I swear I needed the speed cleaning checklist for my sewing room I’m sharing today like last month! If you’re anything like me, your sewing space has two modes: Mad Scientist or Shiny.
When it’s Mad Scientist time, there’s fabric, patterns threads all over the place, and it’s a big hot mess. In the middle of a big project, I can handle this.
On the other hand, if my motivation to finish that project is out the window, literally all I want is a nice clean room. It’s ultimately hard to be creative in a space that’s a trainwreck.
This speed cleaning checklist is something to run through in about 15 minutes when you’re between projects. It’ll help keep down the clutter and keep your room in (almost) Shiny mode most of the time.
So grab a timer and let’s whip your sewing space back into shape.
How to speed clean your sewing room
Before we get into the tasks on the speed cleaning checklist for your sewing room, here’s a couple things to keep in mind.
This is a fast routine to help you bust the daily stuff that accumulates. If you have a sewing space that’s shared with your family, you probably need to do at least the organizing bits more frequently.
For those of us with dedicated sewing spaces, it’s far too easy to just close the door and think about the mess another day. Don’t let yourself do it! I’m guilty guilty of this too.
Instead, use your timer and hold yourself to using it for these couple minutes. The basics will help tidy up your space, and if you do it regularly your room will be looking good most of the time. And for the days when you can make more time for deeper cleaning, I’ve added some extra ideas.
Wipe down sewing machines/tables
Time needed: 1 minute
Take a soft cloth and quickly dust off your sewing machines. If you have a serger, throw away any of the lint and thread trash around it.
Put away fabric
Time needed: 2 minutes
If you’ve just cut out a project, you probably have fabric just hanging out. It’s in fabric limbo between storage and your project.
Evaluate where you need to put away the extras.
- Roll up usable scraps and put in scrap bin
- Fold larger remnants and put with general fabric stash
- Toss too small to use piece or set aside in a donate bin
On another day when you have a little more time, you can organize your stash more thoroughly. Check out How to Store Fabric for 5 different strategies for making your fabric more useful and accessible.
Vacuum or sweep your sewing room
Time needed: 3 minutes
I typically do this after a big set of projects, and I always regret not having done it sooner. It’s such a mental lift to have a freshly vacuumed floor. Plus Lord knows there’s enough thread trash in a sewing space to almost justify having it’s own dedicated Roomba.
Okay maybe that’s overkill, and I did hear a story once about a lady’s Roomba eating through an entire serger cone’s worth of thread…
But seriously, a fast pass with a broom or vacuum will make your day better.
If you’ve just finished working with a messy fabric, be sure to pick up any extra lint that it might have left. Another day, pick out any threads that might have built up on the wheels of your rolling chair.
Watch out for stray pins! Or make yourself a DIY magnetic pincushion so that you keep those pins off the floor in the first place.
Root out the dark corners
Time needed: 4 minutes
We probably all have little corners in out sewing rooms where stuff goes. I’m not talking about the stuff we use right now, but the stuff we forget about.
Maybe it’s a shelf for your UFOs or a couple of bags or packages behind a door of fabric or notions you ordered last week.
Take this time to put that stuff away. If you have UFOs, put them in a basket that’s in more prominent view. Make a date for yourself on the calendar to get them done. It doesn’t have to be today, but don’t let them linger indefinitely. UFOs are major sewjo killers!
Related: How to conquer your UFOs in 5 steps
Now is the time too to put away anything you’ve bought recently. Get that stuff assimilated into your supplies and out of the bags.
Tidy up what’s left
Time needed: 5 minutes
At this point, things are probably starting to look better.
If you haven’t already, put away what’s left in their various holding pens. File patterns that are hanging out, sewing magazines that you got out for “research”, put away zippers.
Also don’t forget to put away your sewing tools like rulers, scissors, pattern weights and measuring tapes. Raise your hand if your measuring tapes end up on the floor! (I found two this morning!)
Sit back and enjoy your clean sewing room!
So that’s a simple 1-2-3-4-5 routine you can run through to clean your sewing room quickly. After all of this, your sewing space will be a little closer to being a space that’s a joy for you to hang out in as you work!
Get the speed cleaning checklist for your sewing room
For a printable version of this speed cleaning checklist for your sewing room, check out the Resource Library. It’s got a summary of what I’m saying here + some more ideas for cleaning your sewing room daily, weekly, monthly and as needed. Sign up below for the newsletter to access the checklist plus a growing list of helpful sewing resources just for you!
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.