Category Archives: organizing ideas

Purging… How to be ruthless with yourself and “just do it”!

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I’ve been absent for a couple of months, and for that, I apologize. I’ve joined the ranks of being “employed outside the home” again, and have been working some really crazy hours! So, on that note, I will try to post as often as possible, but working 10 hour days at least 5 days a week is going to take some getting used to, and I will do the best I can…

Since I started working full-time again, I decided it was a good idea to re-vamp my closet and my wardrobe. I have a lot of clothes that I either haven’t worn in a while, have gone out of style, or simply don’t fit anymore. Most of these items are, or were, some of my favorites for a long time, so parting with them was definitely bittersweet! (I’m one of those people who goes for “the comfort zone” in my attire… I would much rather be comfortable than fashionable when I’m at home. But please don’t tell my Aunt Amy, the ultimate fashionista, that! 🙂 )

Purging is one of the hardest things for me to do, quite honestly. I am very likely to tell myself “I’ll wear it again someday”… Knowing full well that I probably won’t wear it again any time soon, and before I know it, another year has come and gone and it’s still hanging in my closet, unworn and unused. So, I told myself that, *THIS TIME*, I was going to get rid of everything that I haven’t worn for at least a year. (And, then of course, I had a very hard time sticking to it and just doing it!)

I started by taking out everything I *knew* I wouldn’t wear again, and let myself *keep* (for the first run-through) those things that I just couldn’t bear to part with right away. I then walked away and worked on another project for a little while before going back to my closet for the second go-around. On the next run-through, I *made myself* get rid of at least 5 things that I haven’t worn that are still in great shape and could be donated to someone who will love them as much as I do. And lastly (is that even a word?), I turned the hangers of everything else I haven’t worn in a year, (but just can’t get let go of yet), backwards on the hanging rod and gave myself a “60 day” reprieve. If I haven’t worn them by the first of July, I will go through them again and make myself get rid of at least half of those that are still facing backwards.

I’m sure this seems ridiculous to some of you, but I come from a family filled with pack-rats, and I am trying my best to break the cycle. (I still have clothes that my Grandmother made for me as a little girl that I will never give away!) I am taking it one step at a time, and *trying* to be ruthless with myself, and telling myself that I need the space more than I need the clothes that are taking up the space! But, when I finished my purge session, I had enough room in my closet to hang a vertical organizer that will hold all of my sweaters and a few favorite purses! I feel pretty darn good about that! 🙂

And, on that note: I recently found a great website that has *loads* of awesome organizing tips, and a list of “10 Questions to Ask Yourself When De-cluttering”… It’s called Life Your Way, and the following list is courtesy of their website… Go check them out! They can be found at http://www.life.yourway.net… Loads of great information, free organizing downloads, and calendars to help you plan the important things that need to get done!

The 10 questions according to their website, are as follows:

1) Is this item something I use regularly?

2) If not, is it something that I love?

3) Am I keeping this out of obligation?

4) Do I think I should love it?

5) Am I saving it just in case?

6) Do I have multiples of the same thing?

7) Could something else I have do the same job?

8) Am I holding on to it to fix one day?

9) Is it worth the time I spend cleaning it?

*10) Could I use the space for something else?*

I took the liberty of putting asterisks around #10, because I personally feel that this is *the* most important question to ask yourself. Let’s be really honest here… if you *aren’t using it*, *haven’t used it*, and *probably won’t use it* any time soon, then it’s just taking up space and needs to be purged. (Unless, of course, the item is like my “Granny-made” clothes (see #2), and you won’t part with them for any reason!)

Now… Go forth, and purge ruthlessly! See how much better you feel when you’re done and have all that extra space!

‘Til next time!

Peace, Love, and Creativity,

~Lisa~

Fresh String Beads on Artfire

***I originally wrote this blog post more than 4 weeks ago, and because of my crazy work schedule, I forgot to post it! Hence, the time lapse…***

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Speaking of Pinterest, and Organizing…

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Image via Wikipedia

If you’ve been on Pinterest already, you know what an amazing site it is for finding inspiration of any sort! Doesn’t matter what you’re into these days, you’ll find *something* on there that strikes your fancy… I was on just a little while ago, and found all kinds of great organizing ideas, and loads of free “printables” to make storage labels, gift tags, cards, and so much more! I am constantly in awe of the fabulous things I find there! (which, of course, is why it is so darned *addictive*!)…

Anyhoo, if you, like me, are trying to get more organized and want some GREAT ideas on how to store things, how to decide what to purge, keep, donate, etc. then you simply *must* check it out!

