organizing the sewing room closet | plus tips

by | Oct 19, 2020 | All Things Home, Decorating, My House, Organizing | 27 comments

As tidy as I am, there are spaces in my house that get out of control or have never been organized properly since we moved in.  Such was the case with the closet in my sewing room and it was time I got around to organizing it.

I will say right up front that it’s amazing to have an entire spare room that I can take over for sewing and upholstery supplies, my fabric stash, sewing machines, etc.  We really didn’t need this extra bedroom, but I will take and utilize it!  It’s also become the “cat room” and we keep one of their scratchers as well as their litter box in here.

The closet in the sewing room has been problematic when it comes to organizing since we moved in because it’s configured for clothes (understandably), not for sewing and upholstery supplies.  I have planned on building shelves in here for three years and I finally gave up on that idea and bought a ready-made shelving unit.  I ended up getting THIS SHELF that would fit well inside the space but was also heavy-duty enough to handle potentially heavy bins.

organizing the sewing room closet | miss mustard seed

And, oh my goodness!  What a difference that shelf made when it came to organizing the sewing room closet!  I thought I might need to move supplies into the small cabinet by the bed or take over more of the drawers in my sewing desk, but I didn’t have to do either.  I had more than enough room once I got things sorted and contained.  Taping the upholstery foam into rolls made the biggest difference.  Foam is expensive, so I hate to throw away the remnants from a project, but they are so bulky to store.

organizing the sewing room closet | miss mustard seed

I also moved things that didn’t belong in the sewing room down to the basement storage room – like some pictures I never hung, an antique doll, and a few other odds and ends. This is now all sewing supplies (and cat food!)

organizing the sewing room closet | miss mustard seed

The funny thing about this shelf is I was sort of winging putting it together and I didn’t do it properly.  It kept falling over on me as I was trying to put things on it and I was getting so frustrated!  Once I stopped, read the directions, and put it together properly, it was sturdy and works great.

It was exactly what this organizing project needed.

organizing the sewing room closet | miss mustard seed

Here’s a little GIF showing the cleaning and organizing process…

Now I can access tools, notions, and the like when I’m working on projects without an avalanche of stuff falling on me.

I also freed up a little space in the closet by moving the pillow forms to a large basket on top of the wardrobe.  I bought it from the Dream Whites’ birthday sale a few weeks ago.  I got this beautiful antique French basket for 45% off!  It was much larger than I thought it was, but it’s perfect for storing bulky pillow forms where they are out of the way, but still easy to get to.

antique pine wardrobe | sewing room | blue and white toile starched fabric wall | miss mustard seed

antique pine wardrobe | sewing room | blue and white toile starched fabric wall | miss mustard seed

When organizing a craft/hobby space, here are a few things I’ve learned over the years…

Know How You Work

Organization is only helpful if it actually works with how you work.  If you like to throw things in bins to quickly clean up, you’re never going to meticulously fold things and put them in a stack on a shelf.  If you tend to be messy, but you’re distracted by messes, you might want to use closed storage as opposed to open shelving.  Organizing should set you up for success and the system should serve you.

sewing room organization | miss mustard seed

consider space vs. usefulness

When deciding to keep craft supplies that are bulky, like foam, pillow forms, rolls of batting, etc., be honest about how useful it is to you.  Will you really use it?  I debated about a long, skinny piece of foam, but I decided to keep it in the end.  If I don’t use it after a year, I’ll donate or pitch it.  I might be able to use it to pad the arms of a chair or piece it together to make a larger, more useful cushion, but it’s more likely that it’ll languish in my stash.  If something is just going to take up space, pass it along to someone who will use it and give yourself the gift of some organizational margin.

Spend a few minutes on maintenance

Do yourself a favor and make cleaning up after a project a part of the project.  The project isn’t over until things are put away and cleaned up.  I don’t follow this rule 100% of the time, but I try to do it more often than not and I’m always thankful when I do.  The next time I want to work on a project, everything is tidy and ready for me.  Spending those few minutes to maintain the space will prevent from getting too overwhelming and out of control.

sewing room organization | miss mustard seed

I hope these tips help you when it comes to organizing your creative spaces.

This week, I’ll be organizing the storage room in our basement, which is definitely the messiest space in the house.  It’s all of our Christmas stuff, off-season decor, and random things that we don’t want to get rid of, but we aren’t using.  Now that we’ve been here for three years, I need to be a little more ruthless when I’m sorting through it.

Does anyone else like organizing in the fall?  It just seems like a good time to get the house in shape after summer projects!


  1. Gwen

    The first snow is falling and I wanted to cozy up so I made a banana bread that’s baking now. Then I started cleaning out the linen closet. Messy closets are a burden to me when winter sets in. When we are in and out during the summer mess doesn’t seem to bother as much as the onset of winter with things left undone.
    Thanks for showing us tricks to enable us to cope. You are so generous

  2. Jeffrey Favreau

    There is just something about fall in the air that just screams cleaning & organizing . I think we who love our homes after a busy summer outside just find that love of inside. We have been splurging on cleaning and small projects inside. So glad you got the shelf up finally would hate to see it fall on you or your precious kitties 🙂 Thanks for your thought on your busy life as always .

  3. K

    My creative space abruptly became my home office, and I continue to work from home. I absolutely make the tidying process part of the project. It helps that I made the space pretty and it gives me joy to see it in order.

  4. beverlee b lyons

    such motivation! Thanks, I am doing a little every day!

