• Studio Organizing Challenge #1

    Posted on February 7, 2017 by in Studio Organizing Challenge

    I’m not doing weekly Studio Organizing Challenges this year, but I decided to offer up a random challenge now and then, simply because . . .

    • I’m not done organizing my studio yet.
    • I still let things I already organized get back out of control.
    • I’m always bringing more stuff in, starting more projects, and not picking up after myself like I should.

    I figure there are at least a few of you out there like me (just a few), so whenever something’s bugging me, I’m going to challenge myself to clean it up and organize it, and I’m challenging you to do it right along with me.

    So here’s our first challenge for 2017:

    Work on organizing your books and magazines

    I still have a couple of large piles left, even after all the organizing I did last year. Today, this one is really bugging me, so it’s the one I’m going to deal with this week.

    It’s a pile of magazines on top of a box of books sitting in front of an empty shelf of my bookcase. I mean, how hard is it to just unpack them, go through them, and put them on the shelf? Really?!

    It’s one of my goals in life — and I want it to happen soon — to have clear floors in my entire house. I’m tired of sweeping and dusting around stuff. Stuff that really shouldn’t be sitting in or on the floor in the first place. I still have a few boxes that I have not unpacked since we moved in four years ago! My goal is to have all the floors clear and refinished, get rid of all the carpeting in the entire house, and then get a Roomba! The Roomba is going to be my reward for meeting this goal! Hey, I need incentive wherever I can get it.

    It’s only gonna happen one pile or box at a time, and I gotta start somewhere, so this is the box I’m working on this week.

    How about you?

    Do you still have trouble keeping your quilting books and magazines under control? Join me this week in going through a pile of them to either recycle, give-away, or if you’re keeping them, find a good place to put them away. What say you?

    And if you have any good tips on storing magazines so that you can actually find the one you want when you want it, I’m all ears. Having a stack on a shelf really does me no good when I’m looking for a particular article or pattern. I don’t want to have to look through every one of them again just to find what I’m looking for!

    Oh, and you can still find all the past challenges on the Studio Organizing Challenge page, and I’ll add links to all the new challenges as they come up, so everything’s in one handy place.

17 Responsesso far.

  1. Kathy Fraser says:

    Well I gave away at least a hundred quilt books a few weeks ago. I just have to pare things down. Getting old and cannot deal with the overwhelming majority of all I have. Good luck with your organization.

  2. Liz says:

    YAY! So glad you are doing this again.

    I got rid of 2 boxes of quilt magazines. But I still have a couple boxes to pare down.

  3. Sherry V. says:

    I have been going through my books and magazines also.

    If there are only one or two patterns I want out of the magazine I have started tearing them out and recycling the rest.

    With books it is a little harder….but I have been known to tear out of books also.

    Everything that is torn out goes into sheets protectors.

    Once I am done going through all the books and magazines I will have to go back and sort them. I have a lot of patterns, like the free ones on the internet, that are already in sheet protectors so I don’t want to stop to do the sorting now since I would rather see the mountains of books and magazines go down first.

    As far as a way to index the contents of magazines perhaps you could put a sticky tab in the magazine with a word or two of what it is so that you can see it without opening up the magazine.

    Good luck!

  4. Su Palmer says:

    love my magazine storage. Have each companies magazines together in calendar order. I can get to them quickly and look for any patterns quickly. I am on a no buy magazines, as you can now find almost everything online. I am slowly getting rid of my magazines by taking them to guild meetings.

  5. Meloney says:

    Last year I gave away lots of magazines and books.
    I still need to cull some and organize better.
    https://melsquiltingblog.blogspot.com/2017/02/prairie-moon-organizational-challenge.html

  6. Here’s one item that I am caught up on. Books are all on three shelves in my bedroom. And the mags are in the bottom two shelves in the sewing room.

    Gone through them so many times, think I’m finally done. I’m moving them out as I do a project from each – which will take a while as I have over 200 books – lol.

  7. Helen says:

    Am thinking about getting magazines online. Have been doing this with my reading books. Cant imagine ever being able to down size if I hang onto everything!