I have saved some great ideas myself, and you are welcome to check out my boards and “repin” whatever you like! You can find my boards here: http://pinterest.com/lisag966/… (Click this link to see all of my boards!)

I have a lot of different boards, but the ones you may be most interested in are labeled “Decorating and Organization”, and “Freebies and Printables”. (Click on any of these links to be taken to those boards.) If you need an invitation to join Pinterest, feel free to comment below, or send me a personal e-mail and I’ll be happy to send one along for you!

Happy Organizing!

Peace, Love, Creativity,

~Lisa~

Fresh String Beads on ArtFire

Contact me by Email

Just a little on the crafty side…

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This week’s post doesn’t have a lot to do with organizing my space, per se, but I suppose on some level it does count, since I’ll be using this project to organize *my* jewelry. As you would expect, (me being a jewelry artist and all!), I have a small truckload of jewelry of my own that needs a permanent landing zone. So, here is my project for the week…

I am, by nature, a crafty girl. My friends and family will tell you that I am the *Queen of Crafty*! All my life, I have been, in one way or another, creating something, at any given moment… The past week, I’ve been working on at least 3 different projects, or maybe even 4! I am *always* creating new jewelry, and since one of my favorite girlfriends was heading into town for the week from Texas, I was also busy creating a new pair of earrings for her in the midst of everything else I had going on! 🙂 A while back, I made a “shabby-chic” jewelry display/storage for one of my nearest and dearest friends, and I loved it so much that I set out to create one for myself as well. I found a great trellis-type piece recently at my local Goodwill that I have determined is PERFECT for me, since I love nature and flowers so much, (and am so often inspired by God’s lovely gifts to us)… So, the other day when it was so nice outside, I decided to start on it, and get the first steps done. Here is a photo of the piece I made for my best buddy, that is the inspiration for the newest one that I’m working on:

Tina's Birthday Present

This is the piece that I created for my best friend, Tina, for her birthday last year. It is the inspiration for the piece I am in the process of creating now.

And, another shot:

Tina's Birthday Present - Take 2

Another shot of Tina's jewelry display... Strands of hemp for the hanger at the top, and cup hooks along the bottom for holding necklaces and bracelets, etc.

And, here is a picture of the piece I am working on now… It will be very similar to the one above, with a slight variation or two… So far, I have only done the base coat of paint. I plan on adding some painted vines and flowers along the top, and using small nails and cup hooks for hanging my own necklaces, bracelets, and such, along the sides and bottom. I will also add window screen across the front for hanging earrings.

Trellis Jewelry Display - Before

We lost this tree during the storm last week, so I took advantage of the "painting prop" before it got cut up.

I will post the “after” pictures as soon as I am done, so stay tuned for the finished project pics, and the “how-to”!

Peace, Love, and Creativity, as always! 🙂

~Lisa~

Fresh String Beads on ArtFire

Moving things around… Re-organizing my stuff!

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So, you know, last week I was cleaning out the drawers next to my desk, right? And I realized, after the fact, that I had only cleaned out the drawer and put most of the same stuff back into it, rather than use the drawer for my “most-used” items and tools, as I had initially planned… Well, this week, I actually got around to rearranging a few things and better utilizing and organizing those drawers! Here’s where I started, and , where I ended up…

After my initial clean-up, but before the re-claiming:

This had been home to my embossing and pigment powders, glitter, and business cards. I moved these things elsewhere, because I simply had no need to have them "right at hand".

After I re-claimed the drawer:

This drawer now holds all my various types of chain, and loads of extra coils of wire in plastic zip bags. (It still needs a "going-through" to get rid of some things and be better organized!

Doesn’t look too bad, though, huh? Well, like I said… it’s a start!

I also started working on organizing my beads better so that I can find what I want, when I want it. Tall order for me, to say the least! I have, quite literally, *thousands* of beads. So, organizing them is definitely a priority… I pulled a giant, antique printer’s drawer I bought years ago, out from under my bed (where the dust bunnies had made quite a nest!) and started cleaning it out and going through the beads I had accumulated from several years past. I even found a couple of strands of expensive beads that I had completely forgotten about buying! (As I’ve cleaned, I’ve also been planning about 6 projects in my head out of those fabulous re-found beads!!)

I’m not going to post a before picture of the printer’s drawer, just out of sheer embarrassment of the dust that had collected there! But here is what it looks like now, and I plan to add a lot more beads to it over the next week or so as I re-organize my collection… Now, I just gotta figure out where to store this monster that *isn’t* under the bed!! 🙂

Printer's Drawer for Bead Storage

I found this antique printer's drawer at a flea market several years ago. It has been under my bed for ages, and is now going to be home to a multitude of various beads! Minus the dust, of course!

