The Sewing Room of Kelli Hanken

A post from Kelli–

So when we moved into the farmhouse we bought a year and a half ago, we did so in a bit of a rush.  We first saw the house on December 13th to discover that it HAD to be painted before we moved in and honestly needed new flooring throughout.  We didn’t have time or money for flooring, but got the painting done and moved in on December 25th because Mom and Dad showed up with Karl, Kalissa, and Craig and said that we were moving, so we moved.  I ended up getting everything together enough by the time I started school 2 weeks or so later that my house looked presentable.  At the time, I decided that I wanted to have a sewing space downstairs, but have since discovered that while I’m in school, I don’t have a ton of time to sew, so this summer while I’m off of school for about 7 weeks, I decided to switch my sewing space to upstairs in a tiny little room with a super sloped ceiling and convert my previous downstairs space into a study area.

I was complaining to mom the other day that I felt like I was never going to get it all sorted out and put away–It was actually more like whining 5 days in a row….So mom told me to take pictures, write about it on the blog, and tell you that I was going to have it done by a certain date, because you would all keep me accountable.  At first, I was a bit apprehensive, because it’s REALLY BAD…..But then I figured why not?  I’m self admittedly not good at cleaning or organizing, but I really need to make this little space work if I’m ever going to have kids in the future because should that happen, this is the only space that I will ever be able to have as a little space, so I better get it figured out.  The other problem is that I’ve “stored” or threw crap in two different bedrooms without ever sorting it out or putting any of it away.

So here goes–

Sewing room 1 (206x400)

Here’s the first picture of a wonderfully beautiful buffet that mom and dad got at an auction.  It’s going to be my cutting table.  Currently it is covered with my favorite quilting books and some other “stuff.”

Sewing room 2 (225x400)

Here’s the little short cupboard that I found on a for-sale site.  I also got this little table from my Aunt Julie.  I purchased the baskets and rug from Walmart, however currently you can’t see the rug as I have a few more piles that have been added to this room to sort out.

And now the bad stuff–

North bedroom (225x400)

Seriously, I’m super embarrassed about this one….It looks like a bunch of junk just thrown about, which is pretty close to what it is, but it needs to be sorted out none the less.

South bedroom (225x400)

And here’s the slightly more organized room–And my slightly, I mean just a bit more than not at all.  I’ve been working on it a little the past few days, but I really want to have it all wrapped up and sorted through by next Wednesday so that I can actually work on a Bonnie quilt and join in the UFO challenge.

So I’m hoping that since I put this out there, I’ll be able to get it all done, because I really don’t want to write and tell you all that I failed miserabley.  And to make that happen, I’m off–To clean, pitch, and sort!

24 thoughts on “The Sewing Room of Kelli Hanken

  1. Debra Hageman

    Good luck, Kelly! I HAVE to be in the mood to clean, organize and sort…..and that mood doesn’t happen very often. :)

  2. Jill Klop

    Hey Kelli-no apologies needed for the state of your sewing room! Been there! We just moved this spring. I understand how overwhelming it can be to see all of your stuff deposited in a room! And, I don’t work or go to school! You will get done what you get done! Knowing what you want to work on first is a great incentive. I think if you know where you want to store things, that’s a big start. If you don’t know where to go with some of the stuff, that’s harder. I wish you luck with this project! You can do it!!!

  3. mary

    Moved this April and my sewing room is in limbo. Hubby is planning on a shed for it eventually but right now it’s mostly crammed into a smallish room in the basement. I feel your pain. I’m torn between wanting to get things set up so I can cut and sew, and not wanting to unpack and repack.

  4. paula dalby

    You can do it Kelli! I would recommend you clean out one room entirely, even if that means “dumping” stuff in another room. Then you have space to move about and put things where you really want them. As you put things away, give yourself little rewards. For instance, I got all the fabric put away (or the cutting area arranged, or school books organized, etc.), so I’m going to spend 30 minutes (or whatever) working on (fill in the blank–your favorite project). Make sure to have a space for a “donate/give away” pile and a big trash can. Be sure to take pictures and let us know your progress!! :) good luck.

  5. Robby

    We’re all cheering for you, so be encouraged that a bunch of quilters with their own bunches of stuff know your dilemma. If I can get away with it, when I need to organize a space I drag everything out and then put it away as I drag it back in one item/pile ata time.. It kind of forces me to decide if I want something or if it should go to another home. However you do it, good luck!

