Closet Clean-up

Two years ago I wrote a blog post entitled “Magazine Issues” in which I shared my frustration with my “collection” of old quilting magazines. My system was to put them in boxes and shove them in the bottom of the closet. From there I started just stacking them on the boxes:


(to read that post click here!). Many quilters responded to that post with great suggestions on how to organize my mess, but as of 3 days ago it still looked like this photo, plus 2 more year’s accumulation! Ugh!

A few months ago we had a professional organizer speak to our guild. She helped me face the fact that I hadn’t looked at a single one of these magazines after they found a dark home in the closet. Obviously I don’t need them. What I do need is space! I’ve cleaned and organized most areas of my sewing room a time or two in the 11 years we’ve lived here, but THAT closet had not been cleaned, in fact, it just kept getting more and more stuff shoved into it. I finally reached the point that no more would fit, and I had new stuff piling up in the rest of the studio with no place to put it. Since I just finished my 5 month long competition quilt, and the room was closing in on me, I decided enough was enough. Now what did that professional say I should do???

Oh yeah! Pull everything out of the area you want to organize (that way you can’t quit half way 🙂 )

cleaning my sewing room closet

I didn’t think to take the picture until after I had folded my medium/large quilts and re-filled a shelf with them – progress already!

I emptied the closet during the kid’s naps last Thursday. When Trey woke up I went upstairs to get him, that’s when Mike came home – looked at my studio – and asked me who I was mad at (it was a fast and furious mess). I guess the answer would be me, for letting it get so out of hand.

Since I hadn’t looked at a single old magazine, I decided it was time to “release” them. Most of my friends already have a lot of magazines of their own, so I “bit the bullet” and dumped them in the recycle bin. Actually, there were so many, and they were so heavy, that half will have to wait until next recycle day (the boxes in front of the bin).

closet clean mags gone

The recycling doesn’t get picked up until Thursday. If anyone wants them, let me know and I’d be happy to pull them out for you to pick up.

Well, yesterday I had an entire rainy, “non-babysitting” day, and this is what my studio looked like after one trip to the store for bins, and before Mike took me out to dinner to celebrate a hard day’s work:

cleaning my sewing room closet

And here’s the pile of stuff that’s going to my guild’s rummage sale:

cleaning my sewing room closet

There are still a few odds and ends to be put away, but many of my closet bins now have breathing room in them. Ahh! Next, I need to clean up the rest of the room once again. I think I’ll take a week off. And, oh yeah, there’s another challenge quilt I was thinking of making  😀 !

Cleaning does make one feel virtuous, but a person can only clean so much before they deserve a reward!

PS I still love quilting magazines. So, for a short while now, I’ve been much better about what I do with my new issues. I read them, copy anything I want out of them, and place the issue on the “share” table at my next guild meeting. This way I don’t have to “clean it up” later, and my friends benefit.

12 Opinions

  • Beth Schroer. (Mary Elizabeth) said:

    I hope you found out what that needle was for. I have one just like it, except for the color

  • gayrebe said:

    Why don’t you take some of the old ones to WCTC open lab workshop for those of us who don’t subscribe. I’ve brought home several from there and enjoy them.

  • Kathleen Swinkowski said:

    Congrats on organizing your room. Would you like to do mine next? Actually planning on doing mine in a couple of weeks while hubby is away.
    Hope I have as much success as you did.

  • Jackie said:

    You certainly have inspired me. I like the idea of removing every thing from an area and starting fresh. But what if you don’t have space to put it all until you start putting it back in the space. My problem is time bundles. Can do it in batches but my husband would be upset until the clutter(aka mess) would be cleaned up. My husband doesn’t go away. so that is out.

  • Pat Gilane said:

    Congratulations on a job well done, Chris. I did that with a professional organizer last year and loved the new effect. However, it does come back in time. Love your blog.

  • Hazel said:

    I am in the middle do the same exercise in AZ… Went through most to tear out anything I wanted to save… That consisted of ONE page!

  • Kate Larson said:

    Congrats on a job well done, Chris. It really looks beautiful!

  • Jodi Grzeczka said:

    I’m working hard at that as well, but I don’t have the luxury of any extra space, so it’s a slow project. You did intrigue me with the mention of a quild garage sale. Can anyone attend? When is it? And that small bag of blue and green smack dab in the middle has my interest…..

  • csommerfelt said:

    OK, time to clean a number of closets!

  • Sandy admin

    I loved the blog on clean up. It brought memories of my most recent studio clean up in preparation for our move. I neglected to photograph the process. I felt it was a very “cleansing or Detox” experience and love the new studio.

    I, too, had magazines out of the gazoo and gave most of them away or to the Quilt Museum. I did not know they were taking them.

    Now I can look forward to starting a new studio room.

  • Linda admin

    Greet piece. I have had my studio 15 years and that is how I clean it up too. First I completely empty the room. Makes a huge mess but works wonderfully. I hated parting with so many books and magazine but I sure enjoy see my fabric on those shelves…

  • Bonnie Bergman said:

    Our guild has a magazine sale table at our show. I donate my unwanted quilting magazines to this guild table. I think we sell them for something like 25 cents each. Ladies leave with many, many magazines. I think the ones left go to recycling.


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