I deal with ridiculous amounts of paperwork in my day job. I think real estate transactions generate too many documents. To keep up, I have to be very organized, which carries over to keeping paperwork at home organized. The home filing is much more interesting – sewing and knitting patterns!
There are hundreds of wonderful tutorials offered in blogland, which I usually just bookmark. Since I do all of my computing on a laptop, sometimes I need to print a pattern so I can follow along as I make the project. Or I just want to save it for future reference. I don’t have any of those fancy magazine holders to store my patterns and magazines, mainly because I’m cheap frugal and short on time to make them for myself.
My sewing room is only 10 feet by 8 feet, thus I don’t have a lot of space, so no room for a filing cabinet. I make do because I think I am lucky enough just to have my own room!
I’m a simple girl, so I use accordion file folders to keep my patterns and reference information organized. I love them because they expand, meaning there’s always room for more ideas.
I try to keep them coordinated – pink for quilt patterns, purple for bag patterns, green for home patterns, blue for clothes, vanilla for color inspiration, red for crafty projects, yellow for techniques.
I keep them on my book shelves (as you can see in the photos above) in between the magazines I save and reference books I collect. I broke the patterns down into categories of handmade projects, which makes life so much easier when I have an idea to just browse through my files. I keep files similar to this for my shop too.
The other filing practice I like to do is keep my current project in a plastic sheet protector, which allows me to store the instructions and cut fabrics together. Since I don’t like cutting, I tend to cut several projects in one day, in essence “stocking up” on cut projects, so they are ready when I find some free time.
I also like using these pocket file folders for the same purpose. Once I’m done making the project, I file the pattern into the appropriate folder shown above, and reuse these protectors or pocket folders.
These best practices have saved me time and patience! Feel free to share your ideas or practices in the comments or link to your blog.
Previous posts about my Best Practices: