Friday, January 29, 2016

Five Friday Favorites: Organization

Five Friday Favorites:  Organization

So...let's be honest.  This hobby of ours can get out of control pretty quickly.  We have fabric, projects, tools, pre-cuts, scraps, patterns, rulers, notions, magazines, threads.... How do we contain the chaos??  Today I'm sharing five tools I use to keep somewhat organized.  And I'd love to hear your favorite ways to stay organized!

#1: My WIPs clipboard

Sewing room organization ideas

 A couple of years ago I made this clipboard to help control all of the loose papers floating around.  Over time, it became the home for my WIP lists.  I keep this in my sewing space and it helps me keep track of the status of each of my projects.  

Sewing room organization ideas

The clipboard is just a plain brown clipboard from any ol' office supply store.  I found some fun scrapbook paper, cut them to size and modge podged them on.  Much prettier!

Last year my friend Holly gave me the coolest WIP list to use.  Her husband (the talented artist behind Stately Type) designed it for her and I thought it was SO helpful!  I used it, and filled it up.  Quickly.  He's designed a whole new set of them for this year and you can find them here.  They're available to purchase as an instant download - super handy.  Go check them out!  There are three different sheets:  WIPs to Finish, My Fabric Stash, and Quilts to Make (a wish-list of sorts.)  

#2:  Pattern Binder

Sewing room organization ideas

Yep this is super fancy, high-tech and state of the art.  Not really.  It's a $3 binder from Target.  In it, I keep several things.  I keep those free patterns / tutorials from blogs and websites.  They stay in here while I'm working on the project.  Then they get filed into a permanent file.  While in this notebook, they're handy and easy to refer to.  

Sewing room organization ideas

I also keep my new patterns that I've sketched up but need to be tested and worked on.  I also have a section where I keep info for upcoming sew-a-longs, or quilt block swaps that I'm a part of.  

Pretty much any info that is needed for my current and near-future projects.   This notebook is kept in a convenient spot on a shelf.  You can see it on the bottom shelf in the photo below.

#3:  Pattern & Manual Organizers

Using magazine organizers to store quilt patterns

I have four of these white cardboard magazine files.  At least they're made for magazines.  But that's not what I do with them.  I store quilt patterns in two of them.  All of my sewing machine manuals are in another.  Another keeps miscelaneous papers.  They hide a lot of visual clutter.  I love that.  

#4:  Project Bins

ArtBin quilting project storage

I have just a couple of these bins that I keep to-go projects in.  They're about 13" x 13", so they're perfect for those 12" blocks that are waiting to be made into a quilt top.  There are some different variations of these bins, but I love the ones with handles - so much easier to transport.  When I go to sew with friends I load one of these bins up with everything I'll need - my pinbowl, rotary cutter, small cutting mat and the fabric I'll need for the day.  You can find them at JoAnn (wait for a sale or use your coupon) and here on Amazon.  

#5:  Todoist

Lastly, is my favorite app / website, called Todoist.  I keep my to-do lists (family, sewing, church, etc) there and I can access them from either my phone or the computer.  I love that I can break down a larger project - say for spring cleaning the house, or writing a new pattern - into smaller, more approachable tasks.  And I can put things into categories such as "sewing & piecing" and "family errands."  I check my todoist first thing in the morning to get an idea of what needs to be tackled that day.  

So there's my top 5 tools for organizing.  What are yours?  I'm always on the lookout for great ideas! 


  1. I loved the little heart from earlier and niw this post with hints! I have too many Ph. Ds or UFOs and I've been trying to re-organize my apt. so I'll have a designated area as a quilting studio. I have begun a list of where projects are stored or special fabrics pulled for a project. I'm hoping that this will save me time. I think I could add it to my list of UFOs and then everything would be in one place. I am looking at furniture to see what I could buy to help create the studio. Would you share where you purchased the white piece pictured in today's post? I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

  2. Hi! I recently found your blog and love it. These are great tips. I love the project sheets and notebook ideas. I use the 13x13 project bins, but mine don't have handles. The handles are great.

  3. Fellow Todist user! I also love Paprika for recipes, easy to mark off as you go. Cool post!

  4. Thanks for sharing those tips! I'm extremely unorganized but I've recently started using the Quilters Planner to get my life in check.

  5. Thanks Andy. With my recently remodeled kitchen...the fall out has been that pretty much every other room in the house needs to be organized. This ability does not come natural for me... :l I hope I can do it.

  6. Organizing is always necessary to ensure storage spaces get properly arranged in a neat and tidy manner. Regardless of the area around the house, as long as cleaning is done regularly, it is not difficult to maintain tidiness all over.


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