I like to think that I’m organized. Generally speaking I’m not and could use some extra help but hey it’s the thought that counts right? 😉 One of the areas that I need to be organized in is my office. We ship dozens of packages each day, hundreds each month, plus I travel quite often for shows – at least once a month – and teach quite often. So I need my office to be organized. Many days it gets messy because it seems like we’re always in a hurry to get work done. But I have found some great things that work for me and hopefully will inspire you to reorganize your space too. Ready for a glimpse into my other work space? Here’s my office!
Tip #1 – Get the right shelving & the right size containers
Yes I am storing massive amounts of hardware & cork BUT that doesn’t mean this won’t apply to your space. The right shelving will help to not only organize your space but will also be strong enough to hold the weight of whatever items you need to organize. For me personally, I love these metal racks from Home Depot and I use them in various sizes and heights. Remember, fabric is heavy. The same goes with the purse hardware I carry and even cork fabric. I store folded cork on the top shelves with stackable containers in the middle. I used to use lighter weight laminate shelving but you do get what you pay for. The small white shelves looked so pretty….until they started to bow! Plus the backs would always pop off. That doesn’t look nice. Maybe a different shelf works for you in your space – check the weight limits before you buy. My friend Barb who’s a long arm quilter also loves these particular shelves for organizing customer quilts.
The containers that I use are also from Home Depot. They’re lower in the front making it easier to get things in and out. They’re also stackable. I think they’re actually made for nails, screws, etc… For us in the office they work great. Everything is unboxed, labeled and ready to grab for orders. This helps tremendously when you can see what you have. Imagine also using this system for thread, zippers, bobbins, organizing notions – whatever you need! I have a few of these at home on my dining room table by the cutting mat for rotary cutters, blades, scissors, etc.
Tip #2 – Overflow in closed containers
We get so much inventory that we often have overflow. Clear plastic containers are perfect for the bottom row of the shelves. Think about those items that you don’t use every day but need close by. Maybe extra rulers, marking tools, extra fabric, or those great sale items you pick up that you know you’ll need someday (whenever someday comes) And of course – label those bins!
Tip #3 – Plastic Drawers
I love these plastic drawers. You can remove the drawers to carry items to different parts of your studio and still see through them. Pretty awesome right? And they work for lots of other areas as well. I have a couple small sets of these at home for my makeup so it’s not just a sewing organizing piece. I found these on Amazon. I also have a large rolling drawer bin under my cutting table at the office for misc. items like works in progress & color cards. Things I need sometimes but not every single day.
Tip #4 – Let it all hang out!
Well, let some of it hang out. I love fabric. And thread. And notions. And makeup. And cookies. Oooh cookies. Focus, Jessica. I never put my thread away. I did have some of those wooden spool racks and I loved those. I used to have them hanging on either side of my sewing machine in the old studio since I sewed in a little alcove. Now that I’ve downsized (See post 1) I have limited space. So I like to store my thread in a fabric bowl that I made. It brings me joy and adds some bright color to my space plus it’s all there for me to see. What I’m saying is, don’t put everything away. Keep it neat but leave something out that inspires you and makes you smile. Side note: I use another much larger fabric bowl I made for dog toys! I keep trying to train the dogs to put the toys away but some battles can’t be won.
Tip #5 – Keep the good stuff close and remember anything can be a container
To the right of my machine is where I keep all the essentials – scissors, seam ripper, binding clips, glue, pins, etc…And each item has a spot. That’s how I attempt to keep my living room looking nice and make it easier for me so I’m not digging around for something when I need it. I use coffee mugs for sharp tools & pens (from fun places I visit), magnetic dishes for pins (Can’t live without & the dogs can’t knock the pins over), and pretty metal cups I pick up from craft stores like Michael’s for misc. items. I also use this system for my teaching bag that you will often see me carrying at shows or shops when I have a class. Each item has a zippered bag all stored within a larger bag. Again, it’s pretty AND organized. And I can grab it when I have a class and I’m out the door!
I hope that some of my tips will work for you. Or maybe you just enjoyed the brief tour of my office. Is there anything I missed? Something else I can share with you? Or maybe you have a great organizing tip for me? Please feel free to leave a comment! I’m always looking for other blog post ideas so I want to know what you want to see!
Happy Sewing 🙂