I finally got to the icky part of the October Overhauling. Sorting and organizing and actually cleaning up my mess.
So, this is what I accomplished yesterday.
(once again, I had to brighten up these photos. . .you've been warned!)
This is the part of the mess I didn't show off previously (the pile that had overflown my dining table).
It consists of assorted crafting stuffs and all my cheaper fabrics (remnants from Joannes, stuff I found at thrift stores, repurposed sheets, etc).
First up was just to divide and classify.
A bag of yarn. A bag of wool/wool felting items. A bag for embroidery stuffs.
A bag of socks and stretch gloves (for making monkeys and such). A bag of true miscellaneous items (crayons, flower stem wire, fabric markers--mostly leftovers from previous projects).
And all the fabric. (note, it's sitting on my couch on a blanket, so that drapey bluish mess is not part of the stash). I broke the fabric down by type. (clockwise from top left) Coduroy (the blue square), felted wool sweaters, batting (that white blob), cottons/cotton mixes, fake furs, flannel (the octopus print), No Clue What it Is (that green roll--no clue on what it is), fleece, and felt (the black square).
I had a lot more fabric in that pile of stuff than I thought. This isn't even all of my "generic" fabric collection, either. I have a tote upstairs in my computer (hopefully soon to be crafting) room packed with a bunch more. Since all this fabric is "generic" I don't fret over it as much as I do my really nice quilting cottons (that are piled up on my dining room table). Since most came from remnant bins and the thrift store, there's not a ton of money invested here and I have a very easy come, easy go attitude toward them. So I wasn't overly worried about how I was going to store them right now.
SO. . .back into the big black bag with you, Generic Fabric.
It all fit in the large black bag, too. (I love that bag, it's so perfect for this purpose--I scored it for free when my office ordered catering from Jimmy Johns, a local sandwich chain). The other two bags (which I won in a giveaway and arrived earlier in the day which is what really motivated me to organize a bit) contain all the non-fabric items. One bag is all for socks and stretch gloves and the other holds all the other miscellaneous bags.
With that one pile nice and neat, I was motivated to move on to the pile on my dining room table. Most of it is my "good" quilting cottons which are already organized and stored in plastic bags (the big zipper style ones). But there was a lot of crafting detritus around it. Spools of ribbon and random notions and what not. I gathered up those little things and put them away.
See, that's part of my problem. Instead of just properly putting something away when I get it I sit in near where it needs to be and say "I'll do it later". Then after a few months I have a heap of "I'll do it later" I still haven't taken care of.
I found a small cardboard box (amid the clutter!) and used it for all my spools of ribbon/ric rac and my button containers. The loose ric rac (or stuff wound on cards) went into the crafty organizer container that is the base of Fabric Mountain (on the dining room table).
I didn't get a snap of the slightly organized dining room table because you can't really SEE what I did. It still looks a mess due to all my finished projects piled up and my "cheap felt" pile which I need to get into order.
Then I moved on to my kitchen table. I decided only current works in progress should be living there I made a push to pick up and put away some random items that were hainging out there (craft books, socks for sock monkeys, some ribbon).
Yeah, it still looks like a mess to the untrained eye but to me (who lives with it) there is definite improvement (especially on the right side of the table).
I cleaned up my scraps, throwing out the stuff that needed thrown out. The box on the right side is what I used to organize my ribbons/ric rac. The mini pile along the right side still needs more work. There are a lot of random spools of thread and such there that could be put away or at least gathered into a small container if they are necessary.
Projects currently on the table are: Halloween Swap (in box on left corner). Cake slice post card (right beside the box). Fabric bags (decor weight fabric in the front left). Sock monkeys (shiney packs in the middle of table). Scrap map of US (back right corner).
I do need to put away my halloween fabrics (for now) since I'm not actively working on any halloween projects right now.
After finishing Organizing Round One, I had a revelation. There is an unused dresser on my third floor. I could use that to help me organize! I mentioned it to the wife and he countered with, "What about the closet in the computer room?"
HOLY CRAP, that's RIGHT! I have a closet/bureau hybrid thing up in the computer/craft room. But. . .I need to clean it out and organize it so I can really use it.
So that's is this weekend's project. Migrating the downstairs piles to the second floor.
It's a slow process but it's really relaxing to go through all the stuff and organize it. And even get rid of some. I found a few things I just didn't want anymore so I'm keeping a bag of all those items and maybe I'll have a giveaway at the end of the month.