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Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Organizing Journey Day 19

Day 19 – Sorting the Sorting Table

So today I’m actually cleaning/organizing.  And what do you know… I feel GUILTY for not working in the studio!  Oh my gosh, I’m a lost cause!

I got up at 5am and did my two hours of orchard work, then I did some dishes and vegged for a bit (yes, I need to work on that). 

Sometimes cleaning is so tangential it almost feels like I’m spinning my wheels.  My self-appointed task today was to clean off the love-seat in my bedroom.  I basically use it as a storage point for clean laundry.  Yes, putting clothes away is an issue for me.  I don’t like hiding them away and I don’t like having to pull them out of hiding when I need them.  But the system is being tweaked so there isn’t so much “hiding away” anymore.  You’ll see.

In the meantime, here’s the love-seat.

Wow, there’s actually a lot of potential for positive change here.  Aside from cleaning off the love-seat, I need a more appropriate bed cover.  I love this blanket because it’s lightweight and SUPER soft.  But ick… I do not like the looks of it.  I need to fix the thing on the wall with pockets (for bookmarks, flashlight, glasses, etc).  I dunno… maybe I should get rid of it entirely.  I’m not into the wall color, but I hate painting, so the jury is out on that at the moment.  I do, however, have a ton of artwork that needs to be hung up and I see prime real estate there. 

Oh, so back to the tangential thing.  Once I got all the clean clothes off the love-seat (including winter sweaters!!!  It’s 107 degrees outside right now… why are my winter sweaters still out and about?!).  Anyway, once they were gone I saw how dusty the exposed parts of the couch covering were so I popped that into the wash.  Then I pulled the nightstand out and ew… dust bunnies!  So vacuumed and mopped.  But see, these little things add up.  Cleaning clothes off a couch isn’t just cleaning clothes off a couch.  There are other things that it leads to. 

Okay, so now I’m tackling the large table that’s been using up about 80% of my bedroom.  Ha!  It started out as a sorting place and ended up being a catch all.  I must eliminate all the catch-alls in the future.  I shared this image with you a couple weeks ago.  Since then there isn’t a single square inch of free table surface.

Yes, I feel guilty about not being in the studio today but I feel really good about getting some cleaning/organizing done.

At the end of the day, all the clothes were put away and I’d actually tackled everything that was on and under the big “sorting” table in the bedroom.  Here’s a shot of one closet wall.  It’s not totally aesthetically pleasing (yet) but it’s a great start as far as clean and organized goes.  The most important thing is that I can FIND what I need without rummaging through boxes, bags, piles, etc.

And now I have to spend a day in the studio, so I won’t get back to organizing until Friday.

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.  :-)  Share your tips, tricks, ideas and experiences too, in the comments section.

To see the beginning of this journey, click here.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Organizing Jouney Day 18

Day 18 – Quit Being So Hard On Yourself

Okay, first off, you may have noticed I’m NOT posting every day.  That’s just not feasible for me and rather than bury myself in an “all-or-nothing” game, I’ve decided… YES, I’m still organizing my life… and NO, I can’t do it full time… and YES, I still want you to be a part of it.  So there it is… I’ll do it as I can, just like I do everything else in my life.

Which has been (my life, I’m talking about) a bit chaotic lately.  And the mess and chaos and STUFF is stressful and depressing.  So I plow on, taking time here and there to organize even though other parts of me are screaming, “You need to make jewelry for your upcoming show!”  “You need to list jewelry on your website… it currently looks like bat barf!”  “You need to list some workshops because you have students who are waiting for projects!”  “You need to make a video tutorial because you have people waiting for that!” You need, you need, YOU NEED!!!

Chronic over-thinker.   

Critical + over-thinking = much unhappiness.

Yes, I am very hard on myself.  Something I need to work on.  So here’s an interesting conundrum…

What if *I* am the negative person?  How do I not “hang out” with myself?  Obviously, this is not an option.  So… I truly, truly have to work on being less critical of myself.  How shall I start?  Okay, I always tell others, here’s the order of things:
  • Know what you want to change
  • Start noticing when you “blow it”.  Obviously at first you’re going to notice AFTER you blow it… that’s fine.  That’s what this step is.  No need to beat yourself up… just say, “Ah, there was an opportunity to change that habit/thing/behavior.  I recognize it and eventually I will catch myself BEFORE I act.”
  • You will eventually catch yourself before you do the behavior… or even in the middle of it.  You may not CHANGE the behavior or you may not do a great job of it, but catching yourself before the deed is done is important.  Super important.
  • As you start catching yourself in the moment of and/or before a potential bad habit, you will begin to have a chance to change your behavior.  Now is when your training comes in.  Training?  What training?  Well, have you been reading articles or going to therapy?  There are lots of techniques out there.  Do some research.  I can share some of my ideas with you (at a later date). 
  •  Eventually, you will catch yourself more and more often.  You will “fake it ‘til you make it”.  And someday you will find that it has not only become a habit, but that your new reactions are sincere and genuine and you are a changing (or changed) person.