  6. Frances Higgins

    I agree with Paula. Stack all stuff somewhere. Put your cutting table and fabric in the
    clean room, sorted. Then set up sewing machine and sewing area. Now, be prepared to be able to sew on one project, some. Just enough time to relax and you will be amazed, in couple days, things will look better. DO NO SEW TOO LONG AT A TIME, AT FIRST.
    Good luck, Frances

  7. Penny

    We’re all cheering for you, especially me Kelli because I truly understand. In fact, when I scrolled to the 2nd to the last picture I felt right at home! From experience I have the same recommendation as one of the ladies in a previous post ~ empty the room that you want to use as sewing rm. Then start completely fresh bringing in what you actually want to have in there. Want you to know also that I’m so envious of the furniture that you do have for your sewing rm! You go girl!!

  8. Cindy

    OMG!! Did you sneak in and take pictures of my rooms? I like some of the suggestions that have been given and need to put them in action at my house. Good luck on reaching your goal. You can do it.

  9. Paula S.

    Kelli, when you have an extra 15 or 20 minutes, go to your space, set a timer, and work as fast as you can to sort through one small area. If you need to go through boxes, see how many boxes you can go through in that time. Do not be afraid to donate or throw things away. Then get the donate/trash pile out of that room! You will be surprised how much you can get done if you do this a couple of times a week.

  10. Carolyn

    Kelli, you have received so many good suggestions through these comments. You are a good organizer as I have read how you helped your Mom. It’s a lot like house cleaning…one section at a time. Only thing is you are not working on the entire house just one room. I am anxious to see your progress.

  11. Nell

    Cheering you on! I have started on mine, but I can relate! The timer trick works for me. So does ice cream, sherbet or a shake . . .

  12. Andresa / AndiRae in MN

    My comments will echo everyone else’s advice. Remove everything from the room (ideal) or the section of the room and only bring back in and organize what belongs in there. Trash and donate piles should leave your house as soon as you are done for the day.

    I’m really great at giving advice that I don’t or can’t apply to myself. My sewing room is also the living room. And it looks like your last two pictures. The only part of my living room that I can “live” in is the couch and the path leading to the apartment entrance. I have done this before so I know I can do it again; like you, I just need to buckle down and get to it.

  13. Ellie

    Cheering you on! You can do it! I ve seen how you helped your mom so now it’s your turn. As Paula said clean everything out of one space and then work on getting that done. You will be amazed at how much you can get done when you have things well organized. Give yourself rewards when you finish an area so that you have something to look forward to. If you work on it all week you will be surprised at how wonderful you can make it!

  14. Cindy

    It will feel so good to sew when it is done. I just finished piling my sewing machine desk with all my quilts waiting to be quilted and batting for them because I had to clear out the guest bedroom for a guest. And I won’t be sewing while grandson is here.

  15. Teresa Harrison

    Paula has the same idea my mother always had about organizing. Starting with a blank slate and build according to your needs. You may have to back up and redo something along the way but that won’t be a hard as the initial start, but when you are finished you will be able to find everything and it will make quilting so much easier. Of course I am a fine one to talk. Mother is now gone and was never in my current sewing room and somehow I have just not been able to take my own advise.

  16. Kim Pavety

    Oh Sweetie that’s not so bad!!! Just eat it like an elephant, one bite at a time. Just give yourself small goals and work on it for a few minutes at a time.

  17. Sandi

    You can do it Kelli! If it doesn’t get finished, that is nothing to be ashamed of and will be further along than if you didn’t start it.

  18. Janine Baker

    I once heard a saying: How do you eat a dinosaur? One bite at a time! You’ll get there, just break up your time and stick with it. I can’t even get in my room-I have to sew on my dinning room table because of so much stuff! You have motivated me to start clearing out my room, purging and putting it all back together again! My end of the ordeal reward MAY be a new sewing table! Thanks for the kick in the pants. Keep us posted on your progress- you’ll do it!

  19. Tami Chaulk

    We’ve been in our house a little over 18 months and I am still unpacking all kind of things that were piled in the guest closet back then. I still haven’t found my iron! I am slowly getting close to getting my sewing room straightened out, but it’s getting there. Good luck with yours!

  20. Mary

    You are courageous! My apt. is like this so I admire your posting and photos. Maybe it will give me encouragement to make headway on my stuff.

  21. Hedy

    Hang in there Kelli, you will do it ! Right now we have a FR in a walkout level that is now going to be part of my sewing area. For the past month my DH has carried several cartons of winter clothing down the steps and put on the floor and there it sits. He has mentioned several times how messy it is getting. Guess I will be joining you in a clean up project too. It’s really yucky to do this, it seems that there is just too much to put away ! But we will persevere, we will get this done!

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