Monday, February 4, 2008

Becoming Organized

Part of my perfect weekend included organizing all my patterns, ideas, and magazine clippings that I have been collecting for years. This is something I have been needing to do for so long, and surprisingly, it didn't take me long at all to complete it. I mean, I expected this project to last several days. And I completed it in two days. And not even two whole days. Two partial days was all it took to put all my plans, dreams, and wishes into organized notebooks. Now, I can instantly locate any pattern at the touch of a finger.

Here is how I did it. First I gathered up all my patterns I have been collecting for years. This includes patterns from the internet, patterns torn from magazines, patterns taken from craft and fabric stores. Patterns, patterns, everywhere! Isn't that such a cute idea for displaying valentines? I'm going to do that someday - now that I found my pattern!

Then, I collected all my magazines that I have collected for years. Do you save magazines for years because of ONE article or idea in it? I sure did. Here are just some of mine. And truthfully, this was the longest part of the whole process. I went through each magazine one by one and made sure I didn't throw anyting away that I would want to use someday. Wait a minute - how did that Western Horseman sneak into my stash? Chuck???

Then I took each pattern and placed it in one page protector. I considered putting each page into a separate page protector but I ultimately decided to put the entire pattern, no matter how many pages, into one protector. That way, I could just pull out one page and take it to the store to buy my supplies. And I don't have to keep track of more than one page at a time. That is a good thing for me. I put each pattern into a pile. I had a pile for knitting, crafts, sewing, quilting, and weddings. I included a stack for weddings because I am our church's wedding coordinator and I have an abundance of wedding stuff. And I have four daughters. And I have two of those daughters that are not married. Yet.

I found several 1 1/2" notebooks that had been sitting around the house. I labeled each one according to each stack of patterns I had created. I found some colorful scrapbooking paper I had on hand and used them for the covers. I printed labels for each book binding.

I then put in page dividers that separated my projects inside each book. For instance, my knitting book is divided into a baby section, a clothing section, and a toy section. My quilt book is divided into a baby section, a wall hanging section, a blanket section, and a miscellaneous section.

My craft book includes anything that doesn't fit into the other categories. Things like paper dolls - I love paperdolls. I've collected Mary Englebriecht paper dolls from their magazines for years! And look at this cute idea for embroidering on a sweater. I totally forgot I had that pattern.

So, now when I decide I am going to make a certain quilt, I simply pull the page from its notebook, take it to the store, and buy my fabric. I'm totally excited about how much easier this is going to make my life! And by the way, this is fabric I purchased before the ultrasound - so don't think you can guess from this fabric stack what the baby is!

Here are my completed notebooks. And if one notebook gets too full, I just buy a bigger binder and simply transfer all the patterns to it.

The whole project just took a short amount of time and I think I spent $2.79 for an extra binder. Not bad. I would pay $2.79 to make my life easier any day.


Becky said...

Brilliant! I love organization. This is really a great idea. I put mine in folders but they are all just in folders, all the knitting stuff mixed up together.

And I had my perfect weekend too ... I watched the Giants beat the Patriots. Go Eli!! And I knitted. My blandet is finished.

Have a great week,Robin.

Becky said...

That would be BLANKET!

Karen said...

Wonderful! You are super organized. I need to do this, too, but can't seem to make myself get started on it! LOL!
Have a blessed week,

gail@more than a song said...

Oh, oh, OH! I'm so impressed, it's GREAT! All your stuff looks so organized, can you come do mine! I did something similar with my recipes so I guess I could do this with all my magazine tear outs eventually. Yours looks wonderful!

Barb said...

Doesn't it feel good to get all those different patterns and ideas all organized so you can find what you want easily? I swear, I'd go nuts if I didn't use this system - WAY too many good ideas and patterns. :-)

Bev said...

Did Laura at Org Junkie see this - fabulous, fabulous! I'm in the middle of redoing my sewing/craft room and this is just wonderful - thanks!

Sharon said...

This is a wonderful idea!

Org Junkie said...

This is wonderful, thanks for sharing it with me!! I love how you've organized everything into binders which just sit so nicely on the shelf ready and waiting for the magic to happen :)

And now you will have no problem finding what you need in no time at all. That is the best part for sure!


Bunny Trails said...

That is AWESOME, Robin! You are an inspiration! :D

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