Once again my planned blog post has been pushed aside as another more pressing issue has come to mind.
For those who are not familiar with my previous posts we moved to a new apartment last year. We had no set date so I had us pretty much packed on standby by the end of January and we moved in April. We unpacked all the loungeroom/kitchen stuff pretty quickly (more the work of Mr StitchNSew) which was fortunate as Mr StitchNSew had surgery in July. What took longer was all my craft stuff as only I could unpack it. I have unpacked all but 9 boxes which contain my craft fabrics (non dressmaking fabrics) and the tubs they go in. Saying that there is a difference between unpacking and putting things the way you want them to be to unpacking and shoving things where they fit. My unpacking is the latter of the two. I went through boxes, pulled stuff out and stuck it where fitted. I did get a fair bit of sewing time after work and on weekends done after the move but I never focused on how I had or where I had things set up. The rooms and set up in the new place is completely different to the old place, even the book cases I store things on are different as we completely switched things around and I have different ones now. My yarn supplies are the only things I have sorted but even those still need work. Although Mr StitchNSew tells me I have plenty of time to sort out my craft stuff I know if I don’t address it soon I never will. In recent weeks I’ve done a bit of sewing so feel that I’m on track with my gift making for the year so I think now is the time to focus on sorting stuff out or at least make a start on it.
Years ago I brought the book Organizing Solutions for Every Quilter and read it at the time picking up a few ideas. In 2019 I decluttered a lot of my craft stuff including books as I didn’t want to move stuff I wasn’t using. I shudder to think how many more boxes I would’ve had if I didn’t do my mega declutter. I kept this book and read it again. Even if you are not a quilter the book has some great advice as you can incorporate it to any craft. I got some good ideas and now I have a clear place to start.
My craft set up is a little unique to most. Most people’s sewing machine isn’t in the middle of their lounge room and few would have to worry about the position of their cutting table in terms of accessing the fridge or wheelchair path. Not many are lucky enough to have a craft vault (tiny room with built in shelves) either. Some areas in the new place were obvious places for my craft supplies like the craft vault. others seem to have just developed themselves such as shelf on the book case in the lounge. My areas to focus on are
- Sewing Machine Cabinet
- Cutting Table
- Shelf Nook
- Study/Spare Room
Looking at each area I asked myself the following questions
- Current – What is currently going on the area?
- Plan – What is my plan for the area?
- To Do – What needs to be done to change from current to plan?
Sewing Machine Cabinet
Current – Has WIPs, random craft supplies, gets dusty, no room to work on projects so I need to shift things around when I sew
Plan – Have the area clear and dust free. Have my most used tools within reach.
To Do – Make a dust cover for machine, sort what I want to keep in the side shelves/bins. Remove half finished projects and craft supplies
Current – Sits next to fridge. Has random supplies on different shelves. Some items are grouped together. Can’t easily find things. Things fall. Stuff gets dumped on it
Plan – Have specific areas on the different levels for different things. Use the side area of fridge as a magnetic board for notes. Have it clutter free
To Do – Buy clips for fridge. Remove all items and sort into different areas. Put items away in other areas that don’t need to be on it.
Current – The top mostly is clear of clutter. Cabinet space beneath has WIP’s and patterns, some tools. Table is moved about when Mr StitchNSew takes wheelchair out
Plan – Set a limit on WIPs and have them in some sort of container. Use the cabinet space more efficiently. Have top clear of clutter so top can be folded down easy or table pushed easily to access wheelchair
To Do – Decide on how I want to contain WIPs. Remove all WIP’s and complete them or find container to put them in. Check what other items I can store there
Current – Has yarn and sewing WIP’s
Plan – Use it as a chair to craft and watch tv
To Do – Finishing sewing WIP and 1 yarn WIP, move other yarn WIP to different area. Remove any items from chair
Current – Dumped yarn projects that need photographing. Has yarn, hooks/needles from previous projects
Plan – Place for my yarn butlers and yarn bowl. Room for a couple of project bags with WIP’s
To Do – Photograph finished projects, put away items from previous projects.
