To kick start The Learning Center our February topic is Organization and Storage tips!
I like to call this "Organization 101 a la Pat Sloan". I’m going to start you off today with what we’ll accomplish. Then each Tuesday and Thursday will be tips and tricks, along with a prompt, to be sure you are working towards your goal of an organized work area!
In order to have a tidy, organized space…. end of the kitchen table, spot in the dining room, corner of your bedroom, or a lovely FULL room of your own to called your “studio”… you first have to know what you have.
I am very Serious… you NEED to know what you own. Do you?
In order to know what we have, what we use most, and where to put all of our precious things, we have to know the importance of our items to everyday use.
Some items we use more than others… some we only use every so often. We want most-used items where we can get to them and the little-used items can be stored high/low or out of the way.
What you need to do first is think through your work to determine what you keep in your space. We are all different and use different things. So make a list and put the items in order of MOST USED.
Here is MY list…
Studio Priority List – Pat Sloan
(note – this will NOT all fit in my space.. note the order is in order of importance to my everyday creating)
- Computer station
- Sewing machine
- Cutting table
- quilt making tools (scissors, rulers, thread, etc.)
- Design Wall
- radio station items
- Active Project Storage
- fabric storage – active fabric
- less used quilt making tools
- batting, backing fabrics
- trims, buttons, charms, beads
- quilt storage
- fabric storage – older fabric
- inactive project storage (yes I have those too!)
- rug hooking/wool
- stamps, inks, paints, scrapbook papers and embellishments
- Biz items like store merchandise, travel info, teaching kits
Make your list.. share your thoughts here in the comments… ask questions.
Are you ready? This is step one to fully organizing… each post this month I’ll give you another step towards making this transformation happen!
So you have a priority list. Now you have two options: the BIG Overhaul.. or the SMALL Overhaul.
Let’s look at the BIG Overhaul first. This is what I do every time I do a big reorganization and I’ve done many over the years..WAY before they did it on HGTV.. LOL!
- Remove EVERYTHING from your area.. I mean EVERYTHING. You need to be able to see your space and sort your stuff. So clean out the closet, haul all the boxes from ALL the rooms in the house and put it all in one place. Maybe move the cars out of the garage or push the living room furniture back.
- Now put your most important and most used items together. Think hard on this. Don’t put things here unless you use them often. These are the things that must go back into the room no matter what. Like your sewing machine, threads, rulers, current projects, most used books, etc.
- If you have the time, go through each item on your list and work through the most important and used. And you’ll have stuff you don’t use, never have used, and wonder why you even have it. Those go in their own special boxes to be sent on to other homes to live out productive lives… wink!
- Start moving the stuff out of the room, start sorting. Next you’ll be looking at what is left and how you use it so you can put the room back in the most effective way for your work style.
So what if you can’t unload your room right now and still want to get organized? Let’s look at the SMALL overhaul.
- Identify your WORST area or problem. Maybe it’s over flowing disorganized project storage, a table that is crowded or piled high, or is it fabric in so many places that you don’t even know WHAT you have anymore!
- Problem is identified. Now let’s concentrate on JUST that. Don’t get sidetracked with OTHER problems. They will be calling your name.. hinting you should look at them instead.. but RESIST I say.. resist!! If you tackle one at a time you will make great headway.
- Here is an example of a problem. You have fabric in too many places in the house and it’s making you crazy. So you really MUST bring it all together for evaluation. Then sort it.
- MOST love
- sort of loved
- maybe this can go to a new home
- why in the world do I still own this stuff?
Take ALL of the last group, put it in plastic bags and CALL SOMEONE to come get it from you. There.. that’s taken care of!
Now you need to look at the ‘maybe’ pile… sort it down into give away and keep.
At this point, for this problem, you now have less fabric… or a bit less. Sort by color.. or whatever system you love. Maybe all backings together, all 30s, all Christmas, all cat prints, then sort the rest by color. Hopefully it now fits better in the containers you have and you can put those container back into your room!
Let’s Get Started…
Each post this month will have a tip or idea on how to work through common studio problems.
Now take some before photos, create your list, do a blog post and next Tuesday we’ll have a link party so you can share it with the world!
These are the extra prompts we’ll do this month to get your space usable for the long haul!
- Post 2 – Link Party of what you most need to organize. How to find/make a space of your own
- Post 3 – Michele on Project Storage
- Post 4 – Designer day – Tips on tools
- Post 5 – Carrie Nelsons’ studio
- Post 6 – Fabric storage
- Post 7 – Michele on Digital Storage – tips on books/magazines
- Post 8 – Tips on threads and link party of your ‘after’… or ‘almost after’ photos
Pat Sloan is owner and founder of the quilting design and publishing company Pat Sloan & Co. She has published over 25 books, more than 100 patterns, nearly 10 fabric lines, and has had her work featured in all the major Quilt magazines. In January 2010, Pat started hosting her weekly Internet Radio show called Creative Talk Radio.
Find Pat here: