Tag Archives: declutter

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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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

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!

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