Final Countdown Task One: Deal With The Paper Clutter

As a former construction manager and current teacher, paper is a big part of my life.  And, fortunately, not one that is hard.  While my house is anything but clean, it isn’t very cluttered.

Here is my sewing room paper system, such as it is.


There is a shelf for books and patterns.  The supply of books and patterns is not allowed to grow beyond this shelf.  If I want something new and it won’t fit, I have to get rid of something.  Sounds harsh, and it can be hard, but it makes me really careful about purchases.  (By the way, I do the same thing with my closet).


On the shelf is this binder.  I’ve only had it about two years, but what a great help.  This is where small patterns or items I’ve printed off get filed.  Generally, notes and such make their way here after projects are completed.


Part three is my planner.  I found it at Walgreens a few years ago (blogged about HERE).  In it are ideas for projects, notes and my block count record.


Finally, the receipt mug. For the past few years I keep every receipt used for sewing and quilting expenses.  The goal is not to spend more, or less, or anything is particular.  But just to know.  To be aware of what I am doing with my time, money and energy.  At the end of the year,  it is all totaled up and examined.  The big message:  scrappy sewing saves money.

So, that is my paper clutter examination.  It is good to take the time to consider my current system.  It seems to work for me.

If you are interested in doing a few things to prepare for 2020, consider joining us for the Final Countdown.

Thanks, Shelly.  Looking forward to the next task.

7 thoughts on “Final Countdown Task One: Deal With The Paper Clutter

  1. One shelf!!!! That is harsh, but it means you are super disciplined. I might have to go through mine. They tend to be an impulse buy for me. Thanks for the notebook recommendation. I’m going to check it out 😁

  2. I remember your blogging about that journal, because I went to Walgreen’s and got one. I am, in fact, planning my 2020 BOM, that I mentioned, right in that notebook! I love it because I can make notes on one side and draw matching drawings on the other. It has helped me organize many ideas. I hope they keep making them!

    The shelf is a good idea. I have a small 3-shelf bookcase where books, and some UFO blocks and a few other things are located. I need to go through the house and gather up everything that isn’t in that bookcase!

    Great ideas, and very organized for you.

  3. Now, as when I was teaching, paper is the bane of my existence!! My students learned really quickly not to ever put paper on my desk as it was eaten!! When I taught a 5th grade class, I made sure they had specific places to put their work, depending on the subject and I would take it all home and grade it every night (otherwise I spent 6 hours grading on Saturday). I loved it when I switched to a self-contained Special Ed classroom…1 piece of homework at the beginning of the year with parental information – when you teach life skills at the high school level, you are at the nitty-gritty and paperwork just didn’t fit. Being the daughter of a CPA/attorney, I know I have to save financial papers for the IRS for 7 years, so I do. Thankfully I have a zillion quilt patterns and ideas on my computer (backed up to the cloud), otherwise I would need to harvest another forest for the paper and building a “library” to contain it all.

  4. That is wonderful that you have so much self control. I am working on learning to limit my space and sticking to that amount of space for things in that category. This year, I have found homes for my sewing supplies and hope to use that space as the maximum. For paper, I have a filing cabinet, and have worked on getting rid of stuff in there so that there is room for future filing.

  5. I lived on a boat for 15-years and managed to make quilts while out cruising. The rule aboard is in order to bring something in TWO things have to leave. And of course a place for everything and everything in it’s place. These two rules help avoid clutter. But then there’s the stash… ROFLMAO!!!

  6. Thanks for all the hints about organizing and prioritizing! I’m 83 and still learning how to improve my skills and methods as a quilter. Carol King

    On Sun, Dec 29, 2019 at 4:11 PM Wedding Dress Blue wrote:

    > weddingdressblue posted: “As a former construction manager and current > teacher, paper is a big part of my life. And, fortunately, not one that is > hard. While my house is anything but clean, it isn’t very cluttered. Here > is my sewing room paper system, such as it is. There is” >

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