Thursday, January 31, 2008

Week of shame, entry 3

A close-up view of some of the shelves from yesterday's photo of the left-hand side of my closet disaster. Helen asked me if she spotted "polystrene baubles" and I'm wondering if that's another way of saying "styrofoam balls"? That's what they are, in any case, and they could go downstairs in Dean's craft closet. Well, yes, at this point his closet is nearly as bad, but I do take the time to clean his out a couple of times a year. But I'm not going there now, I'm just trying to stay a little focused.
And then this beauty is the right-hand side of the same closet. I've appreciated the advice about not getting caught up in projects and ideas as I clean. For me, the place I get stuck is when I pick something up and then have absolutely no idea what to do with it and end up walking around in circles. Even though it means greater pain before any gain, I think my game plan will be to take everything out and sort it into piles, decide what should be in this closet, put that stuff back in an orderly way, and with luck end up with a big pile of stuff to get rid of and hopefully a smaller pile of stuff that just needs to go elsewhere. Learning to get rid of stuff is big for me; I hang on to the "someday I may need this" mentality and forget that "someday" I may never be able to find the thing, or that my energy for making stuff is sapped by the mess so I'd be better off clearing stuff out and facing the possibility of replacing something I once had at the point I do need it. Another issue is that I feel I truly need a filing cabinet and yet I need to find solutions without one (no place to put it, and I'd rather not spend the money). With this project, too, I don't want to end up buying stuff to put stuff in (especially plastic stuff -- I honestly don't want more plastic coming in to my house) so I'm hoping to make use of what I have.

7 comments:

Natalie said...

Hmmm... trying to think of brilliant suggestions. Of course if I had brilliant ideas for storage and order, then my spaces would not look quite so much like your spaces. I am going to just sit back and wait for everyone else to advise you, and while I am on the sidelines, you will hear me cheering for you!

Quilt Pixie said...

I'm struggling with thinking about organizing too... Like you don't want more storage in my house, so "now what" has become the question... I'm thinking the top of my dresser may become a bookcase for craft/fiber art books, freeing up a few shelves in the studio for supplies ;-)

Karen said...

Your plan to take everything out sounds like a good one and it would help to have a couple of boxes labeled with your major craft categories so as you take things out you could put like things with like things in broad categories. Then you could get a sense of how much space you need for what and sort through each box. I found it encouraging to be able to say Ive got the fat quarters organized then the fleece etc so somethings were done and the bigger job got smaller and smaller

I found it helpful to have a throwaway box and a giveaway/donate book. (I found not much goes in the throughaway box at first but found it easier to accept to get rid of something if it was going to a good home - daycare centre and kids school appreciate craft supplies.)

I found binders on shelves were easier for me then filing cabinets. You can get clear sleeves (sorry they are plastic but very thin and see through) to store patterns, articles, receipts, photos, etc and you can label the binders to be able to find things more easily

Just some thoughts - hope they are helpful to you

Helen Conway said...

Oh My God, Theere is a whole other room with craft stuff in??? Listen I do actually have that whole week off work...!
Styrofoam balls are indeed the things I was thinking of. They are for making tree decorations, right? Which you didn't do last year and which Dean didn't do and I assume your tree had decorations nonthless, which means you don't need them next year. Get rid.
As for filing - are any of your existing plastc boxes deep enough to take those file swinger things that you put cardboad folders in? Or can you just use folders and line them up in the boxes you have?
Final thought - it's not getting rid, it is creative new shopping opportunities. (Controlled future ones!)
:)
Can you hear the whip cracking all the way over there?

Natalie said...

OMG Helen is good. I just sat up a little straighter and I am thinking about what she is saying. I also love Karen's suggestions... those binders and plastic sleeves are a very good tool.

Lesley said...

I'm chiming in here to say — unhelpfully — that I quite enjoy my mess. I don't do as many crafty things as you do though, Jennifer. I only sew and knit, and all that stuff is spread out over the floor in the spare room. With some stuff in a few of those stiff paper shopping bags. All my painting stuff I keep in a box in the garage.
Mind you, you should have seen the skip (don't know the American word for it — it's a huge rubbish bin that gets left outside your house) I filled with extraneous crafty crap when I moved house two years ago ...

Lil D said...

I should show my husband these pictures. He seems to imagine that we are the only people that don't live in an immaculately clean house, with ordered closets and tidy shelves...

I've been trying to go through 2 unruly cupboards lately, but I tend to find that while I'm working on those, the kids are working on untidying the rest of the house...