View Full Version : UGH! Where do I begin?

September 15th, 2013, 04:06 PM
At the beginning of the year, we decided to turn a spare room of ours into a room for my grandaughter that was born the end of May. In order to do this, I needed to empty the room. Whatever didn't get thrown away ended up in my sewing room. I figured I would just deal with it later. Then we were planning a baby shower, and my other daughter and I did a lot of work in the sewing room making invitations, favors and sewing up gifts for the raffle and smaller gifts for the baby bingo prizes. During all of this, my then pregnant daughter was having problems with her pregnancy and spent two weeks in the hospital. Once we knew she and the baby were fine, we resumed baby shower preparations. After the baby shower, I worked on finishing the baby's room..still needs curtains and throw rug, but it's almost done.
Now, I want to get back into my sewing, but can't stand the mess. I've been working in the living room and dining room, but need to get things cleaned up....holidays will be here before you know it!
My question is...Where do I begin? How do all of you get the motivation and how do you know where to start when a room is so out of control? My sewing room has NEVER looked this way. I will post pics of what it looks like, but not until it's clean again. I'm a little ashamed that it got so out of control but life took over and I just didn't have the time.
I know I just need to get in there and I'm trying to do it today, I guess I just needed some encouragement and motivation to keep on going.
Thanks for listening.

September 15th, 2013, 04:13 PM
If it were me, I would ask for help. It's always more fun to clean when you can visit with someone and share ideas. Can your daughter spend a day with you and get a good start on the room? Good luck and I look forward to seeing pictures of the room when it is finished.

September 15th, 2013, 04:16 PM
My hubby right now is cleaning the sun porch. One 4 x 4 square foot section at a time is my way. Sometimes it is one table at a time. You need tunnel vision or the whole room is overwhelming.

September 15th, 2013, 04:35 PM
I agree with getting help. Having a second person makes all look more manageablemaybe get a couple bins and sort first. Just a thought

September 15th, 2013, 04:41 PM
If it were me, I would ask for help. It's always more fun to clean when you can visit with someone and share ideas. Can your daughter spend a day with you and get a good start on the room? Good luck and I look forward to seeing pictures of the room when it is finished.

My daughter did tell me that she would help, but she works full time. She will do what she can.

September 15th, 2013, 04:43 PM
My hubby right now is cleaning the sun porch. One 4 x 4 square foot section at a time is my way. Sometimes it is one table at a time. You need tunnel vision or the whole room is overwhelming.

This is pretty much what I am doing. While cleaning one area at a time, I'm trying to plan the room in my head to keep my mind off what's left to do.

September 15th, 2013, 05:00 PM
I think, look around the room and make a list. Get an egg timer and set it for 15 min. if you can go longer go for it, but I think 15 is a good start. You'd be surprised how the little spurts help.:)

Kelly F
September 15th, 2013, 05:08 PM
Recently, I bought about 8 big totes. Put step-daughter's "junk " in totes and wrote her name on them. Put hubby's "junk" in totes and wrote his name on them. Stacked them 4 high in my basement and away in a corner.

It took them more than 2 weeks to realize their stuff was "put away".

September 15th, 2013, 05:13 PM
The first thing I would do is take everything out of the room and bring things back in as you organize it. A helping had or two would be nice. I know I can't relax when my sewing area is a mess. If my house is a disaster I feel guilty sewing because I feel like I should be taking care of the house. Maybe I'm an old fuddy-duddy, but that's how I am.

September 15th, 2013, 05:21 PM
Recently, I bought about 8 big totes. Put step-daughter's "junk " in totes and wrote her name on them. Put hubby's "junk" in totes and wrote his name on them. Stacked them 4 high in my basement and away in a corner.

It took them more than 2 weeks to realize their stuff was "put away".

I did something similar in my sewing room. I have a lot of reusable market bags. (Plastic is banned here) So I tossed in yardage that was laying around by type, Hawaiian, batik, Asian, etc. It got everything off the floor. Then I got my scraps tamed when I bought some clear shoe boxes at Wallys for only a$1.11 each! That was actually fun though. I set up all the boxes and saw all the colors fill up. I did it by colors not size. My dd doesn't live here but she has her own basket and drawer for when she ever decides to come over, which is rare. lol

Kelly F
September 15th, 2013, 05:31 PM
I like that idea Lorie!

I started using market bags to toss scrap scrap. The stuff you can use as stuffing. :). But I think I will get some see through stuff and divide my color, because I have been re-organizing recently and I tried to do it by size. But I "shop" my stash by color. Why did that never occur to me?

