Firestarter: Make Changes Part 2

As much as I hate making excuses, the last few months have really screwed up my craft room. So I had to share the ugliness with you. And now you don't feel so bad about your craft space.

 Two Fridays ago I talked about clearing clutter to ease creative blocks. Despite this week’s setbacks, I have managed to stay on top of things fairly well. While I was sitting in my big comfy chair, I was able to expand on my notes from the first week of Make Changes. Hopefully if you have been feeling stressed and overwhelmed, you also took the chance to get started on the first steps to cleanup.

    1. Issues: overextending myself and bugged by clutter. To anyone that knows me, it may seem odd that clutter bugs me.  I love thrift and antique stores, and I collect fun bits of paper for collage projects. All that would seem to add up to a clutter lover. However, that applies to my creative space. In my living space, clutter drives me crazy. I like being able to make an apple fig tart without having to wash dishes first.
    2. Priorities: cut back and kill clutter. As I said in Part 1, I have been working on saying no to projects that are obviously low priority to those asking. It can be tough, but I am maintaining it. I am finding my other weak spot is the feeling that for every wedding, baby shower and birthday I’m invited to, I must make a giant, perfect, amazing gift. I am improving on thinking hard about how close I am to that person and what is realistic. As far as clutter goes, that is a harder one for me. I have always had tons of stuff, and I know I will never be a minimalist. But I know that my relationship with a lot of what I own is off-balance. I used to think “If I have too much stuff, that means I have too many art and craft supplies”. That turned out to be untrue a good chunk of the time. It’s easy to get washed away in “needs” that aren’t really needs. Even when I lived in Northern Minnesota, I didn’t need ten sweaters. I had ten sweaters, but I could’ve cut that way down. But the most important thing I’ve learned is don’t go overboard. The shock will kill you. What works for me is getting rid of one or two things at a time, while doing larger sorts and purges periodically.
    3. Actionable goals. First, I will maintain my current attitude towards crafting for others. Second, I will continue to be strong on my July clutter-clearing goal. Third, I will do my version of the Home Cure starting August, and I will do it right. I won’t bore you with the actual checklist, but I have already outlined what I will be doing each week, and I think I kept it pretty reasonable. I don’t plan on writing about it extensively here, but I will have some sort of documentation. Because it looks like accountability works for me. After those eight weeks, I will take a step back and see if I feel any better. Finally, my other plans for the rest of July…reclaim my craft room. You may recall a few months ago we began worrying about flooding. Well, that fear is more or less subsided, and I am looking forward to un-messing my creative space.
That is not good clutter. That is panicky, waiting for disaster clutter. And it's eating up my workspace.
    But now the big question — what can you do? My #1 goal here is to encourage other creative types in all aspects of their lives. But what good is all this talk without resources? So hee are a few sites that I have found helpful.

Unclutterer. A site mainly focused on physical clutter, but also how many of these issues are tied to problems in other areas of life. Virtually everything is covered, from babies and home offices to travel and relationships. Best of all, it’s really well-organized. Big surprise. In the spirit of keeping things in my electronic world simple, they are not on my RSS feed. But I am fortunate to have a pretty decent memory for websites, so I do refer back to this site regularly for answers. Bonus feature: check out Unitasker Wednesday. It’s pretty hilarious the things you can buy.

Zen Habits. This blog epitomizes zen in every way. With a clean white layout, it’s just relaxing to view. Zen Habits doesn’t deal with clutter, but just life in general. However, articles such as Simplify Your Life with Balance can be really good tools if you are feeling obstructed and you can’t quite figure out why. Even if you just looking for some good reading that makes you think without being too taxing, this is a great place to go. Bonus feature: the entire site is totally uncopyrighted. So while you really should credit him if you quote him, he won’t sue you if you forget. Plus, that kind of laid-back attitude is so rare, it makes you feel a bit warm and fuzzy. No matter what part of your life is feeling overwhelming, odds are pretty good you can find something good here. This is actually a group of blogs that cover topics like productivity, technology, organizing and finances. Personally, I don’t go here nearly as often because very few of the articles really draw me in. But there is such a wide array of topics and writers, making this blog a great portal to other websites that suit you. Bonus feature: if you are a list-making freak like me, this website is heaven. They have more than 100 printables, several of which I have saved and use over and over.

Hopefully between my post and these three blogs, you can get started on clearing away whatever is getting between you and the hobbies you love. Have a great weekend everyone!

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