If you don’t craft, but live with a crafter, you probably know how to spot a stash: it’s all the crap that’s taking over your living space. David is sympathetic to your plight, dear non-crafter.
I’ve only been sewing for a few months, but already the fabric was threatening to overrun the second bedroom, which we share as an office/studio/closet.
David gets full credit for this organizing solution. A few months ago (when the stash was still slightly manageable) he suggested hanging the fabric over hanging file folders and sorting it like a filing system. What an excellent idea! Which I proceeded to do nothing about for… a while.
Until this weekend! Aided by a spring cleaning bug and an office organizing sale at the Container Store, I finally managed to wrangle my stash into something that looks like order.
To start: I pulled ALL of my fabric that was bigger than a 4″ scrap and organized it by color.
Note: I pretty much only have quilting cotton, but you could also sort by fabric type if you have a larger selection.
Here’s my storage system, ready for action. I originally bought 4 of these open top file boxes at the Container Store and 2 boxes of hanging file folders:
Then I started draping fabric over the tops of the file folders:
Most of my fabric is half a yard or less. If a piece was larger, I let the most of the fabric fall into the folder with little hanging over the other side. I doubled up fat quarters on a side and overlapped scraps on larger/solid pieces. And I worked with the existing folds in the fabric, rather than ironing and refolding.
Altogether, I filled up 6 medium file boxes (not pictured here: two boxes of white, brown and black fabrics). I fit 6 hanging file folders in each box, but in some cases the fabrics are a little crammed in there. Not sure yet how annoying that will be in actual use but we’ll see.
So, the benefits as I see it are that it’s easier to see everything and find a particular color and I won’t topple a stack of fabric when I go digging in deep stash. Because it’s (somewhat) expandable/adjustable, I can quickly find a place for new stash as I add material.
Drawbacks: this could end up taking up a lot of space. (Which is in short supply in our townhouse). We’ve got a wall of EXPEDIT shelving units and 6 boxes took up 3 cubbies.
(For perspective, my previous storage “solution” only took two, but mainly consisted of me throwing fabric haphazardly into a box, with scraps littering the top of the bookshelves).
Two medium file boxes fit an EXPEDIT cubby with an inch or so to spare. I’ve got a few more free cubbies, so I might go back and get some more boxes in anticipation of stash growth.
David is shaking his head right now.
I also haven’t dealt with my scrap box and how that fits into this new system yet. That might be a Craft Organizing 201 post.
Update: We thought we were so original!! But via Pinterest, I found this post about using hanging file folders to organize. Karen at Sew Many Ways cut her folders in half and wrapped larger pieces all the way around her file folders. I might have to give that a try.