Organization to me is like Pandora's box. Once you begin one thing, it causes a 'domino effect' whereas you need to move on to the next (and the next, and the next.) It all starts with a single idea. Then when that idea is implemented and completed, the overflow of that idea continues and grows like a cancer throughout your entire environment.
I don't think that this is all bad. In fact, it is probably a good thing. For once you start to achieve successful organization in one area of your home or life, in comparison the rest of things seem cluttered and in disarray and the mere act of sorting causes a ripple effect felt throughout the whole house. Before you know it you are attacking every room, closet and cabinet with vigor and paring things down. Throwing out. Relocating. Donating. In the end, you wind up with an organizational marvel. You are the envy of all of your family and friends. Some may no longer even associate with you because seeing how amazing you are at making your small space work so well turns them green with envy.
You try not to be smug about it, but it is hard not to brag (just a little!) Because only you and your spouse know of the untold hours of sheer hell of chaos and clutter that you had to pass through to reach your peak. The road to the top was rocky and uncertain. There were battles and conflicts both with each other and within yourself as to classifying and categorizing items. What to keep? What to donate? What to discard? It makes you weary to even think about it. But once the war is over and you emerge the victor, it is difficult not to have an air about you in regards to your plight. One of perhaps smugness mixed with a touch of arrogance. But you are careful not to be too condescending or high and mighty, as you know that it is a slippery slope being at the top and all it would take would be a few weeks of carelessness to slide you right back down into the masses of disorganization.
But for now you savor the sweet taste of victory, as you find yourself going to closets or cabinets and opening them and gazing in for no reason in particular but to admire your handiwork.
Go ahead. You earned it. And you know it may not last forever. So you enjoy it while you can.
. . . Back to reality . . .
For us, it began when Keith wanted to build new speakers and a new amplifier and sound system. While we have (what I consider) a very adequate system, Keith is somewhat the expert at the sound system and electronics in our lives and he felt that one speaker wasn't quite up to par. He had built them several years ago and while they served us well, they have (in his opinion) lived out their usefulness. (Let's face it – he wanted to spend his time improving them. I have my own passion with my painting and embroidery, and this is his passion. I can think of worse hobbies!) Right now we have an area that has all of our key components. This includes both of our networked computers (we have remote monitors at our couch across the room – one on each end for his computer and my own) and a large TV screen where we watch our shows and movies – all through our computers as we don't have cable or traditional 'TV'. It works well for us, but as you can see, the speakers are rather overwhelming.
In building the new ones, Keith said that it is preferred that there is room enough around them for the sound to properly resonate. For this reason, he wants to get rid of the LARGE cabinet that holds not only my computer, but all of our 'office' things as well as some of my painting supplies.
You can see it is rather full:
In order to lose such a huge amount of storage in our small, one bedroom place, we need to relocate what is inside. That is no small task.
On the other side of the apartment, we do have a wall of three closets:
Each has several shelves. In those closets, we keep our equipment, tools and a shop vac to help take care of the small amount of dust we have from scroll sawing. It works surprisingly well for us, but it we feel we could use the space more efficiently.
The first closet (next to the scroll saw) holds the shop vac as well as some of the wood pieces we use in our design work.
As you can see, there is a ton of 'wasted space' with the small shelves. Keith has spent the last week or so making new shelves, as we are going to remove these and use the space much more efficiently.
The second closet holds our oscillating spindle sander as well as dry goods and craft supplies. It is messy, but not horrid. But there is still unused space in the upper shelves that could be utilized better.
The third closet is about the same. Workable but messy. Our goal here is to get a larger, rolling tool box and topper to better organize the tools. This will include removing the middle and bottom shelves and relocating my magazine collection that resides there. The upper shelves are my sewing and embroidery supplies and will be easy to move somewhere else if necessary. We haven't thought it through all the way yet.
He emptied the closet:
And painted the inside. This involved removing an air duct that went from the floor to the ceiling.
It. Has. Begun.
We are starting with a clean slate, and everything should fall into place as wel progress . . . (Right!)
The shelves are built, but need to be fitted in today. I will blog about the progress as it is made. This project or series of projects will take some time – I am thinking weeks or even months to finish. When I mentioned it last week, I received many notes from those of you who are interested in seeing the progress. People love to see how we function so efficiently out of our small place. (Perhaps it is like watching a train wreck!)
In any case, there will be days when I show progress and there may be days when I don't blog at all. I know I like to show what creative things I do every day, but I fear my schedule may be in an upheaval for the next several weeks.
We'll see . . .
I hope you all have a great weekend. It is a long one in the USA and I hope you all enjoy your summer kick-off. I am sure it is very much anticipated.
Have a great Friday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"