This is my craft table. The thing on the left, under one of Andrew's old t-shirts, is my sewing machine. On the right is a black desk organizer which houses my most used tools (scissors, stitch markers, pins, etc) as well as my floss drawers, a pen bucket, and some stackable shelves.
Since this is my only workspace, it's very important that I keep it cleaned off so I can use it. I'm terrible about cleaning up in between projects. I just don't do it, so I've devised a work around.
This is a close up of the stackable shelves. They are my secret weapon. The middle shelf (with the monkey) is a dumping ground for bits and pieces of completed projects that need to be put away. When I come to my table and it's a mess, I put everything away that has a place to go (like the scissors) and then the rest gets tucked into the middle shelf. Mostly these odds and ends are large bits of felt and unused strands of floss.
The bottom shelf is where I keep my other secret weapons. These two boxes hold my bits of felt and unused floss. They are the most perfect containers from a terrible tasting Trader Joe's meal. I mean, this meal made me sick to eat, but the containers were so awesome that I ate two of them ... and I would have eaten a truck-load more if Trader Joe's hadn't stopped making them.
Anyway, once a week or once a month or whenever, I'll take the wad of stuff out of the middle shelf and sort through it. Here you can see the two containers on the left and my pile on the right.
I put the felt bits in the felt container. They get used for stuffie eyes, test runs, and other things like that.
The floss bits get put into to the other container. I take 3" x 5" cards, cut them into four strips (3" by 1.25"). I cut a slit in the side, wind up a floss strand, then cut another slit to hold the other end. Above it, I write the color number.
"Full" on the first one refers to the fact that the floss bit is 26" long, which is the starting length of floss that I always use. I don't measure them initially, it's just when you pull out a piece of floss from the skein that's "two pulls" long, it equals 26".
When I have leftover floss, I also toss the skein on the middle shelf, too, so I'll know what number it is when I wind it up. The fact that I have skeins of floss hidden away on the middle shelf is usually the reason I decide to clean it out. Otherwise, I think I'd have an elephant sized wad of felt and floss squeezing us out of our apartment.
These are all of my little floss cards in the box. I don't save really short bits. Well, I used to, but I never used them for anything so I don't anymore. You can see a loose piece of ecru on the right. I use that color for labels a lot, so I don't bother winding it up. I always know to check this box first for ecru.
If you have trouble keeping your workspace clean, a small box where you can dump the mess until you have the time (or inclination) to take care of it might be the solution for you, too.