Friday, May 8, 2020

How to Organize A Sewing Space (Part I) Off the Wall Space

So the spring spruce of my sewing space has evolved into a full blown project.  My husband was right though. Between the weather turning more sunny and a good project to occupy my mind, the covid quarantine blues have disappeared.  If I had been in the right frame of mind, I probably could have predicted that this was going to be bigger than a weekend project.  I guess, I just hadn't realized how dysfunctional the space had gotten.  THEN once I did, well.....the overachiever in me kicked in.  Plus, this is the kind of project that my true administrator's heart can sink her teeth into.  To do it right it's not just a good clean out, its a re-visualization of your sewing space. Luckily, my work style is organized and tasked oriented, meaning I start at the top of the list and work my way through until its done.

So for you that aren't as anal as I is the process.

How to Organize A Sewing Room or Studio
my decisions are in red

I.  Analyze, Research, Brainstorm
  • Decide what you really want in your space.  What is most important to you.  Do you want a nice ironing station?  Good lighting? A sound system?  Computer Station?  Ample storage?  Write it all down on a WANTS list. ( good lighting, huge design board, easy thread/fabric storage, not a lot of clutter)
  • Research ideas.  Let me tell you there is a VAST amount of inspirational out there for this....its quite the rabbit hole.  Save pictures, jot down ideas, make bookmarks.  Be REALISTIC, this is not a your bucket dream space.
  • Research different storage options and which ones will work best for your personal style  (wire retail shelves, open tubs for hand dyeds, cube storage/bins for scraps, peg board/notions cabinet)
  • Decide on the ambiance and aesthetic of the room  (Nothing too cutesy, functional, interesting art, my quilts)
  • Make a list of what you don't like about your sewing space now and even make notes of what you didn't like about spaces you researched (Thread board, too much stuff on the floors, scrap storage in bags, not having place for everything and everything in its place)
II.  Plan
  • Set a budget.  Looking around the web, I found some amazing sewing spaces with some amazing budgets to match.  So be realistic on what you want to spend.  You can adjust as you go but its good to have a ball park figure to start out with. ($400)
  • Make a layout.  Pull out your "Wants" list from Part I and make sure you include everything on there.  Think how YOU create and sew.  For instance, I hated conventional ironing boards and disliked getting up every time I needed to press a seam. So I made sure that my work table had a big moveable pressing board.  Its sits on the end with my iron and I use it a ton but if I need to move it - it comes right off.
  • Decide where your electrical and lighting will go and coordinate it with your layout.  This of course will be limited by your budget but with a little planning you can save yourself some future headaches.
  • Furniture/Movable Storage.  Plan on what furniture you want in your room and where it will go.  Take time to measure - even roughly so you have an idea of how everything will fit.
  • Research/Shop for the new items you'll need.  Don't be afraid to look in unconventional places.  (Restaurant supply, industrial supply, dollar store)
III.  Purge
  •  Clean out every single inch of the space.  That means emptying every drawer, shelf, table etc.  
  • Refer back to Part I...Decide what do you want in your space.....
  • Sort ....Keep......Move to another place in the house.....donate.......throw away
hmmmmm....writing this all out I'm getting a better idea of  why this is taking me so long.  The funny thing is that I did this once 5 years ago and this is just a 5 yr tweak of  my first plan.  I've safely gotten through Part I-III in my project and have moved into Part IV (which you'll have to wait till next week to read because this is getting long!)

It's amazing though, the more I work on the transformation the more I want to get it done to sew in!  Please feel free to share ideas on what you like and don't like about your sewing space.

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1 comment:

Frugal Mom said...

Thanks for the step by step list for organizing your sewing space. I get stuck at the purge stage. It is so hard for me to throw anything away.