February Challenge

It’s the shortest month of the year and we have a challenge that sounds like it might be the toughest one! Doesn’t seem fair, does it? Don’t worry – you can do it! Click through for challenge details and the name of our January challenge winner.

I know it seems a little mean to tell you that our February challenge is Tidy Up when we only have 23 days left in the month. But that’s only because you are thinking too big!

For February, I challenge you to Tidy Up the small things. We all have that one spot that becomes our catchall, our junk drawer, our basket of hidden treasures. This month go ahead and tackle that! I love a good purging and organizing session in my sewing room but there always seems to be a little mountain of items that I never quite get to and they end up tucked away for another day. Well, today is that day!

Take on the small things and tidy up just one drawer or one spot that nags at you. Maybe it’s organizing your bookshelf or finally folding up the patterns so they fit back in their impossibly smalls envelopes. Do you need to clean out your sewing basket or scrap bin? What about clearing off just one surface or shelf? Tell me in the comments what small scale tidying you are going to tackle this month.

And drumroll for our winner from the January challenge………Peggy Cairo! Please check your email for a message about how to collect your prize. Thank you all for participating and chatting along the way!


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94 comments on “February Challenge

  1. Clara Chandler says:

    I accept the challenge. My sock drawer is overflowing. I need to match up pairs and make decisions about my holiday-specific socks.

  2. Geraldine Liberatore says:

    My challenge is in my quilt room floor. I need to clean the pile of tubs in front of my ironing surface so I can actually stop moving the pile from here to there and then from there to here.

  3. Heather G says:

    I need to tidy up my new studio hutch, organizing books, patterns and office supplies.

  4. home says:

    Congratulations Peggy Cairo.

  5. Liz Ramscar says:

    This month I will reorganize myspools. I sew, rug hook and quilt. It is time to organize cotton threads from polyester, hand quilting from button hole threads. It is also a good time to secure the loose threads on spools. “Time to tame the threads!”

  6. cruisefan says:

    I already sorted and re-organized my underwear/lingerie last weekend.
    Early in February, but I suppose it counts as the challenge?
    I lost close to 50 pounds of weight in the last year and the items just were not fitting right any more.
    Very good idea to look through the drawers…. Boy, I could hardly believe the things I found….and discarted right away….
    Now everything is neat and I have only wellfitting items left!

  7. Debby Daniels says:

    We are moving to a new home in a new town in late April/early May. Have been going through each room in our current house purging for past six months. My goal in my sewing room is to get two quilts bound, one wall hanging quilted, and two baby quilts ready to send out for LAQ. I think it is manageable if I keep my head down and I don’t wander to websites and identify new projects (at least until after I get my new space set up…which will be more than twice the size!!!!!!). Oh…there is that full-time job that sort of gets in the way.

    • Ines says:

      I use a drafting table for a cutting table, it is the perfect height for me. But, I have let the edges catch all sorts of things that I am sure I need…..time to clean it up. Thanks for the nudge.

  8. I have one drawer of fabric (where I keep my leftover fabrics from my MBS projects!) that I haven’t sorted and pressed in over a year. That’s what I want to work on in February!

  9. Anne Dirks says:

    I plan to organize all the quilt patterns and tips into three ring binders so (hopefully) I can find them when I want them!

  10. Debbie R Gruenbacher says:

    Challenge accepted. Perfect timing to sort my sewing bookshelf and clear out the clutter. Feels good to have it done! Now I am of to make the bib pattern I found. Sooo nice to have everything old there fresh in my mind for inspiration.

  11. Kate Devera says:

    I plan to get all my rulers organized and my thread together to see what I really have.

  12. Peggy Giese says:

    I’ve been stepping over an overflowing bin of Christmas fabric… thx for the nudge!

  13. Linda S says:

    The weather is supposed to be lousy again this weekend. So I guess this would be a good time to tackle/tame my scrap bin.

  14. Peggy Terzian says:

    I’m going through my patterns as well and do a purge!

  15. Claudia Bourgeois says:

    We are moving to another state as the first step in our retirement. So we’ve been de-cluttering EVERY place in the house. If we don’t need it, love it, use it, it’s not going. When we finally move in there will be no more junk drawers, clutter areas, stacks of miscellaneous – anywhere! It felt so good to purge. We aren’t downsizing our physical space but we DID downsize the stuff we’re bringing. What a relief! It was hard to do it in my sewing room but so good to have that done.

