Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Confession time. I am both an organization junkie and a bad housekeeper. Sounds very conflicting, doesn't it? I am an organization junkie in things I am passionate about. When I was homeschooling my five kids, I had all my homeschooling stuff super organized. I loved homeschooling my kids, and I was proud to see them excel in both homeschooling and life after homeschooling. Right now, DD#1 and DD#3 are homeschooling their own kids, and with DD#3 living here, I've been organizing her homeschooling stuff.

I love to read, and my books are separated by genre, and series are in order on the shelves. Our CD collection is also separated by genre, and in alphabetical order by artist. DVD collection is alphabetical by title. I like to be able to find what I'm looking for at a moment's notice.

Almost every drawer in my house has a drawer organizer in it. I went to more than one Goodwill store and bought every drawer organizer I could find. I fiddled with things until every drawer in the house was organized the way I wanted it. The one drawer organizer I didn't use, I donated back to Goodwill. I did most of the drawer organizing about a year ago, and my junk drawer in the kitchen is STILL clean!

My quilting is the same way. I like my quilting room to be very organized. I use the scrap user system which works for me. I have drawers of colored strips, one drawer per size, and stacks within the drawer divided by color. I have drawers of neutral strips in nice neat piles. I have my 1 yard and less pieces of fabric in one section of my sewing room, on small mini-bolts divided by color. I have my over 1 yard pieces on larger mini-bolts, organized by color in my glass door cabinets. I like to be able to FIND whatever I need, right when I need it.

Sometimes what I try for organization doesn't work. Sometimes it doesn't work at all, and sometimes my needs change, so even though it worked for a while, it is no longer working. Now that I've had to change things in my sewing room a bit, due to the sewing cabinet change, a few things weren't working well anymore.

I had my Go cutter and dies at the bottom of my Trofast ironing station hack from Ikea. I've since added more dies, and they weren't fitting well anymore. I had a tall skinny cabinet in the corner of my sewing room that wasn't working well for me either. I had a set of shelves in one of the bathrooms, that I wasn't happy with either. Hmmm, a little repurposing was in order. I moved the tall skinny cabinet from my sewing room, into the bathroom, and now the towels are stored in it. It fits perfectly in there.

I moved the shelves from the bathroom into the sewing room, and although it's kind of crammed in the corner, there is more space than it looks like in this pic, and I can reach the entire shelf all the way down. Now my Go dies are on this, and my flannel stash that was in the cabinet, is now on the lower shelves.

Now that I have more space available on my ironing station, I reevaluated what was in the bins in the ironing station. I am going to Ikea on Friday, so I can buy more bins then, but I needed to know which size bins I should get.

When I made the ironing station, my original plan was to use it to sort my stash of strings. I never just cut strings, but, when I am cutting fabric for any project, that initial cut to straighten the edge? I cut it a bit wider, so I get a string from it. When I'm using up the last of a fabric, I usually end up with strings. When I use my Go cutter, I sometimes end up with strings. The part of a backing I trim off after cutting and before binding usually ends up in my string collection. Even my color controlled quilts usually use 100 different fabrics or so, and that means every quilt nets me a lot of strings. I love string piecing, so that's not a problem at all. If I'm really stressed, I may just take a day to do nothing but string piece. It's really brainless sewing, and is great therapy to get my head together. I haven't had time to work on a string quilt in a while, because I've had so many deadline quilts the last couple of years. You want to see what I mean?

How's that for a LOT of strings? I put the huge pile of unsorted strings in the center of the table, and dumped the sorted strings from Ziploc bags into the bins from my ironing station. I spent this evening sorting that big pile of strings, and now all my strings are ready to be put away, ready to be used as I have time. I'll buy three more Trofast bins on Friday, and I will finally have my strings sorted and stored the way I originally intended over two years ago.

This isn't a great pic, and you can see the holes I have until I buy more bins on Friday. On the left, I'll have three project bins on top, followed by my larger bin of selvages, and the bin of misc. strings, (too many colors to put in a color bin). In the middle from top to bottom, I have a bin of red, pink, orange, yellow, and a larger bin of green. On the right I'll have a larger bin of blue, purple, brown, and a larger bin of black. For right now, I'll keep my neutral stings in a basket near my Singer 99, because I've got a Jamestown landing quilt in the works, and I'm using them. Right now I have the most neutral strings, and I'd probably need a bin three units high to hold them. I don't want a bin that large though, so I'll just work on using some strings up, and eventually, they will all fit under here, I'll just have to go down to two project bins.

So, there are my organization junkie tendencies, what about the bad housekeeper? I don't like to dust, which is why I've been converting all the storage in my house to closed storage. I don't like to wash the floors, vacuum, and such. I'd rather be quilting. I let those things go too long. Thankfully we entertain often enough, that I do a fairly decent cleaning job before each event. My house will never be spotless, and I'm OK with that. It is clean enough to not be nasty, but I'm just not too picky about something being dusty, or dog fur getting on my clothes. I don't like clutter, so I stay on top of the mail for the most part, and if there is junk on my kitchen counters, I can practically guarantee I didn't put it there. Why am I the only person in the house capable of putting away the peanut butter? I bet there are things in your house that are the same way, if not the kitchen counters, maybe an entryway table or something?

I only have 17 more blocks to make for the wedding quilt, I have the pineapple quilt in rows, and I am on row 3 of the bonus Aussie quilt. I am assembling rows as leaders/enders while making the wedding quilt blocks. I have another quilt laid out and ready to assemble too. I found some blocks in the bins of my ironing station, and I'll be working on assembling those into quilt tops too. I found two different sets of nine patches, and I can easily make them into I Spy quilts, since I have novelty fabrics precut into 6" squares in my scrap user system. I bought two more skirt hangers, that hold four each, so I can hang a total of 16 quilt tops in my closet now. I have 7 already hanging, but with all I'm finishing right now, I know I might hit the 16 before I have a chance to have a quilting spree for non-deadline quilts. I debated on buying three more hangers instead of two, but that would allow me to have 20 quilt tops hanging, and I'm thinking that's too many. If I keep my UFO's under 20, I'm ok with that. DD#1 claimed one of UFO's hanging in the closet already, so when I get it quilted, it will be leaving the house immediately.

1 comment:

phxquilt said...

I am in awe of your organization...and your productivity! I agree that dust doesn't look any worse after a couple of weeks as it does after a couple of days unless somebody writes in it. Unfortunately I don't have your aversion to clutter, or at least I'm so far behind I may never get caught up. Maybe if I keep reading some of it will rub off. LOL