Finally: Cleaning Time

We moved into our house in January of 2015.  The house wasn’t done but we were out of money and time and it was livable so we decided to move in.  Three weeks later, I was doing in home childcare.  The quilt machine wasn’t set up…my sewing room wasn’t set up.  It was no fun but sometimes a person has to do what they have to do and that was the situation we were in.  I did childcare by day and nights and weekends were still spent on the house.  We lived that way for over a year.

When 2016 rolled around it was my year of medical issues.  Colonoscopy, thyroid removal, thyroid cancer, foot surgery….many more days went by the kept me from really making my sewing room and the house, all the way mine.  I don’t get paid days off and even if I did, I would have used them all up with my medical issues.  There were just never enough hours linked together for me to feel comfortable to REALLY tackle my sewing room.  I so needed to do the deep clean, make decisions, pitch stuff kind of cleaning.

I have a 14′ x 20′ sewing room with a 6′ x 10′ closet.  There is no reason in the world why I would need more stuff than what can fit in that space.  I was so tired of my hallway.  I ALWAYS had batting or boxes of shirts or just stuff in piles in the hallway outside of the sewing room.  I hated it….but in never seemed I have the time or the motivation to really deep clean it all.  Finally over the weekend, I gave it a BIG start.

Check out this hallway….that is all stuff that is finding a new home.  ALL OF IT!!   All of that stuff that I either don’t want, don’t need, or no longer am interested in, is moving on out!


While I was cleaning I would text my friend Connie and say, “I’m done with my orange strings, do you want them to make Bonnie Hunter’s Pumpkin Patch quilt?”  Connie would say yes.  I would message her again….”I’m done with the small bright colored triangles I used for Pineapple Crazy. Do you want them?”  Connie would say yes.  The funny thing is, I was doing the same thing with my niece Jody.  A good chunk of this is moving from my house to theirs!!  I am so happy.

I boxed up fabric to go to the Lutheran Ladies that quilt.  I boxed up fabric for Ronda.  I boxed up a couple quilts to send to Cheryl.  I boxed up some things for my friend Denise to go through….

I even went through my quilting books and magazines….ALL OF THEM….EVERY SINGLE ONE!


I went through my display cabinet.  It looks so much better…see?Cleaning-3

This is the cabinet that Hubby had refinished for me.  Previously all of the “pretties” and collectibles were shoved to the back and fabric and junk was in front of it all.  No more….a place for everything and everything in it’s place.

I have more to do.  I did organize all of my UFOs.  I went through and decided…”am I really, honestly ever going to sew this, stitch this, or finish this”.  If the answer was no it went on.  I asked myself the hard question of if I had a week off of work and all I could do was sew, would I even think about pulling this project out?  If the answer was no, I moved it on.  I asked myself, would I rather finish this as a gift or just give money for the gift.  If the answer was money, I moved it on.

I did organize 90% of my fabric…I have more to do.  My old antique ice box is filled with muslin and solid print fabrics.  That needs to all be folded and reorganized.  I have a giant wicker laundry basket full of scrap.  That needs to be sorted and cut down.  Other than that, the rest is looking pretty good.

I spent TWO entire days working on it.  I think to get it really, really good, I should take another day…and I’m going to try to do that.  I do feel close enough and the projects are now small enough that I might be able to tackle them in the evenings rather than having to take an entire day.  I can’t tell you how good that feels.  It feels amazing!

I even designated a place to sort things to as they come in to the sewing room.  That’s been one of my biggest obstacles.  A blog reader would send me something and I didn’t have time to sort through it so it would go on my shelving system….no more.  I have a plan.  I feel like the things I have in my sewing room are the things I WANT to have.  I moved on the sweaters I was going to make into mittens…the T-shirts I was going to make into rugs.  When I asked myself if I REALLY wanted to do these projects, the answer was no and now they are gone.  I don’t feel crappy about myself for not getting to it….I don’t feel overwhelmed.  IT’S ALL GOOD!!

The best feeling of all….I feel like I have room to add more.  Before I NEVER felt that way.  You might remember a couple of blog readers recently sent me fabric and my hope was to combine the two boxes and make a quilt.  Well I sorted through the fabric.  I put both offerings in one basket and once I find the perfect pattern for them, I can grab the basket and start cutting.  Ah…..bliss!

It was a lot of work… took a lot of time but it was oh-so worth it!!

By the way….Connie is coming for a sewing day in a month or so.  She is going to pick up the things I set aside for her….she’s a little bit worried that once she gets it all back home Dave won’t let her come back and visit me for fear that I’ll send her home with another car load!!  Honestly, there’s not another car load I could part with now so I think she’ll be safe….It’s such a wonderful feeling!!

I’ll try to post some pictures once I get the room entirely finished.  It might be a month or so, but I’m okay with that.  It’s already 95% better than it ever was!

14 thoughts on “Finally: Cleaning Time”

  1. Carolyn in Texas

    It always amazes me how my cluttered…disorganized sewingroom seems to scatter all my brain cells too. Once it’s reorganized I am a happier more productive person. Truth is…I don’t do clutter well.

  2. I love your sewing room and especially your blog today! Usually you inspire me but today you’ve really really inspired to clean & organize my sewing room. Thank you so much!

  3. Good for you! Snowing here and spent the afternoon just cleaning up the projects that are in process. Tomorrow is my day to deep clean. We have been remodeling the kitchen for quite a while now and all that stuff is out of my studio because we are at the finish line. I told my friends if they did not hear from me by Monday, call for help! LOL

  4. I am always amazed at what you get done. I moved into this house two years ago and have never fully organized everything either. It needs doing especially since I have 3-4 projects sitting out waiting for me to work on. And that doesn’t take into consideration all the junk piled onto the table of my longarm. I am almost done with a couple of projects and then I will have to clear that off in order to quilt them so at least some organizing is going to happen! Seeing your inspiration might make me get to it sooner though!

  5. wCrazy what a difference it makes! I started last weekend. Dusting, vacuuming and letting go what I don’t want or won’t use. . .I am going to need some snow days to get it finished, but I have started and that is always the hardest part for me.
    Look forward to more pictures.

  6. I’ve been doing the exact same thing……really passing on what needs to be passed… organizing what needs to stay ….it’s such a freeing experience……

  7. I spent most of the last three months goint through my scraps…I followed Bonni Hunter’s scrap tackling tips and started cutting…didn’t realize I had so many bins of just this and that…almost done…still finding scraps here and there but feel I have a handle on it and can get back to sewing…we had a rummage sale this past summer and I tried to go through a lot of my “craft” things…felt good to “purge”…I am like you …see something that “I just have to make”…collect some of the supplies and then promptly forget about it until I come across it again…guess my ambition gene surpasses my reality genes! Look forward to pics of your new “digs”…

  8. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your pumpkin quilt! I really love the browns. I use mostly civil war reproduction fabrics in my quilts and the brown is a perfect choice for the background. Bonnie has such wonderful patterns. Great job on your sewing room. I am hoping to organize and clean my sewing room this weekend. Have a great day! Thanks for sharing pictures of your projects. I really enjoy your blog. Lisa

  9. We downsized and moved a couple years ago which forced me to go thru my entire sewing room and hall closet. I got rid of lots of stuff and like you only kept what I really thought I would use. If I had for few years and kept passing over – it was gone. Now my room is much smaller so that forces me to once in awhile clean out. Makes you feel good to be able to pass items along to a charity or others who are happy to get and use. :)

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