I know this thread is a month old, but I love this topic!
When I lived alone, my extra closet was full of those pants/slacks hangers with 6 or 7 individual rungs on them - a folded length or three of fabric could be hung on each rung for great visibility and very little wrinkling. Now, my spare bedroom is part my craft room/part fiance's work from home office/part storage.
I use the large Ziploc freezer bags to make neat little packages for my intended projects - I put the pattern, fabric, zipper, thread, elastic, seam binding, specialty needles, etc. inside so I can A) remember why I bought each item, and B) be more inclined to work on the projects because it's all together and ready to go. It's unlikely I can zip the bag closed, but at least it's neatly consolidated and easy to stack or file upright.
My remaining fabric stash is folded up and given a quick handwritten tag indicating dimensions & fabric content, and a note on what I initially felt it would suit (dress? throw pillow?) Then I separate into three places:
- Many-yard cuts are in big Rubbermaid tubs shoved under my cutting table (nice, high pub table I got off Craigslist.) My spare sewing machines are also stored under this table.
- Fat-quarters/small yardage is folded in one of several wicker baskets on a shelf, with a few big Ziploc bags in there to keep like colorways together. Baskets are from Hobby Lobby, purchased with their weekly 40% off coupons. Shelf was a garage sale find that I repainted.
- The Ziploc packages of prospective projects occupy one drawer of an old metal filing cabinet (free, thanks to my work buying new furniture,) and my pattern stash and various other notions are in the other drawers.
Since my fabric and pattern stashes are ridiculously large and I'm semi OCD, I've taken to cataloging everything as soon as I get it. I use a free software program called Evernote, which I can access online, on my iPad, or on my smart phone (great when you're at the fabric store cutting table and forgot how many yds your pattern requires.) There is a paid premium version, but the free has been my friend for nearly 2 years now. I take a picture of each item, name it descriptively (3 yds Blue/White Floral Liberty Lawn, or Simplicity 2444 Fit & Flare Dress) and file it in the appropriate catagory (Make This, UFO, Fabric Stash, Pattern Stash.) Then I can scroll through my entire collection in minutes, without disturbing my over-filled storage containers. Because you know if you take something out of a bin, you'll never get it all wedged back in!
Now, I just need to find time to actually SEW all the fabric and patterns I've been collecting...