It all started because a cockroach found its way into my laundry room and onto a shirt that I was planning to iron.
Unbeknownst to me, that cheeky little beggar was clinging to said shirt.  Once in my studio, he jumped off the shirt and into the disaster called my sewing studio.

Lots of places to hide.  I could barely go in there knowing I might have to share the place with such a disgusting creature.

 Holy Junk Room, Batman!

So, this weekend while Mr. Seasoned Homemaker was visiting his mom, I decided that I would find the fiend and send him on to his Maker.

Easier said than done.  Look at this place.  And that doesn’t include the closet which I have to admit, would make a fine home for a cockroach family.

First, I pulled everything out of the closet, found my little friend, and gave him a blast of EcoSmart Ant and Roach Killer.  He is at peace, now.  However, the room has a strong scent of clove oil. 

I can see how horders get started.  In the top of the closet (next to my little friend) was the following:

*  A box of my husband’s ski clothes
*  SAT/PSAT Prep Books (I used to teach this)
*  Various textbooks from past teaching gigs
*  Thirty-five years worth of photos in albums
*  A large stuffed lamb
*  A container of sewing machine oil

This is embarrassing.  I have all kinds of sewing-related items scattered around the room and a shelf full of unrelated (and unnecessary) stuff.

All have now found new homes, except the lamb.  I really like him, so he gets to stay.

First, in the corner of the closest sat my old, mechanical sewing machine which I don’t want to part with, yet.  It’s temporary plastic cover was coated in spider webs.  Gross.

So, I dashed off to Walmart and scored this Universal Sewing Machine Cover for $23.  Perfect.
Next, I wanted to wrangle some of my other rulers and pinning mats.  A while back, Mr. SH had hung the towel rack holding the tissue paper.

A few nails later, I had some things off the floor and up on the wall.

Next, the top shelf.  I put items up there that I can easily get to, but don’t need every time I sew.
The closet floor wasn’t too cluttered, just dusty and spider-webby.  Here I put the old Kenmore machine, my Bernina’s carrying bag, and an Omnigrid case I carry to sewing classes.

Easy to get to when I need them, but I don’t need them very often.

The next thing I tackled was the open shelves to the right of the cutting table.  I tend to toss all sorts of sewing related paper here.
This is a totally inefficient way to keep up with ideas and inspiration.  So, off to Target I went where I picked up a few things to help with this problem.

Three magazine organizers ($5 each) plus three plastic paper holder things ($1 each) to help me sort future projects.

I took the three black magazine organizers that I already had and went through everything.  I created six different categories (because I have six organizers).

*  Bookzines
*  Original Designs
*  Machine Manuals
*  Embroidery Design Sets
*  Oversized Patterns
*  AccuQuilt Go Baby Templates
*  Three binders

While far from perfect, the room is much more functional.  I was also able to think through some other ideas.

The first thing I want to tackle is getting a few more shelves over the cutting table, plus a pegboard to hold scissors, rulers, and a variety of everyday items.

I’m thinking of skirting the front of the table so I don’t have to see the mess underneath.
Adding more shelves over the cutting table will allow easy access to some things, but still keep them within easy reach.  I think I will move embroidery stabilizers to the future shelves.  That will give me more room for fabric storage.

Finally, I need to organize my scraps.  I could use a few ideas here, so feel free to chime in with your suggestions.

Phase One of Operation Clean Up Your Mess, Leslie complete.  Now, me and my lamb are going to relax with a cup of coffee.



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  1. says

    Hi Leslie,
    I too am in the process of organizing my sewing room. Went to Ikea and bought lots of cabinets, floor, wall and counter tops. I have two Berninas, one of which stays out ALL the time, and a Janome, not to mention my serger (which currently resides in the kitchen!). Since my sewing room WAS my dining room and that is the first thing you see when you walk in off my back porch, I really had to get some organizing done!

    As for the scraps, I use the plastic shoe containers for my water soluble stabilizer scraps and I plan on getting more of these and sorting them into like colors in the bins. Of course, I need one that is huge for my fleece scraps! May have to hit up Staples for that one! I can hardly wait to get my cabinets put together and get everything organized!

    Thanks for a great blog!


  2. says

    My Kennie looks just like yours, mine is a 158.1941-1. Don’t get rid of it. It can do more than the new plastic wonders that have all those gorgeous stitches and embroidery. You can also pin on the bed and not see scratches, ask me how I know — LOL. I started organizing mine and got a dining table to put in the room, I was guesstimating and if the room was 3 ft. larger it would be perfect. Then my kidlet moved back home and all my sewing stuff in her room went into the designated sewing/craft room and now it just a jumble. Can’t get at much past the front. She actually came home twice and I haven’t recovered yet — too many other life crisis items barged in. Getting ready to start all over because I got two new plastic sewing wonders with more stitches than I ever had before and have been playing with them trying applique and a quilt I am bored with. I got some ideas from your efforts so if I come up with something worth repeating I will post it either here or on my blog in a month or so. Great job and I love your ideas.

    • Leslie says

      Like you, I’m never getting rid of the Kenmore. It is a workhorse extraordinaire. Those ‘plastic wonders’ can really be fun to play with. Sometimes, I just play around to see what they will do. Quite entertaining.

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