Category Archives: Organization

The Home Project, part 2


Nothing much has happened indoors since part 1, thanks to June being the month to get the Farmlet tilled, raked and planted.  We have also been working on enlarging the cleared area and planting a new raspberry patch.  I’ve been madly picking rose petals (for wild rose petal jelly – yum!), too, but now things are settling down and I can get back to the mess at hand.

Today, I took advantage of the Kids’ absence (yea for summer camp!) to start “cleaning” their rooms.  Now, before anybody objects to the idea of throwing out kids’ stuff while they are away and unaware, that’s not what I’m doing.  I told them both I would be sorting the stuff in their rooms and throwing away only the obvious trash.  The Boy grunted his assent while making Lego Harry Potter and friends play Lego Quidditch.  The Girl wanted a definition of “obvious trash.”  She was wise to ask, since I was assuming water-damaged papers and old princess stickers were clearly rubbish.  She disagreed, so those items are safe.  Sigh.

My plan is to separate the considerable amount of clutter in to piles – flotsam in one corner, jetsam in another, chaff over by the bed, etc.  Bits of tissue, old band-aids, broken bits of old toys, partial pencil erasers, dried-out markers – TRASH.  Usable but possibly outgrown toys, clothing, books, etc., in their own piles for inspection (and, with luck, removal).  Current toys, clothing books – in piles near where they belong – I am helping them clean, by doing some preliminaries for them, not doing the whole job for them.  Also, they will only be gone for 4 days.  That may not be enough time to excavate all the way to the floor in both rooms.

They, like me, have a ridiculously difficult time sorting stuff.  Each object they touch must have the memories associated with it aired before it can be dealt with; this often means an object that seems unimportant – even to the Kid who owns it – will become indispensable once they pick it up.  I am hoping that having the categories ready for them to go through (with my help, and not all at once) will make it easier to see what’s important enough to keep, and what they are ready to let go.  We shall see.  If it works, I might have them go through my space and categorize my junk.  I’ll have to be careful to define “obvious trash” really clearly, though. 🙂


The Home Project


Organization has always been a huge challenge for me.  When I lived at home, my mom was great at helping me maintain relative tidiness.  When my room threatened to tend a little too much toward chaos, she’d nag – uh, I mean urge – me to straighten up.  Sometimes she’d urge me to do so repeatedly, over a very long time, but eventually I’d do it.

Then I went to college and grad school.  My poor roommates.  I’ve probably mentioned this in the blog before, but I always had the idea that when I settled down in a permanent home (as opposed to a dorm room or apartment), I’d be better at remembering those lessons Mom taught me.  Hmm.

It seems that 1. combining the household stuff of two mid-30s bibliophiles; 2. having kids; and 3. homeschooling does not automatically improve the organizational abilities of the chronically scattered.

My children are either genetically predisposed to messiness, or they are just following my poor example. (Nature versus nurture?)  This is not to say that my darling husband is a paragon of orderliness, but he is probably closer to that end of the organizational spectrum than anyone else in our household.

With that as background, and many previous failures as examples of what NOT to do, I am undertaking a mission to discard as much unnecessary stuff as possible and organize the rest, so that “a place for everything and everything in its place” no longer translates to “everything where it lands” and our disaster area can be referred to as a “home.”  I could go around and ask myself, for each item, “Is it necessary? Is it beautiful? Do I love it?” but I’m thinking of making the first pass through the house with a different question in my mind:  Is it crap?

There are no pictures in this post because “before” pics are too damning.  I’ll post some “in-between” pics as I go along, and when I have some decent “after” shots to show, maybe I’ll be able to share the “befores,” as well.

Wish me luck, and check back monthly for progress reports!

What’s your worst organizational challenge?

Second Post Today! Studio stuff


My darling hubby installed my countertop! Yea!

30-something by 8 feet!

And I got some cubes to hold my yarn stash (that’s not all of it, just the bits I’ve recovered from the mess so far).

Remember I said my drafting table drawer holds a lot of clay?

It’s a bit out of focus, but you get the idea.

Lest you think I’m the only artsy one in the family, here is some of my kiddos’ work.  When 3 1/2-year old Frederich finished this drawing on the white board, he came to me and said, “Mommy…I’m finished my masterpiece!”

Thomas at Night (The dot at the top of the picture is the moon.)

And this is 5 1/2-year old Eliza’s favorite new craft.  Anyone have any suggestions for what to do with nail-polish covered pistachio shells?

Come in to my parlor…and try not to get lost!


Ok!  It’s 2010, and the insulation around the top of my studio walls is in!  And the temporary wall for my cabinets is in!  I still can’t paint – too cold outside to open windows for ventilation – but at least I can organize!  This will, of course, be an ongoing project.

It doesn’t look like much yet.  That little arm in the blue pjs on the right belongs to my daughter.  The shallow drawer in that drafting table holds LOTS of clay, two Fimo packages high.  The base cabinets (below) will be topped with a 3×8 foot counter for sewing and cutting.

And my clay table is back under the window where it belongs!  The whole space will be about 10×10 feet.

Now for the real challenge:  I’ll have to get all this in to the new space!

Yikes! Mommy? Moe? Wanna come help?  I’ll make a pie for you…

So, here are my New Resolutions:

– Turn my studio from that mess into a usable, business-like creative space.

-Turn my hobby into a business.

-Lose 30 pounds.

-Create peace in the Middle East.

-Solve the global warming problem.

-Fix the world’s economy.

Some of those should help me keep the others in perspective. 🙂

Back into the Studio – with hammers and crowbars


Ok, so I know I said I’d post regular updates about my studio organization project. Sometimes unexpected things happen…like me not understanding quite what my husband needed to do with the space, and when. Anyway, it sure is a lot emptier now…

Window Wall

The ceiling had to be ripped out so we could see why the upstairs floor was so bouncy, and possibly do something about it. LOTS o’ dust. So, here’s my clay table:

Clay table

and my fabric stash (at least some of it), as well as the contents of the “play room”:

Fabric Shelves 8-12-09


Studio Redo Part Two


Happy Cinco de Mayo! I know for lots of you (if there are “lots” of you!) it’s already the 6th, but it’s still the 5th to me.  I took the first photos of my messy craft space on April 5th, so today was the day for an update.  I’d been making steady, but SLOW progress, so I decided to do one whole day of focused work on the area.  I took pics before and after today.  Here are the before shots:

Sewing Table 5-5-09 Getting better...

Sewing Table 5-5-09 Getting better...

Clay Table 5-5-09 Still pretty bad

Clay Table 5-5-09 Still pretty bad

Window Wall 5-5-09 Ugh

Window Wall 5-5-09 Ugh

Shelves with Labeled Bins - Messy-Looking, but Organized

Shelves with Labeled Bins - messy-looking, but more organized

So, that’s where I started today.  After working for several hours, I had managed to clear out the space along the window wall enough to move my clay table under the window – yea! Natural light!  I cleaned the floor (as best I could – clay is murder on carpeting), moved the table and cleaned where it had been.  It looks GREAT!

Look! Natural Light!

Look! Natural Light!

Look! Empty Space!

Look! Empty Space!

Look! Space for Claying!

Look! Space for Claying!

Then I turned around:

Ack! What Have I Done!!!!!

Ack! What Have I Done!!!!!

Well, I guess I’ve got my work cut out for me tomorrow!  Next studio update in 2 weeks.