Tag Archives: organization

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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T.G.I.F. (Thank Goodness It’s Finished!)…

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The Trellis Jewelry Display Project

A week or so ago, I posted a couple of pictures of a garden trellis I had just finished putting a base coat of paint on in preparation for my latest “crafty” project.  I have wanted to make myself a jewelry display for quite sometime, and just hadn’t gotten around to it until now… And, indeed, I *finally* finished it!  I am so thrilled with how it turned out, and was certainly glad to replace the old cork bulletin board I have been using for I don’t know how long…

This is what I had hanging on my wall before. A boring, drab, and not-so-pretty corkboard:

The Not-So-Pretty Before Picture

This was the ugliest, and most *un-organized* jewelry board. Granted, it did what it was supposed to do, but it wasn't much to look at, if you ask me... (And, see that baby picture along the top? That is a picture of my Grandma! Wasn't she cute!?)

Last year sometime, on one of my many “thrifting” forays, I found this garden trellis at my local Goodwill and bought it for a mere $4.00! (Quite a steal, I know!) I had envisioned what it would be as soon as I saw it, and it was just a matter of having the time to actually get it done. It only took me a year to get around to it, but this is how it looked after the initial coats of paint:

Trellis Jewelry Display - Before

A good couple of base coats of gloss white acrylic spray paint was just what this baby needed to make it shiny and new... 2 coats later, it gleams!

(As a side note, this 40-foot pine tree came down during our last big storm here a couple of weeks ago, so I took full advantage of the “paint prop” before the guys came by and cut it all up.)

I let the paint dry and cure for a few days before proceeding with the rest of my project. At that point, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted to decorate the top bar, so I got out the paint and my Sharpie markers and jumped right in! Here’s what we had after my decorating spree:

Trellis Display - After Decorating

This is what I ended up with after I took the paint and Sharpie markers to it...

And, a close-up view:

Trellis Display Close Up

A close-up view of my pretty painted flowers and butterflies!

The next step was to add my window screen, courtesy of the staple gun and some much-needed brute strength from Troy… (Without him, this would have taken *forever* for me to do! I bet he must have put at least 100 staples in this baby!)…

We started with the underside of the top bar and laid the window screen flush with the back edge and stapled it all the way across in 1/2″ increments so that it would be good and tight all the way across.

Trellis Display - Adding the Screen

It's a little hard to see the window screen, but my kitty, Whiskers, did a good job of acting as a backdrop so you could make it out better... 🙂

We stretched the screen down and around the bottom edge first, cutting out a small section where the bars come out and down at the base. Then we stretched it to either side and around to the back.  (Like I said, easily 100+ staples by the time we were done!)

The next step was to trim off the extra screen, and then add picture wire along the back edge so that it would hang without drooping down. Troy made the wire go across the back  pretty tightly to achieve the look I wanted.  He used 3 cup hooks screwed in at even intervals, and then took the wire and twisted it back on itself at either side, until it was fairly taut. (I forgot to take a picture of that part, but it pretty much looks like a straight line across the back when done.)

We then added quite a few nails along the bottom edge and down the “legs” of the piece to hang my necklaces and bracelets.

And, voila’! Done! All that remained was to hang it on the wall and put my jewelry on it! Here is the finished project before I hung my jewelry…

Trellis Display - After, but before Jewelry

This is my *new and improved* jewelry display for my personal jewelry! I am so tickled with how it turned out!

And, finally, the “After” shot… This looks *so* much better than the old one!

Trellis Display - After Jewelry

This is the "After" I was looking for, by golly! I did end up having to add some extra pins along the bars to hold my multitude of necklaces and bracelets.

I am so happy with this display!! It looks SO much better than what I had to begin with, and now when I look at my jewelry, I can actually find what I am looking for… I also had a lot of fun making it, and am now going to start work on another one for my office/studio. I just MUST have *somewhere* to hang all those earrings and necklaces I make every day! 😉

Till next time…

Peace, Love, Creativity,

~Lisa~

Don’t forget to stop by Fresh String Beads on ArtFire! I’ve added quite a few new earrings and findings, so please come by and check them out!

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

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!