I started out the day yesterday in one direction and before noon everything changed and I was doing something totally unexpected. Some days are like that though and it isn’t always a bad thing. Perhaps it was just the thing that I needed to get out of my fog and move ahead.
As you may have read yesterday, I fully intended to begin some of my next drawings. I was trying to get myself psyched up about them and decide which project to begin with first. As soon as Keith got up however, I realized that the day probably wouldn’t go exactly as I had planned.
Keith had spent the past several days at his parents house, going through the basement and reorganizing things down there. Since his dad’s passing in September, many of his beautiful projects had been given away or sold and there was now a great deal more room than previously. Keith took on the task of reorganizing the tools and such as well, and one thing led to another and soon he was overhauling the entire basement.
I needed to do some reorganizing myself, as I have several boxes of my things stored there and over time they have been added haphazardly and unmarked boxes were piled in disarray. It was very good of Keith’s mom and dad to allow me to keep my extra things there, as they could have probably made a pretty good sized bonfire with things if they chose to do so.
Last week when I went to Yarmouth, I purchased several semi-clear plastic containers with the intention of getting things sorted. I wanted to have one box for each season of decorations – one for Winter, Spring and Summer, Autumn, Halloween and Christmas. This would make things much easier to find, as up until now, everything was mixed with everything else and I had a very difficult time putting my finger on my seasonal things.
Add to that, our project prototypes which have piled up over the last several years. While we have given some away and sold others, there was still an alarming amount of them left in box after box and mixed in with the rest of our things.
All in all, it was a MESS!
The ‘Organization Landslide’ as I will call it, began with me bringing the last of my items that were stored in Chicago here to Nova Scotia. After nearly ten years of living here, I FINALLY got through everything while I was visiting Chicago and everything either found a home with someone else, or got tossed. What I had left to bring here consisted of two boxes – one full of books and one filled with some of the last remaining mohair teddy bears that I had kept and designed way back when. For some reason, I really want to keep those few bears. Out of the hundreds that I made, the ones I hung on to were my absolute favorites.
So not only are we doing an overhaul here in our little place, but we also wanted to get to the bottom of things at Keith’s mom’s house. Keith was on a roll with the tool side of things and the workshop half of the basement and I knew that it was my turn to join in and do my part with my own personal stuff. So off we went.
I am happy to say that even though the day was long and hard, we all feel that we made great progress. I severely pared down my things to probably a dozen larger plastic containers where everything is now accessible and labeled clearly so at a moment’s notice I can pull out what I want.
Having a separate container for each season (even if it isn’t full) is really a great system. Now I can pull my ‘autumn’ decorations and take one box home and not have to fish through several unmarked containers to find what I needed. When I am done with autumn, it will be time for Christmas, etc., etc., It will be fast and easy.
Today’s task is to do the final organization right back here at our own little place. It appears that besides ‘collecting’ wood and paint, I have an obsession with my painting magazines and pattern books. I just can’t bear to part with them and I want them where I can use them or read them on a daily basis. I have thought of ways that I can integrate them into our apartment here, and I will be working on doing that today. It will feel great to have a fresh start and see everything in its place.
While it isn’t exactly what I planned for the week, it is very functional and I think in the long run it will help me design better. Perhaps one of the problems I was having with my designer’s block was that there were too many things here that were left undone. I am the type of person who needs things around me organized in order to function properly and efficiently.
Many of you send me messages saying how you admire my organization. I appreciate that a great deal, but I am sharing this with you all today so you realize that being organized doesn’t just happen. It takes TIME and EFFORT and you have to finally say to yourself one day – TODAY is the day I will start!
I know that it may seem like a daunting task – especially if you haven’t done it in a while, but once it is done, you will be amazed at how great it feels.
Keith’s mom said to me yesterday “It is funny how it takes less longer to actually do the work than it has taken to plan doing it” (or something to that effect) and I thought just how RIGHT she was. I had been talking about doing this for months, if not years and there was always something more ‘important’ to do. I must admit that I grumbled a bit yesterday when Keith suggested that I go over with him and get my stuff done, but even though I came home dead tired, I am very thrilled that I spent the time. I am sure Keith’s mom is as well, as she was able to reclaim her space and have a nice, neat basement again.
So for today I want to keep on rolling. It will be a great feeling to have things here done before the winter weather comes. It will hopefully make a good and productive environment for me to accomplish a great deal.
In the mean time, I will be thinking of all the projects in my head and getting a clear direction to move. It will all be good.
I hope you all have a wonderful and productive Thursday.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"