Thursday, February 20, 2014

Books, Magazines & UFOs

Olympics Organizathon
Results are in for several of my Events and I'm happy to post the 1st of a 4 part series highlighting my efforts today. I plan to post about Scrap/Batting Management on Saturday, my Stash Closets on Sunday and everything else on Monday. I am definitely going for the Gold!
Event #2: Book Marking
I think it's important to consider what is working well and include that in the process of finding ideas for what isn't. For most purposes my system for storing books works well. I keep them on the back side of my cutting table organized by topic in magazine bins. If I'm looking for ideas to use a Charm Pack it's easy to grab the bin and take it to the nearest comfy chair.
What isn't working so well for me is keeping track of books I'm using for current projects. Sometimes they are in the project bin (bottom cubby with green handles) but not always and I find it incredibly frustrating to waste time hunting them down! 

Another thing that is not working well for me is keeping track of projects I want to make. I might not be in the mood to browse for ideas but would rather move right to the short list instead. Since this also applies to magazines I'll talk about this below.

I'm going to try using this plastic file box on the top shelf of my IKEA Raskog cart as the home for books and patterns for all current projects and my project binder. Easy to access and in plain sight which seems important for me in this case.
Event #1: Magazine Culling
NOTHING has been working with my magazines! They were scattered all over my home and randomly marked with either sticky notes or tabbed pages for projects I might make someday. When I first posted about this event I was encouraged by many of you to give ripping a try. 
I've thanked you before and I'll thank you here again... I LOVE this! Especially for my older magazines this worked really well. I found two binders and sat down to sort the projects into categories that seem pretty natural for me - applique, 3 tabs of scrappy (squares, strips and triangles), kids/charity, seasonal, special and techniques.
I then took another pass through the seasonal pile and sorted them into groups by holiday/season and stored them in the smaller binder. Next year when I change my focus to All Things Floral I'll change out the small binder. I also have a section in there for projects I'd love to make this year. The binders are in my quilting room closet next to my patterns in the green bin.

Now... what about the magazines that I couldn't bear to rip into? You know the ones... you love most of the projects now or feel you might be persuaded to someday! Sandy who blogs at My Material Creations left a comment recommending THESE containers by Really Useful Boxes that I ordered from Office Depot.
They are sturdy and hold a ton of magazines. I bought one for my quilting magazines and the other will house my home decorating/DIY magazine stash. And guess what - when they are full that will be my signal that it's time for another culling session. Thank you Sandy for a great tip!
Before I put these away I used a tip my Mom texted me after reading my blog entry about my magazine dilemma. I took pictures of the projects that I would have ripped out for my Sewing for the Seasons binder and have them labeled by magazine/issue/page and sorted in folders in my Dropbox account so I can browse them on my PC, iPad or iPhone. I did this for my books too. Perfect - thanks Mom!
Event #7: UFO List Making (Other Crafts)
Done! And I'm happy to say they are NOT as lengthy as I feared. My thoughts on these are to pick the low lying fruit and aim for a finish each month starting in March. My cross stitch UFO I'm putting at the top of the list is this pretty wall hanging that is completely stitched and I already have the hanging hardware for. 
As for my yarn UFOs... this might make you laugh!
3 knitted washcloths that simply need the yarn ends to be woven in. These are so low lying it's pathetic!

Getting organized is a moving target and not all solutions are "one size fits all". I'm just sharing what works for me and what I'm trying in case you might might find a helpful idea. And I'm still indulging my Olympics watching habit... I am so excited for the Ladies Free Skate today. I love that there is a tight bunch at the top so that the medals are up in the air. I hope they ALL skate their best and land their jumps!


  1. Great job! I did have to laugh at the dish cloths! If I actually get that close to finishing, I would get the ends woven while watching a little TV. Magazines are my biggest issue and I intend to slice and dice them too. I guess organizing is just a never ending event at my house. Keep up the good work!

  2. Brilliant, brilliant organisation!
    Book marking - definitely something I need to do. I do have five of the magazine holders but they are just too high for my book shelves, perhaps time to find some a little smaller. Your idea for magazine culling - I too had to do that last year and it' s great. Also have the project holder as you do and it's so much easier than spending ages trying to think where you last sea it! Last - love your Ikea cart I would like to get my hands on one of these - sadly no IKEA in New Zealand!

  3. I have to laugh about the dishcloths too. When I moved and finally combined all my crafting supplies/projects/piles, I was amazed at the number of 90% done knitting and crochet projects I found. Lots of ends to weave in. Good for you for getting those done.

    I've been organizing my studio and I've reached the limit of my storage space. That means I've got too many projects going, too many supplies or just too much stuff. Yes, I could cram more stuff into a few spots, but I'd like to be able to get things out of the closet without causing an avalanche or stepping over piles. It's hard to be ruthless though.

  4. It's been very inspirational to watch your progress and steal ideas for later :) While I haven't had time to work on my crafty stuff, I did finally put my office/library back together (pictures next week) as a start to cleaning out my wonder room (gosh I wonder what's in those boxes?) to make it a proper guest room when I get my brother's old bedroom set any time now...

  5. Earlier in the week, there was a pattern I wanted but couldn't remember the name of the quilt or the magazine. So I'm about on my 30th mag., flipping through the pages when I thought, you know its always in the last one you pick up. Well I grabbed the last 4 or 5 in the stack. And don't you know it was in the second one! I really should try some of your organizing tips, thanks for sharing!

  6. My mom left a huge tote of dishclothes that only needed the ends woven in. Luckily my aunt finished them and returned them to me. I hate that my mom left so many things just about finished I am trying to finish more than I start.

  7. You are doing really well!I love all the magazine bins!AriadnefromGreece!

  8. Love your storage. One thing I do that I forgot to share.....if I can't bear to tear up a magazine and want it left intact, I write on the cover with a sharpie marker the projects, etc. inside. Like "scrap pinwheel setting", "applique for leaves", or whatever. That way my memory gets a jog when I flip thru looking for something I have seen.

  9. Well Deb, everything certainly looks organized - way more than my sewing room! I notice you have your magazines laying flat in the box - many will actually stand vertically, which makes paging through them quite easy. They do tend to slump if the box isn't full, though.

    I too have that problem with "where is that dang book!" because I've taken it from its home and put it with the project - or some other random place. Maybe we need to put little beepers on the things!

  10. you are an inspiartion! do you provide your services for others?

  11. Thank you for continuing to share your ideas. I agree with the page ripping but i can only do it with older mags, so the idea of keeping the newer ones in a tub until full makes good sense.
    I also have a need to have access to the books and I patterns I want to work on. I also like your display stand idea for that one.
    Keep up the great work!

  12. what a wonderful cross-stitch piece...such beautiful and heartwarming verse

  13. Rosemary B here:
    This looks good. The house next door is for sale.
    Please move here. This is a really nice neighborhood.
    You get the GOLD

  14. Just wanted to let you know that I have been greatly enjoying your Olympic series! I follow you through BlogLovin'. I have the same problem with losing quilt books when I'm working on a project. Now I photocopy the pattern and put it with the project and try to put the book back in the bookcase!
    Nancy from PugMom Quilts!


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