Spring Cleaning...freshening up your Fiber Space
There is something about that time when the snow melts, the sound of birds chirping, and temps warm enough for the windows to be thrown open! It's Spring!
In Minnesota, this could happen as early as March or as late as May. This year it's mid-April with a bonus heat wave (it's been 90F!)...the heat wave will leave us very soon but "fingers-crossed" Mother Nature will give us a break and not drop a foot of snow down on us in May (as she did for April 1st - Happy April Fools Day, right?!?!)!
I am getting off track here! So...as the season changes I also feel the need for changing things up! It's that time of year when I want to "re-do" all the spaces! And first is my favorite space - my studio. This room is my special haven. It's where I knit, design, sew, and dream!
And when I do all these things...I love it when the space is freshly organized. It gives me new inspiration - especially when I see yarns or fabrics together that may have been hidden from view. BUT then there is the temptation! This can also be dangerous because you find yourself wanting to cast-on all the things or start cutting fabric for all the new quilts or garments! But it's magic too.
Here are 10 tips to get started for that refresh of your Fiber Space:
1. OPEN THE WINDOWS Let in that fresh air! Likely those windows have been closed for months, giving dust and smells a chance to build up. Opening up those windows not only freshens the air but is invigorates you to keep cleaning as you enjoy the sounds of spring!
2. DECLUTTER Remove papers, yarn/fabric scraps and unnecessary clutter from tables, windowsills and shelf tops. No need to get rid of anything (just yet) but find a bin or drawer to store these in to review and at the very least, clear off your work space(s).
3. BOOKS & PATTERNS Next, browse your bookshelves to see if there is anything you don't plan on using or reading again. Likely, you know a newer knitter who would love to expand their library! And all those printed patterns - take some time to sort through these and reorganize them.
You may want to go through the patterns to see if any are duplicates and shred those that are.
Organize the printed patterns by those you want to knit and those you may never knit or no longer feel the same joy about. For those that are the latter - double check your computer or Ravelry library that you have a PDF copy saved and when you do - shred/recycle the physical copy.
Now to decide how you want to store your hardcopy patterns. In a binder? Folder? Accordion folder? I store mine in 2 different ways. The projects I plan to make that year are in my favorite type of folders I keep in my main project bag so I have them with me to review at any time. Those that are on my future to make list are stored by category in an accordion folder - I purchased this one from Amazon and bought a few. I use them for storing receipts/bills, my knitting patterns, and contracts and other things I need to keep at the ready.
4. PROJECTS Do you have completed projects that are tucked away in closets and bins? Bring them out and find new homes for them where they can be admired and loved.
What about those project bags with your WIPs? Take some time to also bring those out - open each one and decide how each one fits into your fiber world going forward. This can be really hard BUT also freeing! I did this the other day and it felt SO GOOD!
I love it and I'm going to finishing it! Well get to it them! Free up those needles and finish that gorgeous project!
I love the yarn, but not feeling the project any more...time to frog! Free up those needles and stitch markers, and re-wind that yarn for its new forever project!
Nope...over it! Time to move on! Well...a few options here...first, save your needles and stitch markers. As for the yarn, either wind-it up to drop at your LYS stash cart or donate to a school program or places like Goodwill.
5. QUALITY CHECK! When is the last time you checked the quality of your supplies? Doing a quick check of your notions, cutting tools, and office supplies. If anything is broken and unfixable (or if you have too many of something), let it go. Dried-out pens, broken stitch markers and bent needles that you can no longer make work are not doing you any good, so clear them out!
Here are a few of my favorite tools you also see in the video below:
Needle storage: I use these cases to store my needles - 1 case for each needle size. So every US 7 needle - whether straight, circular, or double point - is all stored in this home for easy access.
Favorite rotary blade for cutting fabric
Storage for markers, pens, and writing tools for easy access.
Storage Rack for thread spools and bobbins.
6. CLEAR THE DUST Start from the top of the room and work your way to the floor. First, dust any cobwebs lingering in the corners and ceiling and around light fixtures. Next get the frames of any artwork and the tops of outlet and light switch covers. Lastly, wipe down horizontal surfaces like tables and shelves. If your table legs have cross beams, don't forget to get those too!
7. LET THE SUNSHINE IN! Wash your windows...During spring, we begin to get more and more sunshine, and dirty windows will become more noticeable. Instead of letting them bother you, take ten minutes to wash both the inside and outside of the windows in your space.
8. UPGRADE YOUR WALLS Find some new, inspiring art for your walls. Or new ways to organize your tools. The other could be adding a whiteboard or pinboard to create your "Inspo Wall". And if you're feeling ambitious, you could even paint a wall or two in a fun color that will boost your creativity!
9. TREAT YOURSELF You're working hard to keep your space clean and organized! Why not treat yourself to some new storage options? Replace any broken storage containers or cardboard boxes with something pretty and functional.
Below left is a snapshot of a gorgeous storage hutch my dad built for me to store my yarn. Maybe you find something at an antique shop or repurpose something in your home to store and display your yarn and fabric in new ways. On the right are some storage cubes I use as my yarn-winding station, but also to store fabric and tools.
10. LAST BUT NOT LEAST...THE FLOORS! As a result of all the dusting, pulling out of projects and moving things around, your floors may need a little TLC. Do a quick sweep or vacuum to really make the space feel clean!
Whew! Once you finish that check list, you'll get to sit back and enjoy this freshened up space and let the creative juices flow! Happy Spring Cleaning!
I would LOVE if you shared your spaces with me and any of your favorite tips...here's a quick peak of my favorite room!