Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Organizing the library/sewing room

Do you have THAT room?  The one that seems to attract messes?  The one that is out of the way that no one really notices?  You don't?  Oh.  Well I do.  When we moved into this house about five months ago we were coming off of a fairly stressful, busy time, and then ran into a very  hard time.  This room was unpacked and cleaned up just enough to serve its purpose and then nearly forgotten....

I took a day this week to focus on the mess (many of the kids were out on a hike with Daddy, my oldest chose to stay home and help me with the two youngest kids).  I addressed the mess in stages having prepared for the work by wearing comfortable clothes, hair up and out of the way, bags and boxes for trash and donations as well as a spot for things that needed to go somewhere else.

First I took care of the mess on the floor, the stuff that was getting in the way of doing anything in the room.  That really only took about 20 minutes.

Next I took care of the sewing desk.  I had unpacked my sewing supplies by just emptying out the boxes into the drawers, not organizing it at all.  The goal had been unpacking, not organizing.  I hung a shelf my Great Papa had made long ago and arranged my ribbon on it.  I'll be able to get to my ribbon easily and it looks pretty.  I think this took me just over 30 minutes.


*The pile of fabric you see next to the sewing desk is fleece for kids' winter PJs.  They had fun picking out their favorite prints and are looking forward to the new PJs next year!  I'll take a few hours to cut them all out at some point and then a few hours to sew them all up; it will be a great assembly line!

The room was looking good at this point.  I could have just left it alone, but I knew the reality was that my fabric and books had all just been thrown on shelves in no order at all.  We were having a hard time finding anything; so I started on the fabric which was fairly easy (maybe 30-45 minutes) and then on to the books.  We have lots of books.   I made pile after pile of books.  The room was looking very messy again, but it was worth it to get them all into places that made some sense.  This process took me a couple of hours, and I'm so glad I took that time.

My last task was to organize some of the pre-school toys.  I don't just leave these toys out for anyone to play with at any time.  We rotate through these and they are for assigned play times.


Organizing was not the only thing I did.  I really cleaned out and de-cluttered quite a bit of stuff.  Yes, some of it was nice stuff that I could find a use for or we would not mind using.  The reality is though that I'm not going to get to some of those projects any time soon.  Having too much stuff in the room was keeping the room from being used as we would like and none of the stuff was being used since there was just too much.

Can more be done in this room?  YES!  This was a great start and I feel like I've finally moved into this room instead of feeling like everything just got dumped in here.  This is now a room I want to spend time in, which will help me get through the many projects I would like to get to.

**I think that moving regularly helps me recognize how much stuff we have that we really don't need.  Having to handle each thing and find a place for it every time we move makes me want to have less stuff.  We spend so much time taking care of our stuff, and it really takes away from the time we should be with our family.  Making friends and family a priority is helping us (slowly) realize how little we really need.


  1. Wow, that looks great! What an encouraging post! I would love it if sometime you could post on a couple of things: 1.) How do you rotate your toys? What is assigned when, what kinds of toys do you have, what about different toys for different ages, etc. And 2.) How do you choose what stuff to keep and what to get rid of? What about kids toys, do you let them pick or just get rid of it? What about hubbies stuff? Does he go through it or do you just get rid of it for him? We are a family of packrats in a small house so stuff is a constant issue. Thanks for all your great posts, I love to read your blog!

  2. Great post! What a great reminder of what I need to be doing. :)