Are you overwhelmed with all your sewing notions and tools? You are not alone because as we get more and more into this wonderful craft, the amount of stuff tends to grow exceptionally. Honestly, it’s an ongoing struggle for most of us, but here are some methods I’ve found very helpful for organising my sewing space and keeping it pretty clutter-free.
1. Use small drawer inserts and bins
The number one secret to great organising is to have a dedicated spot for everything. The more specific each container is, the better. This is why most of my sewing notions and tools are placed in small plastic bins and similar inserts.
I use the Ikea Kallax shelf system drawers to store my stuff. And as you can see, I’m pretty specific here, using really small bins so that everything is easy to see and access.
I also recently added plastic spool bins to my Kallax drawers. I got boxes similar to these (Amazon affiliate link) and just removed the lid. They fit well into the drawers, and I finally have a good organisation system for my small thread spools.
2. Use pretty baskets
Sewing organisation doesn’t have to be ugly just because they are functional. To give my sewing space more warmth and a natural feeling, I use storage boxes made with natural fibres, such as rattan and wood.
This pleated wood box from Ikea is where I store all my work-in-progress pieces. If I have more than one project going on simultaneously, I separate them into plastic bags.
Don’t throw away all your scraps! Instead, I like to place them in this lovely box from Ikea. Having a variety of fabric scraps is super helpful for testing things and practising new techniques.
3. Get a peg board
The Skådis pegboard from Ikea has been such a game-changer for my organisation. I love all the accessories you can get for it, and these days companies are making special attachments just for sewing stuff, such as thread racks. How awesome is that!
4. Use multifunctional storage solutions
This cutting board is made from three Ikea Kallax shelves. I added wheels and a wooden worktop, and then a cutting mat. This nifty table also has room for so much storage. It holds six boxes, four drawers and four bookshelves.
I have a lot of sewing books, and they all fit into my Kallax cutting table. Curious about how to make this cutting table? Check out how I built the table from scratch.
5. Utilise height
If your floor space is limited (isn’t it always?), explore vertical storage instead. Here I stacked a 2X2 Kallax shelf on top of a 2X4 shelf. They are joined together in the back with plate brackets, and if you can, I strongly recommend securing the shelf to the wall as well.
Another option is wall-mounted hangs and brackets, like the Swedish Elfa system. Mine is a cheaper knock-off, but it works the same way. You can add wire drawers, coat racks and other cool features.
6. Organise fabric after type, not colour
While it might look cute with a cute colour-coordinated fabric collection, I find it more helpful to organise my fabrics after material type and uses. For instance, denim fabrics in one container, lining fabrics in another, sweater knits in a third, silk and wool in another (closed container) and so forth.
My activewear fabric collection. This is my old storage; right now, I’m back to using plastic boxes for everything, but the fabrics are still organised after type.
7. Colour group your threads
I do find it very helpful to organise each thread type after colour. Here are my serger threads, and I try to keep them organised after colour. It also looks really pretty! I’m using this thread rack from Amazon (Amazon affiliate link), and it works so well.
Some will have a good argument for why storing thread out in the open isn’t a great idea (sunlight erodes the thread, and dust is also an issue). If you want to avoid this, use bins instead.
Here, I organised some serger threads in bins instead of using the Kallax drawers. Do what works best for you.
8. Put pattern magazines in binders
If you are like me and have a lot of pattern magazines, I strongly recommend using binders and envelopes to store them. You can, of course, also use regular magazine filers, and I use them for one-off magazines. But for Burdastyle, I’ve created this really great system that makes it easy to find each issue.
I sort the magazines by year, and if you are curious, check out my post on How I organised all my pattern magazines.
So there you have it, 8 tips for organising your sewing stuff. Now this list could be even longer, but I hope it gave you fresh ideas on how to declutter your sewing space and make everything easy to access.
Also, check out my other posts about sewing organisation:
Using labels for sewing organisation
DIY Sewing machine needles storage
20 tips for pattern storage (from my readers)
How to best organise your sewing process
Now I want to know your favourite ways to organise a sewing space. Please share in the comments!
CareyApril 21, 2023 at 1:33 am
I love that your Kallax pieces are still serving you so well (and it looks like they survived the move in good shape!). I finally put some Kallax into my small sewing room too. Your drawer inserts look better than mine. I like how you used different knobs on them. I am still working out how best to use and organize within the cubes themselves. You have terrific ideas for that too. Thank you!
I also have some Elfa drawers, and I cut a piece of board to fit across them. Originally that flat space invited messy piles, but I recently cleared those piles and am using the space for my new Babylock Euphoria coverstitch machine! So no more piles are allowed. (I sold my Janome coverstitch and highly recommended your coverstitch course to the new owner.)
SheilaMay 21, 2023 at 8:48 pm
I use this for my Babylock sewing feet
I have a picture of the foot on the front and in the interior of each drawer so I can find the feet quickly and return them to the correct drawer.
MaggieMay 21, 2023 at 8:50 pm
I was enjoying the information in your article, but was bombarded repeatedly by TEMU ads. I deleted them over and over, and then they popped up, large enough to take away from the information you were sharing. Seems their could be a better way for them to advertise without obliterating your site. (:
Susan CorcoranMay 22, 2023 at 9:19 am
I store my Burda magazines differently. I have them in consecutive order on a bookshelf. But I photo copy the pattern diagram contents pages, put them in clear pockets in a folder. So to look through them I can take the folder to a comfy seat! Also, it enables me to find patterns by their function and shape without being influenced by the choice of fabric in the photos.