January Studio Organizing Challenge

Posted on January 15, 2019 by prairiemoonquilts in Studio Organizing Challenge

This year, I’m bringing back the Studio Organizing Challenges. After not doing them regularly for more than a year and a half, I know I’ve probably had a bit of a backslide in some areas.

If you are like me, and you know you need to step up your game a bit this year in getting things more organized, feel free to join me.

I’m not going to be posting the challenges weekly like I used to; I’m only going to be posting one challenge a month, and I’ll be posting it on or around the 15th of each month. You can see all the challenges on the main Studio Organizing Challenges page (as well as revisit challenges from past years, if you’re so inclined).

For January, I’ll start off with a question:

If you joined in on The Final Countdown, did you discover an area . . . or a pile . . . or a situation . . . anything in particular that you didn’t have time to address or weren’t called to address during The Final Countdown? I did . . .

So here’s this month’s task . . . are you ready?

Choose one bothersome area to clean up or reorganize 

I confessed to having more than one pile to clean up, and I chose my largest, most annoying one to work on for The Final Countdown. However, I’m more than ready to move on to my next most annoying pile, which is this right here:

This is my batting storage closet in my longarm room. Last year was a super hectic year of quilting hard and fast for lots of other people, so random pieces got chucked into a pile, rolls were delivered and parked in inconvenient places around the room, and I let it all get really out of control. What a mess, right?

Well, now it’s a new year, and I’ll once again be busy with lots of customer quilts, so I want to get this picked up, organized, and cleaned up before it just keeps getting worse.

So that’s my project for this month’s Studio Organizing Challenge.

What will you be working on?

What leftover thing from last year is still bothering you about your sewing space?

Did you leave a pile somewhere that you know you need to deal with?

Do you have an area that needs to be cleaned up and organized better for the way you work? (I have lots of these, but baby steps . . . !)

If you’re like me, and still have some things to get organized, I hope you’ll join me in this challenge. I’d love to hear what problem area you’ll be working on. It might give all of us some ideas, so leave a comment!

24 responses to “January Studio Organizing Challenge”

  1. Rose Marie Smith says:

    I have been trying to reduce the amount of scrap fabric that I have hanging around. But every time I cut out a project, it adds to the scraps. No wonder it can get so out of hand. I am still sorting and re-arranging that one element of disorder. I think that some may end up being donated to the guild community service committee………..although I have observed that most people don’t like scrap quilts much. Community service wants to make child quilts, or baby quilts or veteran quilts…………not much that just uses up stuff on hand.

  2. Virginia Smith says:

    Glad to be a part of the organizing challenge for this year.
    have many piles of paper in all form from sheets to patterns to magazines. That is an on going challenge and more will surface as I empty more boxes. I think is will be a every month challenge in addition to any others.

  3. Micheil-Ann Gill says:

    Oh, gosh, where to start? which pile do I work on? I traded in my Handi Quilter Fusion for an Infinity. I had to move everything out of my quilting studio to my sewing room across the hall. Now I’m trying to move everything back into my quilting studio without making my studio look messy again. My sewing machine is almost visible now. I’m having serious sewing withdrawals. This will be a perfect challenge for me.

  4. Karrin Hurd says:

    I have 3 shelves of papers/patterns. Quilting patterns are mixed in with crochet, knitting crazy quilting ideas. Stacks and stacks and stacks. If I want to find the dimensions to cut out for pillowcases, I have to go online and print it up again. I’d like to organize my stacks. Thanks for the challenge!

  5. Marcia in TX says:

    I went through my sewing room cleaning and organizing for 2 weeks to find and list all my UFOs. There is a bookcase in there that didn’t get cleaned out. It has a lot of patterns and several orphan blocks from many past Quilts and ‘try its’. I will do this challenge there this month. Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. Bonnie Epperson says:

    I have a table in laundry room that is suppose to be used for my workhorse old machine that I use for denim and canvas etc. I did not touch it during the first 3 challenges. It is piled so high with clean and folded clothes I cannot get to the sewing machine. That is my next challenge and will involve cleaning out a closet.

  7. Tonia says:

    Valiently fighting a bug/virus–so not doing any thought provoking quilting…but maybe I could tackle that drawer of once upon a time color sorted fat quarters….shouldn’t be too taxing, and at this point I think it would be mighty rewarding. Yes! I will join the party.

