It’s “Clean Up Your Room” day. Cleaning up a room conjures up all kinds of images…and angst. In this post, we’re going to find ways to happily work in a messy space!
The quote for this day…
Well, that might have been true had there been internet and personal computers back in the dark ages when I got married. Even so, I have the feeling my husband had NO idea what he was getting into lo those many years ago. But, here we are over 40 years later and doing just fine! It might be because he’s a bigger pile person than me.
I’m a messy person. I function best when there are piles around.
I’ve always envied those homes where everything is put away. I’ve tried to follow gimick-y programs that teach you how to create a clean and organized home that’s supposed to make you happy and more productive. I’m sorry, but they just don’t work for me.
I live in my house. And, I work in my office/craft space. Ain’t no way it’s going to stay tidy and clean. And, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve started to embrace my mess. If others don’t like it, well…
Let’s take a quick look at my office space.
This is where the crochet magic happens, y’all! I’m in this space every work day and on some weekends. It’s the brightest room in the house and has a view of the entire street.
Creativity is messy. It requires starting and stopping, making and ripping out, losing interest in a project that isn’t working and getting a spark of inspiration for something new. If I tried to put everything away at the end of every day, I would waste SO much time. So, I’ve learned to work effectively in the midst of mess, contrary to what the experts say.
What happens when I clean up my office space.
Short answer…I lose stuff. Every. Single. Time. Just last week I cleaned up a corner in my room. I did the usual sorting and putting things in logical places. Then, not a few hours later, I could not for the life of me find what I needed. Who wants that?!
Side note: I’m going to try to minimize the number of times I use the word “organize” because, even though I’m messy, I’m still organized. There is a method to my madness. If there weren’t, I would never get anything done. I’d like to think I’m a highly productive person!
Even though I don’t regularly clean up (much to the chagrin of my grandson), I still know where everything important is. Sure, I lose stuff and get frustrated when I have to spend time looking for it. But, you don’t have to be messy to suffer from that malady.
My suggestion for my messy, pile-making comrades out there:
Embrace the mess and make it work for you!
That’s right. I’m going to give you 4 ways to live and work productively in a messy space that makes you happy. It’s worked for me and I hope it helps you just a bit.
Collect papers with paper clips and binders.
I have digitized as much of my world as I possibly can. My iPad is my note-taking machine, my WIP pattern storage, my library…you get the idea. However, I still do a lot of writing with just paper and pencil. That creates a pile on my desk that’s always shifting and growing ever larger.
To help keep those papers arranged in a logical fashion, I use paper clips to create mini piles of related material, such as this month’s productivity planner. For those things that have a larger number of related papers, I put everything in a binder. I recently cleared out the bottom drawer of my desk and use that to store binders. They’re out of sight but close at hand.
Every pile, every surface has a theme and a purpose.
The old adage “Nature abhors a vacuum” is never truer than when you clear a work surface. It’s just begging to be covered with stuff. I’ve stopped fighting it and started cluttering my surfaces in a logical fashion.
I recently ordered a small portable table to use for photography and video-making. One end of the table permanently serves that purpose, with the equipment staying out so I can just pop over for the quick photo. The other end of the table has FOs that need to be dealt with soon.
The sewing machine table holds WIPs or yarn that’s about to be used. I don’t use the machine often so moving the stuff on top doesn’t take much time.
Sort through papers, items on surfaces and yarn once a month.
I’m sorry but it has to be done. As we all know, if you let piles go for too long, they grow out of control.
Once a month I go through all of the papers on my desk. They get recycled, filed or paper clipped to suit my needs at the moment.
I really do clear off the other surfaces and start fresh. That doesn’t mean some of the items on those surfaces don’t end up back there. However, I have now reminded myself of what’s important on those surfaces and arranged it accordingly.
I don’t do this next chore once a month, but occasionally I reorganize my yarn storage. It’s just so easy to stuff new yarn into vacant holes without any rhyme or reason. Last week, I took most of the yarn out, got rid of bits and pieces, put back the yarn I use the most and donated or stored the rest. My taste in yarn and what I need changes over time and my storage should keep up. It’s another time waster to be shuffling through yarn to find what I need.
Keep the most important stuff in plain sight.
Every organizational guru’s brain just exploded!
Think about it…if you’re a messy person and you put something away, it’s totally forgotten and pushed aside for all of eternity. The papers I’m currently using for planning and writing stay out on my desk. WIPs end up on my sewing machine or photo table. Yarn I just ordered for the next greatest design stays in the package it was mailed in because I will never find it again.
So, it’s “Clean Up Your Room” Day.
Are you going to spend it gutting, sorting, throwing out, and generally eviscerating your space? Or, can you stay the happy, messy person you are and make a few changes that make you more productive? I believe I’ll stick with messy, thank you very much!
I’m happy as a camper playing with yarn every day. It’s my hobby AND my job. Doing it in a space that fits my personality just makes it that much cooler.
What my crochet designer friends are saying…
Visit these wonderful colleagues of mine and find out how they’re celebrating “Clean Up Your Room” Day. Click on their links to read more!