  16. Darcy Miller says:

    I have a catch all table in my sewing room that needs cleaned off badly. I am making that my goal/challenge for February. Maybe I can also work on the cluttered floor of my fabric closet after that.

  17. Mary Ellen Huennekens says:

    I am going to Tidy Up the sewing room. I organized the stash this week and put all planned projects in ziplock bags with patterns, a list of fabric I have, and a list of fabric I need for each one. Next week I will tackle the batting collection. Finally, I have a plan to organize and store my patterns.

  18. Sydney Schatz says:

    Whooohooo!!! I just did that on Saturday!!! And boy does my sewing table look great! Not to mention the room I have now!! 🙂

  19. Marianne Barta says:

    I have too many “catch all” places in my sewing room. Working right now on those messy places.

  20. Heidi Mathews says:

    My sewing room is also my dining room and since Christmas, my table hasn’t seen the light of day. Granted, I am getting a ton of ufo’s done but it is time to sit at the table again as a family.

  21. Chrisknits says:

    I will clear off my computer desk which holds fabrics in baskets, tools, books, and various other items that collect on it’s surface!

  22. I am reorganizing my closet. It is a mess! I can’t get to things without taking out other things then they are all over the place.

  23. Mary Miller says:

    Besides quilting (and I work really hard weekly to clean and organize my sewing room), I have started doing counted cross stitch again, after several years of none. I have several unfinished projects I am tackling this month, as well as trying to reorganize my floss in a convenient way.

  24. Beth Strand says:

    I am slowly working my way around my sewing table…a land of scrap mountains and yardage landslides! Not to mention dangerous daggers (pins!)

  25. SewThyme says:

    I did dresser drawers. Organization isn’t my strongest suit.

  26. Nancy Morneault says:

    I tackled my sewing room in January. I just need to go through some books and clear off my desk.

  27. Terry says:

    I am going to sort through my plastic container that has three pull-out drawers this month. I thought it would help organize my stuff when I bought it, but now I have three junk drawers. Who knew. Time to sort and re-sort again.

  28. Sue says:

    I have been working to reorganize my small drawer stash of sewing notions, buttons by color, Velcro, elastic, hooks and eyes, snaps, glue sticks, etc, I even have a few empty drawers now.

  29. Faye says:

    I just came home from my guild’s retreat weekend (actually 4 days!) I decided when I came home, that I was going to clear my work surface before I brought anything back into the space that went on the work surface.

  30. Caryl Brix says:

    I think I will tackle my scraps which have begun to accumulate again. Thanks for the nudge. The closet is ongoing, so I’ll continue there as well.

  31. Robin says:

    I accept the challenge. The catch-all drawer in my kitchen has got to be THE worst ever! By bedtime TONIGHT I will have remedied that situation! Re-training the family will take at least the whole month! Lol

  32. Darlene Gadowsky says:

    My challenge is the evil paper pile in the home office. We scan everything prior to shredding, bills, receipts, tax stuff etc. and the monster has been accumulating for over a year. I got it sorted on the dining room table yesterday. Let the scanning begin LOL. Once that’s done my New Year’s resolution kicks in… don’t let it accumulate!

  33. Patti Teague says:

    I am sorting through two chest of drawers in my sewing room to find items to use for Fidget Lap Quilts for dementia patients. Zippers, small dolls, buttons, etc. are all being used. I have totally emptied one drawer searching for these items. I will continue searching for the rest of February.

  34. Elizabeth Andrews says:

    Challenge accepted! I started with a chest of drawers in my bedroom, trying to sort out the items seldom worn and placing them in a basket for our clothing bank. I am going to tackle the sewing room next!

  35. Rachel S Trindle says:

    Great challenge. I have a drawer labeled “Odd Notions” that has gotten out of control, and, well, just a little bit too odd.

    I also need to find a better way to manage self-drafted garment patterns– often with several versions or iterations. They are getting to be a confusing mess, despite pretty good labeling on individual pieces

  36. I accept your challenge. I was just thinking since I have Monday off I would straighten up something in my sewing room. I don’t even know where to start so I don’t know what I’ll straighten up. But if the sewing room is too overwhelming I will straighten up my sock drawer.

