The Big Dig – Part II: Everything Out

Holy cow, there really was a room in there! My clutter and collection has been building up for years (maybe even decades?) It was almost to the point of no return, until Karen stepped in to help me get it under control.  I know I’m not alone in having a scary sewing room, so for the next few weeks you can join me on this journey to a more organized life.

I don’t have a large room – it’s a converted bedroom about 9′ x 11′ – give or take a few inches.  I really had it jammed packed with stuff.  There were lots of pictures on the walls; an oversized ironing board (which I love, but most of the time was covered in stuff); a large design wall that I was unable to get to because the big ironing board was in front of it; two wonderful pieces of furniture that filled up most of the room; my prize file cabinet with 30 years of quilting patterns and magazines in it; and oh yes, I must not forget that my fabric collection was in the walk-in closet filled to the brim – in fact you couldn’t even walk into the walk-in closet.  Yes, I had a problem.

Here was the start of our plan:
·      Remove everything
·      Clean and paint
·      Draw a floor plan on graph paper to optimally arrange furniture
·      Limit what I put back into the room

My first task was to remove everything, yes everything, from the room. Wow, was this going to be hard! I soon found out that I was not just packing, but packing AND sorting. This job would take me forever.  Where was I going to put all of this stuff?  Luckily, Karen came to the rescue – she offered her basement to temporarily store everything.  January 1st was our date to move everything out. Well, guess what?  I hadn’t even made a dent by then.  That’s when I found out the proper way of doing things.  Pretend that you actually are moving (I haven’t moved in over 30 years – no wonder I don’t know how to do this). Dump everything in a box and sort it later.  It took Karen about 3 hours to pack everything up and get it out of the room.  Here is a tip for you: use small moving boxes to pack in.  I sent my husband to buy some moving boxes and he came back with big plastic storage tubs.  Yes, you can fill them up, but you can’t pick them up!

Once the room was empty except for the large furniture (that I moved to the center of the room) and I could start to clean.  Gee, it was easy to vacuum when the room was empty. I could even see the carpet for a change! Next step – paint. Karen and her son came over and painted my room in only a few hours – I’m the luckiest person to have a friend like her.   I got to watch the action – I don’t think she trusted me to paint; sure can’t imagine why.  The room is now a lovely color of green and I have been working on cleaning the woodwork for the last couple of days.  It is so hard to walk past my empty sewing room; it’s like having withdrawals.  I don’t even have my sewing machine here.  All that was left was a couple of old quilt magazines. She would have taken those too if she realized I had them in a magazine basket in my family room.  I think I have looked at them at least 10 times – I really miss my stuff.

The next step will be to come up with the furniture arrangement and decide what shelves need to be purchased for the walls. Can’t wait to get back to sewing!

— Posted by Della

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5 responses to “The Big Dig – Part II: Everything Out

  1. How exciting! This will be a wonderful work space when you get everything organized the way you want it.

  2. WOW ,,what a project, wish I was in your shoes. Have new machine I want in sewing room and no floor space.

  3. Doreen, Houston, MN

    Huge ‘kudos’ and encouragement from me (and many others, I’m sure!). One of the first projects I will be undertaking after April (when I retire) is to do the same thing you are in the midst of. Years ago I moved my sewing shop to my home and the fabric, supplies, etc, got boxed and stored in various places on the home-place and there they remain since I have closed down the business (designing/sewing bridal gowns and formal wear) and gotten more into quilting.

  4. Della- love the green walls. I can’t wait to see what you allow back in your space, and how it all gets arranged. Following Karen’s recommendation for sorting fabric, I now have mostly scraps in my stash. Her folding method certainly consolidated my 1/2 yards and more.

  5. Love how the room is coming, Della! Great work!! I’m enjoying watching the process. It’s inspiring!

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