Winter break organizing

I decided not to set any big goals this winter vacation. (Pause for vacation happy dance.) Usually I make an extensive list of things to accomplish when we aren’t going to be traveling, and then get only one or two done and feel like a failure. This time, the plan is to pick one set of drawers, or cupboard, or shelf area every day and get them tidied up and organized.

Day One was the top drawer in the IKEA shoe organizer, which is where we keep the car keys, and apparently every other key that we’ve ever owned. Plus a lot of random papers and odds and ends that end up making it serve as a junk drawer.

Everything that was in the drawer
None of these fit any doors we currently own
Pretty sure these are from a condo my mom moved out of six years ago

With the help of my youngest kid, we tried every likely key in all of the house doors and were able to identify and label keys for the back kitchen door as well as the door in from the garage. About 30 other keys went into a baggie to give my crafting sister, including ones that went with shed locks and various doors from at least four houses, cabins and condos no longer in the family. All of the trailer, bike lock, and door keys are all now organized and in their own little bowl. Random papers have been trashed or filed, the various tools and screws are back in the garage, and now all that’s in the drawer is the car keys, other labelled keys, and some masks for easy grabbing on our way out the door.

It was really satisfying!

The drawer in all its organized glory

Day Two was the vanity in the master bedroom. I cleared out all the old make up, expired and empty pill bottles, random hair products that I never use: a multitude of drugstore crap that somehow built up in there. I went online and ordered shelf paper to line the drawers and cleaned out the organizers. Overall it made a whole bunch of space for the things we actually do use and want to locate rapidly on a daily basis.

Lots of space but still needs liner paper

Again, very satisfying and not overwhelming. Generally when I start to clean and organize, I end up with a big pile of random stuff that never gets put away because I get worn out. So the pile just moves around and eventually goes back into all the same spots or into new random places. Doing this project one little area at a time means I actually will put in the effort to find the places that things actually should be in.

Today was Day Three and the sewing area shelving. The shelves themselves were fairly organized from a previous sorting, but I’ve never gotten around to sewing the curtains that I meant to put in front of them. So today the curtains were sewn. Then the staple gun, and done.

I hemmed the curtains on three sides and then stapled the top edge to the top’s bottom edge. None of the staples show that way, and I can just lift up the curtain anytime I need to get to the shelves. I put a few small pleats in to make them hang better.

Then I put away all the fabric and pieces of craft that have been accumulating on top. All the yarn is back in the fiber area, in progress sewing and knitting projects each have their own space, and all the sewing tools are back where they belong.

Still need to find a good spot for the iron, but much improved!

I haven’t picked tomorrow’s Day Four area yet, but I am eyeing the drawers beside the oven in the kitchen. My family throws every kitchen related item they can’t find a place for in those drawers.

A mountain of yarn

Happy New Year, everyone!

I felt a rare organization urge this morning and decided to tackle the yarn stash.

I dragged yarn bundles, baskets and bins from all corners and with the help of my boys piled it in the living room.

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This is the before picture.

I sorted by type and weight, created a bin for lace weight, one for fingering, a big bag for bulky, and so on. One big bin is now filled with remnants to go in the slip stitch afghans I make, and another is for thinner yarn remnants for similar scarves or weaving.  Sweater lots were put together, and all the full skeins of handspun went into a zipper bag.

I did try to cull.  There is a fair amount headed for Goodwill:

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One woven basket of yarn showed some signs of moths, so I threw out a lot there and put some in the freezer.  And no more woven baskets for storage.  I was also able to get rid of the big white plastic bins from the before photo, which frees up some floor space in the little craft room.

Here is the after picture:

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Still a ridiculous amount of yarn, and there may be more pruning, but it is more organized and took up less space when I put it all back.

I also pulled out all the yarn I spun in 2016 for its own photoshoot.

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In 2016 I spun 6 lbs of fiber into these skeins.  That leaves 26 lbs. more to be spun.  My 2017 goal is to get at least another 6 lbs. spun and to get and keep the fiber stash below 20 lbs.

The fiber is next up to be pulled out and sorted, but not today.