Keep your manual stored in a coloured folder for quick and easy access.
I found it difficult to keep tack if fabric. Since I like to iron on interfacing, I began to end up with interfacing everywhere. So I decided to buy fabric and the same length of interfacing if needed. I then pinned on the interfacing to the material (bumpy side down) and iron it on. Then I hung the material so that it could be ready and cut when needed. A simple time saver. I am starting to learn that material preparation and measurement takes more time than the actual sewing!
One thing that I have found remarkably helpful has been sewing containers. There were so many little bits and pieces in my sewing kits and that I had purchased. It was like overload. When shopping at my local $2 shop, I came across these storage boxes. They were more than $2, $3.50 actually. My mind was racing. Perfect. So I organised all the bits and pieces into categories that worked for me such as bobbins, safety pins etc. Here is the result. Since I have these it is easier to store more items in my sewing box.
Any art and craft project comes with an element of organisation and planning. There is nothing worse than starting a project and realising that you have the wrong materials. Just as I started sewing (my journey began a few weeks ago) I browsed the net. Most sewers seemed to have a system that worked for them. I started buying things bit by bit. So I started buying cotton, pins and containers. I also had a few sewing kits that I had been given over the years that had gathered dust.
I decided to place them all in one large box. As I also like smash booking and other craft projects, bits and pieces everywhere would slow me down. So I simply purchased a basket and stored all sewing materials in that. Now every time that I sew, I just bring out the basket!