Organization is Fundamental

Alternate title: In which Ivy loses very important directions and has to wing it, and it all could have been avoided by keeping all her stuff in one neat place instead of keeping her stuff flung all over the house.

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

Darling Home Eccers, I do stupid things to help you learn from my mistakes. As my mama always said, “If you can’t be the good example, at least serve as the horrible warning.” I have spent my life living up to my mom’s sage advice.  Today’s horrible warning is brought to you by the letter “O”, for organization.Organize First Sew Later

You see, I have not always had lots and lots of craft stuff at my disposal. I normally keep just enough stuff on hand to do a project or two at a time. I don’t normally keep enough craft stuff on hand for every Girl Scout and old lady in the world to make 6,900 projects each. In addition to all that yarn I inherited, I also inherited a ton of sewing stuff. Not quite as much sewing stuff as yarn, but I digress.

Since I didn’t have all that much craft equipment, I kept it all neatly in a trunk that I also used for a coffee table, and in a drawer in my buffet. It worked out nicely. But now I have more stuff than I can fit in a room, so all my craft stuff is strewn everywhere. I’ve been working on my sewing lately, so I can make sewing tutorials for all you wonderful Home Eccers who are totally new to sewing but want to learn.

This book has become very popular and helped a lot of people get organized: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing


What I should have been doing instead of working on my sewing, was working on making a craft area in my house, organizing everything, you know the routine. But sewing is so much more fun than organizing, so I was sewing. And then I lost the instructions to the clothing pattern I have been working on. Fortunately, I read them through several times, so I think I can put the skirt I’m working on together.

home organizing tips

Click the picture for more tips!

So let that be a lesson to you, Home Eccers. Organize first, sew later.

Let me ask you guys something, while I’ve got ya. I’ve got an area in my house that I am going to use for my craft area. It’s about 4 feet by 5 feet, which is small, but it will have to do because my entire house is small and I feel lucky to be able to carve out that much space.  So, with that small space in mind, what do y’all think is the best way to go for storage? If you have any pictures of your craft areas, please link to them, I’d love some fabulous ideas!

Send your domestic questions to


  1. Courtney on January 24, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    I just posted about this on my blog however it won’t be too helpful since my space is a little larger. I just wanted to point out some of the wall shelves I used (in the 4th picture). I got them on sale at AC Moore. They were $30 I think and I had a 40% off coupon from the specials they always run. They may help organize your sewing things.

  2. Pam on January 23, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    I use clear storage boxes so I don’t have to open them to see what is inside. I also purchased some vintage suitcases and I store fabric and the components for making jewelry in. They serve to decorate the room and are easy to use with lots of sewn in compartments. Pam, South Bend

  3. Margaret on January 23, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    I BELIEVE in small spaces!! They force me to be more organized and focused, plus they’re just cozier.
    I’m going to have my own crafting space this fall when we renovate an old galley kitchen – so I’m excited about other people’s ideas here.
    My suggestion is to look at IKEA (website or catalog) for ideas. They have nifty storage solutions. Also, I periodically troll the Container Store or for new ideas.
    What has worked for me is using the walls and keeping things off the floor (also creates the illusion of more space).
    Can’t wait to see your posts on your sewing projects, Ivy!

  4. Jasi on January 23, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    I’m a huge fan of adjustable wall shelving. In your case I would get a collapsible table (also great for parties) and hang wall mounting strips from desk height up to the ceiling along an empty wall. After strips and brackets, you can either buy the melamine shelving or cut your own from plywood or mdf. It’s not terribly expensive and as your needs change the layout of your shelving can, too.

    This would keep your floors clean, give you flexibility in completely removing most of the storage at some point and leaving the space decorative or something else, and isn’t too costly. Also it will keep ya honest. Open shelving lets you really know what you’ve got and keeps you on top of keeping things organized.

  5. Princess Leia on January 23, 2008 at 9:31 am

    I would highly recommend SpaceBags for all the yarn. They’ve made our tiny condo liveable and would work perfectly for yarn in skeins.

  6. Alison@This Wasn't In The Plan on January 23, 2008 at 1:47 am

    I did a post on my craft room the other week

  7. Christy on January 23, 2008 at 1:03 am

    I vote for blue plastic storage bins for the yarn. For any projects in progress, store them in a resealable bag (like a Ziploc) to keep everything together.

  8. Angie @ Many Little Blessings on January 23, 2008 at 12:00 am

    I’ll have to post some pictures of my craft room on my blog sometime soon — my room is only 5 feet by 7 feet, but I have SO much stuff in there because my husband was a whiz at figuring out the best use of all of the space!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.