Much like many of you, my sewing journey started out at the kitchen table. A dedicated sewing space was not in the cards in our first house. We barely had room for a double bed in our bedroom and we had to cut the wall to even get the box spring up the stairs. I think this has influenced how I keep organized to this day.
I had to keep everything in 2 bins which lived in an unfinished attic space. I tried to find you a photo of my original two bins, but had no luck. I did find a photo of what happened often in our first house when I didn’t keep my fabric put away. That’s a small child getting lost crawling in the fabric, lol!
Even though I now have a dedicated sewing space, it is under 100 square feet which isn’t a lot of room for all the stuff I have! I have maximized the space with Ikea kitchen cupboards but trying to keep everything organized in those cupboards often takes a lot of… you guessed it, bins! If everything has a bin to live in then I feel less overwhelmed.
You can see my studio here. Please note, it only ever looks that clean when I’m doing a photo shoot. Normally it is pure chaos! In fact, most of these photos in this article were taken at angles that hid the mess I have going on right now.
Some bins get used without lids to keep oddly shaped things together. All my Janome accessories get stored in such containers. Sometimes they are more organized than others. I try to keep all the optional specialty presser feet for my Janome Continental M7 together in one bin, larger accessories like the Janome Circular Sewing Attachment in another bin.
I also keep my thread in bins too because we all know thread is chaos. These are all behind a cupboard door and are shielded from the sun. If you keep thread and fabric in bins in the open make sure you keep them in containers you can’t see through to help protect them against the light.
Each project I’m working on gets its own bin so I’m not losing patterns or pieces in the chaos I work in. I utilized as much vertical space in my studio as possible storing things on a shelf above my sewing table and on top of the upper cabinets.
I try to keep the number of projects I’m working on to the number of bins I can store around the top of my studio. Sometimes there needs to be an overflow. This is under my sewing desk which is an under-utilized space.
We all know corner cupboards are tricky and you often lose things in the back. So, I have everything organized in more bins! It’s much easier to move the bins in and out than stacks of things on top of or in front of one another.
I try to keep all my paper work organized in bins too! Patterns and manuals live in these bins which I actually took the time to label. That doesn’t happen often, lol!
My scrap storage is in a drawer with each colour group getting a bin or two. I can close the lids on some of them but my yellow scraps are overflowing! It’s time for a scrappy yellow project! Any ideas?
I even use little bins for my fabric trimmings and garbage on my work station. Santa brought me some delicious Lindor’s for Christmas. Spoiled rotten? Maybe, lol!
I’m not too picky on the size or shape of bins. I can find a use for most. I do tend to get a majority of my bins from IKEA, as I find their pricing is great and I love an excuse to go to IKEA. However, I have bins from dollar stores, box stores, local hardware stores and even stores that specialize in boxes.
Do you use bins to stay organized?
Your space is colourful and organized in a way that works for you. Amazing, beautiful projects come from this space so I’d say it’s working just fine!
HI Susan, thank you sew much for your feedback. Amanda’s work is indeed amazing and beautiful! Happy Sewing!