A few years ago I decided to re-carpet and re-paint my upstairs.  Two of my three children have moved out of the house.  One lives in his own house and one is finishing up Grad school.  It was a perfect time to clean out and clean up.

Now, #1 son was a collector.  He collected everything that was sports.  Baseball card, signed balls, magazines, cereal boxes, action figures, soda bottles … well, you get the picture.  He has never thrown away a trophy or a spiral notebook.  I learned this when I went up into his closet.  My idea up until now of closet cleaning was to un-screw the light bulb.  The painters did not share my vision of closet cleaning.  They wanted it out and moved to another venue.  Yes, all of it!

So, I called #1 and told him his “stuff” was not welcome here anymore.  Believe it or not he was not really interested in having this “stuff” anymore.  I had been saving his “stuff” just to give it-throw it-move it-organize it.  So, lesson learned.  No more storing my kids stuff.

Let this be a warning to you #3 son!  Your “stuff” is not welcome here once you get your own place!

Ok, back to the topic.  I realized that I too had my share of “stuff”.  WHAT WAS I THINKING?  I had fabric that I bought so long ago that I didn’t even like it anymore.  Why can’t I throw away those small 2″X2″ scraps of fabric that I cut from the end of a jelly roll?  In what alternative dimension did I think I was going to use up these pieces?  I can barely get the planned stuff done.  I have them all organized in tubs from Wal-Mart.  I was serious about these small pieces.

So, I needed an intervention.  I needed someone with some serious skills to come to my house and hit me over top the head with a fabric tower.  (I have several of them I haven’t even looked at) Since I wasn’t going to hire a professional organizer, I went to the next best thing.  The Container Store.  They hire people that really know what they are doing, right?  I mean, it’s called the Container Store – Not the Throw it in a Tub Store.

Here’s some things that I found helpful.  First, I tackled the thread.  I love thread but I would love it better if it wasn’t in a jumbled up mess.


Here is my Appliqué thread.  I found this great Handy Container with a handle to keep the appliqué thread all together.  It was so handy that….IMG_1174

I bought a second one to keep with my travel sewing machine.  Now, when I go to class I grab my sewing machine and this travel kit.  I can’t believe everytime I taught a class I would pack a ziploc bag with the things that I needed.  Now they are all together in one place!


The Elfa desks have some great options.  This is a desk top and two bookcases from Wal-mart.  I left a space in between the two bookcases for storage of things that can stand up on its side.  The shelves are adjustable.  I bought some three drawer chests for thread.  On the left is two flip top cases that hold thread collections.  The bottom three drawer chest on the left holds zippers and grommets.  All the loose things that run around in big places and get lost.  There is a lot stored in this unit.

I liked this idea for storage.  This time of year The Container Store has a sale on Elfa units.  Fabric Storage!  Yes, I bought two desktop units for Fabric Storage.


This is two desktop units.  I purchased them new.  The closest unit is a smaller unit that I found at a yard sale.  What a bargain!  The baskets are perfect for fabric except it gets dusty when you don’t use it.  I think I can live with that.  Here’s a photo of the drawer unit.  Warning!  I folded and organized my fabric for weeks to get my drawers in this condition.  It’s an on-going battle to keep it like this.  On any given day you can come into my sewing room and it will not be this organized.  Prepare yourself!


I told you.  It’s pretty great when it’s neat!  Here’s the top drawer that I use for small item storage.  These don’t stay as neat.


I have found these on Craigs List, the local newspaper, etc.  Whenever I see one I call about it.  I got this one from a friend.  It doesn’t have enough drawers.  It’s not worth the space it takes up.


Now, I need to tackle the bookcases.  I have more kits, towers, yarn and books.  I needed a solution for all of this so it’s not messy and can be easily accessible. I want to use it instead of look for it.


My solution is hanging file containers called Multi-Storage Bins from the Container Store.  These bins are really inexpensive and the best thing I bought for my organizing.  They really hold a lot in one space.  I went overboard on these but have not regretted it!


And one more thing!  These are fabric storage cards.  I have folded all of my stabilizers, tear away and fusible web on these.  They are labeled at the top to identify what is rolled on them.  It’s a wonderful time saver to just line these up on the bookcase.  They store in a small area and are tidy, too!

I hope you have enjoyed the tour through my neat and organized sewing room.  On any given day, this room does not even resemble the photos above – but it could again with just some “elbow grease”!

Let’s hear your ideas for storage!  Add a comment below with a great tip and I will pick a winner and send you a surprise.  Let’s get organized in 2016!   January is Organize it Month!

3 Responses

  1. The sliding basket units are also available at Ikea. I have also purchased just the baskets to store of a shelf system installed in what used to be a deep closet. You don’t have to purchase the whole unit that goes with the baskets. Either way, they hold a lot of fabric and it is easy to see through to what you have inside the basket. Yes, it does take time to refold all your fabric to fit but it was a great way for me to take stock of what I had and weed out anything that was outdated. It was worth every minute spent reorganizing this way.

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