State of My Messy Studio

It’s gotten away from me.

And while this isn’t terrible and wouldn’t bother a lot of people, I don’t like stepping over piles of fabric or digging through paperwork. I don’t like having scraps take over the end of my cutting table. Mostly I don’t like the feeling of being a bit out of control. It is a bit out of control.

In truth, I’ve started cleaning up already. It’s pretty easy to put fabric away since I store it (mostly) by color. Some of that is done. And the books are reshelved; because they are usually on the shelf by subject, they are easy to put away.

The papers always baffle me, but soon they’ll be sorted, too. I hope. πŸ™‚ How do you deal with your paperwork? I have a few different sets right now: the class I’m teaching; guild presentations I’m scheduled to do; my guild’s program committee; my guild’s president stuff; my guild’s bylaws stuff; and random stuff… I know how to deal with them once I’m done with them, but it’s confusing when they’re still being used… And none of that includes the old laptop and three flash drives that need to be cleared, nor the digital photos that need to be sorted and filed. Aargh…

What is your biggest storage or organization challenge in your studio? What is easiest for you to control? Do you have some tips to share?Β 

 

 

 

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35 thoughts on “State of My Messy Studio

  1. melfunk

    My studio is out of control. Mainly it is all the things that need to be put away from the two trips in the last month, Christmas wrapping, paperwork is always a pain, and packages that need to be sealed and mailed. I need to get it under control, but have to wait a bit because of a medical issue.

    Reply
  2. zippyquilts

    Eek! My entire house has been taken over by papers! Paperwork in the studio is organized in one file drawer and several notebooks, but it’s never really under control 😦

    Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Even when at its best, it never really feels under control! I’ve spent a lot of time getting my computer files better organized, and yeah, it helps. But it sure falls apart in a hurry as new things are downloaded. 😦

      Reply
  3. KerryCan

    My problem is toooooooo many crafts! There’s the quilting mess and the weaving chaos and the paperwork and just so much stuff, not to mention all the vintage linens, waiting to be listed on Etsy. I think I’ll go take a nap . . .

    Reply
  4. snarkyquilter

    Messy? Really? Let me introduce you to some slobs I know, starting with my son. I’ve come to a detente with my messes by boxing them up and moving them to another room. I have quilts in boxes under two beds, the guest bed hosts tops I need to quilt, any available drawer has small pieces. I am fairly conscientious about going through old patterns and quilt related printed material and pitching. I’ve been sewing my scraps together, but that just means they move to another box. Then there’s the paints, stamps, etc. The dyeing equipment lives in the furnace room. I could really use a quilting house.

    Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      OH YES!! Like I used to say, when I was working, I really could use a wife!! These days I don’t fantasize about that, but about having a separate house for my quilting. Honestly, I could use a house a whole 600 sf for the living part, if I had another 1000 sf for the quilts.

      Reply
  5. allisonreidnem

    Yes! It’s the bits of paper that are ‘events in progress’ that cause problems for me too. I daren’t file them in case I forget to continue dealing with them! Also, my computer filing system is too haphazard. I’m learning the hard way to name and date computer documents and files very carefully – looking through computer files for a particular document is even harder than leafing through a stack of papers!

    Reply
  6. tierneycreates

    Death by Paper. So here are some of my past semi-successful paper wrangling activities: 1) go through all the patterns I clipped from magazines and scan the ones I really think I will make, organize the scans into folders on my laptop which can also be downloaded onto my iPad if I am taking them to a quilt retreat; and let the rest go. 2) Do not save manuals from electronic devices, etc. as everything is online. You do not need the manual to your printer for example, it is online at the manufacturers website. 3) A binder with sheet protectors to keep special items and clippings related to my art quilting journey and patterns that would not work being scanned (like if they require templates). 4) Getting rid of paper as soon as it comes into my house and not letting it linger, I finally let go of keeping receipts unless I need them for tax purposes and then I file them immediately. Okay not saying all these ideas worked but I do have less paper stress.

    Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Great ideas. 1) patterns — done! 2) manuals — I only have 3 machines, so I’ll keep the paper copies 3) binder with sheet protectors — done! 4) receipts — done! πŸ™‚ Yeah, mostly it’s my guild stuff that seems to generate asexually. I think keeping them in separate folders/binders/piles is about as good as I can do for them at this point. PLUS getting rid of the previous copy of anything. It won’t last forever. Thanks!

      Reply
  7. TextileRanger

    I am really enjoying you checking in daily! Hope that encourages you to keep up with the challenge you set yourself to blog each day in November!
    And I really need to clean my sewing room. I just always end up thinking, “If I just whip these scraps into a top, that will clean up the room!” but it just makes it worse. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I know that feeling! And usually it’s because I’m still enjoying working with particular colors or fabrics, and they’re still out! Usually I fight the urge, but now and then I give in. I have one UFO right now that is from leftovers of an earlier quilt this year. I’d still like to get back to it “soon…” πŸ™‚

      Reply
  8. Nann Hilyard

    If that’s a mess, Melanie, then I guess my studio is perpetual chaos. And you should see the office. Actually, I am fairly tidy and organized — other rooms in the house are kept picked-up. My Myers-Briggs typology is ESFJ which indicated that I am uncomfortable inconclusion and loose ends. I have boiled down my operating procedure for my non-quilt life to having a two-pocket folder for each organization (AAUW branch, AAUW state committee, AAUW national committee, P.E.O. chapter and round table and state committee Coalition for Healthy Communities, Woman’s Club, Rotary, church, ALA committees). Current paperwork goes in the respective folder. I still use a day planner (Day-Timers two-page-per-month and Uncalendar weekly pages) and I have a notebook with daily to-dos. It works for me!

    Reply
  9. WriteAndQuilt

    My father always said, “If a person’s desk is clear, they must not be doing anything.” But I’m with you on keeping things organized. With working full-time, I tend to run into my studio, sew or cut for 15 minutes, then run out the door. Right now I have the remains of a few projects in different baskets. Those leftovers need to be integrated back into the main stash and cleared away. But with few minutes in my day to spare, I end up using the time to create instead of clean and organize.

    Reply
    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I’m always amazed at how little time it takes me to put fabric away. Fifteen minutes takes care of most or all of it. But I truly get your point. We have to make choices for how to spend our time! Thanks.

      Reply
  10. katechiconi

    By far my worst problem is the pile of garments and items waiting to be mended or altered. The quilting stuff is tidied away in boxes in the cupboard or on the design wall. But pants to be taken up, tears to be darned, curtains to be made, garments to be stitched together, that’s my mess, and most of it’s living on the wire shelf under my iron board, so it glares reproachfully at me every time I use the iron. One of these days (famous last words) I shall sit down and work my way through that pile. One day…

    Reply
      1. katechiconi

        There are some things I can throw out, and others just have to be mended; favourite garments, things which are perfect except for a small hole, brand new pants that trail on the floor. My choice is to fix them…. eventually!

        Reply
  11. Espirational

    Oh, that’s not bad at all. My studio space that looked so big when we bought the house gets smaller every day. πŸ™‚ My two major organizational challenges right now are the closet and my work table. You can’t see what’s in the closet with the door closed, but it would be nice to not have to worry about being buried under a pile of stuff when I open the door. And the table– well most of the time I can’t see the top of it — like right now. If I actually wanted to lay something out on it everything would probably end up on the floor.

    Reply

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