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How to Organize Your Fabric at Home

Craft Room Organization | Sewing

Learn how to organize your fabric at home using space-saving tricks like under the bed storage bins! 

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How to Organize Your Fabric Stash.

Hello Crafty Friends! Today I wanted to share a bit about how I organize my fabric at home. Like many crafters and sewists, my fabric collection is large ranging from yards of fabric to smaller scraps. Since my space is small and I cannot fit my fabric in my craft area, I have had to get creative! In this post, I share my tips for how to store fabric at home when you don’t have a lot of space. I’ll also be showing you how I store my fabric – including my favorite space saving trick – under the bed storage!

Fabric storage in an under the bed bin.

Tips for How to Organize Fabric at Home

About five years ago I decided to get serious about how I was storing my fabric. It was all over the place in large storage bins and bags completely unorganized. When I was looking for fabric to start a project, I found myself searching through everything to find what I was looking for. 

While it took some time to organize everything, I have enjoyed the system I created and it has been working well for me. Everyone’s  home spaces are different, so what works for me may not work for you, but these steps can be taken by anyone looking to organize their fabric at home! 

  1. Sort the fabric. I sorted mine by type (cotton, fleece, knit etc.) and then sorted my largest category, cotton, into smaller groups like solids, prints and holiday. 
  2. Fold the fabric. Fold, roll or place the fabric on small bolts. Whatever you choose it can help to be consistent. If you plan to display your fabric on a shelf, mini cardboard bolts are useful. If you are storing it in bins, folding or rolling it works best.
  3. Store your fabric. Whether you store your fabric in bins, drawers, shelfs or totes, you will need a place to keep it. Think about how often you use the fabric and where in your home you have room to keep it. Think outside the box. It does not need to be in your sewing area and it does not need to be fancy or picture-perfect! 
  4. Make sure the fabric is easy to get to and find. This is super important. Whatever storage method you choose, make sure you can easily see and find the fabric you have. Labeling storage can also help you know what is in the bins if they are not clear.
  5. Tidy up your fabric routinely to keep your system in place. Try to make time to tidy up your fabric so your storage system keeps working for you. This can be at the end of the week, month, a big project – whatever works best for you!

Printed cotton fabric organized in an under the bed storage bin.

Under the Bed Fabric Storage

My favorite way to store fabric has been in under the bed storage bins. Since I don’t have space to store my fabric in my sewing and craft area, under the bed storage has been a great use of a space we weren’t previously using. I purchased three Sterilite 60qt under the bed storage bins with wheels and they have worked really well.

I keep my cotton fabric in these bins divided into groups. One bin has all of my cotton fabric organized by color. This includes prints and solids that can be easily identified by their color. 

Fabric sorted by color in an under the bed bin.
Under the bed storage bin #1: Cotton fabrics organized by color. All around 1 yard or less.

The next two bins have the rest of my cotton prints including holiday prints, cotton flannels and some of my larger cotton yardages I don’t want to forget about.

Printed cottons and flannels are arranged neatly in an under the bed storage bin.
Under the bed storage bin #2: cotton prints and cotton flannels.
Cottons including holiday fabrics and colorful prints are sorted in an under the bed storage bin.
Under the bed storage bin #3: Cotton holiday prints and prints of larger yardage. 

Why I love my Under the Bed Fabric Storage

  1. The fabric is easy to access. I simply slide the bin out from under the bed and I can pick my fabrics easily. The bins are clear so I know what is in each before opening them. 
  2. The fabric is easy to see! I organized the fabric so each print was visible from the top. That means I can just look and see most of my prints without needing to dig around or take fabric out. This helps keep things organized!
  3. The fabric is protected from the sun. I like to keep my fabric in bins out of the sunlight so it doesn’t fade. Many of my fabrics I have had for years, some are even from my mom’s collections from the ’80s. While it would be pretty to display the fabric on shelves on cardboard bolts, the fabric is ultimately better off in my storage bins – especially since I am not using it at a fast rate.
  4. The bins hold a lot of fabric! Under the bed storage bins are quite large if you purchase the long bins. My 60qt bins can hold a ton of fabric especially if it is smaller pieces. Most of the cotton in my bins is under 3 yards, with most of it 1 yard or less.