  8. Karen Edwards says:

    I noticed that a friend of mine puts away anything she gets out as soon as she’s finished with it. It may not help much with stacks that are already there, but I try to do that with everything I take off a shelf, out of a drawer, etc., and it has really made a difference. I have another friend who will not buy a new item until she has decided what she will get rid of. For awhile, I vowed to donate or otherwise get rid of four items a day. I need to do that again. I hope some of these suggestions are helpful.

  9. Darlene says:

    I have many many ,many knitting magazines. Now that I have taken up quilting I have collected a few more. I keep my internet patterns in protectors organized in binders. I am considering to go through my magazines and see if a digital is available for that year and purchase that to eliminate the magazines. I really enjoy reading a magazine before bed. There are 3 current ones on the nightstand.
    Then I consider what most people have advised is go through them tear out & file what you really like & pass it on. This will take some time every night

  10. Barb Bevell says:

    The books are all recorded, alphabetized, and on the shelves. Yay!

    I’m going through the older magazines and tearing out what I want to save and those go into sheet protectors and into a couple of binders. If it’s a particular magazine I want to keep in tact, I write page numbers/description on the cover and then I know what to look for. I try to do several magazines a night.

    Those “leftovers” magazines are given to my friend who is a teacher and fellow quilter. She takes what she wants and then the students use the rest for art projects.

    I still have a big stack of magazines to go, but eventually I’ll get through it all. I, too, don’t subscribe to any new magazines.

    I’m anxious to see how you like the Roomba. Can’t wait to hear stories of the cats riding it around your house…

  11. randy says:

    I did this last week. Yippeee oh and regarding 1/2 square triangles. I may be doing the Hazel quilt as I found this tutorial on how to make them lots of ways.

  12. Thelma says:

    This is a great challenge, I too have a stack of magazines that need my attention. I used to pull out the patterns that interested me and filed them in a notebook, then threw the magazine away. But then my tastes change and a pattern I saved is no longer on my list and a pattern I now want is long gone. It’s a dilemma.

  13. Crystal says:

    LOL we are like spirits! Before the major storm damage of Jan. 2017 displaced me from my home, I had started working with my quilting books. There was NO organization. In fact, it was so pitiful that I had begun buying the same books more than once because I had no system for knowing what I had. The first step I started doing was going through and listing them by Title, author and grouping by subject matter. My plan was to type up a list and send it to myself via email so I could have it on my phone. Therefore anytime I was shopping, and I had that deja vu feeling; I could check and see if I already purchased it. As I went I put groups of them from the list in boxes together so that if I needed one, I would know what box it was in. AFTER the inventory was when I planned to make a space to put them in that organized list way. A little in reverse of your system, but that was my way of solving the “purchasing the same book twice” problem….

  14. Cindy says:

    I wonder what the critters will think about the Roomba!

  15. Karen says:

    So glad you are doing this again. I need to organize my quilting magazines, so this challenge is very needed.
    A method I used years ago for my cross stitch magazines, was to photocopy the table of contents of each magazine and write notes on that, as to what I liked and who I could make it for, etc. Then I put those pages in a binder. I just had to look through that when I was in search of a pattern, and then go find the magazine, which were stored in monthly order.
    I love your goal of having a Roomba! I should do the same.

  16. kate says:

    I don’t know if this will help.. I think we each have to find that works with our internal organizing method. My go-to for sorting is ” Like with Like.” I put all the table runner patterns in one loose-leaf notebook, applique in another, etc. I once cleaned up my friend’s cellar and she called me a year later to ask where she could find a hose for her faucet… I said, “Plumbing box, lower left shelf at the foot of the stairs!” It was there! Of course, in my own house it is a different story. Where are my keys?

  17. From the sounds of it, we are sisters in clutter. I really WANT to be organized, but I’ve got TOO. MUCH. STUFF!!! I also find it difficult to let go of things… Quilting things in particular. Thanks for continuing to encourage us all!!

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