Friday 1 April 2016

Does a Tidy Sewing Desk Make a Difference to Productivity?

Following on from decluttering my sewing room, I've managed to keep my desk organised and relatively tidy.

Obviously, when I'm in the middle of a project, there's a mishmash of bits and pieces on the desk. However, there's also lots of room, which enables me to put things where I need them and within easy reach.

My most recent project since the declutter, has been to make thirteen library bags, using my library bag tutorial. My favourite is the Goldilocks and the Three Bears bag. The appliqué came from a panel of fabric given to me. It was meant to be sewn up into a book, but I've used the front cover and a couple of the pages to embellish three bags.

These photos have been taken while I was working and before ironing the bags. They've since been ironed and I've found a spot in my sewing room to store them. Let's hope I don't forget where they are.

Earlier this year I cut out twenty three bags and sewed up ten to donate to Operation Backpack. I figured I'd be able finish the other thirteen before the beginning of 2017. How organised am I, finishing them nine months early!!!

And after I finished the library bags, I packed everything away. Well, nearly everything. The brown paper bag contains three sewing projects from a recent quilting retreat. I still have to find a place to put them.

My desk looks rather bare and dare I say boring. I'm not used to seeing a table that has lots of space, but it really does make life easier - everything is in it's own place, leaving me lots of room to do whatever I need. Theoretically this should mean that it'll be easier to begin new projects - no wasted time clearing the desk or looking for things. And that means that I should be more productive.

When I looked at the photo of my clean and tidy desk, a saying came to mind... creative minds are rarely tidy. Ha, ha... perhaps I'd better mess it up a little!!!

The next project has begun (little zippered bags) and the desk now sports organised mess.

What's the state of your sewing desk right now?

... Pam


  1. I'm getting better at cleaning up as I go along with projects, but finding places for all the pieces of planned projects is not my forte. I find I'm always picking up specific fabrics/patterns/notions that then get set on my cutting table. That pile grows far faster than I get things completed, however. If I put these things out of sight, they're instantly out of mind! I often forget why I purchased them entirely! I've been thinking about starting a numbered list and boxing or bagging these future "projects" in the hopes of being able to store them away without forgetting what I had in mind for them. I hope I'm as successful as you have been at getting things cleared away.

  2. Pretty clean since I finished the construction of the Mystery Tango top and loaded it on the longarm. But, I have the whole day to quilt, so no promises as to what it will look like at the end of the day, LOL!!

  3. While I sew, it is a disaster! But I clean up at the end of the project before I start new. :)

    1. Same here, Shirley Ann. As my project progresses the pile deepens. My cutting table ends up with trims & fabric pcs that might have coordinated/worked well with the main fabric but didn't,... Then I just can't get going on a new project with the mess. So it gets cleaned off and I'm able to focus on the next project.

    2. Ha, ha... yes, Linda. The pile deepens as the project progresses. Beautifully and accurately put. It's the clean up afterwards that counts.

  4. ^^^Baye Leaf have I not taught you about kitting???!?!?!? G/F get off the pot and grab a box of Ziplocs - you'll thank me later!

    My sewing table is about 85-90% tidy - when it gets messier than that I start to stress. My cutting table is about 40% tidy, but I only use one corner of it most of the time, so I only stress a bit, lol. If I can ever get decluttered to the point that I can KEEP my cutting table clean, it'll be a miracle!

  5. Good job getting things cleaned up and finishing the bags early!!!

    I went through my large, plastic storage totes/bins last night. They hold most of my fabrics that are not quilting cottons and the things I am saving to upcycle. I got rid of a lot of fabric and old sweaters!!! I am using one less tote and there is more room in the remaining ones. Now, I can clean the sewing table and move some things to the totes. Finishing some projects and mending should also help clean things up!

    In all, since I started decluttering back in February, I am up to 27 garbage bags that have been given away or thrown away!

  6. Great job!! It is good to see a clean table for a new start again :) We always try to clean kitchen counters but we ignore craft counters because crafty things don't rot ;) But it is so relaxing to see a clean space after a crafty mess but that cleaning takes extra time and energy.

  7. Not too great round here! The table my sewing machine is on is a terrible mess! There's just enough room for the machine to perch on the end (though it's not a massive table), but my kitchen table, which is my cutting place, isn't too bad at the moment.


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