Sewing My Life Together

Organizing Failure


Well,  I am well-known for working in some kind of creative chaos. I can tolerate messes and piles for quite a while, and then I start becoming frustrated when I can’t find what I need, or finding something takes way too long. Then I spend over an hour putting things away, sorting things, and buying boxes and organizers…


So in an effort to completely organize my sewing area, I purchased what sounded like the perfect book:



“Organizing Solutions for Every Quilter” by Carolyn Woods:


So the other night I sat down with the book, preparing to find ways to become super organized…


In the first chapter, the author gives an overview of how to become organized. Some of the suggestions made sense, such as using up your stash and not buying more fabric.


But the first section on the causes of clutter struck me as totally inadequate to my situation. The author states that there are 6 causes of clutter:


1. Not enough surface space


2. Too much surface space


3. Too many projects at once


4. Unfinished cleanup


5. Inaccessible storage


6. No designated home. (Well, how can something have a designated home when you aren’t organized?).


Well, of this list, I guess I am guilty of numbers 1 and 5…..but the real issue, I think, is that I just have too much stuff and no place to put it. I have fabric paint, stencils, stamps, extra fabric, a huge  role of batting, extra pillows, vintage fabric, and about twenty clear shoeboxes of fabric scraps. I don’t just quilt; I make cards, landscapes, gifts, bags, and almost any other project that seems challenging to me.


Then the author suggests having someone sit with you as you work, while you talk about the obstacles in your way. I know my problem: I have too little surface space and no storage organization.


Once you determine what your obstacles are, Woods suggest setting organizational goals, based on (a) room characteristics to change and (b) stuff that needs to be better organized.


Well, call me overwhelmed but everything I have needs to be better organized…how do I know which set of drawers will work, what size work table I need, what kind of storage units to install? If I sound frustrated,  I am.


Oh yes and then she adds, “Set a budget”.


Well, clearly I was stumped by the first two chapters. I don’t really have a particular room that I can use for projects, so I used a space in my bedroom. Eliminating one daughter’s bedroom for a studio seems to be too big a change, since I suspect she will be home sometime to use her room. And then we have a family room, where guests sleep, when hubby and daughter number 2 watch TV. It’s in the basement and is in a nice, out-of-the way room. But we are not ready to get rid of the family room yet….so I am stuck in my current space.


So, do I buy new storage devices? When in a couple of years I might actually have a room of my own? Just live with my ‘creative chaos’ a little longer?


And there are so many other household repairs and tasks that need to be done. I think I’ve answered my question: Do not do a major organization now. Learn to live with what I have!
























This entry was published on January 9, 2013 at 11:26 pm and is filed under Crafts, Ideas, Interests. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “Organizing Failure

  1. shirley on said:

    Reorganizing and decluttering are such long processes that, in a way, never end. But, it’s good to get to a point where there are feelings of reward…to positively reinforce us that it is all worth something meaningful. I destashed about half my yarn awhile back and never looked back. Like you, space is at a high premium, and for me it is making sense to really pare down to what I absolutely love and what I am absolutely using. Anything I keep because of utility needs to be used in a year or it goes, too. On the other end of things, I am working on not impulse buying. If I think I want something, I wait. If after a week I find I still want it, and know exactly when/how I will use it, I buy it. Having less “stuff”, old and new, opens up space in my mind to use my time more mindfully and joyfully. I don’t know if that made much sense 🙂 I strive alongside you…

    • Hmmm…here’s a dilemma…find ‘finds’ at flea markets and yard sales…like 10 8″ pillows for 50 cents….vintage fabric….and for me this problem (of my sewing area) is less a problem of decluttering than building/finding ways to keep it handy and organized. And i’ve lived a life of ‘making do’….and still am! Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. Boy do you sound like me; I quilt, bead, scrapbook, make cards and also anything else that I feel like challenging. I have spent the last week organizing my studio, a.k.a. craft room, I have the ability to utilize small spaces; since I have had training in it most of my life, living in small homes. I use book cases and small plastic drawers in various sizes. Keep an eye out for my next post because I hope to have pictures of my room. It may not be a solution for you, but hopefully will give you ideas of how to make what space you do have work. ~ Julie

  3. OY. Let’s form a support group. (I am filling my daughter’s bedroom with finished work as we speak, and bagging up supplies-I-don’t-use for a give-away at the next open studios. Some people have been able to wrestle at least a closet from their family, and establish a bulk head there.

  4. I don’t know. That book almost sounds like a comedy. As you know, my organization or lack of organization is all about WHEELS. I’ve spent years moving my office space around the house based on the needs of the household, while that has been settled in a spot now, I still wheel around my sewing, etc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: