Monday, June 26, 2017

The Organizing Journey Day 7



Day 7 – When Life Gets in the Way of Organizing

One of the “organizing” things I’ve done for my living room so far is a small container labeled “Remotes” so all my remotes (TV, surround sound, DirecTV, and Roku) can easily be found at all times.  (And in another location are charged batteries for these remotes… I’ll show you that when we get to that section of organizing.)


I was reading an article the other day that was talking about spending 15 minutes a day organizing.  I scoffed at it 'cause I'm an "all or nothing" kind of gal.  So I want to get in there and spend 10 straight hours organizing. 

But the universe had other plans for me so I'm learning that there can be gradations of progress.  Because the alternative is not making any progress… y’know, waiting for that perfect time when the planets are aligned and I have a solid week to myself to do whatever I want.  That never happens.  So I’d better learn to do what I can when I can.

By 5pm today I’d finished as far as I could go with my custom order (fingers crossed the last part I need arrives tomorrow).  So now I’ve got three solid hours to do what I want and I know exactly what I want.  Yes, I do consider “organizing” as a “fun time” activity.  I really enjoy it!

Earlier this afternoon I was looking for something (story of my life?).  As I dug through four or five boxes of “stuff” I kept getting excited seeing things I’d acquired and forgotten about.  I also saw lots of stuff that can go in the trash or be destashed.

So I just gathered up all my Dollar Tree boxes and I’m getting my three bins (“trash”, “doesn’t belong here”, and “sell/donate”) and my label maker and I’m heading into the studio to undo some damage.

This, btw, is my label maker.  Brother P-touch PTD600VP.  (The label maker’s only the thing in the upper right of the case.)


I got it because it does up to 1-inch labels and because I can prepare labels on my computer and have the label maker print them out.  But what I do is just start sorting/cleaning and when I need a label, I print it out.  Voila!  Oh, also it has an electric cord so I don’t go crazy using up batteries.  Yay!

ALMOST got distracted ‘cause as I’m sitting here writing this post I opened a folder of files on my computer and I instantly had the urge to sort and organize.  Oh my goodness, there’s SO much that needs to be organized here… alas, it will have to wait until another time.  MUST…. STICK… WITH… PLAN…

Alright, I worked from 5-7pm cleaning/organizing the studio.  My back started hurting so I decided to call it a night.  I couldn’t organize the way I’d really like to because that would entail devoting a whole ‘nother room to piles.  These piles would be for sorting the stuff in my studio.  So instead I did kind of a hybrid.  I’d pick something up and put it where it belonged.  If it just happened to be convenient to put the thing I’d picked up into a designated bin or drawer, I’d also make a label for that bin or drawer. 

The table is practically clear now, as are the floors.  Tomorrow I will hopefully finish my custom order so I can work on some projects for this Wednesday’s class.  After that, I will start on another custom order.

Thanks for all the wonderful comments and feedback.  It’s great hearing from you all and finding out that I’m not alone in this journey.  :-)

To see the beginning of this journey, click here.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Organizing Journey Day 6



Day 6 – Maintaining the Status Quo        

It’s important to not backslide.  If you clean your kitchen, don’t let dishes build up again.  It sucks to do dishes when there are so many other things you’d rather be doing, but letting them go even ONE day can start an avalanche of mess.

So I’m heading to the kitchen to brew some tea and do the dishes from last night’s dinner party.  I’ll put my kindle on to keep myself entertained for the duration (which is usually shorter than I anticipate).

Same thing in the living room… picking up a few things, moving things back to their original place, wiping off the coffee table… five minutes of work saves a build-up of clutter.

THIS is working to eliminate one of my bad habits, which is allowing things to build up.  I’ll get the mail and leave it on the table, convincing myself I’ll deal with it later.  I’ll do laundry and leave the clothes in a pile on my couch, convincing myself I’ll put them away properly soon.  I’ll make soup and convince myself it’ll be okay to leave the dirty pot because I’ll be doing the dishes later and it’s easier to do a bunch at once.

These are all excuses and lame excuses at that.  If I’d just DEAL with things in the moment, I wouldn’t have to spend an hour ever couple of days cleaning up clutter.

So other than picking up after myself today, I just worked on a custom order.  No organizing and no heavy duty cleaning took place.

That’s okay.  Sometimes I forget that most people take weekends off from work.  I don’t.  I work every day (I’m even teaching on my upcoming birthday).  But I also take time for me in a lot of ways.  I also go to bed ridiculously early at times.  I’m sure it all balances out.

So today’s Saturday.  In “normal land” that’s a weekend… a non work day.  I can cut myself some slack for only doing metalsmith work instead of doing metalsmith work AND organizing/cleaning.  How weird that we have these mental social dictates having to do with the days of the week.  Phft!  Half the time I don’t even know what day it is.


Okay, it’s 9pm… past my bedtime.  Ha ha ha!  See you tomorrow.

To see the beginning of this journey, click here.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Organizing Journey Day 5



Day 5 – Only a Wee Bit of Cleaning

Had to make jewelry today so didn’t get any organizing done but did get a bit of cleaning done (and cooking).

Here’s before and after of the living room (if you didn’t read yesterday’s blog… “before” includes me leaving town for two back to back trips, coming home with a messy child in tow AND half a month’s worth of mail and Amazon boxes, and dealing with car issues that kept me from any tidying up).



Time to hit the hay.  More jewelry work tomorrow and it’d be nice if I can squeeze in some organizing.  Maybe while I’m working I can flit around the studio in organizing mode.  It’ll be a good break from the crazy stamping job ahead of me. 

To see the beginning of this journey, click here.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Organizing Journey Day 4



Day 4 – Cleaning is Not Organizing

Finished my weed-eating and other outdoor chores so trying to finish my 24 ounces of water then I’ll do the dishes.

I was able to clear away most of the “stuff” in the kitchen.  I wouldn’t say the kitchen is ORGANIZED yet, but at least it’s visually clutter free. 

So here are before and after photos. 

Before is when I was working like crazy then travelling (so two weeks’ worth of mail and Amazon deliveries) then had a daughter leave a bunch of stuff along with my accumulation of stuff (don’t judge me… ha ha ha!). 

After is merely after picking stuff up and either throwing it away, relocating it out of the kitchen area, or putting it away properly in the kitchen (as well as doing dishes and taking out the recycling).

 

I look forward to actually organizing, but in the meantime it’s nice to have two rooms that are at least clean.

You may be wondering why someone who says they are SOOOO short on time bothers with blogging about things.  Good question.  For me, it’s a way of staying on track.  A sort of accountability factor.  For all I know, no one is reading my blog…. Or hundreds are reading my blog.  I don’t know.  But I feel like so long as I pretend someone is reading it, I feel obligated to actually follow through with my project.  And blogging is the record-keeping for that follow-through.

So tomorrow, the living room (in my spare time... now that my metals have arrived for a big custom order, that takes priority).

To see the beginning of this journey, click here.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Organizing Journey Day 3



Day 3 – Wow, that was embarrassing!

The day started at 5am… weed-eating, mowing, then taking the car in for an oil change.  At 10am I was really hungry so made breakfast, sat down, took one bite and… hear a knock at the door.

For the first time in my life, I’d forgotten I’d made arrangements to teach that day (to be fair to my poor old brain, I’d made the arrangements a month ago and a bunch of really stressful things happened in between).  My embarrassment was from head to toe.  I took her into the studio (which was a disaster, but it is what it is) and asked for three minutes… at which point I shoveled another bite of food into my mouth, made sure the bathroom was semi-decent, then got back into the studio and cleared a spot for her to work.

It ended up okay.  She made an absolutely gorgeous bracelet.  I love love love seeing what my students make.  They amaze me 100%.

Why am I not talking about organizing?  I had a moment today when I said to myself, “You need to not post this every day.  You are NOT cleaning/organizing anything.  You are constantly distracted.  Why don’t you just do blog posts only when you actually have something related to organizing to talk about?” 

Then the other side of me (internal dialogues are a way of life for me) said, “You know why?  Because this is reality.  This is what it’s like to try to organize a house.  I’m constantly distracted.  I can’t wait for the perfect moment.  There will never BE a perfect moment.  There’s no month or week or even day when I am 100% free to do as I please so get used to that and deal with it.”

I can’t be alone.  Don’t we all try to do things with the best of intentions and constantly find those intentions on the back-burner?

As a perfectionist (this is NOT a compliment), I know how easy it is to fall into the trap of not doing something unless/until it can be perfect.  Guess what?  That’s the easiest way to not get anything done… ever.  So I’m sticking this out.  Luckily my readers don’t have to.  Ha!  They can skip my blog posts any time they want, but I want to write this daily to prove to myself that I can do what I can when I can and still have forward momentum, and the not giving up means some day I will achieve the end result.

Anyway, four hours later, I went back and finished breakfast, and now I’m back to cleaning/organizing.  Switching rooms, though.  The detailed organization of the studio will have to wait because my kitchen and living room area are pure chaos.  I’m not going to beat myself up about this. 

From mid-May until the first week in June I was working non-stop on the largest custom order I’ve ever had.  As soon as that was done and delivered, I got a custom request I couldn’t turn down (family).  I struggled with that in the two days before I was due to leave the country.  Ugh!  What stress.  It didn’t work, I got an extension, went to Mexico for 9 days, came back, dealt with car problems, then drove to Los Angeles for my son’s wedding…


My new daughter-in-law’s graduation from UCLA with a Masters in Teaching…


My son’s graduation from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics…


And my son’s birthday…


Drove back from Los Angeles, took my daughter to the airport (after she left a bunch of stuff in my house so she can drive her car across country after graduating from Brown)…



… and was planning on starting my organization/cleaning thing.

So things and people came and went for the past month with me not having a single free second to keep up with any of it.  That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Reminds me of a funny passage I read yesterday in Christopher Moore’s wonderful book “Lamb”.  One of the characters is being trained by a Buddhist monk to “be in the moment, completely aware of the now, no past, no future, nothing dividing us from everything that is.”

The character replies, “It’s hard for me… to stay in the moment.  Without the past, where is the guilt?  And without the future, where is the dread? And without the guilt and dread, who am I?”

These could be my words.  Sad, but true.

Any of my readers can relate to any of this?  Being overwhelmed with "things to do"?  Constantly being distracted when trying to accomplish something?  Feeling like it has to be perfect or you don't want to do it?  I'd love to hear from you.  Leave me a comment.  

Anyway, I’m actually signing off now and will show you tomorrow (hopefully) photos of my progress in the kitchen.  

To see the beginning of this journey, click here