Friday, June 23, 2017

The Organizing Journey Day 4

Day 4 – Cleaning is Not Organizing

Finished my weed-eating and other outdoor chores so trying to finish my 24 ounces of water then I’ll do the dishes.

I was able to clear away most of the “stuff” in the kitchen.  I wouldn’t say the kitchen is ORGANIZED yet, but at least it’s visually clutter free. 

So here are before and after photos. 

Before is when I was working like crazy then travelling (so two weeks’ worth of mail and Amazon deliveries) then had a daughter leave a bunch of stuff along with my accumulation of stuff (don’t judge me… ha ha ha!). 

After is merely after picking stuff up and either throwing it away, relocating it out of the kitchen area, or putting it away properly in the kitchen (as well as doing dishes and taking out the recycling).


I look forward to actually organizing, but in the meantime it’s nice to have two rooms that are at least clean.

You may be wondering why someone who says they are SOOOO short on time bothers with blogging about things.  Good question.  For me, it’s a way of staying on track.  A sort of accountability factor.  For all I know, no one is reading my blog…. Or hundreds are reading my blog.  I don’t know.  But I feel like so long as I pretend someone is reading it, I feel obligated to actually follow through with my project.  And blogging is the record-keeping for that follow-through.

So tomorrow, the living room (in my spare time... now that my metals have arrived for a big custom order, that takes priority).

To see the beginning of this journey, click here.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Organizing Journey Day 3

Day 3 – Wow, that was embarrassing!

The day started at 5am… weed-eating, mowing, then taking the car in for an oil change.  At 10am I was really hungry so made breakfast, sat down, took one bite and… hear a knock at the door.

For the first time in my life, I’d forgotten I’d made arrangements to teach that day (to be fair to my poor old brain, I’d made the arrangements a month ago and a bunch of really stressful things happened in between).  My embarrassment was from head to toe.  I took her into the studio (which was a disaster, but it is what it is) and asked for three minutes… at which point I shoveled another bite of food into my mouth, made sure the bathroom was semi-decent, then got back into the studio and cleared a spot for her to work.

It ended up okay.  She made an absolutely gorgeous bracelet.  I love love love seeing what my students make.  They amaze me 100%.

Why am I not talking about organizing?  I had a moment today when I said to myself, “You need to not post this every day.  You are NOT cleaning/organizing anything.  You are constantly distracted.  Why don’t you just do blog posts only when you actually have something related to organizing to talk about?” 

Then the other side of me (internal dialogues are a way of life for me) said, “You know why?  Because this is reality.  This is what it’s like to try to organize a house.  I’m constantly distracted.  I can’t wait for the perfect moment.  There will never BE a perfect moment.  There’s no month or week or even day when I am 100% free to do as I please so get used to that and deal with it.”

I can’t be alone.  Don’t we all try to do things with the best of intentions and constantly find those intentions on the back-burner?

As a perfectionist (this is NOT a compliment), I know how easy it is to fall into the trap of not doing something unless/until it can be perfect.  Guess what?  That’s the easiest way to not get anything done… ever.  So I’m sticking this out.  Luckily my readers don’t have to.  Ha!  They can skip my blog posts any time they want, but I want to write this daily to prove to myself that I can do what I can when I can and still have forward momentum, and the not giving up means some day I will achieve the end result.

Anyway, four hours later, I went back and finished breakfast, and now I’m back to cleaning/organizing.  Switching rooms, though.  The detailed organization of the studio will have to wait because my kitchen and living room area are pure chaos.  I’m not going to beat myself up about this. 

From mid-May until the first week in June I was working non-stop on the largest custom order I’ve ever had.  As soon as that was done and delivered, I got a custom request I couldn’t turn down (family).  I struggled with that in the two days before I was due to leave the country.  Ugh!  What stress.  It didn’t work, I got an extension, went to Mexico for 9 days, came back, dealt with car problems, then drove to Los Angeles for my son’s wedding…

My new daughter-in-law’s graduation from UCLA with a Masters in Teaching…

My son’s graduation from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics…

And my son’s birthday…

Drove back from Los Angeles, took my daughter to the airport (after she left a bunch of stuff in my house so she can drive her car across country after graduating from Brown)…

… and was planning on starting my organization/cleaning thing.

