How to Find More Time to Sew
Studies have shown that sewing is good for you.
It has been scientifically proven that there are a number of health benefits associated with having a creative hobby. These range from reduced stress levels and an improved sense of well being to improving physical symptoms like insomnia and indigestion.
Having a crafty hobby has even been found to help with pain relief, short term memory loss and depression. The health benefits of regularly doing something crafty have been considered so beneficial that it is even used sometimes as part of ongoing treatment for depression and PTSD.
If I can take some time to sew, I feel happier, calmer, less tired and more able to do all the stuff I need to do. Sometimes it works as well as taking a nap!
I wrote a post about how sewing is good for you a while a go. It’s here if you want to read it!
So it’s important that we take time for ourselves, and it’s especially important that we find more time to sew now that the scientists are telling us we should!
Unfortunately, at whatever stage of life we are at, life get in the way. Children, grandchildren, work, elderly parents, the house and all the domestic jobs. There’s always so much to do that we end up pushing our own needs to the bottom of the list.
So how can you find more time to sew when you’re already busy and there just doesn’t seem to be time?
Tips For Finding More Time to Sew
1. Claim a corner of your house for your sewing machine. If your sewing machine is already up and ready to go, then you can use little pockets of time that you might have during the day.
If you’ve got 15 minutes while the dinner’s cooking, you can use that time to sew. That’s not going to happen if you need to get the sewing machine out, onto the table where you’re going to be eating the dinner, then pack it all away again. But if it’s out already, you can!
You don’t have to have a sewing room to have a space to sew. If you’re house is small, or full of kids, you can still do this! I wrote a post about this which you can read here.
2. Get organised. Decide what you want to make. Check whether you have the stuff. Buy what you need, then put it all together in a box, a bag or a basket. If you tend to forget where you’ve put things, put it near the sewing machine so that it’s ready and waiting for you!
If you need to buy stuff, although you might save a little bit if you buy everything separately by finding the cheapest place to get it, it’s often easier and more convenient to buy everything from the same place. Plus you’ll only have to pay for one lot of postage. My favourite places to buy stuff online are Minerva Crafts (they have a huge range), HobbyCraft (for the same reason) and Plush Addict. The first two are affiliate links, but I use all three myself regularly.
3. Break your project down into bite sized chunks. Starting a project can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to think that you need a big chunk of time. But if you break it down into smaller steps, you’ll be able to identify things that won’t take very long and that can be completed if you only have a few minutes.
4. Identify some time that you can take to sew. It is difficult when you’re busy, but remember that this is a priority for you. It’s good for your health!
I’m not going to tell you to watch less telly or spend less time on Facebook, because that is obvious and I’m assuming you’ve already thought of that one. However, it might be possible to find more time to sew if you look at things slightly differently.
Is there an evening when hubby is watching something tedious on telly or doing a hobby? Could you sew then?
You could get up earlier or stay up later. However it is very important for your health that you get enough sleep. I recently read this very interesting book on sleep and why we need it (affiliate link).
Or could you just mark some time on the calendar as yours?
Remember, you are not being selfish, you are taking care of yourself so that you can function at your best. This means that you will then be able to give your best to other people around you.
5. Look at what else you have to do and see if you can rearrange things a bit. By doing things at home differently, you might be able to find more time to sew.
For example, if you normally take care of domestic jobs while your toddler naps, could you do some of them while the toddler is awake and get her to help? Cosmo loves a squirty bottle and a cloth! Or could you put dinner in the slow cooker in the morning so that it frees up some time later? Or could you take time at the weekend to get meals sorted out for the rest of the week? Then you could use the time that you normally spend cooking to sew instead.
6. Consider what has to be done if you have a bit longer and what could be done later if you run out of time. For me, the priority is doing the stuff that involves the sewing machine. I can’t really sew when my youngest boy is home from nursery, but there are other things I can do while I’m chatting to him, like trimming seams or sewing on buttons.
7. Batch process. By grouping similar tasks together, you’ll use the time you have more efficiently.
If you’ve got cutting out to do, do that all at once. If you know you’ll have a bit of time to use the sewing machine the following day, aim to get as much ready to be actually sewn as you can beforehand.
8. Make the most of every minute. Remove distractions as far as possible and focus on what you are doing. Be purposeful. Give it your full attention.
Also, if you have a few minutes during the day, use them! There might be things you can do while your toddler is finishing his lunch or while you’re on the train going to work (assuming you can get a seat!). This is where having everything broken down into bitesized chunks really helps!
If you are interested in time management and how to do it more effectively, I can recommend Time Management for Manic Mums by Alison Mitchell. Even if you’re not a mum, it’s full of useful ideas. It’s not so much a book of time saving tips (although there are some), it’s more to do with your mindset and how to approach daily life so that stuff stays under control and you can get some time to yourself.
If you’re looking for some quick projects, you might like to try these:
Linking up here.