Current – Some shelves has fabrics by type. Some shelves have craft fabrics just shoved in. Has pieces for my QAYG project cut out or fabrics ready to ironed and cut out. Pattern box has some which I won’t use. Some fabric for gifts later this year are stuffed on shelves. Rolls of interfacing and previous taped PDF’s are in corner. Has some items on top shelf which could be moved to wardrobe. Has washed craft fabrics which have been used in projects since the move. Has box of knit scraps.
Plan – Long term is to measure each fabric and document it so I know what I have. Short term just only have dressmaking fabrics and craft fabrics for future projects on shelves. Have shelves neat and not overflowing. Store interfacing and PDF’s neatly. Have area to sit and look through pattern box.
To Do – Remove items that don’t need to be there. Finish ottoman (current WIP) Move QAYG project to box in study/spare to free up shelf space. Go through patterns and remove any that won’t get made
Current – Drawers has clothing and knitwear in them. Have to move spare crutch and tablecloth roll just to access anything. Shelves contain knitwear, random craft and fitness items. Has tubs of yarn which is my good yarn. Some hanging frames are broken apart. Has hanging bag of sewing tools and bag of zippers. Finished gifts placed on top of yarn bins. Has box on top shelf of fabrics. and jigsaw puzzles
Plan – Only have the area for craft supplies. Shelves to be organised. Only keep tools I’m going to use
To Do – Sort out hanging bag and cull what I’m not going to use. Find a place for clothing and knitwear in other wardrobe. Cull items from top shelf. Give away one puzzle and do other. Move spare items to storage cage
Current – Craft fabrics in boxes. Old dryer which didn’t get sold prior to move. Has some fitness equipment. Craft supplies on shelves in no real order. Has rubbish not yet taken down to bin room. Has fabrics culled waiting to be offered to friend. Has a couple of boxes not fully unpacked (crafted related and not) Small bookshelf has some study supplies on it but not all. Has mirror which can’t be accessed due to boxes. Bags of stuffing everywhere. Has unused fan in corner. A box of yarn which could be sorted and put with other yarn. Has box of electrical cords. Some items are in boxes but the lids don’t close properly. Have trouble getting chair through doorway
Plan – Have items on shelves neatly and fully accessible with some sort of coverage to prevent dust. Mirror facing out so it can be used. Have craft fabrics arranged neatly in boxes. Have study items all in one area. Have easy access to move chair in and out of room
To Do – Unpack and sort craft fabrics in orderly manner in small storage tubs. Put together printer and move all study items to study bookshelf. Unpack all remaining boxes. Move box of electrical cords. Take down all rubbish to bin room. Sort yarn box and put QAYG project in it. Decide if shelving is needed for craft fabric boxes. Sell old dryer. Sort out shelving and put the most used supplies within reach. Make curtains for the shelves.
Clearly the biggest area I have the study/spare Room. In the old place my craft fabrics were stored in a garage on shelves. Originally my plan was to once again have them on the same shelving in our storage cage but using the fabrics since we moved I don’t know if I want to go down to the storage cage. Yes it takes me about 2 hours to go through all the packed boxes but it convenient having them in the spare room. The storage cage is in a concrete carpark with no seating and bad lighting, reality is I’m not going to want to go down there just to find fabric. Until I know exactly how many small storage tubs I have I can’t look at shelving for them. I’m happy to stack them in the corner for the time being. I am going to sort them properly which I never did before. I have culled some fabrics from them (and culled a heap when packing) but I know there is more I can cull and give away. The dryer is taking up space but until Covid eases off a bit I’m reluctant to have strangers come to our house to pick it up. Once again I will work around it. I move my chair from the study to my sewing table. We used to have 2 chairs but the one in the study was partially broken so we didn’t move with it. Sticking with minimalism I only want one chair as I’m the only one ever using it but I want to be able to move it between the spare room and lounge easily without chipping the walls so I need to move things about a bit.
I haven’t given myself a time frame to get all this done. Looking at things clearly I have a starting point now and clear tasks that I can do when I get a chance. Seeing the tasks broken down makes it less overwhelming. I’ll do posts on each individual areas once I am fully happy with them or maybe even progress updates depending on how long it takes. My craft areas are a mess and to be honest I still don’t know how much I have kept until I sort it all out.
Let the fun begin!