Well, we are one week into the New Year and my studio looks like a hurricane went through it. There’s a ladder in the middle of the way, piles of papers everywhere, discarded papers on the floor, pencils, scraps, paintbrushes, rolls, stuff I am not sure what to do with – do I need to keep this? May I throw it away? And if I do discard it, will I miss it? Do you know what I mean?
The thing is that this has been going on for weeks now. Me trying to get organized by being disorganized. Life has changed once more and I find myself with an adult son living with me by necessity. And this adult son comes with a young child. Which meant that I had to take out everything that was stored in the guest bedroom – I used the bed to store the quilts that travel with me, plus class samples, etc. and find somewhere to put it (basement here I come!). And it also meant clearing the front bedroom to make room for a child’s room. And there was a loooooot of stuff there.
A few years back, when I started teaching online, I cleaned that front bedroom to make it into a “recording studio” of sorts. But since then, that bedroom has become the place where everything goes when guests arrive suddenly and I need to clear the bed of quilts, and anything else that got piled up. You get the idea …
For the last three weeks or a bit more, I’ve been reorganizing. And that has meant moving things from here to there, from there to here, and anywhere in between. From here to the basement, and from the basement to the upstairs. And what happens then? I’ve decided that while I was doing all that, I might was well reorganize my studio to make more room for the things I use all the time. So I moved books and magazines to the front bedroom, while emptying basket drawers to make room for baby’s clothes and necessities.
I cleaned and cleared drawers in my studio and the file cabinet and threw away a lot of papers I don’t need anymore, and while doing that, I found piles of papers that I had printed through the years on things that inspired me: paintings, quilts, free-motion quilting stuff, abstract, representational, trees … Yikes! Hundred of prints. Do I get rid of them? But all that work, and ink and time searching for some specific bit of inspiration.
Decision made! To organize these piles of inspiration photos and make idea books. Off came the sketchbooks I love for this – courtesy of Dollarama – and the glue stick and the scissors. Now all those piles of sketchbooks are in my living room: on the coffee table, on the chair, on the floor. And at night, once I’m done all the work I need to do, I sit and quietly go through the piles of copies and cut the ones I want to keep and glue them to books in categories: Embroidery, Ideas, Rocks, Trees, Architecture, Abstract, Quilts, Free-motion and feathers … I have a long way to go still. But I am in no rush as I decided to enjoy the process and use the time to infuse my mind with inspiration.
So back to the original statement: my studio is a mess. And I start teaching classes again this week which means that a deadline is looming. I have two days to clear my studio and put away stuff so I can go back to teaching. Guess what I’m doing today?
I also worked on the basement this weekend. If you’ve been reading and following along, you may remember that I had decided to install two IKEA PAX systems along a wall to start to clear the basement so I can – hopefully – teach classes. And then before that was done, I decided to get rid of the carpet. The PAX systems were installed right before Christmas, and I started to tear the carpet out. This weekend, I finished ripping the carpet out which meant tearing the carpet out of one half of the room, grind the glue off the floor, and then move everything from the other half of the room to the cleared half so I could tear the carpet off and grind the glue. Job done! I was exhausted at the end of the weekend. My body hurt. But what a feeling! Of a job well done. Pride that I did it all myself. Never underestimate determination!
I am not sure why I wrote all this. I think I started with one idea in mind and then it all went from there. Maybe because I want to share the thought that sometimes to get organized, it’s necessary to make a mess. Our lives change and we need to change with them. Adjust, bend, flex. Today, it’s my turn.
So I am going to finish this blog and send it your way and get back to some admin work and a video I need to finish before I go back to putting stuff away in my studio. And by the way … it has already started: I can’t find anything anymore! Oh well …
Until I write again, have a great week!