  37. Gwen Malinowski says:

    My desk, which is also in my sewing room, is a hot mess. I take on the challenge to get my desk cleaned up and organized in February.

  38. Janet G. says:

    I accept the challenge to finally get the rest of the Christmas decorations packed and put away!

  39. I want to get my cutting counter cleaned off~ wish me luck! I know there are a few forgotten things that have been buried for far too long, pushed back, ignored. 😉

  40. Angele Robichaud says:

    I started yesterday and cleaned outb2 drawers of scraps. Cut, threw, keep, and set aside to give. That was my task. It is long overdue!

  41. Rosemary Castillo-Sartin says:

    Full blown challenge on our bedroom drawers! It’s amazing! Slowly going through each room.

  42. Susan Adams says:

    My sewing basket, is my challenge, it has my pins scissors etc and reels of cotton in a tangle. My neat and tidy basket will surely keep me focused and ready to take on any new year challenge.

  43. OLIVIA MIRELES says:

    I accept the challenge. My goal is tidy up the charm packs. They are scattered throughout my sew room. My goal is to organize them in one area. Long overdue!

  44. Jana Marsh says:

    I’ve been cleaning closets. Lots of stuff going to Salvation Army. But no sewing room stuff! Shoes that I haven’t worn for years, sheets – all sorts of stuff. Now I’m trying to get my husband to give up some of his show hoard!

  45. Rose says:

    I started cutting scraps and sorting by size this morning. And I have already benefited from it. This afternoon I decided to join a block of the month and used the scraps in the 3 1/2 and 2 1/2 bins to make the first block. I think I will continue cutting and sorting scraps.

  46. Patti McCoppin says:

    I accept the challenge! I will work on organizing my fabric stash. It’s kinda piled all over my sewing room.

  47. dawn says:

    eeep, I boxes up 2 Large containers of strips 😉 scrap happy 🙂

  48. Carla Norris says:

    I have been working on my sewing room all month. I have lots of fabrics that are no longer my taste and have been in bins for years. I cut some into strips and others into 5 inch blocks that I am giving to my mom to sew scrap quilts for the great-grandkids. My mom is 83 and has made all of us a quilt and her grandkids and is now completing the great grandkids. She is on a fixed income so we all win and the quilts are so cuddly. I can now see the floor and my cutting space. Now to concentrate on completing UFOs.

  49. Cheya says:

    You are so right – there is that one place that collects all the bits and pieces that I don’t know what to do with them or where to put them. It grew last month when I was cleaning my sewing room. Thanks for the push to get it cleaned up.

  50. Troyjennene says:

    I love when the Sewing studio is organized. Allows me to create freely. I did tidy up so to get ready for next project. Took pictures so I can get a view of where I should next concentrate on organizing. I still need to label my drawers under my sewing table?

  51. LaNan Eldridge says:

    I happily accept the challenge!! I want to finish three projects which will clear out three totes….hurray!!!

  52. I been doing that very thing since 1/1. I have one Christmas present done, have another half done and I am going through at least 25+ years of beautiful fabric I have adopted. Cleaned my undergarment, sock and jammie drawer it feels really good!! I am on a roll and I hope I don’t stop.

  53. Angela Simmons says:

    I met a new quilting friend at retreat 2/2 and found out she loves scraps, so this week I emptied and sorted 2 small totes of fabric to ship to her. She makes string quilts for charity, or new babies.
    Says she loves everyone elses scraps, because it feels like Christmas.
    I agree.

  54. Teresa C in California says:

    I will organize the closet where I store my fabric and UFOs by the end of this month. I’ll look through my stash to see which can be liberated for others to use (i.e., donate to the local Quilt Guild) and tackle one of my WIP projects with the goal to get it finished before summer.

  55. Karri Symanitz says:

    I have a stack of quilts that need binding. I plan on finishing those up.

  56. bobbie rumler says:

    I cleaned a basket in the bathroom, it was well over due…seperating items that this basket would catch. it was amazing…retaining the husband will take some time though

  57. Ok, I will take the challenge on. I will clean the guest room closet. Currently, there are plastic containers and cooking items filling it. In addition, sewing items are in there and should not be in there.

