Organization Challenge

Ha, yeah. Organization challenge. Singular. When talking about my workroom. As if there is only one challenge! Actually, there really is only one challenge: My creative self is a slob. (Whew, am I ever glad to get that off my chest!)

Seriously, I really do know people whose studios are always neat and tidy and spotless. Frankly, I don’t know how they create in that environment. No, I’m just kidding, I think it’s awesome and I wish I were one of them. I’m not. I could give you all kinds of theories on why I’m not but I would be making them up. I have no idea. I do know that we are all wired differently, though.

A couple of years ago I was reading an article about how different people organized their creative spaces (yes, I do read that kind of stuff, doesn’t everybody?). The article mentioned that one person, the photos of whose space were amazing to my eye, needed some sort of open storage. That means that while you might not walk in and see all the stuff they have, if you looked into any one of those pretty boxes on the shelf, you would see that all the stuff was just tossed in it. There were no closed cupboards, no drawers, just pretty boxes all on a shelf full of stuff just pitched in, willy-nilly. That resonated with me. It seemed like an absolutely revolutionary idea.

I started looking at how I organize my stuff differently. I started to understand that I have to see things in order to use them. What a world of difference that made!

Flash forward to today. You might expect that my space is just a wonderful riot of color, arranged just so, with a few quirky accents added in. You’d be partly right. It IS a riot of color and there are some quirky accents. It is also a mess. Am I going to show you photos of it? Not on your life.

Enter the Studio Organizing Challenge. I watched a number of folks take that challenge last year and I sort of followed along with what they were doing but just didn’t feel like I had time to actually DO all the tasks. This year is a little different. I signed up to participate with the caveat that I might not finish ALL of the assigned tasks. I’m pretty sure no Organization Police are going to show up at my door to demand I do things differently, but you never know.

For the first week our task was to manage paper clutter. Not too bad! I first thought, quite smugly, “Oh, good. There’s no paper in my quilting supplies,” and that’s true. But when you consider that the printer for my whole household is in the same room AND that the table I use for scrapbooking and painting is right next to my cutting table, well. Yes. I do have paper. Piles o’ paper.

Meet Ralph
Meet Ralph

I had planned to jump right in to clear up some of that mess yesterday morning, but then Monday struck. My husband texted me shortly after he left for work telling me that one of my cats was IN his car and jumped out when he was halfway there. He stopped and called but the cat had taken off like a rocket into a brushy lot. Not able to be late to work, he texted me so I could go look.

I hopped in the car and drove to the area where the cat had run from, drove in all sorts of weird places, looking, looking, and calling my kitty. To no avail. I came home in the hopes that he will find his way back (he was only about a mile and a half from our house).

Before I get a lecture about checking the cars for cats, please let me tell you this. The cats were in the garage because it was cold. We do check our cars before we start them, just in case there is a kitty hiding, but none of them EVER get in there. And, the car was not moved all day so it was cold. There was absolutely no reason for the cat to have been there, and even less reason for him to have hung on for a mile before jumping out.

I went back again later in the day but looking for him there is kind of a needle in a haystack proposition. I know, in the overall scheme of things, a missing cat is not the hugest problem ever. But I hate to think of him hurt or cold and hungry and wondering why I am not there to care for him. Sigh…

In any event, my plans for the day got sidetracked just a bit. The day pretty much went downhill from there. There were lots of unexpected interruptions, phone calls, and so on. That I got the laundry done, supper cooked, and moved a knit project to the almost-done stage is miraculous.

In the meantime, the second task in the challenge showed up in my inbox: dealing with computer clutter. I am fairly good about keeping files and email cleaned out since I do just about everything on it. It starts to get full and sluggish so I have to stay on top of it.

So, I will give a little time to computer files, but most of this week will be tackling that mountain of paper. I hate thinking of it but am keeping a vision of a cleared out space in my head as motivation. If I could keep going and get rid of all The paper clutter in my house, that would be terrific. Will it happen this week? No. If it were a once-and-done task, that would be great, but every day brings more. It’s kind of like laundry, isn’t it?

I’m still keeping an eye out for my kitty, but i honestly don’t know where else to look. I have hope that he’ll find his way home.

What challenges are you working on this week?