Quilted Fantasies
September 15th, 2013, 07:10 PM
I do basket cleaning. Take a basket into the room and put anything in there that doesn't belong in that room. When it's full, walk around the house, basket in hand, until everything is where it belongs. If something needs to go to another location, like your daughter's house, put it in the car. It helps me.

The fifteen minute idea is also excellent. I use that one frequently. It's amazing how fifteen minutes of cleaning will help your main nerve.

Good luck to you!

September 15th, 2013, 07:22 PM
Lately I have been setting the timer on the stove for 30 minutes. I sew or straighten my sewing area until the buzzer goes off. Then I go do 30 minutes of dreaded housework. Most times it works pretty good............kind of like a reward for doing housework! Maybe try that........certain length of time to do what you want in your room & then the same length of time for the "have to" organizing.

September 15th, 2013, 07:36 PM
Grace Ann I did that when my kids were young but it still works. You know how a soda, beer box has the sections? I would carry it around the house. Bathroom stuff like hair brushes, clips, rubber bands. Office stuff like crayons, pens, pencils ,paper clips in another section . Then the craft stuff that ended up all over the place. And missing puzzle and game pieces.

Gosh I have been cleaning for over twenty years! And they both moved out and have all their stuff still in their rooms. I think I need to make some phone calls. lol

Iris Girl
September 15th, 2013, 07:45 PM
I would just take a small section at a time. This is what I did and soon its all done.

September 15th, 2013, 10:50 PM
I'm a big fan of the 15-minute timer rule. I always tell myself, "You can do anything for 15 minutes; and even if you don't get the whole thing done, the stuff you got done is DONE." The trick is not to allow yourself to get discouraged. 15 minutes once or twice a day will get the whole thing taken care of before you know it.

Another trick I've used: take 3 empty bins, boxes, or paper bags into the room. Label them "Keep", "Toss", and "Someplace Else." Set your timer for 15 minutes, and starting at the door of the room, go around picking up one thing at a time, and put it in one of the 3 containers. You're not organizing yet, just deciding whether stuff stays in that room, gets thrown out, or goes in another room or another building. Once the timer is done, put the keepers away if you can (if you can't yet, just put the Keepers bag/bin near the door to the room), throw the "toss" stuff out, and walk around your house returning the Someplace Else stuff to wherever it belongs. Have fun!

September 15th, 2013, 11:03 PM
oh I love all the ideas! Really like bubba's... just get it all out.... in tubs whatever, and carry in 30 minutes at a time what you want back in while organizing. I can't SEE how my room needs to be cleaned when it get's that messy and overwhelming. But once it's all out, I too am better at moving things around, knowing now where I want my furniture, then putting the items back in better organized. That said I'm on my 5th time reorganizing my sewing room hahaha Each time I hope that it is a better working area and organized more for how I sew now. Knowing I will do it again (almost a yearly thing now), help with the timer too. Good luck and really look forward to seeing it how you want it!

One step at a time, one day -- Glad to hear she can maybe help on a weekend day! Pick a chore for her and you - maybe that is when you sort colors into tubs or fold onto boards? That would be more fun to have anyone helping!!! Uh I'll be home by the end of October doing this again -- Anyone want to come help :-) hehehe

Not a great housekeeper but it does nag at me when the rest of the house has clutter - LOVE the idea of walking around and picking items up that do not belong - Thank you I will take that idea and use it! How helpful that is.

September 16th, 2013, 12:16 AM
Oh Cil, you don't even want to see pictures of my sewing room right now! I had it all so nicely organized, and then we had security cameras installed. Well I had to clean out my closet because that's where the DVR and monitor went (which was where I stored 90% of my things) and then all of that had to go SOMEWHERE. Plus just before MIL/FIL's visit we cleaned up and DH put everything he didn't know where else to stuff in there too. So I have two large tables that are PILED high, plus boxes of batting and random junk all over the floor. Not fit! So you're not alone honey, because if a tornado struck in there right now I don't think I would notice! lol

September 16th, 2013, 12:49 AM
Thank you everyone! Such great ideas. I use the box method around the rest of my house and do that often because in between sewing and cleaning the sewing room, I am making sure that I keep up with everything else. I can literally clean my house in a lout an hour so that's a good thing. I did do more in the sewing room tonight. I moved some books to a new home and put a few things in their proper place. I even swept a small section of the floor. The funny thing is, normally I am so good at attacking a room and getting it done...I don't know why I'm having such a hard time with this one. Maybe now that I have started, I can keep the rhythm going.
Tomorrow is another day and I will get back to it.
Thanks again for encouragement, motivation and great ideas!