  58. Julie says:

    I have a small table at the end of my sewing table. It gets all of the scraps and whatnots that come about when piecing a quilt. Even though it’s small it’s ability to hold multiple layers of “stuff” is a bit overwhelming but a great place to start cleaning my sewing room one pile at a time.

  59. Amber White says:

    I moved to a new town a few months ago and have not been able to get into my sewing room to work. My challenge this month will be to clear spaces in order to be able to quilt.

  60. Patty says:

    I accept the challenge! So far this year I have cleaned my Quilt studio, rearranged my sewing machine desk drawers, purged old craft kits (some were 23 years old!), layered and quilted a table topper, made a charity quilt for my church quilting group, and finished 2 knitting projects. So much more to do but this challenge has me focused and ready to keep going. Thank you for the inspiration and support!

  61. Pam Landolt says:

    I accept your challenge! I have a big collection of one of my favorite Moda lines of fabric. It is folded and stacked in three large containers. I’m going to “Kondo” that fabric tonight while watching tv.

  62. Svv says:

    I’m going to really clean off my sewing table. As i’m wor On a project I accumulate all the scraps in a pile (“ just in case”!) and they never get sorted or disposed of. It will be great to have a clear surface again.

  63. Wayne Miller says:

    I recently moved to a new apartment. had to reorganize and unpack all my quilting stuff. needed to clear out a corner in one room so i will go get something to put the stuff away so the corner of the room will no longer be congested

  64. Sandie says:

    Just finished cleaning out the sewing closet. Not sure it was a “small” challenge as it took 2 days. Glad it’s done and thanks for nudge to get it done. Bring on the next challenge.

  65. Christi says:

    I bought a 3 drawer file cabinet and put all my patterns in alphabetical order. What a blessing. No more hunting. Next I will tackle my books. That will take some time but will be worth it.

  66. Donna Sproston says:

    I cleaned up all my small pieces and made two dozen pin cushions. I still have enough strips for a small string quilt. Patterns are next!

  67. Petra says:

    Great Idea!! I need to sort out my Tupperware draw… Half the stuff in there I never use. Its time to downsize and get rid of some of the things that are weighing me down.

  68. Julie says:

    My husband and I stood by our junk drawer in the kitchen and sorted and threw away and placed back in the drawer ONLY what we knew we would use. It was really cathartic…..and necessary! Snow days in Minnesota are perfect for this kind of thing.

  69. Becky says:

    Challenge accepted – have to downsize in my kitchen and small hall closet. So I should end up with less clutter…..that’s the goal!
    Next would be my sewing area, but that will take longer.

  70. Joan says:

    I binge watched Marie Kondo last month LOL, so have been on a mission ever since. This week it is the cellar/preserves room, it seems to have collected a few things that don’t belong.

  71. Karen Smisek says:

    OK… the challenge for this month. I just did a huge garage sale and purged my sewing studio to bags of misc. I have not touched in years for sale… cheap… Something is better than nothing, right? So… We did the garage sale this past weekend and now the mess of cleaning the remaining stuff up and reorganizing my Quilt studio into a more organized room to work in. Wish me luck… this has been long coming… this month is it! At Home a la mode, we are switching our computer system to Like Sew POS and are cleaning up there too! Hopefully our new website will launch next month. Thanks Moda…

  72. Mary Homer says:

    My overwhelming sewing space filled with projects to be started, projects started that I hated once started and projects in several stages was taking over and robbing me the joy of sewing. So I watched video on joy and organization. So two Saturday’s ago I got several bins and organized. If I did not love the project it went – ones that I have to start got placed in a bin with material and pattern. End results was organized and pulled out a project and completed from beginning to end. I have completed 4 projects in about four weeks time. I have my joy back and could not be happier.

  73. Amy says:

    Challenge accepted! I’ve taken all the project bins full of half-completed projects. I’ve sorted them, decided what I’ll finish (and even started on some — I found quilt block of the month patterns from 2006!), donated what I wont finish, and pulled fabrics I’d set aside that I don’t remember why and put them into a more organized stash. This project inspired me! Thank you!