And another, closer, shot:

Printer's Drawer

It still needs some more organizing before I'm finished with it, but it's a good start!

Okay, time to go at it again… ‘Til next time!

Toodles…

~Lisa~

Did I mention that I have BEADS??? Lots, and lots, and LOTS, of beads… ~Part 1~

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I apologize for not getting another blog post up until today… I took Valentine’s Day off to spend with my family, expecting to get back on the cleaning bandwagon on Wednesday. Then real life interrupted, as it so often does, and I am just now getting back to it today.

So, here we are… It’s Friday, and I’m ready to go at it again! Let’s get on with it, shall we?

Okay, so I absolutely *love* www.bhg.com! They are, without a doubt, one of the best resources for organizing tips… as well as the inspiration and motivation to get yourself there! I love looking at the spaces they show on the site (and, I am always asking myself, “how *do* they do it?”)! I long to be THAT organized, and am keeping my fingers crossed that I will eventually get there.

That being said, I’ve been poring over the pictures for storage ideas and inspirations, as well as talking to one of my followers who is in the organizing business, about bead storage… I have so many beads, I’m not quite sure what my best method of organization will be for them. Presently, they are in boxes, bags, muffin tins, old printer’s drawers, shoe boxes, etc. But, I honestly don’t know what all I have. As I’ve gone through things trying to purge, organize, and clean, I keep coming across bead strands and bags of beads that I had forgotten all about! How sad is that??!

I have tried a couple of different methods for keeping particular types of beads together, so that I can easily look through them and decide which ones I want to use for a project. For example, my briolette beads, are in bags that I’ve hole-punched in the corner, and I keep them on a binder ring so that I can flip through them. This method works fairly well, but the problem I have now, is that I’ve got so many bags that I am up to two binder rings that I’ve married together, just for the briolettes.  Not to mention, that all of my binder-ringed bags have overflowed into a cardboard box that is *not* attractive at all, much less organized, in any fashion. Let me show you what I mean…

These bags hold my briolette beads, and have been hole-punched to keep them all together. I used to hang them from nails on my shelves until they became so numerous and heavy that I couldn't hang them anymore!

This box became the place to put them all, and as you can see, it's not very pretty, or very organized, for that matter.

I guess I’ve got my work cut out for me. So, the plan of attack for today, is to take stock of what I have and try to come up with a system that works better. I’d like to be able to see what I have, and not have them lost in the confusion that is my studio at the moment! In perusing ideas, and trying to be creative about it, I thought about using a peg board but I have no place to hang it, no free space on the wall. (As I said before, my studio is only about 10 x 15, so space is pretty limited, and *wall space* is at an all-time premium)! Other thoughts and suggestions were storage bins with little drawers (like the yellow one in the photos on my first post), and see-through shoe boxes. I also saved and re-purposed some large restaurant-size cherry jars, but those jars of beads just seem to sit on my shelves taking up space and I don’t actually use them or even think about them. I’d probably use them more if they were right in front of me, or at least within eye-view.  Any suggestions you might have are welcome. I’d love to hear how you are organizing YOUR craft space! Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!

‘Til next time, and more “after” pictures…

Peace, Love, and Creativity,

~Lisa~

Fresh String Beads on ArtFire

Where to start???

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So, since deciding to blog about my “quest” to get organized, I’ve been asking myself, “Where do I start?” Well, the answer my brain gave me is, “Anywhere…”

After thinking about that answer, I decided my brain is right… Anywhere IS a good place to start! I’ve read many an article, and a small ton of books about getting organized, and the best plan is to start with any space that needs organizing. A drawer, a shelf, a cubby, any place that needs to be cleaned and purged, and needs a fresh, well put-together look.

Now, I am *terrible* about keeping a clean work surface, and putting things away after I use them in my studio. Which is why I can NEVER find anything when I’m looking for it! I have, for years, lived by the “disorganized organization” rule, which is simply having a pretty good idea of which pile my needed item was put in last. (Don’t mess with my piles, and I can usually lay hands on something fairly quick. But, I never take into account that sometimes I need something as I’m running out the door, and then, I can never find it “on the fly”…)

I’m going to post some rather embarrassing pictures of what my space looks like, at this very moment. I have a LOT of problem areas going on, but I do have a few areas that don’t look so bad…  Even so, I believe I can do better. My space is pretty small, just 10 x 15, so I *need* to be as organized as possible! So, here goes! (Click on any picture to get a larger view… if you dare!)

My chaotic desk and work space:

This is what I see when I sit down to work at my desk. As you can see, it isn't pretty by any means! Just one of my many problem areas...

