I can see my floor!

posted in: Studio/Organizing | 14

ClutterYes! For weeks, I desperately needed to clean my studio, and now I can really see the floor! It was so horrifying, I couldn’t bring myself to take “before” pictures. Seriously. I haven’t been in there to work since September. Do you remember October and November? All the traveling? All the teaching? All the shopping?

For two months I’ve been stacking stuff in there: on the floor, on the worktable, on the chair, hanging from the doors, leaning against every surface. My suitcase full of goodies from Houston still sat smack dab in the middle of my main work area. When I needed something, I would take my life into my own hands, tiptoe in, dig out the item, and carelessly toss it back in the heap when I was done. Imagine every flat surface looking a bit like the picture above. It was a fearful sight to behold.

Occupy your Sewing RoomAnd then, along came Cat Patches with a wonderful idea: Occupy your Sewing Room! She encouraged people to set the goal of spending an entire day in their sewing room during the week of December 3 through 10. I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer.

A couple of days ago, I squeezed into the room and began by clearing away the boxes of new fabric. It’s really not my fault. I had to buy a lot because I signed up for a Nancy Crow workshop and you have to bring lots of choices with you. Plus, Fabric.com had a Black Friday sale. Let’s just say this was the most fabric I’ve ever purchased at one time. But then, it was a good deal because after the discount, the Kona Cotton was only $3.83 per yard! And while I was shopping for Kona Cotton, I saw other places with other great sales of fabric I really, really wanted. Let’s just say I’ll be prewashing fabric for a while.

Fabric to prewash

And then there were the boxes of stuff leftover from lectures and workshops and play days and projects and all the other times I pulled out lots of stuff but didn’t put it away. (I’m noticing a trend here: I’m bad at putting things away!)

Stuff that needs to be put awayOnce there was floor space so I could move, I got some empty boxes and filled them with “Stuff That Needs to be Put Away.” I piled them high until my worktable, the floor, and every other surface that should be empty was completely cleaned off. Then I started at the left corner of my worktable and worked my way to the right. Little by little, I cleaned out each cubbyhole, each drawer, each area as I went. I ruthlessly and cheerfully tossed out stuff I know I will never use. Anytime I came across something that belonged elsewhere, I put it in my boxes of “Stuff That Needs to be Put Away.”

Once the work area was tidy, I started emptying the boxes. One by one, each item was assigned a new home. I reorganized a few areas in ways that I hope will be a bit more efficient.

Clean studio

I even cleaned out each one of those little drawers and cubbyholes. I just need to label them.

Clean studio

It took me several days to get through it all, but this is what my studio looked like at 11:30 last night. Now I can finally vacuum the floor.

14 Responses

  1. Mary T. Salmon

    I can relate…I still have unpacked packages from Paducah…I am not even going to try and put away things from Houston!
    Thanks for sharing…Your studio looks great!

  2. Ann Wiseman

    “Occupy Your Sewing Room” – I love it. Every once in a while, it’s nice to get down to ground zero (pun about an explosion intended…) : ) Congratulations!

  3. Kristin McNamara Freeman

    You did a great job of organizing! My daughter and I have spent two afternoons this week going through every container I have in the studio. I won’t even write how many rotary cutters I own…and scissors; well my daughter recognized things from when she was in junior high school – she’s now 34 a wife and mother – and she would take those things and add them to the thrift store donation bag saying something like “Mom, if you have not used this since I was a kid, chances are I am going to have to deal with this down the road…so let’s send it away now and make some space for you!” We made some deep progress in clearing and cleaning “Occupy Your Sewing Room” a marvelous national event.
    Thanks for sharing your photos and story….it encourages me to do even deeper on our next occupy day!

  4. Sharon Driver

    great job, Maria…..

    Did some reorganizing myself on Friday….went from 8 ft table for cutting area to 6 ft table. In reality, it would have been sooo much nicer to order what I think is THE solution for a cutting area but FREE vs $500 – FREE won out, lol. So very nice to sew in a less cluttered room!

  5. sonia

    Maria, thanks for the inspiration. I will try to straighten out my Sewing Area one area at a time in between writing Christmas cards, decorating the tree and around the house, scrubbing and cleaning my floor and toilet…. etc. etc. I am also embroidering something on sweatshirts for gifts. But amidst all this, I am taking time out to straighten my “piles” in my sewing room. I will take a before and after shots just to give me satisfaction with my achievement…
    Thanks again for your inspiration.

  6. Robin Koehler

    Looks fantastic and wish I had known since I did all the same bad habits:) I will get to it this week for sure once my kitchen is done.

  7. Shanna @SSparrow in Flight

    What a fantastic day spent in your sewing room! I am in fabric envy mosde though after seeing your piles of pretty colors all ROYGBIV’d for us! You know, orphaned fabric need homes too and to feel useful…You are just doing a public service really…lol.

  8. Joan

    Yeah floor, it’s a great feeling isn’t it. I don’t know about you, but there is just so long I can work among chaos, then I have to stop and clean or I can’t wrap my mind around any project. Beautiful fabrics you have found! 🙂

  9. Debbe

    Now that it is clean, I’m sure you are itching to get in there and ‘mess it up’ again. That is what always happens to me.