Anyway, I did something amazing today (truth: totally not amazing).  When the mail came, I immediately took it over to the kitchen table, opened each envelope and package, threw most of it in the garbage, and put the rest where it belonged (supplies in the studio, coupons in the coupon file, etc).

Why was this amazing?  Because I normally do any of the following:
·         Leave it all in a pile to look at later
·         Open important looking things and leave the packaging AND the contents in a pile
·         Throw the garbage away and toss the important stuff in an “important stuff” pile to sort later

Of course, the only reason I could do this is because the kitchen table was clean.  Ha ha ha!  But really, these stupid little things (daily mail) add up… fast.  I have a laundry basket of “crap” that I’ve pulled from my car. 

I would bet 90% of the contents of that laundry basket is trash.  But I didn’t feel like “sorting it” or “dealing with it” right away so I put it aside for later.  Ugh! 

As a matter of fact, let’s do this.  Let’s see just how much of that laundry basket full of car contents is trash that has been taking up valuable real estate in my house for the past month.

So left to right and then clockwise I’ve got:
  • A pile of trash 
  • Things that need to go somewhere specific (back into the car, into my studio, returned to a friend, etc) 
  • Paper and plastic bags for re-using
  • Newspaper recycling 
  • Cardboard recycling 
  • Papers to file 
  • Papers to deal with this week
Done and done.

Today I also decided I needed to get rid of “high-maintenance” items in my house.  One of which is little water fountains.  I love them… the humidity they add to the air and the sound they make and how they look… but they are too much work.  I have to clean them often and constantly fill them with water… oh, and I have to be very careful where I put them (spills).

So they go.  Sigh…

In their place, I am purchasing these less aesthetically pleasing, but more practical humidifier/diffusers.

I bought that one on Amazon Prime Day.  Next one I’ll have to pay regular price.  I do like the mist that comes out, the auto-shutoff, the optional cycling lights, and the essential oils diffuser part of it.  We’ll see how long it lasts with our well water.  I can’t be bothered to use distilled water.  Hm… maybe I should.  Maybe I should keep a gallon of distilled water under the kitchen sink and… well, let’s see how it goes with well water.  If it ends up being a problem, then I can switch to distilled water.

Oh and there was one more little moment in the studio (remember, those little things add up!).  I needed some E6000.  I use E6000 about five times a year, if that.  Remember the earbud holder I made?  That’s what I need it for.

So here’s the E6000 I have in my regular glue place.

This is SO not working for me.  I use only a teeny tiny bit each year and the stuff just hardens up and is really hard to get out of the tube, etc.  It also takes up more space than I need for such a seldom-used product.

So I bought some of these (they come 4 to a pack).

More expensive, absolutely.  Er…. Maybe.  I mean, if the larger tube ends up being unusable, then no, it’s not more expensive to pay more for the little ones that actually last longer for me and my usage than one large tube. 

I tossed the large tube in the garbage and put one of the tiny new tubes in my “glue place”.  The remaining three unopened little tubes will store well in my “studio supplies” box that stays in storage until I run out of a staple. 

See, that’s how it works.  I keep a certain amount of “things” in my studio (glue, tape, latex gloves, etc) and I keep more of those things in a box (or five) in my storage shed.  When I run low of something in the studio, I know I have more in the storage shed.  And when I take the penultimate of any item from the storage shed, I order more immediately.  I will show images of the storage shed when we get to that area.  I do a once a year purging/cleaning every summer so it’s coming up pretty soon.

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.  :-)  Share your tips, tricks, ideas and experiences too, in the comments section.

To see the beginning of this journey, click here.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Organizing Journey Day 17

Day 17 – I Refuse to Quit

Yes, I did skip two days.  I’m feeling overwhelmed.  Not by organizing.  I can’t even GET to organizing.  Just overwhelmed with other commitments.

These piles and boxes are taunting me.  I feel like my living space is getting smaller and smaller.  Ah well, hopefully soon.

So as tempting as it is/was to stop pretending I’m on an organizing journey, I won’t go there.  I refuse.  I will find the time to do this even if it’s Mount Olympus in front of me.  Maybe if I piled all my boxes and my piles into one heap, it WOULD be as big as Mount Olympus… seriously, I have a lot of stuff.  And it’s not stupid stuff.  Well, there’s a certain amount of stupid stuff, but I anticipate ridding myself of that as soon as I really get started.  No, the stuff I have is necessary and useful.  It’s just NOT organized.  I have dressers with empty drawers.  Cabinets with empty shelves.  Storage containers with no contents.  It’s because in my hectic life, I want everything at my fingertips.  So nothing ever gets put away.  The solution will be a compromise.  Putting things away, but leaving them in my sight.  You’ll see.

Here’s an example of something I started.  These are my spices (on the right).  Having my spices with all the labels facing me is totally what I need.  I can’t be digging through a cupboard, rotating each bottle trying to look at the label.  This is so me! 

