With all the new storage boxes that we acquired the other day shopping, it was inevitable that what would follow would be an organizational session. Many people comment on how we are able to keep so organized running a business from our small place. Even Ellen (who is notorious for being neat) said something to me when we stopped there on our way home. She had said that her and Cindy (her daughter) were talking about us the other day and were both amazed that we are able to keep things so clean and neat while doing (of all things) woodworking in our home.
As our neighbor Lee was helping us unload our stuff from the car, he also made a comment as to how it always seemed to him that we are bringing stuff in here, yet it never looks cluttered. I told him that when we do finally choose to move from here, it will in all probability be like a clown car at a circus, where we will be bringing box after box after box of things out. We probably will have enough to fill up three full sized moving vans.
But in all seriousness, the key to keeping things in order and organized is keeping a check on what you really need to hang on to and letting go of what you don’t. What people don’t see is the large amount of things that we do discard of when we don’t need them (or give them away to people who will use them). Fortunately, we live in a place where there are three families in residence. Little do our neighbors know that our landlord is here very little, so her garbage is minimal and that Lee takes most of his garbage to the dock where he works to dispose of. On those garbage days when the curb is full, it is a pretty safe bet to say that about 90% of what is out there is ours.
I knew that a huge cleaning session was in store for me yesterday. Keith went to Bernie’s early and by the time he arrived there Bernie had already cut about half of the wood into the 10” x 10” squares we needed for scroll sawing. Much to my surprise, he was home before lunch, and he decided to begin using his new storage boxes and reorganizing all of the tools, fasteners and related things that we have here. This included cleaning out closets and cabinets and filling up those little trays and getting rid of things that we don’t need or use.
I knew that I wouldn’t be exempt from this project. If I didn’t participate with him, there were chances that some of the stuff that I needed would be moved or discarded. While Keith isn’t what I would call ‘callous’ about throwing stuff out, he is far more eager to do so than I am, and if I didn’t keep a careful watch, I would find myself in the future looking for an item that was long gone.
With most men, they say that the way to their heart is by cooking. With Keith, I have discovered that the way to make him really happy is by using four little words – “Let’s throw this out.”
Keith is always in a good mood when cleaning. As I watched him sort screws, parts and pieces, he looked bright and chipper and happy. It is kind of fun to watch. All that new storage space and the chance to consolidate everything into neat little packages or containers! The sun was shining and his world was filled with joy!
Now, I tease, but I truly am happy that he is like that. It is much better to live in a clean environment than one that is full of clutter. I have never been a hoarder, but I have from time to time hung onto some things that in all probability I would never use. Having Keith around has made me more aware of what I am keeping and what I need to let go of and I do think that the overall results is great.
I must admit that I do get somewhat annoyed sometimes when his zest for cleaning creeps too far into my territory. After all, we both have things we feel are important to us and sometimes we don’t understand why something that seems so mundane to one person is so important to the other. Over the years though, we have come to know better and are gentle and respectful when approaching the other with the possibility of discarding something that belongs to the other. It is a fine tightrope we walk with each other though and there are still time when one or the other of us will teeter and nearly fall into the abyss of being labeled as insensitive to the other. Usually though, we have learned the dance enough to know how to approach the other when requesting removal of a particular item and we are able to make our feelings known without upsetting the other. It is all part of the process.
By late afternoon, several of the containers were filled up. As expected, several were also left empty, leaving room for future acquisitions and supplies without having to repeat the entire process. In the end, we were able to move some stuff out, put some things into storage and give some things away. It was a good day.
I have a few pictures of where we decided to put the storage book boxes. The first couple went under Keith’s computer monitor.
Prior to this, he had some loose papers setting there, as well as the remote from his TV and an extra mouse he used for games. While it wasn’t really an eyesore, it looks much neater with the book boxes there instead.
Another place where we put several of them was in the corner of the kitchen counter:
This was a real improvement, as it seemed to be our favorite place for our ‘work in progress’ projects and the ones that we were waiting to ship to the magazine or photograph ourselves for the patterns. It had become a constant small pile of clutter and besides collecting dust, it just looked messy. Now we are able to store these little loose items inside the book boxes and we are also able to keep them clean and orderly. We feel it is a good improvement.
The final picture today is of the suitcase box that we acquired. We decided to put it on the top of the large cabinet we built last year:
It is a good use of empty space and I think it will be a great place to keep some packaging supplies that I will be using for my kits. I recently purchased several hundred ziploc bags to package the pattern kits in and that would be the perfect place to store them. They will be handy, but out of the way and won’t take up valuable real estate in the closet where we would prefer to keep things that we use less.
All in all it was a good day. I caught up on my email too and I worked on doing some changes on my article and also on the pattern packets. It feels great to have all the new things settled into the place, and now there are several EMPTY shelves in our closets that we can put things in the future. I will take more photographs as we finish things up.
So it is time to get to work for me. I had written this blog once and was about half way through and somehow it got lost in cyberspace. You may get two posts if you are subscribing and I apologize for that. It was quite irritating to lose it, but Keith looked in his email and had not received it so hopefully it will not double post. I suppose that is expected sometimes with so many people here on Lumberjocks. In any case, it put me a bit behind and I had to try to remember what I wrote and do it over.
Have a great day today. It is Friday already and another beautiful day here in Canada. I hope it is good in your part of the world, too.
Have fun and do something creative!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"