Threads of the Pattern

A Very Good Place To Start

Posted on: July 18, 2012

I wanted to use some kind of nerdy “Space: The Final Frontier” for this post, which actually would have been TOTALLY APPROPRIATE, but as usual, Ayshia and I are in the same brain, so you get ‘The Sound of Music” instead of ‘Star Trek’.

Let me start by saying, I really hate to clean. Most of the time, my mind pretends that everything is clean, always, everywhere.  My friends love this about me. Fortunately, my husband is far more willing to show me the reality of the situation.

We’ve had this ongoing discussion about whether or not my crafting space was organized or that crazy thing called clean. We bought our house, and intended to finish the basement and give me all the space down there that was not being taken up by washers and furnaces and spiders, and other basement type stuff.

Ayshia threatened to disown me, if I recall correctly, but she got over it.

“Temporarily”, I am in the third bedroom, which is the smallest, and was formerly a nursery for the previous owners. I share it with the guest bed. Teddy Bear thinks it’s hers, and we’ve never told her otherwise because she diffuses sternness with cuddles.

I also have to house my computer desk, a single (wha?) bookshelf, and all my crafting supplies. It finally got to me. I had to admit that no, I did not have a handle on my ‘organized chaos’; it was in fact, a complete and utter disaster.

So, I broke down and did that thing that most women fear to do: I asked my mother-in-law for help. I will immediately follow this by saying that I lucked out in the MiL department, and this wasn’t really a hardship at all. Especially since she literally wrote the book on organizing your crap. I don’t think that’s what she called it.

 

After much discussion, and a trip to a costume museum (I mentioned I lucked out, right?), I came home with a game plan. A whole flaming week later, It was finally complete.

So, the boring stuff. I pulled everything that wasn’t a container out of the room, and organized it as I went. I had purchased some cheap-o laundry baskets at the dollar store, and used those as temporary storage for the sorting process. I culled some stuff for goodwill/Ayshia/trash. This still took up the entire hallway, part of my husband’s office, and our bedroom. Dear husband even donated his own laundry basket to the cause, which I think he regretted about five minutes later.

I then cleaned and rearranged all my empty containers, and tried to figure out a better way of doing things. I wanted more floor space. I didn’t want to feel so crowded, and I wanted to feel like I was getting the most out of the space that I had.

Then I took some sticky notes and wrote on them what I thought would go in each drawer and put them ON THE DRAWER. This was a novel concept for me. I’m usually more of a “Oh, I know where it is!” kind of gal. Then I have to look through five drawers before realizing I have no idea what was going through my mind when I originally put it away.

Putting things back, I culled even more. I stopped at the thrift store and found some old candle holders to put colored pencils and markers and such in. I spent all of $10 on this reorganization, including the laundry baskets.

In the end, I got pretty much everything back into the room. Even my husband was impressed! Eventually, I’ll have pretty labels on all the drawers. I’ve been toying with the idea of chalkboard paint on cardstock or scrapbooking paper.

Things I learned:

 

  1. I do not HAVE to have all the things within arm’s reach all the time.
  2. My thought processes change with time. Label things, woman!
  3. Everything takes longer than I think it’s going to.
  4. I really don’t have to keep everything ‘just in case’.

Oh, hi. I’m Rosie. 😀

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6 Responses to "A Very Good Place To Start"

I know how it is, however I just end up saying to myself “I haven’t used this in a year…TRASH/GOODWILL!” I even had some yarn that I bought just because I thought I *might* use it. I ended up donating it to a little girl who is knitting hats for charity figuring she may use it even though it wasn’t a particularly cheery color (black and a dark maroon).

I did a lot of that too! It was amazing how much room I had once I got rid of the stuff I knew I’d probably really never use. Baby yarn? Ugly brown curtains that even the previous owners didn’t want anymore? Why am I holding on to this stuff?

Yay for little girls knitting! Charity is great in all colors. As someone who used to get charity clothes as a kid, I’ll tell you that there’s going to be some kid out there who is really into the goth look and will appreciate black and dark maroon!

As the unnamed mil, I’m impressed!!! Although I knew you could do it. Sometimes you have to NEED to do it first. Can’t wait to see the results in person. Just remember-nothing on flat surfaces, handle paper only once(red file if necessary) and as something goes in, can something go out?

I think something like that (something in = something out) would be easier in say, the bathroom or the kitchen. I do plan to not leave stuff on surfaces, so if I don’t have room, it’ll be time to clean things out again. I’m really grateful for your help! Everything you told me worked absolutely wonderfully. 😀 Thank you so much!

Wanna come organize my attic Randa? Rose? anyone….

I didn’t even want to do my own organizing! 😀

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