My Minimalism Journey, Studio

Quilt Studio Closet Purge

Continuing the momentum from my Quilting Studio Archaeology, each evening last week I have continued to evaluate what I have in my quilting studio/sew room.

I decided to take an honest and objective look at all the crafting paraphrenelia and projects in queue that have gathered over the years in my quilting studio closet. As a result I was able to unload and remove two tall rolling organizing/storage drawer sets. I donated them to our local Humane Society Thrift Shop along with some of their contents from my purging.

Here they are in my backseat awaiting their next adventure (I hope they go to a good home). They served me well for at least 15 years:


In one of the drawers I kept my large collection of art brush markers, gel pens and Sharpies. Most of these markers and pens came from a coworker in the early 2000s. She loved cool pens and markers at her local speciality stationary store and would impulsively buy pens. In the early 2000s I was into card making and she decided to purge her huge pen collection and give most of it to me for card making.

I moved all these pens with me from Seattle to Central Oregon in 2005 and most of them have just sat in a drawer since 2005, unused.

On a mission not to keep stuff that is not functional/does not work and that I do not love, I checked every single pen/art marker on Thursday evening (I know you are very envious that we have such wild evenings as “pen checking” in Central Oregon). I was able to toss 30 pens that had dried up.

Here is what remained (still a lot but they all work and I like the colors):


Terry the Quilting Husband and I are planning on doing some remodeling in our living room this Spring/Summer. We want to put in built-in bookcases/entertainment unit/fireplace along the largest wall of the living room.  I have spent (or wasted) a lot of time on Pinterest looking at “bookcase porn”.

The plan is to repurpose 1 – 2 of the existing free standing bookcases in the living room as studio closet storage. To make this work, I will need to have less stuff in my quilt studio closet and removing the two storage units gets me a lot closer to that goal.


Recently I am quite inspired by a newer blog I follow – DEVISE.CREATE.CONCOCT – Finding frugal ways to live more with less ( This blogger’s tips on managing your spending on the necessities of life have inspired me to also take an honest and objective look on how we spend money each month, beginning with January 2017.

Today I created an expense tracking spreadsheet and recorded expenses for 2017 year to date. It was very enlightening – for example, I did not realize how much we are spending on groceries!

Now with my quilting studio closet purged (as much as I was willing to purge at this point); and our expenses all documented, I can perhaps return to working on Farm Girl Vintage blocks (see post Farm Girl Vintage, Part II and Recent Audiobook Delights)

Featured image credit: L. Emerson,

20 thoughts on “Quilt Studio Closet Purge”

  1. I love getting rid of stuff like that, things that somehow have held a physical place in my home with no good purpose. I’m pretty good at getting rid of things (and I know I could get rid of half the rest and not miss it.) But I had a good laugh Friday when I found a ziptop bag with a few scraps in it, from a quilt made in 2010. The scraps were not useful, and I don’t know why I saved them at all, much less separately, in a bag. Out they went! But of course I saved the bag. 🙂

    Love all those pens! And I totally get trying each of them as you did. Might not be an exciting use of time but it would be pretty satisfying.

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    1. But, but, but you might need those scraps someday…ha! Terry the Quilting husband was laughing as I sat in front of the TV with him after supper and a couple sheets of scrap paper, going through pens. One leaked and I had ink all over my fingers as I was determined to just get the project over with 🙂

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  2. Great to read that the purging is going well, and that you’re closer to your re-modeling goal because of it. I know the organizers will find a very good home. Built-in bookcases sound so lovely – so many awesome ways to style them. Your post inspires me to make a much needed visit to my closet, lol. 🙂

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  3. Purges – traumatic at the time, but so therapeutic afterwards. I purged my craft room when I laid my paper floor. Boxes and boxes went to donations and now, half a year later, there’s only been one time I wanted something that I realized I had given away. I can live with that!

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  4. I have also spent time testing pens. Too frugal to just toss them all out. I have read somewhere that if you store your markers horizontally the ink and tips keep longer. Probably not as easy to store that way.
    When we built our house 13 years ago I designed it with a fireplace wall with enough room beside the fireplace to house our nice entertainment center. Just a word of advice on your remodel…make sure your tv is visible from all the seating areas in the room. We put our fireplace in the center of the wall which made the tv only really visible from a couple chairs. We are now thinking of tearing out the fireplace so we can center the tv in the room since we use the tv way more than the fireplace. Good luck on your remodel and your purging!

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    1. Diane – thanks so much for your comments and great advice! I am definitely going to check the TV visibility – thanks! I was going to center the fireplace but I am going to think if that will be the ideal based on what you shared. I stored the pens horizontally and perhaps that is why I was able to save as many as I did. My plan now is to actually USE the remaining pens – ha! 🙂


  5. Way to go Tierney! Trimming our resources and our spending is great for the heart. Helps to refocus our intentions. Also helps when someone else does it….it gets us thinking about our own situation. I’ve done it so many times and yet I turn right around and buy more stuff. :o)

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