So things and people came and went for the past month with me not having a single free second to keep up with any of it.  That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

Reminds me of a funny passage I read yesterday in Christopher Moore’s wonderful book “Lamb”.  One of the characters is being trained by a Buddhist monk to “be in the moment, completely aware of the now, no past, no future, nothing dividing us from everything that is.”

The character replies, “It’s hard for me… to stay in the moment.  Without the past, where is the guilt?  And without the future, where is the dread? And without the guilt and dread, who am I?”

These could be my words.  Sad, but true.

Any of my readers can relate to any of this?  Being overwhelmed with "things to do"?  Constantly being distracted when trying to accomplish something?  Feeling like it has to be perfect or you don't want to do it?  I'd love to hear from you.  Leave me a comment.  

Anyway, I’m actually signing off now and will show you tomorrow (hopefully) photos of my progress in the kitchen.  

To see the beginning of this journey, click here

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Organizing Journey Day 2

Day 2 – Distractions Take Two

At 10pm last night when I got back from the airport, I did peruse a couple of online “container” stores.  Sweet!  Got some great ideas and totally excited to start getting containers, but I know realistically that I shouldn’t get them too early.  It’s better if I plan out my space AND measure things.

Because it’s triple digit weather here and I’ve been away from home for almost three weeks, I have no choice but to get up at 5am to do the orchard work. (Side note: I NEED to get shoes with cleats before I kill myself while mowing the hill).  Then I took Mom out shopping.  It’s 10am now and I still need to have breakfast so I guess my “work day” will start around 10:30.  I’m excited to get a big chunk of “organizing/purging” done today.

And while making breakfast I get a phone call.  A large custom order.  Yay!  I know, total distraction, but the money-making kind of distraction is a lot easier to swallow.  I spend the next hour online ordering the necessary supplies.  Then I eat my breakfast.

The second I take my plate to the kitchen I get an email from my daughter who finds herself in need of birth certificate, social security card, and high school diploma.  Oh boy.  Switch gears.  If I’d already been organized as I wanted, this would take me two minutes.

Whoohoo!  I’m impressed with myself.  Having the fundamentals of organization already set into place, I was able to find all three items in less than 30 minutes. 

That means I get to go into my studio and continue organizing.  Yay!

That didn’t really happen.  I ended up deciding I couldn’t go on without containers.  Ha ha ha!  But seriously… I know I’m supposed to wait and see what the finished product looks like before I set up my container system, but that doesn’t work for me.  I need containers in ORDER to sort.  

So I went to Dollar Tree…

Knowing I have to get up at 5am, I’m going to bed early.  I’m armed and ready to get some organizing done.

To see the beginning of this journey, click here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Organizing Journey Day 1

Day 1 – Distractions Happen

Within the first two minutes, I was greeted with one of my greatest nemeses… distraction.  Well, “distraction” isn’t the exact word I want.  Distraction implies that I got waylaid doing something unrelated to my task.  My version of distraction is more like, “Oh, I can’t do THIS until I do THAT.”  Then, “Shoot, before I can do THAT, I have to figure out THIS.”  Etc.

So I decided to start in my workshop studio because I teach and have students who are waiting for classes.  I’d like to have the place set up so that the things I use the most are in convenient places (for finding as well as for putting away when done) and I’d like to open the space up a bit (which means store seldom used things elsewhere).

I brilliantly remembered I want “before and after” photos.  So I took a few shots going around the room.  Then I thought how much better it would be if I could get MORE of the room in each shot.  I don’t think I have wide-angle option, but I know I have panorama capability (used it for the first time last week).  And as I’m looking at my camera (on my phone) I have no clue how to change any of the settings.  Well, there IS a “settings” button but doesn’t give me what I want.  I want the thing that changes from macro to landscape to portrait, etc.

So here I am at my computer, ready to Google this question.  I guess technically maybe this IS a distraction because do I really need a panorama photo of my studio?  Probably not.  And then there’s THIS distraction… writing about my organizing journey.  But I really want to share my progress and eventual success.  ALL MY DISTRACTIONS SEEM SO IMPORTANT!!!

