Friday, March 23, 2012

Clutter Hotspot #3 - Sewing Room Counter

This week's clutter hotspot assignment by Tsh of SimpleMom for Project Simplify - 2012 is "Closets, countertops, and drawers (oh my)."                                                                                                                         
The pieces of plywood keep Henry
out of the cat food, and (eww) the cat box

Wednesday morning, the day I remembered I needed to de-clutter something to show you today, I went into my sewing room to feed the pets.  That's about the only reason I scoot in and out of my sewing room lately.  I've been dying to sew, and feeling quite sorry for myself that I don't have a clean and organized space in which to do so.  

Besides the pet stuff, and the newlyweds taking it over as their laundry room, I'd been wondering if the layout wasn't working for me...

  • Are the counters too shallow?  
  • Do I not want to sew facing the wall? 
  • If I reconfigured the room could it be more usable?  
-- I spent some time on plans, and searching the internet for great sewing rooms to use as inspiration. Without a door to close it off, or room for a huge cutting table or to set up a full ironing board and leave it up, as I'd like, it's not the same space I left in our last house.  I have been sorely in need of pattern storage.  But few of the sewing rooms I found on-line were any better than what I have.

So, what is the real reason I've been avoiding that room?  ...   FEAR.                                                                                                                       
  • I was afraid of getting aggravated.  When I want to start a project, I want to start in a clean area, and not have to clean up the messes of others first.  When I find things that haven't been taken care of properly, I get agitated. I hate that tense feeling, and rather than feel mad at whatever family member(s) have been somehow negligent, I shut my eyes and avoid the situation.
  • I was afraid of my inability to make the necessary, firm decisions in dealing with what's there, and only moving mess from one spot to another... Pseudo-clean-up.
  • I was afraid of facing the reality of sewing machines that need repair and maintenance, and the unknown dollars it will take to make that happen.  But getting estimates would likely be a better step than sitting back in dread of finding out.
  • I was afraid I wouldn't be able to clean and organize it without depending on over-busy Hubby to build something new to make it work, or worse, change something he already built.   I can see options of what I want, but as the "idea person," and not the "make it happen person," I feel a bit helpless.

But this is the week I decided to push aside all those unhelpful fears and see what I can do to make it into a room I can enjoy using.  It will take effort on the part of others to keep their own clutter out of my way, but there has been no motivation for that in the disorganization that existed.

After a few days of intermittent work, banding and organizing fabric, removing tools, stereos, and other things that don't belong in the room, 
it's still a bit of a work in progress.  

I was happy that all my sewing books fit exactly in an open spot in my new bookshelf in the dining room.  I wouldn't read them in the sewing room anyway.

I did go ahead and ask Hubby to make a few shelves for above the washer and dryer.  Princess Sassy and Prince Steadfast had already expressed the need, and I think a few more shelves in the room, especially at 5 feet wide, could help us all.  The wonderful guy already has 2 made, maybe to be installed this weekend.

I would've posted my "after" photos this morning, but I just had to do something about the 2 giant boxes of jumbled up patterns, still sitting in the leg-space of my sewing spot.                                                                                                                                                                   

I ran to Staples and got a packet of 10, fold-'em-yourself storage boxes, that hold 2 rows of patterns each.  (I used 5.)

They are now organized by type, so we might find what we need, and they can stay neat.  I think these boxes might fit nicely on the new shelves.  

We had a lot of pattern pieces, instructions, and envelopes that were no longer together.  
I saved a few pieces that looked familiar, and like we might find the other pieces for in time... The rest I threw out.  I was sad to know that there were likely pieces to old favorite, tried and true, patterns in the trash, but if we don't see it, maybe we won't miss it.  

Of course, as you muck out any room, you make some discoveries, like some of Hubby's tools, one of the newlyweds' shower gifts, and other treasures...

My mother-in-law's 1956 Elna machine.  We've had it
for over a year without checking to see if it  works.  It does.
It will present a learning curve, and I suspect, after years
of non-use, needs a new belt and maybe other attention.

15 year old magazine... but featuring the subject 
I was writing about last week in Playtime!
So, of course, I couldn't throw it out... yet. 

My first childhood embroidery project
I have 3 hurdles left to leap... 
  • Where to put the cat food so that it's not in my work area, but the dogs can't get it.
  • I can only find 1 sewing machine power cord.  I had hoped the other was hiding in the clutter.  Must be in clutter elsewhere!
  • I need a work table.  The one in here now is the add-on to extend our dining table.  It's the wrong size and height, and offers no storage.  The wooden box you see in the photos was the drawer box from under our first oven, that was smaller than the ones to follow.  I think if Hubby makes another just like it, they'll be perfect for the work table, and I can move the patterns into it one day.  For now, I have it upside down on the table to try as a temporary, raised work surface.


Thanks, SimpleMom and Project Simplify partiers, for helping me get my sewing room clean!  If I go missing sometime in the next week, send someone here, 
where I'll be preparing for next Friday's declutter unveiling, for which I'm supposed to choose my most needed Hotspot.  Wish me luck...  ;-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...