Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Happy Snow White Clean Start for the Year

While there is still snow on the ground...I thought a snow white January deserved a snow white and organized start to a wonderful year of stitching, cooking and writing! Rather than making a list of resolutions that must start on January 1st--I simply resolved to spend this month cleaning out and organizing, about one day a week. And I couldn't be happier!  I'm actually getting severely organized!

SEWING/CRAFTING/SCRAPBOOKING STUFF! It all started in my own little corner in my own little chair--my craft corner. I went through stacks of files, books, magazines, scrapbook stuff, papers, fabrics and cross-stitch supplies. I weeded out the old stuff, and made new space to put things away. Ahhh. It's a good feeling. I can put my hands on things much faster and my projects have almost lined themselves up, waiting in the que to be started, tweaked and finished! One of the best things I reorganized was my fabric stash. We all have one, don't we! I wish I had a whole room of fabric, but I have just enough to barely fit into some drawers and cupboards. By the way, I was working on a wall-hanging with various fabrics--and forgot I bought the cutest pink fabric with embroidery and sequins last summer. When I rediscovered it, this fabric's gorgeous blushing color and tiny scattered sequins made me smile. It went right into my banner wall hanging, and I even took a leftover strip of it from the cutting, ran a couple of layers through the sewing machine and made a darling bookmark in five minutes! I also have a lot of beautiful yarns--just yearning to become my next cute tote bag or patch-happy banner. It's clear now: I either need more me's or more time. Maybe that's why the word "time" has the word "me" in it.

In our great room, we moved furniture around, went through bookshelves, and made nice new clean spaces. The sun lit up my freshly dusted and organized front room that day--so nice! I put all our scrapbooks together on a shelf, and threw out a lot of things that have never seen the light of day once they were stuffed in a drawer! Now I have more scrapbook storage in there, hidden in cute cupboard drawers and a butterfly train bag. More changes to come this spring!

Next was the kitchen. I spent one afternoon assessing all my kitchen space. Cupboards and cabinets were cleaned out--some things sent to my booth at the flea market--more space to work and chop appeared and fresh clean spaces appeared where I could display some of my favorite sets of nesting bowls--which I use a lot. This is now a happy kitchen, not a storage bin! 

Since I've been stepping up the coupon clipping and store coupon stacking (without getting too obsessed with it, mind you) I found a nice, flat plastic box where the clipped coupons are grouped together and easily filed and accessible and it stays in a wicker tray (that actually used to be a picnic hamper lid but honestly, it's an adorable tray) with the current week's sales flyers, a little rotary cutter, and shopping list printed from the store website. Ahhh. (again) I only need to go in there once a week, add new ones, throw out the expired, and check my online store list--it's really not that time consuming when we are saving 50-60 dollars a week!
Last year I bought a big index card box to start a little organizing project, and finally I've done it! Now, before I explain what it is, I must say I realize I can do all of this on the computer, the iPad, my cell phone, and my laptop, and I do use organizing programs--such as One Note--but that's not the point. This is the little old-fashioned lady deep down inside of me who ultimately does not totally trust technology. I wanted a tangible, reliable place to access all my most import information, facts and figures and tips and serial numbers and schedules and ideas and phone numbers and doctors' names and career info. My big, cute, floral index box from Target holds the large index cards and I've added file tabs to the tops of them, and I feel better knowing that a lot of things that I only had on my computer somewhere are now written down in ink on paper in a place where I can find them!  Plus, if something happened, I can easily grab this little box and take it with me!
 Nighty Nite Table
I have to tell you, right now, that I don't believe in living with a teeny tiny nite table. My "nitestand" as my mom always called it, has to have room for plenty of books, a good bottle of lavendar/chamomile lotion, tissues, lip balm, a big lamp for journaling, drawing, knitting or cross-stitching and plenty of space to set a project and a glass of water. My nite table had been getting a little "busy looking" lately, so I cleaned it out from top to bottom, and although still fully loaded, it's much more peaceful now--making me more peaceful.

Taking Care of Where and When and Who
Next on my list was the household calendars. The top spiral-bound pocket calendar, which hangs in the kitchen, needed to work a little harder, and so did my deskpad calendar. I spent a couple of hours getting all of our year-long important information, schedules and activities posted on there--what a feeling of accomplishment to do the whole year, instead of month to month. When you start cleaning out, tossing out and taking care of your organizing chores, you can also find a lot of nice things--like the owl cross-stitch pattern I found in an old book. My daughter loves owls, and she can't wait for me to stitch this up and frame it for her--it is a small pattern so I think I can do it in no time.

So, little did I know January would be my organization month, but it has worked out really great. Basically, a little time each weekend this month was devoted to cleaning out and organizing, and I don't want to think about doing this again until June!

One of these days I will give a little tour of my old Victorian dollhouse. I painted a lot of the furniture, and the wallpaper and borders came from an old art book and wallpaper sample book--so fun! It's next on my list to clean out and dust though. I hope you enjoy your home--it's the best place in the world to eat, write, dream and stitch.

1 comment:

  1. I am totally impressed with your organizing, and having the energy to do all of that. I was thinking my studio needed a makeover, but I have too many things to make right now to take a break LOL! Thanks for sharing your projects, it is inspiration!