Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
William MorrisOne of my new year's resolutions was to clean my sewing area before some HGTV show tries to stage an intervention there. Now, my sewing area is a 6' x 6' alcove off of the family room, fitted with some old cabinets and a countertop sewing table that I hope to hire a carpenter to replace this summer (because it's falling apart and shored up only by my own pathetic carpentry skills). In that small area I do mending, machine sewing, ironing, cutting for various sewing projects, and I try to store everything I need for sewing, quilting, knitting, ironing, papercrafting, gift-basket making, mending, thrift-store-sweater-unravelling, rubber-stamping, rug hooking, embroidery, soap-making, paper-making, and picture-hanging. We don't even talk about scrapbooking... that is the elephant in my living room that I have been ignoring for many years now.
There is also, of course, "the beast," my mid-arm machine quilting frame, which takes up the rest of the south wall of the family room and slightly obstructs the entrance into my little nook. It has a shelf for storage underneath it, and some of the overflow ends up there. But even so, it's getting ridiculous. I have enough scraps for many more quilts than I will ever be able to piece. I desperately need to lose a couple of hobbies and be more selective with the ones I keep.
So I started by removing all the junk from under the sewing counter and from behind the ironing board and on top of the cabinets. I dusted, and I finally finished the painting that was finished two summers ago for the rest of the family room. That's Devine Colors "Mocha" on the walls. Nice and cozy. I'm slowly allowing stuff back into the alcove, and slowly deciding to get rid of some fabric and old patterns. I haven't gone through the actual cabinets yet because they are in relatively good shape -- my quilting fat quarters and yardage is neatly organized above the sewing counter, and most of my yarn stash is underneath the cutting table. The cabinets above the cutting area need to be reorganized, and I'm pretty sure I need to part with those yellow curtains I bought years back that are not what I want anymore. I am not going to make them into decorator pillows or tote bags or Sound of Music dresses for the girls. I also don't really want to do anything with the navy blue corduroy. And I really need to be ruthless with some of the old balls of yarn that the moths have found. But what about the _______? That's the trouble -- every bit that I uncover has its own eloquent plea for considering its sentimental value.