Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sewing room declutter

Well, today was the promised sewing-room clearing out. And it took most of the day (minus a trip to the supermarket where the kids were remarkably well behaved and Sarah didn't kill anyone while wearing her heelies...).

Anyway, here's where we started from. As you can see, not a huge room - it's about 7 foot by 7.5 foot (just over 2m for those of you who might not speak imperial measurements). And I have a lot of stuff crammed in there. There was nothing really wrong with the basic layout - believe me, I've tried just about every combination possible and this is about the best there is.


I decided to make two substantial changes - remove a small wooden trunk box which is to the left as you come in the door (you can see it below with baskets of projects stacked on it) which had finished quilt tops in it - and replace it with a set of wicker drawers, and change the wooden shelved (painted orange) for some black plastic ones which are a slightly different shape and fit better with the drawers and the electric plug on the wall. (The black shelves are deeper but not as wide.)


So, above is my work table. Totally cluttered with stuff - it starts fairly clear, and gets worse and worse. I don't quilt any big quilts on this table and if I am doing a baby quilt I clear a lot of stuff, but mainly I work in a fairly small area.




To the right of the worktable, shelving units which have my dyeing supplies, some kids craft stuff (on the top shelf), some fabric (green boxes) and other miscellany. And behind the door as you come in - this was one of the major problems. These are the wooden drawers I keep a lot of my little bits in (sequins, buttons, some larger beads - the seed beads are downstairs in the living room with my beaded doll - if I ever finish it, I will have to find space for them in the sewing room, too - yikes!) ephemera, misc junk, and all that stuff I use on cards and inchies). It's virtually inacessible like this (the collection has grown) and I wanted to move it elsewhere.



And these are the shelves I was planning to move - they have books, some fabric, blocks from block swaps (the shoeboxes) and a lot of other junk on them - again - not thematically arranged and a bit higgledy piggledy. And my baskets for current/ongoing projectes. And ironing board, obviously.





Here's the room (above) once I've cleared the stuff out of it (didn't bother to move my machine, as it was the one thing that would definitely stay where it was). I hoovered under all the furniture - only happens about twice a year. The accesible part of the floor gets hoovered much more often but it's only a tiny bit, and the room does get very dusty...




Here's some of the stuff, while displaced. I'd like to say that the markers on the floor belong to Alex - yes, I am disowning that tiny bit of mess amidst all this! The bulk of the stuff goes on my bed - incentive to get it put back more or less straightaway - not to mention, the only surface big enough for it all...



Here are all my books and notebooks (above left), piled up against the closet door (aerial view from a chair - hard to get far enough away to photograph everythign!) - I am getting rid of a big stack of books - hopefully selling most of them, but if not, still getting rid of them. Need to be ruthless (no offense, Ruth!). And here's the room once I've moved the furniture and put the shelves back under the table, etc.

And here we are back (more or less) where we started from. My sewing table. It may not look much tidier, but I promise it is. I moved one of the little drawers of bits onto the table, which will be much easier to get stuff in and out of. Also cleared the space behind the machine a bit - it's a very deep table, so there's some space back there, but after a few months, it does get cluttered.

Oh, in case you are wondered what you can just see on the door to the room, that's my mini-quilt "Kate's Kids flying Kites" made by my friend Sandra (I will photograph it properly later, as I think it pre-dates my blog) and a poster of my main man (Bob Dylan, I mean).

Below, some "after" photos of the shelves - to the right of the table, again, all my dyeing stuff (thinned out a little - I decided I didn't need quite as many plastic cups, and so on) and now the paints are with the dyes (what a concept), and the stamps are there too (except the missing ones, which, dang it, are still missing, even after all this!) The top shelf - and you can't tell this in the photo is actually full of empty boxes! Which is great, because it means there is space to expand. There is one magazine file of cross-stitch stuff there, and the flowerpot I use to rest my soldering iron in, but otherwise, just empty boxes. Woohoo! [In case you wonder where this space came from - I moved the kids' craft stuff downstairs with the other kids' craft stuff, got rid of a big pile of books, pulled out some bits to give away in coming blog weeks, took 5 quilts waiting for binding out of the room (yes, five, though one was tiny - Alex's quilt for his panda) and probably a few more things I can't think of at the moment.]

The right hand photo is of the new shelves to the left of the table - iron on top where it's easy to get, art quilt books, thread box, bead & buttons, angelina, sculpey and again on the top shelf, a little empty space!

And finally, the new drawer unit, with my work baskets stacked up beside it, and my boxes of fat quarters (and other smaller bits of fabric). It's still very full of stuff, but it's more rational now, less cluttered, and less dusty. I do wish the damn stamps weren't still missing, though!


13 comments:

Myra said...

Wow Kate! You have been a busy beaver. Maybe your will inspire me to do mine sometime soon. :o)

joyce said...

Big cleaning job! Wanna come and have a go at my space???

peggy (playa@sympatico.ca) said...

Very busy indeed! And to write it all up with photos! Your space is amazingly organized. But you don't work on a table of sorts? Just the small space beside the sewing machine? Wow! I am impressed. When my children were little and I decided that I would sew ALL their clothes, underwear included, I didn't have much space and I took the corner of the playroom....there are no excuses for unleashing our creativity! Go Kate Go!

Later
Peggy

Doreen G said...

Same story Kate but the pictures are different and it could have been my room.
Sorry about the alphabet stamp set I was sure you would find it.
My husband reckons my problem is if I find a flat space I have to put something on it--and he's right too.

Cathi said...

Wow! I am always amazed how much you could fit in there, but it is always nice to have it arranged the way you need which changes from time to time!

Susan D said...

I'm amazed at how much stuff you can get in your little space. My studio is bit longer 7ft by 12ft but I'm gradually moving along the landing.

Vicki W said...

You are obviously an expert in space efficiency - I am IMPRESSED! I like going through that exercise periodically, I think it re-energizes creativity. Now you deserve a break!

Lisa said...

Doesn't cleaning your head just make you feel better about everything else?
Now for the fun part - you've got to get in there and mess it up again!

mom said...

Ok, you have put me to shame. There is no way I can compete with your organizational skills. Next time you come to visit, do you want to tackle my storage room?

You did a great job and I'm truly impressed.

Totty Teabag said...

Well done for making the effort! What is it about flat surfaces that make us fill them up? I am lucky in that I have two rooms to play in. The one dedicated to sewing has a large dining table in the centre with two sewing machines. One of these, the spare, is invisible under "stuff", the other, an old Elna, has a free square foot of space around it provided by half of the metal carrying box that converts its free arm into a flat bed. The sewing room's "dedicated" ironing board has an A3 cutting mat, quilt ruler and cutter set up at one end, and the pointy end has a pile of boxes containing small offcuts sorted by colour. If I want to press anything small, I pull out an old sleeve board that lives under the table. Anything larger and I set up a second ironing board in the corridor!
If ever anyone comments, or asks how I can possibly work surrounded by this disorder (the paper room is even more chaotic)I suggest that they Google for images of Francis Bacon's studio...

Julie said...

I'm worn out just reading this! I agree with doreen g and totty teabag. I am a definite filler of flat spaces including the settee, the armchair, the floor, worktable, worktable in the "shed" (my studio) etc etc you get the picture. Just don't sit down too long in our house, that's if you can find an empty seat!

Alice said...

I'm out of breath just looking at the pictures. Great job! Now how about getting on Facebook so we can play Scrabulous (only reason I joined).

Studio Christine said...

I am ashamed that I complain, and I have a big studio.

You fit SO much into your space, and are so organised, LOVE the things you create.

did the letters ever turn up?