organizing with the organizer

natalie (from cut the clutter) came on monday to help me organize my sewing stuff. my homework before she came was to gather all my sewing tools, materials and projects in the living room. last week i ordered the containers she specified from the container store and had them delivered.

while the kids were at school and before natalie arrived i unearthed every fabric box, basket or pile of fabric onto my rug. i forgot to take a picture of the huge collection of stuff (slightly embarrassing too). i was surprised to see how much fabric i had squirreled away over the years. my friends had clothes they thought i could use and would ask if i wanted it. i never turned it down. i always planned to make each of them a quilt with the fabric they gave me. i’ve received baby/toddler clothes (some with small tears or stains), husbands’ dress shirts, and even new, unused fabric i found at my dad’s house that belonged to my fellow-fabric-hoarding sister. aside from that i had my piles of felt for my felt flowers, headbands and purses. i was running out of room on the floor.

it’s amazing to have someone present when you decide whether or not to keep or get rid of something. i have a lot of guilt and i’ve kept fabric i wasn’t into that i bought online. just ask my husband and he’ll tell you about the time i bought seven or eight yards of a fabric that looked great on screen. when i got it in the mail i was not so into it. note to self: it makes sense to shop for things in person (sometimes). i never used that fabric and ended up donating it to children’s museum of the arts. that day with natalie i decided to let go of fabric and guilt that i didn’t realize was kind of burdening me. in my head it was a huge list of projects to make for others that i would feel bad i hadn’t done yet. while culling my pile i felt compelled to explain why i had this or that fabric. it was like therapy really. i found the eight, 9-inch embroidery hoops i bought on ebay. instead of chucking them i emailed the kids’ art teacher from school who said she would love to have them. phew!

i was slightly on a roll with natalie’s encouragement. i had to be honest with myself and realize i couldn’t do every project i wanted to even if i had the time. also, i live in nyc–where could i store everything waiting for me to use it? where does my energy go when i have time? what do i want to do with my time? in the end i got rid of seven garbage bags worth of fabric. friends, please do not be mad at me if i let go of the things you gave me. i truly appreciate every time you’ve thought of me.

afterwards, natalie took out her label maker. she had collected like items together as i went through them. she got me to put all my experimental projects in a box and my works in progress in a box. now everything has a proper home, not randomly placed in the dining area, office, or bedroom. the organization makes me feel like i approach my work with more purpose even though i sort of knew that in my head. maybe with visual organization i can be mentally more organized. hmm, let me chew on that for a moment. after our two and a half hours she left and i was completely exhausted. i have to find homes for the boxes which will live in the office. it’s still a work in progress, but i’m getting there. i will try and see her in august if i save some money.

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3 thoughts on “organizing with the organizer

  1. thank you both for your kind words. there’s a reason you can’t see the rest of the room in the pics!
    it’s been so great knowing where to look for my things. “a place for everything, everything in it’s place!”

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