Get Organized! …Fabric Edition

Posted in: Tips and Tricks — By on September 1, 2014 4:27 PM

When I was younger, I loved back to school time. My favourite part was stocking up on school supplies and organizing them so I was ready to go in September! (Remember”Le Kit”? And those binders with the velcro flap? And those crazy patterned Bic ballpoint pens? Am I way too excited about this stuff?)

My school days are over, but I decided that this September is the perfect time to get my craft supplies neat, tidy, and ready for some new projects! And what better place to start than… my FABRIC STASH.

Here are some tricks I used to tame my stash:

  • Determine how much space your fabric is allowed to take up (e.g. two bins, a closet, a particular shelf…), and stick to it. When you’ve reached the limit, you’ll need to get rid of something before you add something new.
  • Purge, purge, purge! You’ve probably heard the rule for clothing that if you haven’t worn something in a year, you should probably give it away. The same goes for fabric! If you haven’t even thought about using something for a year (or five…) ask yourself if there’s really any sense in hanging on to it. It’s taking up valuable real estate in your stash! Larger thrift shops like Value Village and Goodwill accept fabric, so you can donate it rather than throwing it out. Or, you could swap it with a crafty pal!
  • Clear bins are your friend. Seeing where everything is will eliminate some of the rummaging that makes our fabric stashes so messy in the first place. They are also great for reducing the bulk of fabrics when storing them and can be stacked easily. I separated my fabric by use – quilting and ‘other’ (clothing, home stuff and other crafts).

  • Make bundles of pieces of the same fabric. I know that I tend to keep every last scrap of fabric after a project, which can mean lots of random pieces of the same fabric here and there. Bundling them up makes them easier to find and organize. This is also a good way to store weirdly shaped pieces of fabric that are tricky to fold.

  • Bundle scraps of quilting cottons together by colour. I keep the tiniest scraps of quilting cotton, even when they are too small to fold. Bundling them by colour keeps them tidy, and is great for projects like the Farmer’s Wife sampler quilt that calls for teeny tiny pieces.

  • Organize often! Try to revisit your fabric stash every once and a while so it doesn’t get out of control. You’ll be reminded of what you have so you won’t re-buy anything (I’ve definitely done that before with interfacing!) and you may find ideas for new projects when you’re actually going through your fabrics. You might also find that you can manage to part with fabrics that you’ve been holding on to for a long time, making room for new fabric!

When I lost my sewing room to baby earlier this year, all of my craft supplies were relegated to a corner of the man cave in my basement. In the process, things got thrown into random containers and “to be sorted” piles popped up everywhere. This weekend I reduced my fabric stash from a number of boxes and bags to two tidy bins, tackling a big part of my crafty chaos. I can’t wait to do some more organizing!

Do you have any tips for organizing fabric? Share them in the comments below!

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