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

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Parting is such sweet sorrow… Clearing it all out!

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It is so hard for me to part with my things! I finally convinced myself that it was time to get rid of all the *excess stuff* in my space, and start purging the clutter from my life, but it seems like I am so attached to most of it that I can’t bring myself to let go!

I started going through drawers yesterday, only to find that I had forgotten about a lot of things I had bought to create with in the first place! If that’s not a sign that it’s time to pare down, I don’t know what is, quite frankly…

I chose to start working on the drawers closest to my desk, since I need that space to keep my most-used items close at hand.  I managed to clean out and re-organize 5 (yep, count ’em, 5!) whole drawers!!! They look great, and I am proud of myself for dedicating the time to get it done. But then, after I finished, I realized something… Only one of the drawers actually contain my “most-used” items! Grrrr!!! Well, I guess I could count the second drawer, because it does have empty jewelry and divider boxes in it that I do need and use on occasion. But they are all empty boxes right now, and could, therefore, be put elsewhere. The other drawers contain items that I rarely use, such as adhesives, and embossing and pigment powders. I don’t do nearly as much scrapbooking and rubber stamping as I used to, so I really don’t need to keep those items right next to me. But, I did manage to get rid of a few extraneous things that were just taking up space and didn’t really serve a purpose anymore, so I suppose there’s some measure of success in that, right? (Hey, I’m ready to grasp at straws here, bear with me!) 🙂

Being a “creative person”, you’d think that I could come up with creative ways to store and organize my things. Unfortunately, my brain doesn’t seem to work that way at the moment, and I’m working on that problem, a little at a time.

I promised you some “after” pictures, so I’m going to share what I did get accomplished, and then work on rearranging a bit more, to reclaim the space I need for creating jewelry. I’ll share what I come up with on that tomorrow…

Here’s what I’ve gotten done so far:

Drawer 1 Before:

This drawer contained a huge pile of empty plastic bags, my Dymo Labeler, and odd bits of wire and chain. Not very organized at all!

Drawer 1 After:

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I made dividers from my scrapbooking cardstock to organize my small, but usable, pieces of wire into their proper gauges, so they'll be easy to find at a glance.

Sorry, I missed the Before shot on this one, but this is Drawer 2 After:

This is now empty jewelry boxes, and divider boxes that I use occasionally. Before, it was just crammed *full* of junk!

Drawer 3, Before:

This became the "just put it somewhere out of sight" drawer. A huge mess of embossing and pigment powders, my business cards, and boxes of screws, nails, and other hardware.

Drawer 3, After:

Now, this is just home to the embossing and pigment powders, glitter, and my business cards. I'll end up moving these things elsewhere, because I simply have no need to have them "right at hand".

Drawers 4 and 5, Before:

These two drawers held all manner of adhesives, glue sticks, light bulbs, and other stuff that I just don't use all that much anymore. All of this will end up being relocated.

Drawers 4 and 5, After:

Looks much neater, and I got rid of stuff that belonged elsewhere (i.e. the lightbulbs!) But again, the things in these two drawers will be moved elsewhere to free up the space for things I use most often.

Okay, so I’m off to see what else I can get done this weekend, while I have some free time! Wish me luck, and I’ll have more “after photos” for you next time!

Peace, Love, Creativity,

Lisa

…and don’t forget to come visit us at 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