My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #1158: The 'Organization Landslide'

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 11-07-2013 11:27 AM 1369 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1157: The Fog Part 1158 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 1159: Organizing my Library of Books and Magazines »

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 ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

10 comments so far

View Handtooler's profile


1542 posts in 2097 days

#1 posted 11-07-2013 12:48 PM

Sheila, Yes by all means, it feels great to get things organized in a truely orderly fashion; and your using the plastic containers for the seperate seasons is SUPER. In fact, my wife keeps all her fabrics/materials seperated and in such containers, her threads are also organized by colors even to the shades. Therefore, she can get her supplies in less than a minute for any project that arises. Now that that chore is complete to your and Keith’s mother’s satisfaction and keith has the tools in their new places, your mind will be able to put that necessary task behind you; and you are now ready to get back with a clearer mind to your designs and painting. Congratulations on biting the bullet and getting it done even though you had what you thought were more important matters.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2885 days

#2 posted 11-07-2013 01:28 PM

Thanks, Russell! Your wife and I would get along fine! When I did lots of sewing and crafting, I also had all of my fabric, thread and notions sorted by color, type, etc. It was the only way I could keep track of what I had and it helped me put my finger on something instantly. Nothing eats time more than searching for something you “know” you have “somewhere!”

One more day of organizing here and building a small shelf. Then I should be ready to dig in this weekend. It feels great and I feel like I am going to accomplish a great deal.

Thanks as always for your comment. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3051 days

#3 posted 11-07-2013 02:32 PM

Reading your organization blog, and then looking at that cat picture, all I could think of was, either that picture
was photoshoped, or the photographer had either a couple of years to train cats, or a couple of weeks to
try to get that photograph. Some things are so much easier after they are finished.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2885 days

#4 posted 11-07-2013 02:36 PM

I tried to find the picture credits, Gus and again I couldn’t. I would think that they could have been Photoshopped, but you never know . . .

Some people have a way with critters. :)

Have a great day!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Celticscroller's profile


1269 posts in 2038 days

#5 posted 11-07-2013 05:38 PM

I hear you Sheila! I’ve just organized a space for my sewing machines and sewing and painting supplies. I decided to get back to some sewing and painting over the winter when I can’t get out to the workshop. Living in a small place like ours makes organization a necessity! I find it helps clear the mind too.
Enjoy your day. Looking forward to seeing the new designs.
Drizzly dull November day here.

-- Anna, Richmond BC

View MrsN's profile


985 posts in 3491 days

#6 posted 11-07-2013 09:23 PM

I am curious how you decided to organize your magazines and books. I have a book/magazine addiction, I can’t get rid of any of them.

View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2769 days

#7 posted 11-07-2013 10:25 PM

Looks like a Kitty-Kat Derby…...................annnnnnnnnnnnnd, they’re off…

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2885 days

#8 posted 11-07-2013 11:06 PM

Hi, Anna, Katie and Roger. It is nice to come out from under the HUGE pile of magazines and type. It is a rainy day here as well, Anna and a good day to stay inside and ORGANIZE!

I am almost done, and I will take a couple of pictures for tomorrow’s post. It is 7pm now and I still have a way to go. :)

It will feel great when I am finished though, as things are coming together nicely. It is so difficult for me to get rid of my painting and woodworking magazines and books! Making them fit is just a challenge sometimes.

Have a great evening!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View robscastle's profile


4873 posts in 2170 days

#9 posted 11-08-2013 06:02 AM

OMG seven catastrophes in a row

-- Regards Robert

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9222 posts in 2885 days

#10 posted 11-08-2013 10:58 AM

They look like the Kentucky Derby, Robert! (Like Roger said!) :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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