In the mood...

17. Februar 2008
... for spring.
In my head, this includes spring cleaning.
Not the type of spring cleaning that includes washing down each wall and window or scrubbing the floors till they shine, but more the type of going through my cabinets and cupboards, reorganizing everything and getting rid of some old stuff (not as much as I should, though...).

This week I ranted a lot about my sewing room. It's not small and I really love it, but there's only one wall to put a bookshelf to, so I have a severe storage problem.
There's a three-door-closet in the cellar for most of the fabrics I bought in a larger amount, so fabrics aren't the problem... (did I really say that?!?) It's the growing amount of magazines and books that give me trouble.

While the books are nicely put on the shelf - sorted by type, like knitting/quilting/sewing techniques and sewing inspiration - I store the magazines in those cardboard-boxes you get everywhere. "Fine!" You'd say. But it isn't, actually.
Most of them are now parking in the second row, taking over the desk and conquering the floor, building piles.
Another fact is that I just don't know how to organize them in a good way - meaning that I will find what I search for in less than "a few hours".

Having I-don't-know-how-many issues of Burda WOF, MSB, Patrones, Ottobre, Lifestyle-Magazines and Crafts-magazines, I sometimes loose track what's inside.
It's the one blouse you KNOW you have the pattern for - but where? Which magazine? Which year?
It's the perfect idea for a present for a beloved friend... you saw something in one of those mags... but where? When? Was it in one of those lifestyle-magazines or was it a finished pattern? Damn... you just can't remember...

I clip ads or inspiration from magazines that don't come with patterns and put those clipped papers in a small booklet, together with my notes. I use sticky notes to mark special pages. I also rip the BWOF pattern/instructionals booklet and throw away the rest (you won't believe how many space this is saving!), but with many magazines this just isn't possible.

How do you organize and store your stuff? Do you use your computer to make notes of what is included in which magazine? I'm really interested in your solutions!

Of course, I simply could stop buying magazines. But let's face it: I could also stop breathing, right?! ;)

weekend reads

Hope you have a sunny sunday with enough to read!


  1. I do not have a solution since my collection is still small. However, I hope to read some great answers, so I'll be checking back later!

  2. That's a problem I wrestle with too. I have my magazines sorted by type in IKEA boxes with the magazine name on the box. As for particular articles, sometimes i put sticky notes that stick out of the top of the magazine on the pages with something i like. Sometimes I just have to search for two hours.

  3. How about sketching / scanning a pic of each of the ideas, putting them several to a page (either having a sheet of the magazine's contents, then sticking that sheet on the cover; or grouping ideas by topic, then putting the sheets in a binder, with notes on which magazine and page #).

    Much more work than I would be willing to do, but there you go. Hope it helps.

  4. Anonymous19:40

    Hi - for the BWOF I copy the two sides from the instruction manual that holds the sketching of all the models and put them into a separate binder. So for them, I do have a good overview without having to take out all the magazines. For Ottobre - they have a one side PDF for each magazine on their website. I really miss this 2 page overview in all the other magazines I have seen so far...


  5. By throwing out things when they outgrow certain limits.

    What I cannot find again I can give away as well. Good ideas will stick in my mind and I will find a way to figure out myself how to make them. And when I'm storing things, mark them with post-its... they will never be the ideas I will need later. (As I said, the real good ones are stored in my brain...)

    The other thing is... most things come back sooner or later in a similar way.

    So only when I'm giving things away, I'm making room for new ones. On my shelf and on my mind.

    I admit... it's a rather radical method. :o)

  6. Hi, I have been photocopying projects that I like and putting them into a plastic binder. I then flick through that "condensed" folder when I am looking for inspiration. I am lucky b/c we have one of those printer/scanners that you can use as a photocopier and I LOVE having this feature - it is so handy! If you are finding too many projects/ideas in the one magazine, maybe you could have a special place to put the "big ideas" magazines so that you have slightly less to look through? Another option that might be handy is to photograph the front of the magazine, then your fave pages inside - the photos are easy to store and are time stamped so that you can reference them easily. Good luck finding a system that works for you.

    PS. Marie Claire Idees is one of my faves!

  7. so you're fluent in english and french. do you happen to speak spanish, loco?

  8. Anne19:15

    Some years ago I startet an Excel-File, saving the content of my Burda WOF's.
    But do you think, an Excel-Sheet can be inspiring and motivating?

    I've never been looking at it again.

  9. I sort the mags by type and than like burda/knip/other mags.
    I gave away a ton of mags they were really pressing on me, so I had better let them go.
    I started scanning and printing out all of my envelopepatterns and once I'm done with that I will start scanning the burda mags drawings pages.

  10. I had a ton of magazines that I kept because of all the ideas for projects or recipes that I had the same problem of being unable to find what I wanted in a timely fashion. But I couldn't bring myself to get rid of all those ideas either. So I got some binders and went through each magazine and ripped out all the ideas/recipes/projects. (The first rip was the hardest, it felt to descructive!) As I ripped I put them in categories. I had a couple different binders and each binder is organized either by type of project(sewing, knitting) or season. It has worked out really well. I was able to do more projects that I had planned for Christmas because all my ideas were in one place. (Sorry this was so long :)

  11. You've received the "You Make My Day Award!"
    Thank you for your inspiring projects!

  12. I have plenty to read too - I seem to be having a far harder time with books/magazines than yarns & notions - and just like you said, finding that picture or stitch or technique that I remember and want at the moment is tough!! I'm looking into some cataloging options, but don't expect to get around to it anytime soon... Delicious library looks like it might be helpful, but I don't know how it handles magazines....

  13. I would do it the way mkjn said ;). And for the left magazines - why not write important things on the cover?

    Just my few cents.

  14. My solution was to stop trying to organize. I keep everything by date order. If I'm really trying to find something I go to the magazine's website since most have a search capability now. I also sometimes just pull out issues and look through a stack for inspiration, it's fun to discover things that look new again.


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