One way to organize your fabric + panic over your stash

Yes. Yes. Yes.

No. No. No.

Fabric Stash Panic

That is how yesterday went for me. I did a sort out. A clear out. A stash detox. It took ages. I did it in my bed which wasn’t all that helpful because I took a nap mid sort. But it was an incredible nap, never had one like it! When I woke up I pressed for the 10 minute snooze, and I was lying there, super comfortable in all my fabrics and insulbrite, (I was very warm) then when I thought it would go off I began looking for my phone so I didn’t have to hear the alarm noises. But it still had 8 minutes on the clock. It was amazing. I felt like a sloth.


You can probably tell that since the highlight of my day was the nap, the clearing out part wasn’t much fun. But I got it done and that’s what counts. So even though it’s not really a Friday Finish, it sort of is..if you don’t think about it too much. Now I am super organised and will become the most efficient quilter in all the land! I’ve got all my projects in one place and homed with all the required fabric too. I cut some lengths of cardboard to created sections in the boxes. I have also set up a scrap system in the smaller paper bags and shoe box. In the smaller box are fabrics with no project in mind so they have been designated to use for the Stash Bee.

I’ve realised that I have a few quilts worth of fabric bundles already set up which is good. I have also found some fabrics I can use as backings for some quilt tops ready to be quilted which is also good. I also found some backing fabrics that I at some point decided to cut into so they are no longer big enough for backing the quilt tops I bought them for. Really annoying. Big pieces of fabric never last long with me I’m always so eager to get the scissors out. Nevermind. Maybe it is time to attempt a pieced backing!


The reason for the reorganisation is my need for a clear focus; sometimes I find myself with the burden of a bunch of UFO’s I don’t actually care about. They seem to linger as I consider finishing them. Now I realise that it really doesn’t matter. I don’t have to make it. It’s not my job, nobody is paying me. They are not my friends. They are not adding to my life, quite the opposite; they will eat up my time that could be spent working on something more exciting. In the end I eliminated so many craft supplies that I have an empty 4 draw dresser now. I was ruthless! Of course there is the safety bag which contains some projects which I would kind of like to see finished but it’s not the end of the world if I don’t have time. That bag is hidden away to be ignored until the time comes. I really recommend using a safety bag if you are doing a big clear out of any type, it relieves the pressure so you don’t get stuck on one item for ten minutes trying to make a decision. The trick is one bag –Β the size is up to you!

I also need an easier system to keep my desk space clear. My sewing desk is the first surface as I enter my flat so sometimes things get piled up there. To make it harder for me to dump stuff I have placed all the scrap bags and boxes in a line on the left. It’s easy to move them when working on a quilt because they are light. I’m going to try and treat my desk like a temple, a scared area that should not be vandalised.

It was also helpful to see that I really didn’t need to go fabric shopping, I do need batting though and maybe some backing fabric… it’s a vicious cycle of clearing out to find you need more! Looking at all that fabric makes me feel panicked. I REALLY need to get making – I have a deadline but that’s a whole new post. It is tomorrows post actually… It’s exciting and scary news. In a good way…


Please feel free to let me know any tips you have on organising your fabric or craft supplies, I’m actually a bit of a nerd in this department and like trying out different systems – especially in regards to scraps and WIPs. They are my kryptonite.



17 thoughts on “One way to organize your fabric + panic over your stash

  1. I totally find it very hard to de-stash–I am always thinking that if I give it away, I’ll wish i had it back again!! Am i crazee or what??? i know i have fabric that i will never use (or maybe I will?? lol) Anyhoo..empathize with your attempt…hope you are feeling more in control of your stash–I HAVE to do something–about mine soon…i dream about it…aaaargh Hugs, Julierose

    1. You are not crazy! It’s so hard to clearout fabric over other things because it’s like throwing away that good part of you that was going to create something brilliant. This time I was a tough robotic cleaner and got through my stash with cold heartlessness. Plus, I don’t mind the extra money from selling the stuff I wasn’t enthralled by anymore! πŸ™‚ Perhaps the best way to think of it is renewal, or stock revamp, and not de-stash. πŸ™‚ Good luck, and go for it!

  2. Nice job in clearing out your stash of fabrics! It sounds like you have plenty of room to organize within your drawers πŸ™‚ I like the plastic boxes that I get at a local department store for organizing smaller things that go together. Ziplock bags play a huge part in organizing my yarn stash on two shoe racks that are stacked on top of each other; although the yarn stash has now outgrown the two shoe racks and has been going back in my office closet again. I also really like my large plastic storage totes for storing larger items.

