomb went off and my projects were everywhere.
Warning: If you choose to ask your spouse to help you, be prepared to feel very vulnerable as he realized how much you actually have and don't be surprised when you see his eyes get bigger than you have ever seen them.

So after I identified how out of control things had gotten, we started to reorganize. I have a beautiful sewing center that my husband built for me, you can see it and read about it
here. I had all my quilting and knitting books in some of the cabinets. They were two layers deep and hard to get to. So we bought a inexpensive shelf to put up in our bedroom that holds all my quilting books, knitting books, binders full of quilting magazines, and some of my reading books.

Now my books are easy to access and that freed up a lot of my cabinet space. I have all those wonderful drawers in my sewing cabinet to keep my projects that I am currently working on and a few UFOs. Unfortunately they aren't enough. So I put my additional UFOs in pizza boxes and stacked them in the cabinet of my sewing center. When I want to work on a project I can just pull out the pizza box and my project is all contained in that one place. I also labeled them so they can be easily identified at a glance.

We went to Costco to get me these great clear storage containers. I filled them with fabric that goes with a project in my queue and is ready whenever I am.

Ok, here is the bulk of my stash...

This is the lower half of my eight year old son's closet. Please, feel sorry for him. I do! These big totes are filled (some I can't close properly) with fabric. They are pretty organized within. Each tote contains two colors of fabric and smaller bags containing strips in those colors. This is where I sound a little mental...ready? I don't love all the fabric in these bins but I can't bring myself to get rid of it. I feel like I need to use it, make it into something.

I just recently read an article written by Bonnie Hunter in the latest Quiltmaker magazine. She talks about making your stash into something useful by cutting it up into pieces that are used often in scrap quilts. She has free patterns that tell you what size pieces you will need and they are often just two sizes. Anyways, she has totally inspired me to make my stash and especially my scraps into a useful system. And I love the idea of a Leaders and Enders quilt that you make over time while working on other projects.

So, to wrap it up... (trying to sound positive) 2009 is the year of the finished UFOs and the stash busting like you have never seen!! Wish me luck!


Vicki W said...

Your husband is a gem! Aside from that lovely piece of furniture, he spent a day helping you organize. If I asked my husband to do that he would just show up with a garbage bag! LOL!

Des said...

UNbelievable!!! I'm speechless. My hubby is super supportive but we're both extremely flawed when it comes to organization. I've attempted to do a little organizing today and I'm overwhelmed and depressed already, hence, that is why I'm blog surfing. :)

Thanks for the renewed inspiration!

Tina said...

Good luck! Your organizing looks great! I'll support you in your stash busting and UFO finishing.

Tine said...

Good for you!! Your projects in pizza boxes!! I love that idea :) What a wonderful supportive husband you have! You are all set for 2009... Bonnie does have some great stashbusters on her site, there are also great ideas on flickr (as you know. Lol).
If you decide there are fabrics you REALLY don't like, and that you cannot work with, host a little giveaway -or just send them to me. Lol!
Happy sewing!

rachel griffith said...

okay so i gotta tell ya:
i LOVE the spouse warning.
made me laugh. out loud.

you did a great job.
love the book shelves.

Libby said...

Awesome! Looks like you and Mr. Organization have made great progress.

I'm really the exact same way about fabric...I have to find a use for everything. It's like a challenge I can't resist. Why can't I just get rid of stuff??

Anonymous said...

I love all the organization that you did. Want to come to my house? I need to get started on that but it seems like such a huge task that I am dreading. Espically all the scraps. What do you do with them. Diane in Alaksa

Pumpkin Patch Quilter said...

You are much more organized than I am! Lol* I am envious. :) That's so cute about your Husband too...I can't say that I haven't bought a yard of fabric here or there, and rushed it quickly to my sewing room so no one saw that I brought home MORE fabric. LoL*

jacquie said...

wow...that is amazing! i love the pizza box hubby would probably fall over if he REALLY understood how many unfinished projects are in my little room.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

I've been doing that same thing you mentioned Bonnie Hunter does. My problem is that after a while the cut up squares/triangles get frayed at the edges with looking at colors and moving them around. So I've stopped doing it. It is hard to find a system that works perfectly I guess. Great to see your organization. Good for you.

conner posse said...

love that pizza box idea!! i am totally nesting right i had fun reading about your recent organizing!!

Catherine said...

Wow -- your organization looks fabulous. I wouldn't dare ask DH to help me organize -- I think his idea of organizing would be big green garbage bags! LOL
I've got to get organized somehow this year. When things are disorganized, I can feel the creativity draining.

Jackie said...

You've gotten 2009 off to a great organized start! The sewing center your husband built is fantastic.

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