If you haven’t read the book, The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up, you’ve no doubt heard of the corresponding reality TV series, in which the decluttering guru Marie Kondo helps people dig out of their mess and organize their belongings.
I read the book a few years ago and while there were a few things that were just too hokey for me (I don’t thank my belongings for serving me before putting them in the Goodwill bag, for example), I did glean some organization tips from that book that were pretty life-changing. (I mean, not like the births of my children life changing, but you know …)
One strategy in particular and one that I have now employed in my home for three or four years, is the KonMarie method of folding and storing clothing. Not only did this revolutionize my dresser, it changed how I store and view my fabric stash and sewing notions. That’s what I want to talk to you about today!
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Marie Kondo recommends, rather than folding your clothes and stacking them in your drawers, fold them set them upright, file-style. The rows of garments are nice and neat and you can see everything in the drawer, never having to dig to find clothes under other clothes. Brilliant!
I store my fabric the same way. If you missed it, I blogged about my DIY cutting table we made from a secondhand dresser last week. The drawers hold all my fabrics. I even have a bin of small scrap fabrics inside one drawer that would ordinarily be strewn into a messed up pile, but are neatly folded and filed in a drawer. I have a drawer of “filed” garment fabrics, a drawer of quilting/cotton fabrics and a drawer of fleeces. My holiday fabrics are folded and filed just as neatly and share a drawer with the aforementioned scraps bin.
But thinking beyond fabric, this method works well for my patterns too. I have the patterns neatly filed into one drawer. I don’t allow myself to keep more patterns than fit in the drawer. I know the thought of limiting your pattern stash this much may give some of you a heart attack, but having fewer patters eliminates a crazy amount of decision fatigue and I’ve experienced so many benefits of my massive pattern clear out!
I have a second small cabinet in my sewing room that holds thread, notions, interfacing and other small things. My Father-in-law built this cabinet for me many years ago and having several smaller drawers right next to my machine is so handy.
I organize my thread by color in one drawer and store my ribbons and trims KonMarie-style in another drawes, nice and neat in rows, (though those crazy ribbons need reorganized on occassion!) My rick-rack, bias tape and piping get filed in a bin inside one drawer.
This method of storing items in my sewing room has been so useful for me and I’ll never go back! Having fabrics in drawers keeps them safe from sun damage and dust too. Also, restricting your storage to only the space you’ve made available for it truly helps you not overbuy. And this leads me to one thing I wish Marie Kondo addressed more on her show and in her book. “Tidying up” is great and all, but If we want to keep a tidy home for the long haul, we must address our shopping habits. It’s not going to work if we continue to bring in new items at the same rate we always did before the clean-out sesh, right?
Do you have thoughts on this?? I’d love to hear them and your thoughts on sewing room organization in general. Are you a keeper or a purger?