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Saturday, 23 February 2019

Sewing Room Organization & Storage on the Cheap

HDX double-sided small parts organizer from Home Depot...
Was at a discount store that I regularly shop at recently and it looked like they'd hit the jackpot in terms of liquidating some poor retailer's stock of small parts organizers. Plastic boxes of all sizes and colours were stacked on shelves over a large area. Hubby and I determined that while some were definitely neat looking and well priced (from one to four dollars apiece), neither of us needed any more of those.

Turns out we are both pretty well organized at this point.

About a year and a half ago, we got a special package of two of these HDX double-sided organizers at Home Depot for under $14. I claimed one for my sewing supplies and I think he uses the other to store screws, nuts and bolts.

It's quite a nifty container, with customizable storage on both sides that you can access by flipping the unit over.

This double-sided container holds a lot! (The orange dividers are removable.)

It's not perfect, as those who have used it for washers say that the lid is not tight enough to prevent "cross contamination" from one compartment to another. But if you don't have anything similarly small and flat, your stuff should stay in their assigned spots.

I use one side for thread and the other for bag making hardware like snaps, grommets, closures, etc.

Not sure if these are available anymore in Canadian Home Depots, but the US website shows them being sold for about $10 each. Still a decent buy considering the amount of storage you get. The main takeaway is that if you compare the prices of some of these hardware store storage solutions to organizers being sold at craft shops, the difference is significant.

I'll take the savings, thank you very much!

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Are you running out of room to hang or display your projects? (Particularly bags?) These over the door hooks from Dollarama — set of three for $1.25 — have served me well. I have them on my closet bifold doors in the sewing room.

Hanging solution using "over the door" hooks and a recycled plastic wrap roller...

Not only can you hang stuff from them directly, but if you slide a dowel — or in my case, the insert from a roll of Glad Press 'n' Seal that I covered with vinyl — between two of them, you can hang even more stuff.

Another discount store option are these collapsible cubes that you can put on shelves. Yes, you can sometimes find these in "dollar plus more" stores for less than you'd pay at Walmart or IKEA. I'm actually not a huge fan of these because they can hold a lot and I tend to lose track of what's inside! (These are the only two that I have.)

My fabric bins were $5 for the pack of two...

I'm sure you've seen tutorials for making these types of bins, but I certainly wouldn't waste either time or fabric making them. (Your opinion may vary on that idea; to each her own.)

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That said, I have used fabric to sew up a few things that are in use in my sewing room as organizers or storage.

Sewing Caddy by eSheep Designs
This has been surprisingly useful to me...
Here is my take on an Everything Mary desktop tote that I saw on Craftsy (now Bluprint) some time ago. I thought it looked neat, so decided to make something similar from scratch. It now has a permanent spot on my sewing table, keeping a bunch of things within easy reach.

Multi Zip Organizer crafted by eSheep Designs
The multi zip organizer made
from the pattern that I won't name...
This multi-zip organizer was an early pattern challenge that I initially had doubts of conquering. The project was quite maddening at times, but in the calming aftermath of completing it despite all odds, it's also found a permanent home — sitting open exactly as you see it — on my sewing table.

Finally, the Best Nest Organizer Basket by Nancy Zieman is hanging under my sewing table with the help of one of those ever so versatile binder clips.

Nancy Zieman's Best Nest Organizer Basket crafted by eSheep Designs
This basket keeps my current project off the table when I'm taking a break...

Because most of the things that I sew don't require large swaths of fabric, this basket has been extremely handy for stowing away my current project whenever I take a break from sewing. (Do you clear off your space if you're not going to be working there for a few days?) Right now, hubby's next pair of not quite sewn up kimono slippers are in there.

And speaking of those ever so versatile binder clips (which many people have blogged and YouTube'd about)...

Large binder clips are great for hanging things from vertical surfaces...

I have six bags hanging from those in my sewing room, clipped to both vertical and horizontal surfaces.

... as well as horizontal surfaces...

These are the 2" size, which can clamp onto almost anything and support some weight. I wouldn't be without them.

Do you have any thrifty ideas for organizing sewing rooms that you'd like to share?


  1. I have those similar plastic organizers too, but not the double sided ones. I have several. A few for storing thread spools I have large cones elsewhere). Others store snaps and small stuff like beads. They are handy, but when hubby moved things around once, he dropped one and of course it was the one with beads and the top cracked and the beads all cross contaminated with everything else in there. So the carry handle should not ever be carried if you have tiny beads and such inside. Your multi-zipper organizer is larger than the 3 zippered pocket one I make because you can fit that large plastic box in front. I have 2 muffin tins that have 6 sections that I am now using in a drawer to hold some bag hardware in. Since last year I discovered I am gluten intolerant, I won't be making muffins or cupcakes anymore. My cookie sheets all had a short rim around them and I use these as trays for transporting projects I am sewing on or storing them and stacking them each with their own project.

  2. I'm intrigued with the binder clips. Looks like you must be able to remove the metal part to slide the bag handle onto??? I do try to clear my desk when not sewing, but it usually ends up with all sorts of non sewing related items on it.


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