September 16th, 2013, 02:50 AM
Cil is hot right now? When it's hot I can't move or think. I have a few fans running. It drains me when it's hot. Everyone loves Hawaii because of the sun but I can't wait to use a sweater. lol

September 16th, 2013, 03:00 AM
I toss. Literally. I stand at my table or island in my craft room and toss things as I go into a big pile in front of the door. I ask DH to bring a bag and pick it up so I won't be tempted to pull anything back out. I sort as fast as I can.... use, toss, keep, toss.

What is of use become another pile so my surfaces are clear. Then, I tackle that pile by putting into "Like" small piles. (as you can see I am in training for my pilots license... I pile it here, and I pile it there) But, I break it down into small piles that can be put with like things... scrapbooking, sewing, wrapping, framing, storage, whatever.... by then... I am looking to sweep, and wipe my surfaces. Run the Vac and I am back ready to go!

September 16th, 2013, 03:09 AM
I'm not an organized person but I have slight OCD. I like things in certain spot and only rearrange once a year. When I tackle a job like that first I get rid of the trash. Then I put everything in piles to organize it, for example, a pile of what doesn't belong in the room, donation pile, and what stays in the room. At that point I ask the family to come get the piles that don't stay in the room and tell them where it goes. Having everyone in my space before that would drive me mad. Hope that helps

September 16th, 2013, 04:19 AM
It's all about getting started. It takes me forever to get going, but once I do, I can usually finish it. I had to reorganize/straighten up my area this past week and it was hard to get motivated, but now that is is (mostly) done, it really feels good. I like the 15 minute rule, too. Take it in small chunks and the more progress you make, the more you will be motivated to finish. Be sure to reward yourself for your progress!

September 16th, 2013, 07:57 AM
If I lived closer I would give you a helping hand. You just have to decide that today is the day I get this room cleaned.

September 16th, 2013, 08:16 AM
You had a period in your life that brought "turmoil"...your excused!! Check out my album and see the mess I had created and did manage with the moral support of many here (Sandy etc)... to just get going.. I unlike you, can work in a mess, but even I had managed to make it too much for even me... I had DH help me by configuring storage that fit perfectly under my quilting frame.. then bought some 8" deep bookcases and proceeded to "board fold" about 15yrs of fabric... the bin storage houses the pre-cuts.. and anything under a yard..folded and by color..it took me a very long time..I DON'T do well with help, it stops my focus!.. CLEANING of any sort is not my thing.. That's why i'm so proud of what I accomplished.. YOU WILL GET THERE,,,just don't beat yourself up... heck you've got a new little one...they always must take center stage!!! Wish I had some!! Hugs, B

September 16th, 2013, 11:26 PM
I'm getting there!
Lorie, I totally agree about the weather making a difference. Yesterday and today were cooler and I did accomplish a lot.
Kensington, I do the same thing! I toss everything out of the room, but I pick it up myself, not hubby. Then I put things in like piles and tackle a pile at a time. Today was most of my table and lots of paperwork.
I am a little OCD too...ok, maybe a lot..lol that's why I'm horrified at how out of control it got, but I'm working on it. I have made up my mind that I cannot sew until it is clean!
Babs, your photos really inspired me..I remember you going through your cleaning and organizing and how great you did. I'm pushing along. I've got almost all the trash gone and piles made so hoping tomorrow is a big day getting the piles put away where they belong. My goal is to be able to sew by Thursday!
Thanks again everyone and I will post pics by the end of the week.

September 17th, 2013, 12:42 AM
Cil the paper is so out of control at my house!. For some reason I was the designated paper organizer and recycle get rid of it person. I just did some of that today. I had to stop the newspaper because I just couldn't read it all and the pile was growing to fast. Then I found out I could get it online.duh. lol

September 17th, 2013, 12:50 AM
Go Cil Go!!! Yeah you began and we are all still behind cheering you on! Ok Thursday is sewing day so that's a goal to slowly get it back into order by then :-) Love reading how many organize (and I too can create in somewhat of a mess), but may have OCD (excuse me that is CDO!)... because it get's out of hand and I'm sure our minds can't create lovely things when you can't find anything!

Just popping in to cheer you on some more - Sounds like you got a Great start! yeah for you