So, project storage. Maybe you're one of those amazingly efficient people that works on one project at a time before they move on to the next one. And if you are, my hat goes off to you. That is so awesome, and then, you're actually sure you'll finish a project. I am not one of those people. But no matter how you approach it, it's really good to have a system to store your projects!
Want to watch me wax poetic about it? Check out the video below!
The Essentials Part of Any Project Organization System
I'm going to give you the top three ways that I like to store my projects. At any given time, I usually have three, four, maybe even five projects going on. Some of them, I like to consider long-term projects and that I'm going to be working on them for years before they ever get finished.
You'll notice that there are two common themes among all of the options. One is that it's see-through. I can see through the container to know exactly what is on the inside. For me, this is really important. I don't want to be digging through lots of boxes and bags and wondering what's inside of it. I want to be able just to look, grab what I need, and then get sewing. Number two is that they all seal in some way. You can turn the thing upside down and nothing will fall out. I find this to be really important because you don't want to lose a little something here or a little something there, and by the time you go to sew it again, you don't have everything you need. So, see-through and sealable are essential to finding the right organization system.
What Exactly Goes in a Project Kit?
1. You put in your project wherever you stop sewing.
2. I also have all the notions and accessories that go with it.
3. Then the one that people forget about: the spool of thread and bobbin. This is really important because you may put away your project, and then, come back in a little bit later, and think, "I have no idea what color thread I used." Or you may have run out of it when doing another project.
4. The pattern (if it's printed out of course)!
Here's an inside look of a fanny pack that I started about a year and a half ago and for some reason stopped with just about an hour left to go. It has everything I need in it with the exception of the pattern. (I had made a few of them at that point and didn't think I needed the pattern anymore-- clearly I didn't plan on hitting pause for almost 2 years!)
My Top 3 Project Organization Options
The Ziploc Bag
The easiest one is the Ziploc bag. I also buy these online in a light, slightly larger size, like a nine inch by 12 inch, but these are great. One, they're really easy to find. Two, you can write right on them so you can label what project you're making. I make about eight pairs of Christmas pajamas every year for my kids and my cousin's kids. So, I've put them each in their own individual bag with the kid's name and the size on it. When I'm ready to sew, I can grab the bag, know that I have all the correct pieces, and keep on going.
The Plastic Shoebox
Next one that's easy to find is the plastic shoe box. This is what I had the fanny pack in. You can get these at the hardware store. They're usually about a dollar. Now, of course, a regular shoe box can work as well, but it doesn't have my two necessary things. One, a regular shoe box is not see-through, and two, it doesn't have the locking lid. If you turn a shoe box upside down, all of the stuff is going to fall out. Whereas, if I turn this upside down, it's nice and secure.
The Vinyl Bedsheet Packaging
If you buy new bedsheets and it's a in a clear vinyl zippered packaging--- use that packaging! Now, this one is particularly awesome because it has this metal frame on both sides, so it gives it a little bit more structure. I haven't seen too many like this. But it does have a zipper, and of course, it's not really meant for long-term storage solutions like this. So, I've had to do a little bit of mending by putting a safety pin on the end of keep the zipper in tact. They're also great for hand-sewing projects, or knitting projects, projects that you're going to take on-the-go. Put everything in there, and it fits inside a tote bag perfectly.
I show you this one last because you may not have bought new bedsheets recently, or maybe, they did not come in a plastic liner like this. If they did, though, this has so many purposes. In a couple of weeks, we're going to talk about something else that you can use this for in sewing. If you have any of these around, make sure you hang on to them.
My Final Tip for Keeping Projects Under Control!
I once had a sewing teacher at the studio that used a "plastic bin method". She got five pink bins that she put each project in. Until there was an empty bin, because she finished her project, she couldn't start something new. I probably should do the same thing. Honestly, that fanny pack is going to take me an hour to finish, and I've just been sitting on it forever!
So, if you need a way to limit the number of projects that you start, use a bin system or a bag system. That way you're really controlling and organizing the number of projects that you start. And project organization, of course, is just like one part of an organized sewing room. If you're looking for more organization, check out these posts about Sewing Rooms!
I'd love to know how you organize all your projects! Do you follow a system to keep them limited or just go wherever creativity takes you? Leave a comment below or join the conversation on Instagram!
Until next time-- happy stitching!