Christa’s Soap Box – I am a minimalist. And organizing is good.

I didn’t realize how much of a minimalist I have become until I started dejunking and reorganizing my sewing room big time! Remember this picture?

StashThis was about half of my stash that I got rid of simply because I can’t stand excess. (Sorry they are gone now but I’m sure in a few months I will need to dejunk again!)

So I started thinking about events in my life in which I get overwhelmed by choices and clutter. For example, back in the day when you would go to the video store (instead of watching videos on demand or by mail) I would never pick out movies. Instead I always left it up to my husband – there were simply too many choices! (Thank goodness he likes a good comedy and will watch a decent chick flick with me.)

Cut Squares

Stack of Yummy Solids

I’ve started comparing my lifestyle to my fabric and quilting choices and maybe the reason I love solids so much is because they are so simple. They are just pure color without any busy-ness.

Early on in our marriage we had some tight living arrangements. Before we had kids, Jason and I lived for a time in a small trailer on his parents’ property and then for several months in a motorhome. We really figured out then what we could do without!


A smaller, tidy stash.

So I’m always dejunking and getting rid of things. I figure if I accidentally throw something out, I can just buy it again. But to store too many things in the hope of one day using them – no thanks!

I think one of the reason negative spaces in quilts appeal to me is because it’s calming and gives your eyes a place to rest without the clutter. Sure I will fill up all that space with quilting, but that’s just an extra layer of subtle texture which gives life to the quilt.

Negative Space

Look at all that white space!

One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard about controlling clutter was from a home-making class at church. (I get more then just spiritual fulfillment there – bonus!)

The speaker said to take all of your personal mementos you want to keep and store them in one box only. If you are hanging onto items for family members, kindly give them back as soon as you can. And finally, put everything you don’t use/want in a box. If you haven’t touched it in a year, you can live without it. Words to live by!

Lots of organizing going on around here!

Lots of organizing going on around here!

Recently, we’ve been having the kids dejunk their rooms and started installing shelving and organizing closets. It’s sort of in my best interest as I have been slowing moving all of their creative supplies out of my sewing space and into their own bedroom corners. 🙂


Gotta Love Shelves!

Does anyone else run into the problem of starting one project only for it to quickly overwhelm the entire house? I do, but I’m working through it one room at a time. Hopefully in a few weeks I’ll be able to have a “sewing room reveal” which will leave me more organized, efficient and ready to work!

29 thoughts on “Christa’s Soap Box – I am a minimalist. And organizing is good.

  1. adaisygarden says:

    I don’t know if it’s that I’m getting older, but lately I have felt motivated to get rid of things I don’t really need or use. It’s like you said… organizing and de-cluttering just makes me feel more at peace, especially when I’m going to work on a project and I need to find items quickly.

  2. bobbiesews says:

    My brain goes nutsy with clutter. But I have to admit to buying fabric when I’m stressed. Not good for my shelves but better for my body than food. I’ve designed some of my own quilts but never used EQ. Would love to win (and play).

  3. Theresa Dean says:

    Thanks for giving me the kick up the butt that I needed. My craft room has become a junk room and although it is more than big enough for me, I have to work at the dining table because I can’t get in there. So, today I gave started de stashing. It’s very therapeutic and not as hard as I thought it would be. Thank you xxxx

  4. claudia w says:

    Would you kindly come to my house and de-junk for me please? I want to hang on to every last bit of everything. (Because I will need it someday! 😉 ) AND I live with my 91 year old father who is a classic hoarder. I wonder where I get my habits from???
    You certainly are an inspiration to me to get some stuff out of here though!

  5. Nesta says:

    Very inspiring! I keep looking at the messy spots in the house and don’t know where to start! I’m really going to get to it now. Maybe I could show my sewing room too, that would force me to tidy up!

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Getting the kids to sort their own stuff, declutter, is the best thing to do. Mom then do not feel guilty about getting rid of stuff. It takes such a weight of your shoulders, when you do not have to worry about things. The less stuff, the more time and space to enjoy our family time together. I make quilts, donate, giveaway with abundance one step at at time. Doing it with love in my heart and a bounce in my step. Travel lightly and consume less, it makes room in our lives to life it to the fullest.

  7. Susan says:

    We usually “de-clutter” once a year or so. Not scheduled or anything. It just seems all the STUFF starts to get overwhelming and we find better homes for it. I can count on one hand the things I wish held on to and in the grand scheme of things, no big deal. It’s always sad at first, but such a relief when it is cleared away.

  8. spx823 says:

    I envy your ability to destash…my kids (all grown) would love to come destash my place. I recently reorganized my stash and it took three days. I try to keep it very organized. I make a lot of quilts and can’t afford to buy a lot of material except for the background fabric. I do a lot of scrappy quilts. I would love to own EQ7. Thanks for sharing Christa!