Well, I don’t have wide-angle, and panorama didn’t work so we’ll just have to deal with stills.

In my usual fashion, I’m going as a clock.  I pick one spot in the room and that’s 12:00 o’clock, then I work my way clockwise around the rest of the room (not all in the same day… although that would be amazing). 

I select the area just to the right of the door.  Here’s what it looks like.

And just like that two hours have passed.  I sent two photos from my phone to my computer (so I could show you), and before they arrived I realized today was Monday and I had to process SRAJD applications.  So now, two hours have passed.  I did my SRAJD work, got my photos from my phone, and here is the section I will begin with…

Oh wait… more distractions.

A friend came over (she’s awesome so always a nice surprise and she didn’t even stay very long at all), but then I called Roseville Toyota to check on my car (I’d had it towed there this morning for check engine lights and probably a dead battery).  They said they’d call me back.  No call back.  This went on for three rounds until someone finally called me back and said they can’t find my car.

So after some time on the phone with the towing company I find out they towed it to a completely different city (USAA’s roadside assistance company gave the towing company a completely different address from where I told them to tow it).  At this point I’m fed up with the towing company and with Toyota so I decide to call an independent mechanic that was referred to me.

It’s almost 4pm now, I just finished eating a small bowl of salad (all I’ve had all day) because I WAS going to have a smoothie but the gasket in my NutriBullet blade assembly broke and NutriBullet won’t sell just a replacement gasket (they want you to buy the whole blade assembly instead) so I had to deal with finding that out and trying to locate an aftermarket gasket with the least amount of “this didn’t fit!” reviews.

Where was I?  Oh yeah, so it’s 4pm… I’ve been on the phone almost all day dealing with time-wasting things.  I asked Auburn Toyota to put a battery in my car so I can just drive it away.  At 5pm I’m supposed to go get it, but of course my new mechanic is closed at five so I’ll be driving it home (unless something goes wrong on the way home).  If the check engine light is still on, I will have a friend help me get the car to the new mechanic tomorrow.  If the check engine light is not on, I may drive it and see how things go.

What a waste of a day.

The least I can do is finally show you the photo of the spot I was GOING to start on (and will… tomorrow I guess).

The door is to the left of these images.  The second image shows that whole side of the wall.  I plan to start right next to the door though so it’s pretty much just on, in, and around that 8-drawer unit.

I did have a 30 minute window in which I worked on this area (after weedeating in 100+ degree heat because I’ve been gone for two weeks and things are totally out of control out there).

I removed things from the wall and from on top of the storage cabinet.  I’m measuring and thinking that I want to make some changes to this wall set-up.  If it works, I will of course show you a photo when I’m done.

Some of the things I find are small and potentially useful in the future.  I'm placing those on the table and will put them into one of those small drawer cabinets like you see in hardware store.  I actually find lots of uses for desiccant packs, twist-ties, thumb-tacks, etc.

I cut the hands off of a couple dolls.  I'd purchased the dolls so I could use their hands to make molds.  It was a little creepy severing the limbs, but very space-saving.
I emptied (almost) the first six drawers.  Into one, I am keeping some clip-on LED lights.  I was about to get rid of them but I want to confirm, first, that I don’t need them at all in my photo set-up (or at shows).  I have to be careful with this, though, because "I might need it someday" is one of my mottoes and definitely one that gets me into a lot of trouble with "stuff".

One of the drawers had resin supplies.  I don’t need that in the workroom, and I need to figure out if my ice resin systems are still any good (one of the bottles is clear the other is light brown… I think that’s the hardener… I just feel like it’s darker than when I bought it an embarrassingly high number of years ago with the best of intentions).

I put three large tubs on the floor.  1=trash, 2=things for a different room, 3=things to sell or donate

Of course, to GET three large tubs that were empty, I had to dump a bunch of stuff onto my bed.  And now that it’s almost 10:30 (I had to take my daughter to the airport), I have to get all that stuff back OFF my bed.  Sigh…

Anyway, will take more photos and show you more progress tomorrow.  G’night!