Hello dollies…thanks for joining me for this month’s Where Bloggers Live 06.2021: How I Organize. I am writing this at the very last minute because I got very busy organizing today!! You know how I’m in the midst of spring – soon-to-be summer cleaning, right? Well, if you consult today’s to-do list, you would see that I was supposed to be finishing up the spring cleaning in the upstairs guest bedroom. Did the linens, dusting, baseboards, blinds and windows yesterday and cleaned out the closet last week. So today I was just going to run the vacuum then clean the carpet.
I got distracted. Which is what usually prompts me to start organizing. Until mid-afternoon, I was still on track with today’s to-dos but then I spent an hour working on my bicycle collage with my sister. Valerie had to go have her hair cut so we stopped crafting. Then one thing led to another, and next thing I knew I was decluttering and organizing my craft space/loft.
I just finished about 30 minutes ago. And now I am going to give you the condensed version of how that looked. But first…
Where Bloggers Live
For any new friends, please allow me to explain about this series. Where Bloggers Live is kind of like HGTV’s “Celebrities at Home,” but…with bloggers! Each month I am always happy to see that my Where Bloggers Live posts are among my most popular. Probably because we are all a little curious about other people’s homes and lives. You can read my last Where Bloggers Live post, here, where we talked about something in our home that is past its life expectancy but for sentimental reasons we are unable to part with. That was a bittersweet post for me to write.
Now let’s get to the business at hand…how I organize!!
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WHERE BLOGGERS LIVE 06.2021
You remember that I am a retired school librarian. When you think of a librarian, what personality traits or characteristics do you associate with someone who’s chosen that career path? I think one that most everyone would attribute to a librarian is strong organizational skills. I loved my job for 25+ years. Partly for that reason. It was an opportunity to get paid to organize!! I loved the babies and the books even more, though…but that’s for another day.
So, it’s no surprise I organize around the house – almost for fun. Until this spring, at least, when I have gotten bogged down and can’t seem to get much done. Like I explained above, I had no intention of organizing my craft area but something flipped in me this afternoon. That old elementary librarian surfaced and got the job done!
How I Organize
I’ve read Marie Kondo’s first book, and employ her method of organizing and decluttering with my own spin on it. Kondo recommends removing everything from a space. The closet, your dresser. And then touching each piece to evaluate it before putting it back in its place. She also suggests we hold each item to determine whether it brings us joy. I talked a little about that in last month’s Where Bloggers Live post. The figurines I was ready to part with still brought me joy. And I wound up keeping them.
But it is a little different with crafting supplies. They all have the potential for helping me create things that will bring me joy. Joy in the creating process and joy once the piece is finished. So, rather than examining each piece of scrapbook paper and paint brush for potential joy, I just tried to clean things up. Gather like things in one place. Find new homes for things. Streamline my storage so that supplies are easier to find.
Pull It Out
When I decided to do this today, I pulled it all out. Pretty much everything. Into the middle of my loft floor. Which isn’t a very big space so you can imagine the mess. Something like this.
And then I sat down right in the middle of all the stuff and began sorting. So I guess that is the first step of my organizational process. Sorting. I loved teaching the kids how we sorted and arranged the books in the library. It was one of my favorite lessons.
Rather than determining if something I was sorting brought me joy, I determined what kind of project I use it for. And I grouped like supplies together. Of course, I have decluttered and organized this space at least a zillion times. But when I am mid-project and being all creative, my supplies can get kind of jumbled together. So, this organizing is an ongoing and continual process.
Last spring I purchased this cute red craft cart and have used it to organize many of my supplies.
I actually took this picture a few days ago for an iSpy ‘red’ photo prompt. Today I cleaned it up so that most everything on it is scrapbook related.