    1. Ziplock bags are the best! I only have one plastic box, but in the future I will get more, they are so good. I’m trying to stay out of the drawers, I forget about what is in there – I need plastic drawers! πŸ™‚ Your yarn stash grows like wild fire Paula! I like the stackable shoe rack plan, but maybe you need to upgrade to a full blown wardrobe! πŸ™‚

      1. I think I may need to πŸ™‚ I went on a huge yarn buying spree lately and am now feeling a bit overwhelmed. I have decided that I’m going to go on a yarn diet…get some knitting done from the stash before buying anything else. Let’s see if it works!

  3. Storage is the devil…..sorry but it is for me. If I put it away in a bag, bin, tote, plastic or otherwise I forget all about it. Out of sight is out of mind for me, I am a visual person and I have to see and touch it for it to be real.
    Thus I have clear sight and access to my scraps and fabric at all times. My projects are scattered around and worked on daily. My scraps are placed in a glass jar, pretty and I can see them. Other scraps are cut into squares of various sizes that then can be cut down into hexagons, clamshells, triangles, circles, etc etc. then I pile my various size squares into open trays where I can keep an eye on them too, they can and will get up to mischief when my back is turned. So my temple is all on show, messy glorious fabric on open shelves, trays and glass jars, and that works for me……now did you want the long answer? Lol.

    1. oh that sounds like how I would do things if I weren’t so messy in other areas of life! I do keep projects that I’m working on out and about, or piled on the ironing board, because if I had to dig for something I wont do it. That’s why I have put the fabric in the boxes upright, so there is nothing hidden at the bottom and I can see what’s there! If I had shelves though… oooh. Your scrap system sounds great too, I’m excited over the glass jar idea! Thanks for taking the time to describe your system, love it! πŸ™‚ Hannah

  4. I hate making decisions about should I keep it, should I throw! Your post made me smile and the comments you’ve received are all interesting and helpful. Trial and error have led me to using clear plastic boxes and wallets and I make clearing up all the left overs part of finishing a project so things do get tidied fairly regularly ☺

    1. Hi Alison, I’ve no idea how I missed replying to your comment here… Better late than never! You are right to hate making decisions, I hate it too. But afterwards I usually feel good because I know I just did something hard. I most of the time clear up the leftovers, ‘all my bits’ , after I have finished something too. It’s kind of nice because it reminds you that before you made something it was just a bit of fabric, or a limp bit of yarn. I like seeing potential in fabric when I buy it, but I really like seeing that I transformed a material into something fun! Thankyou for your lovely words, Hannah πŸ™‚

  5. I have been trying to organize and purge my stash for months now. I have bins for each colour of scraps and a basket on my sewing table for scraps to go as I sew. When the basket is ful, I sort them out and put them into the right bin. The room where I sew is not bad…however, I have a second small room where my fabric lives and it is a disaster. I need an entire weekend to get it cleaned up but have lots of other family obligations that keep me from doing this….someday it will get done! Congrats on getting your fabric sorted out!

    1. ugh, tell me about it! You definitely need an entire weekend for sorting. It took me hours! Your scrap organization system sounds epic – what a journey your scraps go on! I kind of have the same idea but I don’t organise by colour. I feel like I only ever use pink blue and green lately…I’m drawn to these three for some reason! Thanks for giving me insight into your system! πŸ™‚ Hannah

  6. Oh my, Hannah! You are on the right track. I did a purge recently and passed along a lot of my fabric to my mom who makes those pillowcase dresses for missions. I do use clear plastic totes for storing fabric because if I can’t see it, I forget that I have it. Now I’m thinking we need clear plastic cupboard doors in the kitchen.

    1. Haha, thanks Lorna – Oh no I need the opposite on the baking supplies! I keep buying chocolate to make brownies with, but end up eating the chocolate. Seriously, I’ve been sabotaging my brownie plans for about three weeks now. one day. But yes for clear plastic for fabric – I’m having lots of fun with it – now I know what I’ve got! Give your mom a high five from me for making dresses for the girls, woohoo πŸ™‚

  7. Great job clearing out. I always have the best intentions of doing so, and then I go chase butterflies or something. I love that you took a nap mid-sort though, lol. Your system looks great, and treating your work space like a temple is a brilliant idea. I should consider that. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Mistie! Butterflies and everything but the things you need to do are excellent distractions. Instead of chasing butterflies, I tend to go out and buy milk. I guess I could just go out for a normal walk, but my mind doesn’t always think that way! You can tell how stressed I am by the amount of milk I have in my fridge. As for the temple desk – it has been keeping its shape pretty well the last few weeks since I did this. I think I have finally found a system! Thanks for your comment! πŸ™‚

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