It didn’t quite go as planned, but we made it and are well on our way to settling in to our apartment in Minnesota. In the process, the entire lower level of our previous abode has been shoehorned into one 14 x 16 bedroom. Two offices and a very large studio. Here are a few things I learned in the process:
The workshop by Linda Holt on organizing studios was invaluable. I already knew, of course, about drawing the dimensions of the room on graph paper, indicating windows and doors,and then drawing furniture to scale to see if it would fit. However, at that time I thought I would have a bedroom to myself, and that Marv would one for his office. But when we went to make final arrangements for a place to live in Minnesota, there were only two-bedroom units available, one for sleeping, one for our “playpen.”
One of the most important things I learned from Linda was how to drastically shrink the amount of space taken up by fabric, and in the process make it more accessible. I had it stored in a system of Elfa baskets that was 10 ft. long and 48″ high, along with a bookcase full. By using fabric storage boxes from Ikea, (and of course some judicious pruning) I now have all my fabric in two bookcases. Fat quarters have all been ironed, folded, and sorted by color. I still need to work on the larger pieces, but it’s good work for a break from the computer.
Another suggestion from Linda was to go up. There are two alcoves in our room, and I am using one for my desk and computer. I had gotten rid of my previous desk, I knew it would never fit, and I was able to find a great deal on an attractive desk and hutch at Office Depot that fit the alcove perfectly. It had a quarter-circle extension to work at, and an extra file drawer. I was able to enlist the help of our son, Ben, who lives in the area, to put it together. Having the hutch gives me room to keep the stuff I use most ready at hand.
Linda also recommended not using tables, because the space underneath is wasted storage space. We had a small kitchen island that I brought along,that had drawers and shelves in the base and a fold-out top at the right height for a cutting table. It fits in the second alcove, and my set of drawers on wheels fits under the fold-out.
The last tip I found helpful was to not have an ironing board, another space-waster. I found that I could put my padded ironing board on the end of my sewing machine table. It’s a little bit awkward, but better than having an ironing-board set up permanently in the living room.
I still haven’t started sewing again, there are still a lot of things that I need to do first, but it won’t be long. I’m looking forward to it.