  74. denise says:

    I have an old cutting table in the corner of my sewing room that seems to catch a lot of bits and cut off fabrics, Now that I have a NEW cutting table!. . I WILL attack that as my CHALLENGE. Denise from Sydney australia

  75. Dotti says:

    Challenged and overwhelmed. Our photographs and slides have become a mountain. Time to purge and organize into albums for each grandchild and sons family. We are into week two. We may finish in time f or graduation. One can only hope and plod on. No sewing till it is accomplished.

  76. Mary D. says:

    I’m gonna take this challenge and clean out a few small random baskets/boxes of scraps. Sorting, possibly trimming and putting away with like colors will do the trick.

  77. Alice says:

    I am organizing all my precuts. They’ve been stuck here and there where ever I have a small space to tuck them. Now I’m pulling them all out, creating a spreadsheet of what I have, and storing them all together where I can find exactly the one I want.

  78. Catherine Olesky says:

    I had two quilt tops that needed backings. I pieced the backings and sandwiched them!
    All pinned and ready for quilting. I guess that should be my next challenge for March!!

  79. Paula Strickland says:

    I have a small basket in a drawer that seems to catch everything. Think that will be my project.

  80. Linda M DiVall says:

    I organized all of my UFO’z (unfinished objects),put ghem in project boxes and labeled them. I made aist sk now I know what needs to be completex and where it is. I have chosen 4 that should be able to be completed in a day. I’m hoping that will jump start me to completing my pile. Next, clean and purge and organize the filing cabinet in my sewing room.

  81. Alycia says:

    I have numerous quilting books and magazines that need to get organized. That will be my project for the February challenge!

  82. Cathy G. says:

    I have a 5 drawer rolling cart next to my sewing machine full of notions, thread, scissors, patterns, colored pencils, templates, etc., etc. Everything was thrown into the drawers and I spent a lot of time searching for things like a seam ripper or my sewing machine needles. I made a trip over to the container store & bought some small bins that fit into the drawers. I sorted through all the stuff in the drawers, took out what I didn’t need and grouped everything else into the bins. Now everything is in sight and I’m not wasting time dumping the drawer out to find what I’m looking for.

  83. Sylvia Zamoyski says:

    I purged my file cabinets of years worth of magazines which I am donating to my local quilt shop. They sell them for 1.00 and use the money for charity quilts like Quilts of Valor.

  84. Beth says:

    Precuts organizing………………….I have so many jelly rolls, charm packs, layer cakes, and mini charms, I’ve lost sight of what’s there! It’s sad 🙁 I’m going to inventory them, organize them by designer/fabric………….and smile 🙂

  85. Susan Regan says:

    I just finished my February challenge, and boy, what a challenge it was. I went through all of the files that I have kept for the past 20 years.
    I relabeled, reorganized, and threw away anything that was no longer relevant. Whew!

  86. Diane Scott says:

    I can’t see the top of my dresser, things are piled so high. That is my challenge to clean it off.

  87. Sara says:

    Half of my cutting table is buried in fabric left over from long finished projects. Great time to clean it all off and enjoy a much larger table surface. Thanks for the challenge!

  88. Karen B says:

    Yet another reorganization of my fabric bins is my job!

  89. Kris B says:

    I save all my scrappy bits of fabric and batting and sew them into pet beds for the local animal shelter. I had bags of scraps and I finally sewed it all up into several beds at the beginning of February, and just a few days after, our local shelter took in 80 cats and kittens from one owner(!) They put out the call for bedding and other supplies and I was ready to help out with the beds I had just completed!

  90. Karen A says:

    I accept the challenge. I have cleaned off my sewing table. All my tools are back in their proper place, I have a basket to hold fabric scraps for testing my machine and I organized my bobbins and threads

  91. Ann Witten says:

    I am currently going through my scraps and cutting them down into precut sizes and sizes I use the most in my sewing/quilting. I have labeled bins and they will be going into the shelving I have in my sewing room. Slowly but surely I’m getting through them!!

  92. Kat P. says:

    I am cleaning sorting, folding and putting away the piles of fabric and scraps that have accumulated on my work table in my sewing room. Yay!

  93. Clariza says:

    I was cleaning my sewing section of the house and found that I had material that I didn’t know that I had. I sorted them out and now I have projects to do with the material. I had just finished my last project and have to sort all my piles of scraps that I have accumulated. I also found threads, zippers and etc. to sort to be put into bins and labeled. Gave fiber fill that I collected to be used for pet beds. This was a challenge.

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