decluttering, fEAsible, getting things done, organising, rEArranging, taking stock

Yo-yo organisation – is there a cure?

The sorting out and decluttering is taking a lot of time but I am trying to be very ruthless and thorough.  This week I have been through all my books in the office which are mainly craft, health, time, and home management.

Part of the bookcase before the tidy up still bearing the aftermath of Christmas

I limited myself to an amount which comfortably fits on the bookcase which instantly made the space look neater.  As well as not buying more magazines I have decided no more books either – for a while at least – instead I will reread some of the ones I already have and if I feel the information is not relevant any more I will give it away to the charity shop.


Bookcase after

In addition to my organising frenzy I have been thinking about the constant problem I seem to have with what is similar to Yo-yo dieting and that is my Yo-yo organisation.  I get everything organised and neat and tidy and then something happens like an event such as Christmas or a holiday which seems to take over and I end up with the house back in a mess.  It is not necessarily a big event that leads to my downfall – it might be that I have to work some overtime one or two nights or we have a weekend away or just the fact that I am often too tired to do anything after working all day and this alone can be enough to generate those piles again – piles of washing, ironing, paperwork, and items to put away.  So here are my thoughts on why this might be happening.

Reasons for finding I am getting back to chaos

  • Taking on too much
  • Spreading myself thinly because I hate to disappoint people and say no
  • Thinking I am superwoman and planning more than I can do in a day
  • Doing the wrong thing at the wrong time
  • Not allowing time for the clean up after a job
  • Booking out too many weekends away visiting etc
  • Leaving preparation to the last minute
  • Letting the filing and shredding pile mount up
  • Not taking the time to put things away after use
  • Not having a designated place for everything I own
  • Not learning from past mistakes
  • Continuing to do what doesn’t work
  • Going to bed late and getting up too late to get ahead with the day

In addition to this list there are other matters that I have identified as being definite problems in my life

Frequent and time-consuming issues that need resolving

  • Meals – these are something that I must get to grips with and plan ahead more to save time
  • Clearing up the kitchen after cooking and eating – this seems to be an endless task
  • Recycling – all the washing and sorting and storage and then disposal of the recycling rubbish
  • Paperwork – Hurrying to open all the mail and putting it to one side for later and not getting back to it for a few days
  • ISA fixed savings constantly reaching maturity and require re-investing this takes a lot of time to research a good rate as does searching for new insurance / energy / internet deals

As well as all this there are issues I keep having with finding a good system or storage or time which I need to consider

Other issues I need to address

  • The paperwork pending piles – where, when and how to ‘pend’ items waiting for a reply or a decision or action
  • Articles relevant for a current or future project
  • Items waiting for a future appointment or event
  • Upcoming exhibitions, plays art courses, gardens open etc
  • Magazine clippings
  • Finishing old projects
  • Collecting a lot of craft items and having no time to make things with them so I need to think about planning sometime for a ‘Crafternoon’

I have clearly a lot of thinking to do and then an action plan…watch this space!

decluttering, organising, rEArranging

I know it’s here somewhere…

Organising and labelling in the craft cupboard

Since my last post I have been ‘ordering’ my craft cupboard and drawers.  They are a bit of a work in progress at the moment but I am getting there.  The hardest part is making the decisions – should I continue to store it to use it or lose it?  Storage space is valuable and I do not like my cupboards and drawers overfull – I like to see space around everything as they say less is more!  So I have been quite ruthless and have decided to pass a few things on to fellow crafters and reduce the amount I keep.  I am now at the stage where I have sorted through everything and found a new home and I am about to begin the labelling and re-labelling process, before I do come and have a grand tour.

This is my Ikea Effektiv craft cupboard and as you can see I am a bit of a ‘neat freak’ and I do like uniformity – it helps to make things look organised.  The plastic and white boxes hold a variety of crafting items such as coloured card, craft card, cellophane bags, laces, ribbons and cords, folded wrapping paper, cracker making and card making bits and pieces – in fact you name it and it is probably in there!  I still need to buy a few more of the plastic see-through boxes.  I prefer these for this purpose to the plain white cardboard as it is easier to see what is inside and then I find I do not forget what I already have.  Until I can get to my local craft shop to get some more the cardboard boxes will do for now.

On the bottom shelf I have twelve A4 containers which fit the space very neatly leaving a slot at the left hand side just big enough to accommodate – (starting from the back and out of sight) – my large container of craft glue (which I decant into smaller old film pots) then my stacker pots filled with foil stars and shapes, sequins and beads. I would not label things like this as each section is self-evident.

The two large reels of curling ribbon standing in the front, one white satin, one Christmas green are an absolute bargain from Hobbycraft.  You will find them in the florists section and they are so much more cost-effective than those tiny reels you get in card shops and supermarkets.  Each reel was £2.29 and I limited myself to just the two colours mainly because they are more difficult to store.

Moving to the middle shelf – I have another stack of eight A4 boxes and a further eight smaller boxes on the left which tend to be more useful than the larger ones for dividing up ribbons and smaller items etc into type such as satin or Christmas and I if I needed to I could pull them forward a little to store something I do not use very often behind them and avoid the empty wasted space they create at the moment.  Putting something in front of them would not be an option as I use these boxes quite often and I find there is nothing worse than having frequently used items inaccessible.

On the top shelf I feel the decorated cardboard boxes would be more space effective if they were all the same width and I may eventually change these if I can find a suitable alternative but these are good because they are deep and I can store the contents on end rather than flat.  The largest holds an assortment of blank cards, the medium an assortment of quality envelopes in different sizes and the smallest box holds my lovely tissue paper collection perfectly.

I prefer wrapping my smaller gifts in tissue paper to ordinary sheets of gift paper.  Firstly, I love the way it moulds to the shape of any object creating layers and folds and secondly, I like the gentle rustle it creates when wrapping and opening.  I finish them off with embellishments of curling ribbon or raffia and reuse pieces of cut down old cards for gift tags or I have a selection of home-made ones.

The stackable grey containers on the right hand side of the top shelf house our slide collection which has now grown immensely since acquiring some quite vintage family snaps from both my mum and my mum in law when clearing out their houses.  I shall need to order another four boxes from the internet and I think there is just enough room for them to slot in the gap by shuffling the decorative boxes along and storing the empty Hanimex round cassette elsewhere – probably with the projector.

Well just the labelling to do now with my trusty Brother labelling machine for the plastic boxes and for the cardboard I have some sticky backed file label pockets where I can slip in printed white labels that can be changed when necessary without pulling off the decorative paper covering.

And Voila…the result!  (I know the picture is not good but the light is quite dismal today – I will upload a better one when we get some sunshine).  I am quite pleased that this is one cupboard now finished and the good thing about a declutter session is that it serves to refresh my memory when I come across items that I have bought and forgotten about.

Next week I will finish the craft drawers – they contain my rubber stamps and other bits and pieces.