  5. Mary Jane "Grammy"

    Girl, I just want to know where you find all your energy? Maybe being close to 70 has made me slow down, but I still think I am lazy next to all I see you doing! My goodness!

  6. Nicole

    Beautiful organization! A breathe of fresh air…:) May I ask where you bought that lovely green velvet fabric roll in your stash?? So gorgeous!! I have a green velvet sofa, vintage Ralph Lauren…I love the color

    • Marian Parsons

      I ordered it from Arhaus.

  7. Barbara

    Hi Marian, I am so happy you got that basket! I could not believe it was still at dreamy whites at the beginning of the sale and when I finally thought I may hit the sold button was sold🤣but now I know to my friend YOU I am so excited. And what a great idea to put it up there with pillows. And I did downsize did I not? Remember that?? Haha. I hope you and the family are doing well. And I agree Fall cleaning and reorg is the best. Love you and miss you.

  8. Coco Overbeek

    Miss Marian , however do you keep your supplies to such a minimum!?! I have such a difficult time keeping it under control. Can you give me a power statement you use to help with working on less is more! Love what you do!

  9. MaryLisa

    I always feel so good after tackling spaces that need cleaning up. Your closet is amazing with the shelving unit.

  10. Mona

    What a great idea to buy a storage unit instead of building one. I live alone and not crafty enough to build shelves so buying them makes so much sense. I am going to do that for a closet I have. Thanks!!

  11. Mayanna

    I have been enjoying organizing my pantry and art studio the past few weeks. My new love is labels I ordered from Caitlin at Joy House on Etsy.

  12. Teresa

    I had my stained kitchen cabinets painted white over the Summer so this gave me the opportunity and reason to clean out my cabinets and drawers. Even the junk drawer is organized and cleaned! I did alot of purging and I am so happy with a cleaner, fresher kitchen. My Mom just turned 79 and she had been on a roll herself. The past month she has cleaned out her entire garage which had become a gloried storage unit. She made two trips to the flea market to sell alot of things and other things she donated or sold on Facebook Marketplace.

  13. Kim

    Cleaning and organizing a closet is SUPER satisfying. My daughter just moved out and I now have her entire closet EMPTY and I am going to be figuring out just what will be stored in there! No doubt it will be photography and sewing and other craft supplies!

  14. Cheryl Wypyski

    Great info! My favorite… wait for it… is you tape your extra foam…I have had a heck of a time trying to figure out a way to lasso it into some sort of order! Thanks for the tip!

  15. mary m

    My sewing room is also a guest room with the added benefit of a walk in closet. You have no idea how much stuff you can stuff into a walk in closet. I even have a sewing table in there. My newest idea is to get bed risers to bring it up to code. Any way i have been hacking away and asking myself the same questions. Do i really need this? Being a cape
    there is a decent crawl space across the front of the house and i can actually stand up. And i have been forcing myself to pick up after myself and leave a tidy space when i am finished. Not easy to do. I have emptied high boy and two wicker trunks of yarn. I offered the yarn to a friend and she took every bit. I did keep one hamper of favorite yarn. And the best part is that i have blue toile wallpaper with white trim just like you!

  16. Valentina

    This medicine cabinet with the ribbons on the top is gorgeous! Can I ask what are the things on its door? The front (the picture where the door is closed) looks like an antique mirror but more blurred that usual. And what is the thing that is nailed on the back of the door? I searched the web site but could’t find any information about this.

    • M2nmom

      I have a cabinet nearly identical to this one pictured. Yes, it is a patinated mirror on the front. The back was probably once papered and looks as though as piece of timeless light fabric has gone up in it’s place

  17. Carlotta

    I too love to organize in the fall. I’m working on my sewing room right now. I always appreciate your tips for your readers. I have a question-have I been missing getting your emails? I only receive about one a week. I used to get one every week day. I never saw the reveal of your bedroom. I enjoyed seeing little snippets of different projects you were working on, but I never saw the complete reveal. Just wondering. Thanks.

  18. Kelly

    I’m actually loving that you bought a metal shelving unit to organize the closet. I now have a guest bedroom/office/craft room that was my daughter’s bedroom. Right now the huge walk in closet is set up for clothes storage with one wall of wire shelves that I installed years ago. This is one of many projects I have lined up over the next several months. I can’t wait to have everything in it’s place!

  19. Laura Upton Harris

    I neeeeeed the gray and white handled bin/basket-thingy on your newly organized shelf. Where did you find it?

    • Marian Parsons

      It is from 31 bags. My mom bought it for me and had it monogrammed. It’s made of thick wool felt and sturdy handles, so it’s a great project bag.

  20. Debbie

    Love the organization in your closet. It utilizes your space to it’s fullest potential. I’m in love with that basket, thanks for sharing where you bought it, I think I need one of those for the same reason. I just organized my thread and because I have such a huge selection, I put mine on small pegs. It not only utilizes the space to it’s fullest potential, but it allows me to get more like items in the storage area. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful ideas, keep them coming.

  21. Diane

    Looks great! Your sewing room armoire may be one of the prettiest I’ve ever seen! Is an antique, or a contemporary piece? If it’s contemporary, May I ask who makes it?

    Thank you for your time in advance!

    • Marian Parsons

      It is an antique, sorry!

      • Jen

        I am currently organizing our storage room. Overwhelming project but I will feel so much better when it’s finished. Thank you for sharing tips and suggestions.

  22. Homeia

    thanks Marian! I love the direction of your work. The playful quality of the abstractions is simply mesmerizing. And the mixed media brings a sharpness and leaves me wondering


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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