MPMK’s own professional organizer, Annie, is back today with our latest Project Organize Your Entire Life installment. Creating an orderly sewing repair kit probably isn’t at the top of anyone’s to-do list but it sure does come in handy when the button pops of your favorite fall coat.
I’m loving Annie’s clever tricks for keeping all those spare buttons and thread packs organized and accessible. There’s even a free printable at the end, which is always a bonus.
A good place to start with organizing sewing essentials is to collect them in one place. Unfortunately, this is about as far as most people manage to get. The result can often be a basket/tub/canister of pure mess (tangled thread, mysterious fabric swatches and stray needles which – bonus! – have the potential to stab you any number of times while you’re digging through the lot.
The easiest solution for maintaining the order of your sewing kit is to opt for a compartmentalized organizer, such as a divided box or tray. I recently scooped up this Artbin storage box for around $13.99, and it worked wonders for my client’s sewing stash. I chose it because its dividers are customizable, a feature I would definitely encourage you to look out for if possible.
Once you’ve settled on a vessel, you’re ready to organize the goods. Dump your sewing items out of whatever they’ve been residing in previously. As you sort through the pile, be sure to discard any bent needles or pins, empty thread bobbins and so on. Group the items into like piles– threads, needles, pins, tools, etc.
Then it’s just a matter of situating your sewing essentials in your organizer of choice.
You can see I’ve grouped threads together (sectioned by colors), I’ve corralled all needles into one section, put pins and safety pins in another, and gathered tools like a seam ripper, scissors and thimble together.
If you opt for a clear organizer, as I did, you can easily see what’s inside even when the box is closed– no guesswork, no digging, no finger-pricking.
You can even slap a label on that bad boy, why not?
You’ll notice that I’ve excluded any spare garment buttons from the sewing kit. Oftentimes those buttons (provided by clothing manufacturers in the event that a button goes missing) end up mixed up in people’s sewing kits, if they get kept at all. But storing them in the actual sewing kit isn’t ideal. They can accumulate at a rapid pace, adding a significant amount more to sift through in order to access your essential supplies.
A simple 3-ring binder and some business card sleeves solve the matter for good. Dedicate one slot per button packet and you’re sure to not only retain them, but actually be able to locate them should the need arise.
Even better if you can capture relevant details as well, such as which clothing item the button belongs to, whose garment it is, and when and where it was purchased.
Should you find yourself envying the inserts seen above, fear not: you can go ahead and download the free printable for yourself with this Spare Button Organizing Template.
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