I, of course, forgot to take a picture of the messy little corner before I began. Or maybe I "forgot" so y'all wouldn't have to see how disorganized it was...I'll let you be the judge of that ;-) Anyhow, here are some photos that I did remember to take:
First of all, I measured the dimensions of my little hutch (does anyone know what the official name of this piece of furniture is?) and, armed with my trusty measuring tape and newly-discovered shelf dimensions, headed over to my local Dollar Tree store. Let me just say hallelujah, for everything truly is $1 there, unlike some other discount stores with the word dollar in their names. Not that I'm naming names here...so, anyhow, I picked out three sizes of containers which would be perfect for my purposes, measured everything twice (just to be sure), did some quick multiplication (I admit, on my cell phone, not in my head - the shame! What will my math teacher husband say?) and headed home with the above goodies.
Oh, and in case you're curious, the tribal-looking markings on the table are courtesy of my preschooler. Since we don't allow drawing on walls or big people furniture, he has to settle for his little dinner table ;-)
Next up: I set up all the spiffy new containers on the shelves, just to make sure everything fit as I had anticipated before getting started on the heart of the project. No use sorting, tossing and delegating into boxes if the boxes don't have a home, right?
This will give you an idea of the type of sewing goods I was working with...
...and please ignore the gross-looking carpet! Still waiting on the carpet cleaning guys to come :-P
An indeterminate amount of time later (I totally lose track of time when I start organizing, but you can definitely see the difference in lighting if you compare this photo to the first one), I looked up and realized I was done. Let me walk you through the new layout, from the bottom up: The 12 bins on the bottom shelf hold smaller pieces of material (mostly sorted by fabric content), yarn, sewing machine accessories (like the pedal and bobbins) and some already-pieced bits of the quilt I'm currently working on. The bags on the wine racks have larger pieces of material, the aforementioned quilt, and some navy drill waiting patiently to be turned into a new pair of hornpipe pants sometime in the near future. The butcher block shelf holds my beloved sewing machine and my bin of clothes to be mended. Yes, my bin is very full, but perhaps now that I have containerized these clothes I will be more motivated to mend in a timely fashion? Either way, at least it is a festive green color :-)
The next shelf up contains 6 smaller bins (whose lids, fabulously, do not detach from the base, but are hinged and open from the middle in two pieces), 5 of which are labeled and filled with the wonders of Thread, Ribbon, Sewing Tools, Pins and Fasteners. For number 6, I will wait and see what other essential will need a home. I left the top shelf empty for two reasons: First, I like the clean look of the area right now. Having a horizontal line above and below each section makes it seem more organized, in my opinion. Second, having an empty, high horizontal space will no doubt come in handy when I am (inevitably) interrupted mid-project and need to quickly fling bits of material and pins and needles somewhere safe, out of the way of prying little hands.
And so, dear reader, there is my new and improved sewing corner, completely renovated and reorganized for the low price of $19 + tax.