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Posts Tagged ‘spring cleaning’

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Before

My studio gets messy.  Not just a little messy, it turns into a full on tip when I’ve been working on projects back to back.  I’m not by nature a particularly tidy person, and it doesn’t help that I have a tendency to hoard things.  It’s a small studio and when it’s crammed full of what seems like everything bar a kitchen sink it’s really cramped.  It was definitely time for a clear out.  I thought I might as well blog about it because pretty much every photo I see online of other workspaces makes it look as though everyone is super tidy.  This is so not the case!  I think people are also often curious about what someone’s personal space looks like: we are all fairly nosy by nature, and so I hope you enjoy this peek into my personal chaos!

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After

This bench is a natural dumping ground for things, which is daft because when it’s clear enough to sit on I can enjoy a cuppa while looking out towards the garden!  Tidying it did have some unexpected benefits though – look what I found!

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I also braved the Corner of Doom, which hasn’t been touched in three years, and made a cosy little den for my dog.

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He wasn’t terribly impressed and decided he would rather sit out in the garden and sulk.  Ungrateful wretch.

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Before

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After

Probably doesn’t look like a huge improvement, but I had a much needed sort out of the cubby holes and things got put back in their proper places (often not actually in those nooks!).  It was a good chance, too, to take stock and see what little fixings and embellishments I’ve been hoarding.

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This corner took absolutely ages to sort out, but it really was worth it.

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I think this is the most ruthless clear out to date.  I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that I simply don’t have time to make use of every little thing I’ve hoarded over the years.  It breaks my heart to get rid of some things.  No, let’s be honest, it breaks my heart to get rid of anything at all.  I can see the potential in pretty much everything that crosses my path, but I’m trying to be more realistic going forward.  A lot of stuff went out for recycling, some things went straight in the bin, and a box of assorted fabric was put aside for immediate use (more on that in the next few days).

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Before

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After

This area probably shows the least obvious improvement, but those crates were full of things that have now been evicted, and stuff from other parts of the studio have gone in there instead.  The debris on the desk is comprised of things that will be used within the next week – and if they’re still there then I’ll chuck them. Say hello to the new, ruthless, me.  You might be wondering if the inside of the desk is still in a state of chaos.  The answer is yes, as I’ve not worked up to sorting through there yet!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little look into my studio.  It’s not perfect, but then what is?  It was hard work parting with things but I must admit I’m a lot happier for this spring clean, and I’m hoping that I will be less inclined to hoard things in future.

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Getting organised…

I’m not an organised person at heart.  I try and give the appearance of being organised, but anyone who’s known me for more than ten minutes will tell you that I’m perpetually scatty and notoriously absentminded.  Seriously, I have the short term memory of a concussed goldfish.

I am also naturally untidy.  No, really, I am seriously messy.  I’m the sort of person who will start taking off her work clothes as she gets in the door and just drop things where she happens to be standing at the time (my long suffering partner has now accepted that this is unlikely to change and resigned himself to a lifetime of picking clothes up off the floor as he goes).  My desk is a disgrace and is usually littered with everything from scraps of paper to half drunk cups of tea and empty crisp packets.  I’m a slob.

I’ve tried to be tidier, but having a bad memory really doesn’t help.  I’ll think to myself “I’ll take that empty packet to the bin when I get up in a minute” … and then promptly forget, even though it’s been less than five minutes since the original thought.  It’s frustrating, both for me and the people around me.

I make lists of Things To Do and am quite good at sticking to them, but then I get distracted and end up adding even more things to the list and the list eventually morphs from a useful tool to a neverending and somewhat soul destroying blight.

Things have got to change, and I’ve made a start.  On Sunday I tackled the mess that had finally got out of hand (I’ve got to be honest and admit that it’s looked like this since I got back from holiday at the start of May – these photos were actually taken two weeks ago):

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the unholy mess that was my bedroom and living room.  I’m somewhat embarrassed to show you but I’m hoping that shaming myself in public will help encourage me not to slip back into bad habits.

It took me eight hours on Sunday to sort through the mess.  I moved things around (including removing a small set of drawers and replacing them with a filing tray instead), had to rearrange my bedroom somewhat to fit in the vintage trunk I’d bought on impulse that morning, and spent a lot of time peering at scraps of paper bearing mysterious messages and reminders.  I also threw out a lot of crap.

It was exhausting, but at least it’s done and here’s the fruit of my labour:

Desk now very tidy, armchair now cleared (mostly), area under desk transformed into a more useful space with the new filing rack, mantlepiece tidied, base of mantlepiece tidied, floor cleared.

Floor cleared, clothes put away (most of the clothes in the original photo are clean ones that have made it back through the laundry and then just been abandoned because I couldn’t be bothered to put them away), new trunk squeezed in.

The road to organisation doesn’t stop there either.

I got my book journal up to date, I copied a load of important things from scraps of paper into another journal, copied recipes from scraps of paper into a book I’ve been holding onto specifically for that purpose (it’s only taken me TWO YEARS to get round to this…), copied notes about inspiration and other crafty things into another book, made a start on the gardening journal I was given, and caught up on my filing to boot.

So I’ve made a start at least, and I’m determined to continue keeping things (reasonably) tidy.  This includes putting things away immediately after I’ve used them, taking mugs and glasses back to the kitchen after I’ve finished drinking from them, and doing my filing of letters and receipts on a regular basis instead of leaving little piles mounting up for months on end.  I must also remember to use my various journals and notebooks instead of littering my desk with endless scraps of paper.  Will I manage this?  Who knows, but I’ll try and revisit this at the end of the year.

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