Thursday, July 12, 2012

Organizing is a Hard Word For Me!

Not in spelling or saying but in doing and maintaining. I have people around me who are good at organizing. The problem with that is they don’t always organize for the way I work. But something has to give. I know I would get a lot more done if I could only get to a more organized, less cluttered state. Now I’m not talking minimalist here just a somewhat state. Plus my grandson is crawling now and he knows “Tutu’s Room” is full of neat, interesting stuff. So I have to be able to at least close the door.

So I’m starting and I plan to share as I go along. Maybe you’ll be inspired by something I do. I’m starting small. I have a lot of different materials to organize, threads  (both sewing and needlework), yarns, beads, buttons, buttons, and more buttons, books and magazine, tools, just to name a few. So I’m attempting to clean off my sewing/work table. Next I’ll tackle my cutting table and then the floor. Yes the floor! In the process I’m going to investigate others methods of organizing and see what might work best for me. Staying flexible is a must here!
For the organizing I’m starting with my embroidery floss. Remember I said I’m starting small. I’ve attempted various solutions in the past.

Floss on Sewing Machine Bobbins
One time I started winding partial skeins of floss on empty sewing thread bobbins. I had discovered I was using the wrong type of bobbin in my machine. Unfortunately I had purchased a lot of them. So I thought this would be a good way of using them. Not so.  For one thing I did not know the brand or color number once the floss had been removed from their packaging. So I abandoned that idea. 

Floss Bags
I’ve also tried the plastic bags on a binder ring (too bulky and the bags deteriorate over time).

Floss Bobbins

 Another attempt was bobbins made for floss which could be stacked. Same problem as my sewing bobbins although these closed so that the floss didn’t unravel. 

DMC Thread Store Displays
Another way was the old DMC store displays (a wood box with drawers that were divided to hold individual colors of floss). I was fortunate to get three of these boxes when I worked for Walmart. These are not convenient for finding colors and the floss is not protected from dust, etc. I’ll use those for something else.They hold my cards of rickrack, binding, etc. just great. 
Another idea was to wind the floss on old wooden sewing spools but I have way too much floss for this to be a good storage solution. Although they do look cute as a d├ęcor item. So you can see I’ve tried a lot of different methods.

This is what I’ve decided to do: I’m using the little flat plastic floss bobbins and the number labels (DMC).
I’ll wind the floss on the bobbin and store it in a plastic box (or 2 or 3 or 4) made for these bobbins. First I will store them by number and later by color groups. By numbers first so that once I’m done I can check my IPhone app to make sure it is up to date and accurate. And then I’ll re-sort them by color because that is the way I work. If I ever need to find a color by number I can go to my app and look up the number, that will give me a color square and name so I know where to look for it.

Thread Tracker Logo
This app Is called Thread Tracker and is for DMC floss and lets me track how many I have of each color (or if I don’t own it) and I can add it to my buy list so I know which ones I need to buy. Also if I’m at the store and see that floss is on sale I can whip out my phone and check to see which colors I need or which ones I don’t have yet. They also have apps for other types of threads so it's worth visiting their site for more information about the apps including one called Thread Replacer.

I do have some floss that does not have the number and brand notation and some where the brand is no longer being made. I am winding these on some cardboard bobbins (I bought these before I found out how thin they were). I do not recommend getting the cardboard bobbins, there are two different brands of plastic bobbins that I’ve found. The DMC brand is thinner than the other so they will take up less space. Consider this if you have a lot of floss to store. Also the other brand I have has little burrs, spots where they were punched out. DMC ones have very smooth edges.

OK this is my floss storage and the beginning of my organization story. I still have ribbon for ribbon embroidery for which I’ll probably use the same method.  You can write the color and number on the bobbins. My thread for Brazilian embroidery which is a rayon thread will be stored in the floss bags for now. That leaves my metallic floss and specialty threads to store and organize. I think the bobbins will not work well for these threads. Any ideas?
How do you organize your threads?

Next I'll be working on my fabrics. Stay tuned!

Happy Stitching!


Happy Stitching!


Boud said...

I was at my embroiderers' group recently, pulled out my plastic ziploc bag of floss skeins and bits, proud that at least I'd segregated the floss from other stuff, feeling quite organized. Then one of my friends, not realizing all this, said, oh, I have a lot of ideas for using up those old tatty bits you're keeping in that bag! heh. One person's organization is another's old tatty bits!

Rose said...

Boud - lol So what were some of her ideas or didn't she share them with you!

margaret said...

what n enormous task you have started a journey on, good for you but mind you lave some time for stitching! I keep my stranded cottons on the plastic bobbins, in number order but have been known to put them into colours but found this did not work, hardly ever use them however as I like to work with one strand of a thread so move up to flower thread,perle and various others depending what I am doing.

Happy sorting

Judy Nolan said...

Rose, I store my threads the same way you do, but I admit I use the cardboard bobbins. Thanks for the tip about Thread Tracker, though--I hadn't heard of that!

Art Benitez said...

I've just been starting out with embroidery and also reading up on blogs like yours. Happy that I'm not alone. I still get stuck with the organization bit, never too easy to start with something especially when your bobby pins, buttons and needles go awry. I hope I know what I'm doing but you mean everything sound so easy :-)