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One of this blog’s readers is Tina Bonifacio, a talented and enthusiastic professional organiser. She commented one day that she had helped a quilter client to organise her studio. I thought it might be interesting to learn what she did. I’m sure there are some of us whose studios are perfect but I’m equally sure there are more of us who could learn a thing  or two. Tina has sent me her case study so here are some edited highlights and photos of the transformation.

Bringing quilting order to quilting chaos by Tina Bonifacio

How do you organize a space to quilt, sew, scrapbook, and do crafts? Here’s an example of how to use organizing to maximize your ability to produce creative works.
One of my clients had switched spaces with her pre-teen daughter and her quilting area now occupied the daughter’s former bedroom, which was a 60% downsize. When I arrived the room switch had been made, but little organizing and no decluttering had taken place as you can see…
My client had a piece of furniture for closed storage of fabrics and notions that were not linked to a project yet but, it had been packed full for some time and needed some purging of fabrics that no longer interested her, and reordering. The floor was covered with bins, totes, and bags of fabric. Where could we go could we go but up?

My client was firm about wanting to re-use the organizing products (bins, containers, baskets) she had on hand and we did that with the exception of one purchase that was in line with her budget and her DH’s handyman ability… wall-to-wall, 12″ deep Rubbermaid white wire shelving. We used the shelving along one entire wall and hid it behind a few sets of inexpensive sheets  selected to coordinate with her newly painted room.

Once the floor and surfaces were clear and everything had a place my client was thrilled. She knew where everything was and where to put it back when she’d finished with it.

A word of caution!

Will you hold it against me if I admit to you that my client later had to have shoulder surgery because she was able to do so much more quilting?  The good news is, now with her newly repaired shoulder, she can do even more quilting and crafting!

Take home points

Thanks Tina for sharing this transformation. My take home points from this case study are:

  1. Sort through your stash and if a fabric no longer speaks to you then get rid of it. Sell it on eBay or donate it to charity quiltmakers.
  2. Re-use the containers you have. You don’t need to buy expensive, new and matching containers.
  3. Vertical storage is a “must”.
  4. Simple solutions – such as the sheet curtains for hiding the Rubbermaid shelving – can be attractive, functional and inexpensive.
  5. Have a system. This is probably where I would need to he help of a professional organiser as my brain just doesn’t function this way. But once you have a system in place that tells you where particular items should be stored then it’s easy to put them back there when you’ve used them. If you don’t, then each time you use them you’re tying to make decisions as to where they should best be stored. The answer for me is usually I can’t work it out and so it gets left out and not put away.

I hope you’ve found this useful. I know I have. I still have a question though and maybe you have the answer. I can never work out how to sort my fabrics. Should it be by colour, by collection, patterns or solids, or value? I’d love to know what you think and how you organise your stash.