  8. Debbi says:

    I’m with you on this challenge, thanks for posting about it. It will help me move towards my goal of downsizing to fit in my space. Every space in my studio needs attention but my focus will be completing the process of going thru the Christmas fabric followed by 2 extra large bins of fabric that have been sitting on the floor for way too long!

  9. Cynthia says:

    Going downstairs right now to tackle cleaning out baskets of odds and ends and stowing the baskets in a storeroom. Will also hang a design wall that is folded up on the floor. Thanks for the encouragement!

  10. Karen says:

    I am really glad you are doing these challenges again. I think any organizing that I have got done in my sewing space, is because of your challenges! Something I never seem to get around to doing, is dealing with paper clutter, like magazines and patterns, so I’ll work on that this month.

  11. Sandy says:

    I need to organize printed instructions for embroidery projects by putting them in plastic sleeves and a notebook. I also need to organize my thread.

  12. Mary D. says:

    I have an extra bedroom and an upstairs that become dumping grounds for all kinds of things, but mostly sewing stuff. I’m going to try to work at those a little each day. Thanks for the push in the right direction.

  13. Amanda M. says:

    I was gifted with a few boxes of fabric which landed on the bed in the spare room; a few months later 4 huge bags of clothes from a friend also landed there. The cat acts like I’m blocking her path to her sleeping spot in the closet so I will be working on sorting and putting away in there. Rotten cat.

  14. Randy Menninghaus says:

    Well I may have to defer on this one until I can do stairs again . A local long armer has a system of dowels her husband made for the two primary rolls of batting she uses. I was trying to remember how he attached them. They are horizontal and up high… Probably not much help. I love scrappy quilts and I mostly self design. The trick is to have enough range of color, to cut the ugly fabric small enough. and to keep your value range even.
    I am doing a real scrappy for a top exchange in our quilt group. I have set for my goal while my foot heals… better 1/2 square triangles. Open seams, cut down to size…I will try and photograph more.

  15. Celia says:

    I have piles all over my sewing room, on the floor and on every horizontal surface. I am going to start with my cutting table, which I can’t even use at the moment because it is piled with stuff. I will clean it off and deal with the stuff properly instead of just moving things around. No more having to cut fabric on the dining room table!

  16. Patricia Hotz says:

    I have so much to be organized this year I’m gonna join your challenge and see how well I do!!

  17. Patricia Hotz says:

    Opp’s I’m gonna tackle a drawer of scraps for this month

  18. Marianne says:

    I am going to join the gang dealing with paper. First up is going thru my lateral file of print outs and downsizing. It has been far too long since I have done this! Then I will gather print outs from around the studio and near the computer and get them filed

  19. Michele says:

    oddly enough- -my dining room. Most of my piecing gets done on the dining room table, and WAY too much fabric has migrated from where it’s supposed to be stored down into the dining room. My goal is to only have current project fabric in there.

  20. Meloney says:

    I love your challenges. I tried to do my own when you were not doing them, but it is not the same. i didn’t seem to get folks to join in. so, I’ll be joining you.
    My biggest challenge right now is the pieces of fabric that got taken out of the cabinet or cut off from quilts and tossed into the container I have for that. The container is great when working on things to keep it in one spot. But, the container can barely stay upright now because of all the fabric in it.

  21. Pam Chinn says:

    Okay I will join the challenge and see what I can get accomplished. I have lots and lots to be sorted and organized. Not sure where to start exactly but
    Hoping that joining the challenge will keep me motivated.
    It is so much nicer to work in an organized spot. I spend way too much time looking for something instead of actual progress! Here’s to an organized 2019!!!

  22. Charlotte K says:

    You inspired me! I pulled all the batting scraps out of the closet where I stuff them. I talked my husband into helping, and we sorted it by type, labelled it with the size, and put it on the shelves in an organized manner. I found several pieces that are big enough for small quilts, and many than can be franken-batted for other quilts.

  23. Leona says:

    I love all these challenges and comments. I’m so far behind that I think I’ m ahead. Some time ago I moved my “Sewing Room” to my living room by my picture window where I could see when anyone came into my driveway and just watch traffic go by. Then I now use that former bedroom as my fabric and yarn storage room and it’s full. And if I didn’t have enough in my living room, I added a 10ft long arm to it! My biggest mess is keeping the LR from getting piled up with “to-do” stacks of fabrics. I’ve been working on those.

  24. Liz says:

    I can’t THANK YOU enough for this challenge!!! I just found this challenge out a few minutes ago. I am so ready to get this challenge start!

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