Get organized! Some days I get so busy that my workspace looks like a bomb went off! Stabilizer everywhere, thread all over the place, and absolutely no scissors to be found, ever. It is so hard to take the time to get everything organized in your sewing room and to be able to keep it that way.
But where to start? Start with some organization baby steps: don’t try and do it all in one day! If you have time, tackle as many parts as you can, but don’t overdo it! If you try to organize everything in your workspace in one day, you will hate doing it. I prefer a little progress at the time. Figure out what you need to have organized first, and then work your way around.
The first thing to consider is whether or not you have the right tools at hand, where you need them. For example, I need a set of small trimming scissors right at my machine, nice and handy. I used to have to do a search-and-rescue mission for scissors! I bought a removable hook for my embroidery machine’s table, and put my favorite applique scissors on it. I like to use the removable hooks so you can change them whenever you need to without damaging any surfaces. You can get many different sized hooks for different
weights – I use these hooks for some of my bigger hoops too. If you don’t like where it is, move it! Now, whenever I need scissors, i know exactly where to find them. I use them, and then hook them back up – so make sure your organization is convenient, too. there is no point organizing and not having things in the right place! if your scissors are in the correct place when you are embroidering, they will easily go back into the right place when you are done, and then you can find them next time!
Here are a few handy ideas on how I organized my workspace. We do have a large workroom, but my workspace is separate from that workroom – so I have had to come up with a few clever ideas.
Bins of all sizes, and baskets too. Once you have decided what you would like to organize first, or the most urgent organization area, head out to the dollar store for some storage bins with lids, plastic baskets, and containers. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to be organized, and some dollar store bins are going to get you started. I measured my shelf storage space, and then went shopping. I was able to find the exact size bins that I need, all in the same color. Looking pretty isn’t an organizational necessity, but
it makes my workspace feel and look awesome!
Shelves: my shelf storage has been a life saver! I have a lot of little things that need to be organized. I used to keep everything in a bin or two, and spent a lot of time searching for what I was looking for! Buttons in a broken baggie at the bottom of the bin is not my idea of organization! Now, i use my dollar store bins and I have one for buttons, one for snap tabs, one for key chains, etc. When I need felt, i know exactly where to find it. Pins? yep, there is a bin for that, too. It didn’t take long to sort out the little bits once and for all.
Thread organization is a must in my workspace. I do have a ton of thread, and there was no way that I was going to spend time searching and searching for the right color. I do have a wall thread organizer, but I needed more, much more! I searched online and I found some cool color-coded drawers on wheels that were perfect! I had a “thread party” and 6 people helped me organize my thread in the correct drawers, from light to dark in each drawer too – and wow, it is awesome! I have 6 sets of the drawers (I did say I had a lot of thread) but it is very easy to find what I need – if I need green thread, I simply go to the green drawer and look at all of the different shades that I have (one of my favorite things to do!) If you have some wall space, you can go get some pegboard and some dowels and make your own thread organizer! I have also seen some clever thread storage hacks – drawers that fit the height of the spools, with golf tee’s glued to the bottom to hold the thread spools in place. Brilliant!
Organize your material. I don’t have a ton of pretty material, but sometimes I wish I did!! I tend to buy fat squares of different material when they are on sale, partly because I don’t have tons of room to store lots of material (my thread takes up a lot of room) but also I like to try different patterns and have lots of different colors of material. If I really like one design, then I can buy more if I need it! I have my material stash in the bins, too. I even have a bin for scraps – that is so handy if I am doing a small
applique – easy to find, and I can use up my scraps that way.
Labels: Once you have everything organized in your space, little printed label is the final finishing touch! This is the part that i really enjoy! Every bin or shelf gets a label for two reasons – you know exactly what is in the bin, and you know exactly where things get put back! I have so many bins on my shelves, i can’t remember what goes where – do a quick check of the label, and you know what that bin is holding!
My new favorite organization item: a little metal trolly! This thing is great! It is on wheels, so it can easily be moved out of the way, or closer to where you are working. It also has 3 shelves, so everything can be easily found. I have the top bin set up for embroidery: bobbins, extra scissors, marking pens, tape, machine oil along with my machine’s tool box. The second bin I have some handy pre-cut stabilizer. The bottom bin holds most of my fast frames, so I can easily find them, too. I also added some further organization on my trolly – little magnetic school locker organizers! I think these locker organizers cost $1 at a store, and they magnetically stick to the metal of the trolly. I love these!! I added more pens and stickers, too. I have everything I need for regular embroidery super handy, no matter where I am in my workspace. I tuck it beside my desk when I am not running my machine, so it is not in my way. I move it so everything can be easily reached when I am working. It is really awesome and a great timesaver, too.
I love my organized and color coded workspace! It makes me happy to be working each and every day! Although it took a while to get it to this point, it is well worth the effort. If I have a hectic work day, returning everything to its proper place is quick and easy, and ready to go on the next working day.
Happy organizing – remember the most important thing to do is START – once you get going, you will be very happy that your
workspace is organized!