But as you can see, I have only done half my spices.  I probably did this a year ago… and still have not taken a couple of hours to complete the job.  My inner critic is calling me a loser.  Which reminds me of one of my favorite songs.  Loser by Beck  Which, if I’d KNOWN the title… well, okay, so I only heard the song on the radio and never saw the title written anywhere.  For years I thought he was saying “I’m a lizard, baby, so why don’t you kill me.”  Apparently I’m not the only one because the first comment on that video… Meaghan, I love you!

I, too, was younger when I got the lyrics wrong… but probably old enough to know better.  Ha!

Okay, back to organizing (and not calling myself a loser… seriously… I have to quit that kind of thinking).

As you are my witness, I will finish my organizing!

I did get some time in the studio today.  I have two half-finished pendants and one that’s in queue for patina.  Then I annealed a piece of silver again, because I’m trying to figure out why I’m having such issues annealing silver.  Copper I can do fine… silver.. .oh my gosh, I make it HARDER than when I started.  Ack!

I’ll show you the goods after the stones are set and the pieces are polished.  I’m trying to get some new work into the gallery before Thursday.

I’ll get a better photo of my newest “skinny drawers” (in the studio), but for now let me show you what’s in a couple of them.  These are bits and pieces that have no current home, and some have no purpose.  But I was tired of seeing them on my work table every day so I put them into these drawers.  We’ll go through them (y’know, organizing them) later on, but for now it keeps the clutter off my work surface.

I see a lot of half-finished projects in there.

And here’s something I have to deal with.  Not just this (in the photo)… things like this. 

There are LOTS of things like this.  Items that have no purpose, but I feel like I should keep them in case I need them someday or because they have sentimental value.  Well, not sentimental value, really… more like, effort value.  Something I worked on for a certain length of time so even if I have no purpose for it, I feel bad throwing it away.  Maybe I can make one big treasure box and put ALL the things that fit into this category into the box and then I’ll put it in storage and 20 years from now it’ll be fun to go through, but in the meantime it’ll be out of the way.

While I generally want things that are visually pleasing, sometimes I opt for functional until a more aesthetic options rolls around.  It dawned on me today that I hate ear bud cords.  And every time I want to use my earbuds, I have to untangle them.  Which makes no sense to me ‘cause all I do when I’m done is lay them down.  But whatever.

So I googled “earbud storage” or something like that and ended up on a Pinterest board, that took me to this post, with the brilliant idea to glue two clothes pins together (here they are in my vise with E6000 between them)…

… to become this perfectly practical tool.  One clip end holds the pin jack, the other clip end holds the ear buds, and the cord wraps around the two clips together.

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.  :-)  Share your tips, tricks, ideas and experiences too, in the comments section.

To see the beginning of this journey, click here.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Organizing Journey Day 16

Day 16 – The Little Things

Okay, so I did spend most of today in the studio working (after the orchard chores).  But I made a conscious effort to do something I’m not in the habit of doing.  Every time I used a tool or some material or created garbage, I dealt with it… immediately.  It’s a little thing in action, but a huge thing in progress toward a good habit.

After I cut copper solder, I put the “copper solder box” back on the shelf and I put the clippers back in the lazy Susan.

After I got the stone I needed, I changed the stock amount on my inventory sheet, then I put the tray of stones back into the cabinet.

After I opened the box from MonsterSlayer, I put the invoice in my invoice folder, put the wrapping materials in the garbage (except those that get recycled which went into the recycle bin), and I put the metals into their appropriate drawers.

It felt weird and good.  Weird only because I’m used to leaving everything out after I’ve used it (y’know, don’t want to interrupt the work flow).  And good because as I put things away (which really only took seconds at a time.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been doing the same in the kitchen.  I had company this weekend and I tend to not do dishes when I have company.  Sigh.  So now just about everything in my kitchen needs washing.  I’ll either do it tonight or tomorrow (I have more energy in the morning so it’s easy for me to always procrastinate on stuff like that… but it’s true).

I was looking at organizing tips on the internet the other day.  Lots and lots of tips for organizing purses, shoes, make up, and nail polish.  I have so few of these things.  Yay!  I can breeze right on past those things… and kids’ items too.

I also looked at photos that make me realize I *am* on my way to minimalism.  Some of the things in the photos from the internet… just too much stuff!  Granted I am one person.  I know it’s different if it’s a whole family, but I think it still bears consideration.  I mean, look at your stuff and saying, “Do I really need this many of this thing?”  There was a time some of my cupboards may have looked like this.

As soon as I finish this current bracelet order and get out my other two orders, we will sink our teeth back into some real organizing.  I feel REALLY good when I can get rid of stuff, then sort out what’s left and organize it.  I’m so excited!

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.  :-)  Share your tips, tricks, ideas and experiences too, in the comments section.

To see the beginning of this journey, click here.