  9. springleafstudios says:

    I am not a minimalist by any means and yet the older I get the less clutter I like. Maybe someday I really will be able to eliminate more and more to the point of minimal. Your post does inspire me in that direction.

  10. Lis Ostiguy says:

    I admire your minimalist and organized approach. I wish I could do it. I do it only when I am upset. But maybe you will inspire me.

  11. Mystery Hill Lois says:

    Thanks! I needed the stimulus! I often pass between the storage bins on my way to the back door through the multi-purpose room. Earlier today I decided it’s time to spend at least 30 minutes clearing some of them.

  12. Judy says:

    Oh, I think you could be a sister of mine! I just do not like to collect big stashes of stuff. I find that the more choices I have in fabric, or beads or even recipes, the less I actually use. Sometimes when I am with friends and they just keep buying stuff because it is “pretty” and they might find the perfect project someday to use it, I think I will break out in hives or something.

    I just got my Sweetest Day gift from my honey and it is one of the new Brother Scan and Cut machines. I am so happy with it, it lets me use my smaller pieces of fabric to do projects!

    Happy Day Everyone!!

  13. Pat Sell says:

    I have always been a de-junker and revel in clutter-free spaces HOWEVER I am not sure whether it is the “lack of junk” that makes this such a freeing thing or the ability to organize things to your own liking. Everyone must be happy with their own amount of stuff. One of my sisters is a total junk-keeper and her house is the perfect place for all the homeless pictures, books, and general mementos to live but she is happy with it because she organizes it to suit her- drives me NUTS! Another sister has a stripped house that holds NO junk and she is perfectly happy with that-once again, NUTS! My house is somewhere in-between and I am deliriously happy with IT, so I try to understand everyone must live with themselves and their own stuff. 🙂

  14. Janneke says:

    I had to give up my sewing rooms in the past due to moving,kids,grandkids,guestroom,you name it…my room is always the one to go.It forced me to go small, so better organized. like the song ” I can see clearly now”…I am so more effeicient in quilting. Not to mention the extra time I gained by not having to look for things. Your story is motivating another round of orgnaizing! thanks!

  15. Lorna McMahon says:

    When my kids were young, we accumulated so much ‘stuff’ that I was overwhelmed by it. It makes me feel trapped. Thanks for sharing, Christa. I could not agree more with your feelings on the subject of clutter.

  16. Saskia says:

    I purged a big pile of my fabrics earlier this year and am so glad, it had gotten into a jumbled mess and I’d been given lots fabrics I knew I ‘d never use by an elderly relative – it was too messy to do anything with and I just felt frustrated whenever I looked at it. So I donated most of it to a local community respite centre for the elderly. they do handcrafts and are always looking for donations. Now I can breathe again and when I look at my stash it inspires me. Here’s to a good old clean out every once in a while!

  17. jenetamasson says:

    Wow – that is one super impressive destash!! I am inspired. I am looking forward to seeing your sewing room reveal!

  18. Amanda Best says:

    You sound like my sister, she is always donating clothes and other things and simply hates clutter. I have a terrible amount of clutter unfortunately! I wish my de-junking efforts were more successful. All the rooms in my house are all called for so, I still have to use the kitchen table for sewing and quilting, someday I would love to have my own room! I will keep dreaming.
    P.S. I love solids, too!

  19. Alyce {Blossom Heart Quilts} says:

    First of all, woah… that’s a lot of boxes! Second of all – Ha! Yeah, my stash reorganisation this week took over the playroom. It’s not that I have so much fabric, it’s just trying to organise it all properly. Knowing we’re not here forever, means I’m being a bit more brutal than I’m normally would be. I have hoarding tendencies “just in case” but I’m getting so much better. International moves will do that to ya!

  20. Vicki says:

    Do we really want to talk stash? With donations coming in all of the time….mine is definitely out of control. I am working on making more space for all of it. I agree, shelves are wonderful! Thanks for sharing Christa.

  21. Wendy Rubbo says:

    I have one bedroom for my crafts. For many years I made stained glass panels and other glass art. I still have a lot of glass and all my equipment, including storage and a workbench that takes up a whole wall. On the other side of the room I have my sewing machines, my work/cutting table and my admittedly small stash, organized in a small bookcase and clear plastic shoeboxes. But, my quilting projects are overtaking the room! I am afraid that if I grow my stash I will have to move all my glass and tools to the attic or get rid of them altogether. It might be more practical, but then I would have just exchanged one obsession (gorgeous pieces of glass) for another (gorgeous pieces of fabric)!

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