Went through all of my scrapbook paper, sorting it into 3 categories. Patterned paper, solid colors and scraps. The plastic 3-drawer cabinet under my craft desk in the middle of the photo below holds my intact sheets. There’s a box on top in which I put all of my scrap paper. Many times in collages, I use tiny bits of scrap paper. The bin to the left of the paper cabinet is full of embellishments for scrapbooking. Buttons, flowers, beads, chipboard die cuts. In the open plastic crate on the right I have larger die cuts, stickers and adhesive letters stored in sheet protectors by theme. Christmas, beach, snow day, Easter, hiking.
Still looks kind of messy but part of that is the octopus-like extension cord on the floor. Cords. I should have added them to my 10 on the 10th post about things I dislike. Cords are the worst.
Some of my themed scrapbook paper is stored in page protectors with stickers, embellishments on the same theme and photos that are ready to be mounted. In the photo below, you can see two packages of beach papers and supplies…ready for scrapping our upcoming trip to South Padre Island in July. These packages are in a drawer in my book shelf.
Here’s the top of my craft desk. I sort projects and keep only the current one on top of my table. Think I mentioned that I am currently working on a bicycle collage.
Cards and Letters
What do you do with special cards and letters you want to keep? Or do you keep cards and letters? Am I the only one? I have 3 notebooks into which I file these mementos.
Not sure why I am holding onto these things. I rarely go back to read them. Mostly because doing so makes me all mushy and sentimental and teary-eyed. And I don’t like feeling that way often. Maybe next year I can part with some of them. Or not.
At 63 years old, I am beginning to be able to let go of things a little easier. Not cards or letters, though!!
Today, I also sorted my Bible journaling and drawing supplies. I created an art drawer in the upstairs guest room nightstand for art supplies for the grands. Treated myself to a jumbo box of colored pencils recently so donated my odds and ends to the girls’ supplies. All of my art supplies are in a drawer in my book shelf with my pads of art paper, calligraphy pens and books, my journals and completed Bible study workbooks.
Started to toss my devotional workbooks, old gratitude journals but decided to keep them. Maybe this 63 year-old isn’t as good about tossing things as she thought.
See the little boxes on the right side of the top drawer? Those are Cricut cartridges for my very old Cricut machine. I am learning to use it with more confidence to create die cuts for my scrapbooking pages. The Cricut machine is kind of cumbersome and takes up a lot of space on my craft table.
Here’s a closer look at that top drawer. Oh, dear. I just had an epiphany. Might have a better place for the cartridges and themed scrapbook packages. Might be back in my loft tomorrow organizing things again.
This probably looks like a terrible mess to you. But believe me, it is better than it was. Let’s review where we started back at the sorting step.
Yeah, PC wasn’t terribly impressed either. Compound that with the dollar signs Paul sees when he looks at all this stuff. I don’t invite him into my loft often.
In summary, here’s how things look in my loft tonight. You can see the rug!! And all the drawers close.
With all the money I am going to save because I can find my supplies more easily now, think I’ll buy myself a new office chair. My current chair won’t lock in place. So it spins the whole time I am sitting on it. Makes crafting quite the aerobic experience.
Maybe this librarian’s strong suit isn’t organization after all. Can you think of any other job skills associated with librarians that I might be successful at?
Nah, not good at shoosing people either. Maybe I am just better organizing books than crafting supplies? That’s probably it. Look how neat my books look!!
See them? They are there behind all that…clutter. Hmm. I think I might have to revisit my loft again tomorrow. Should have just shared my spice drawer in this post. It’s arranged in alphabetical order. Beginning with Adobo and ending with turmeric or thyme. But it’s too late to start this post over. Forgive me.
Hope you will run by to visit the blogs of my comadres for their Where Bloggers Live 06.2021 post. I can’t wait to visit. Maybe I will pick up some organizational tips. We can only hope.
Bedtime. I am exhausted!! All this organizing makes me tired and hungry. Going to eat something I shouldn’t for a bedtime snack and then get ready for bed. I have a busy day of organizing ahead of me tomorrow.
Thank you for putting up with me!! Happy Fri-Yay, friends.
Hugs and kisses,