I do try to keep most things within reach. My shelf unit doesn't look *too* bad, but again, I think I can do better.

One more not-so-pretty view:

Notice my K-Cup brewer I got for Christmas? I can't live without my Green Mountain Coffee, so don't even ask! (You should try the Mocha Java! Totally YUM!)

Here’s a space that definitely needs help:

At first glance, this space seems fairly organized, right? Well, sort of...

Well, check out THIS view!

This is directly below the shelf unit... my "piles" of "what do I do with it?" stuff!

Now, I do have a couple of areas that look pretty good, considering all the clutter that lies around them. So, to prove to you that I’m not entirely hopeless, I’m going to show you the prettier side of my studio (meaning I don’t use this stuff too often, and it stays neater than the rest!)…

Most of these things are extraneous, and seldom get used. You'd think I could figure out a way to incorporate these into my overall scheme of getting organized, and I will!

And, one more “cleaner side” shot:

I'm still in the process of trying to get my smaller pieces and parts into the jars I've collected and repurposed.

Had enough yet? I have!!! But, unfortunately, I’m not done yet! ARRRGGGHHH!!!!

Under my desk, is *this* mess:

Can you see anywhere to put my feet without kicking anything? Nope... (My boyfriend, the genius, figured out a way to hang my speakers from the desk without screwing them into my wall or desk! YAY! We're still working on the main speaker box, though...)

This space looks pretty good at first glance, but the truth of the matter is, behind all the “front junk”, is 40+ years worth of stuff that belongs to my mother and her mother; my grandmother who passed away in 1991. (I’m still trying to convince Mom that we have no need to *keep it all*!) My clothes closet is just to the left of this, and THAT is another post entirely, so we’re not going there today…

Looks good, at a glance, except that I’ve only got about the first 6″ of shelf space here (on a 24″ deep built-in). I managed to rearrange well enough to claim the entire underneath for my rolling file, and a few other “need to keeps”.

Okay, last but not least, here is a sign one of my friends gave me several years ago that puts it all into perspective for you…

"Please don't clean up my mess, you'll confuse me and screw up my world"... Yep, that sums it up nicely... Thanks, Beth! You know me a little too well!!! 🙂

Now that I’ve embarrassed myself sufficiently with these “before” photos… I’m off to make a difference, one small step at a time! ‘Til next time, and some much-needed “after” shots… (Heck, I may need some “shots”  of the alcoholic variety, after this!)

Peace, Love, and Creativity,

Lisa~

Fresh String Beads on Artfire

2012… My year of living dangerously… organized!

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I am (almost) completely new to the blogosphere… but, I decided that one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2012 was to get uber-organized, de-clutter and purge old stuff that I no longer need from my life, and to write about my journey along the way.

I am, by nature, a procrastinator; and by birth, a packrat and clutterbug (though I claim no fault for the genes I’ve been given!)…  I am also an artist and jewelry designer, specializing in one-of-a-kind and unique jewelry, as well as handmade jewelry findings that I make and sell to other jewelry artists around the world.

My goal this year, is to finally get organized to the degree that I can live with myself (and my stuff!) and not be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things I’ve managed to collect in my 45 years on the planet.  I have a mere dump truck-load of beads and beading supplies, which tend to get lost in all the chaos that I call my office and workspace.  I am also a shoe and purse diva, sporting a huge collection of barely used goods that tend to get more dust than use. (I know… sad, isn’t it? But hey, if you’re looking for a great deal on some really cute purses and shoes, please give me a holler! I’ll let ’em go cheap, since after all the plan is to organize, de-clutter and purge…) And then, on top of all that? I also love to papercraft and scrapbook, rubber stamp, paint, do needlework, photography, drawing, etc.  If it’s crafty or even remotely creative, I’m ALLLLL over it! I think it’s safe to say that I’ve never met a craft I  haven’t liked… yet, anyway! You get the idea, don’t you??? All of this *stuff*, has taken over my sanity, and I’m trying to gather up the courage (and the willpower!) to do something about it.

I hope you’ll enjoy taking this year-long journey with me, and maybe I can inspire you to get rid of a few clutter-y things too! First order of business: a challenge to get rid of at least 5 things a day that I no longer use, or need, for that matter.  I’ll be posting before and after photos too, so you can see my progress. Oh, and any ideas you might have to share about how YOU stay organized, are *always* welcome. I can definitely use all the inspiration I can get!

You can send any ideas, questions, comments, or e-mails to dangerouslyorganized@yahoo.com, and if you feel like checking out my handmade jewelry creations and findings, you can visit my website at Fresh String Beads on Artfire.

Thanks for visiting, I look forward to hearing from all of you!

Lisa