An under the bed storage bin filled with fabric.

Printed fabric folded and arranged in an under the bed storage bin.

Fabric Storage Bins – How I store the rest of my fabric.

While I love my under the bed storage bins, they do not hold all of my fabric. They do a wonderful job of holding and displaying the fabric I am most commonly searching for. I use the cotton in these bins for many of the crafts I share on my blog like my scrappy banners, pillow wreaths and embroidery projects

The rest of my fabric, less commonly used, is kept in storage bins. Some of which are stacked in a corner and others are in our basement. While my fabric is still not all in one place, it is organized by type making it easy to find. If I want to make a fleece pillow I know to check my fleece bins to see what I have before shopping. If I want to to make a new scrappy banner I will check my cotton fabric in my under the bed bins, and also check my fabric swatches and scrap bins. My bins do not match but you can purchase matching bins that will stack nicely. I use bins I have collected over the years that fit the fabric. All are clear so I can see what’s inside. Labeling the bins is very helpful, especially if they are not clear.

Here are how my other fabrics are organized by bin.

  • Interfacing, muslin and batting.
  • Fleece and felt –2 bins, with the first bin having larger yardage and the second smaller pieces
  • Knits
  • Corduroy – I have a huge stash of vintage corduroy from my mom!
  • Specialty fabric – tulle, satin and velvet. I roll these and tie them with a piece of muslin as opposed to folding.
  • Fabric Swatches – I have a huge collection of fabric swatches
  • Fabric Scraps – pieces under a quarter yard that I can’t seem to throw out! 
Interfacing, batting and muslin sorted in a storage bin.
Fabric storage bin: muslin, batting, and interfacing.
Knit fabrics folded and neatly arranged in a storage bin.
Fabric storage bin: knit fabrics.
Fleece fabric sorted and nicely arranged in a storage bin.
Fabric storage bin: small fleece yardage. A second bin has fleece with larger yardage.

How I Organize my Charm Packs

I use charm packs for a lot of projects on my blog and like to keep them together in their own bin. I have less than a dozen so they fit in a smaller Sterilite bin I keep in my craft area. After I use a charm pack, I place the unused fabric in a plastic baggie with the original labels the charm pack came with. I check these when I’m searching for scraps or for smaller projects I’d like coordinating fabrics for. 

Charm packs organized in a storage bin.

How to Work with Fabric Kept in a Different Space than Where You Work

Since my fabric is kept in different places around the house, I use project bins for each WIP (work in progress) to keep my fabric near me. When I am starting a project, I will “shop” my fabric stash. I will grab one of the plastic drawers I use for my projects and bring it to my fabric bins. Below you can see fabrics I gathered for a Christmas tree banner by shopping my stash. By shopping my fabric collection first, I saved myself a trip to the fabric store!

Scraps of green and brown wool used to make the tree banner are arranged on a white table.

Once I have gathered the fabric I need, I keep it all in my project drawers. As I work on the project I leave it in there until the project is done. Then I take the drawer back to my fabric bins and restock the leftover fabric. If the pieces are too small to go in my regular bins of fabric, they go to my fabric scrap bins.

Three bins full of project supplies for works in progress.

Organize your fabric in a way that works for you!

No matter how you organize your fabric it should work for you. Whatever system you choose, make sure it is one you can keep up with. If you take the time to organize your collection, but it quickly falls back into chaos, that may not be the best system for you.

While I would love to organize my fabric on a shelf in my craft area so it would look pretty and I could see it, I know that isn’t practical for my space. Since I don’t use my fabric daily, the small space I do have in my craft room is better used for tools and supplies I use more frequently. I also feel my fabric is better kept out of the sunlight and organized by type.

Resources

Here are links to the two type of storage bins I referenced in this post. I use a huge variety of bins, whatever I have collected over the years, for the rest of my fabric. I like clear bins because I can see what’s inside! 

More Craft Room Organization Posts

 

Happy Crafting! -Kim

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