Monday, November 1, 2010

Organization Starting Point - Part I

There is always a process, plan, and steps needed to make organizing work. If you do not have "the space" then you need to work with what you have. I like to work with a clean slate. But don't do this if it is a Sunday afternoon and you have to get ready to go to work the next day or if you will be going out or if your space is so limited that tearing things a part would disrupt your life.

Depending upon what needs to be done and how much you take apart, you might be buried for a little bit. To keep your sanity put you're knitting/crochet project(s)and supplies you will need in a bag and put the bag where you can find it. When you get tired of organizing you can stop to de-stress and work on your project without interruption.

Can you tell that I love to organize? Sometimes I spend too much time organizing. If things are not organized I don't function as well. And if we think we are really functioning fine being disorganized, we are just fooling ourselves. So admit it, when a few changes to your organizational skills could improve and start today.

The Plan

Step 1: Designate the space you will be using for your crafts.

Take a seat and look around for the best spot. Maybe you already have a spot and it just needs to be organized. Are you working with a bookcase? Do you have a 1/2 of a room as your craft space? Do you have a whole room? - I'm jealous. Visualize how you would like that space to look like and then scale it down to what is doable. No, we are not working with fantasies or dreams but reality. It might be temporary but let it be in the now. You can do like I've done and sketched out what my extra room will look like when I get it and work towards making that a reality. Is it a space that you want to sit in and be able to reach out for what you need or is it a storage space for your supplies and you work in another place?

The less space you have the more order you need since after a while everything gets piled up on top of each other and to find anything gets really crazy. That's where going to the store and buying doubles of something comes in. You already have the item but because you can't find it then it gets purchased again.

If you are new with a hobby then you need to get a handle on it at the start because it will get out of control sooner than you think. You want to nip it in the bud before it begins. All of a sudden the stash (yarn) starts growing, the pattern pile gets higher and higher, the books start taking over space and you start to get frustrated because you can't find something that you know is there. You want to try your best to keep things in control so that you can enjoy what you love to do. Why? Because your hobby is not suppose to be frustrating but a stress reliever and relaxing.

Step 2: What will you put in that space?

Besides your books and supplies you might have to rearrange other things that will have to share that space. The question is, are you working with a book case, cabinets with draws, shelves, or crates? Or are you working out of a closet? Does your hobby have to be all put away at the end of your craft time? Since this can be a bit overwhelming, depending upon how much stuff you have to organize, you need to take the time to think it through before you start organizing. This will lesson the stress you could feel if you try to figure it out as you go.

Step 3: Assess your damages

What books, supplies, and loose patterns (I will deal with the stash of yarn later) do you own? This organizing can be applied to any hobby. How much supplies do you have? What kind of supplies do you have? Do you have more than one hobby? This means more supplies for specific purposes and more to organize. You will also find UFO's that you forgot you had started and stuff that just needs to be donated to a worthy cause and this is a great time to get rid of things you won't use. That means don't put them back into the clean space. You might have your supplies housed with other things not pertaining to the needlearts or whatever hobby you love to do.

We can clean out that space, and build on that space (not literally building but putting things back that belong there and organizing it so that it becomes work friendly). Make three piles (I'm focusing on the needlearts) of books, supplies, and loose patterns. I like to start with what is the easiest to put back.

Let's start with books. The questions to ask:

  • How many shelves or how much space do you have for your books?
  • How many books will need to go in that space?
  • It would be good to look at the books as you put them away. Are there any that you would like to donate to your local library or senior center?
  • Are there any that could be passed on to a new knitter/crocheter? If you look at them as you put them away then you are, as they say, killing two birds with one stone.

I am a little fussy with how my things go back on the shelf. I like my books on the shelf by size. It looks neat and organized. But you might want to organize them by category. Reference books vs. pattern books.

If you are working with some form of shelving you might want to put reference books on one shelf and pattern books on another. If you are limited on space, you can separate them on the same shelf with something heavy enough and decorative to separate the two groups. Just make sure it is something that could be functional at the same time. I will talk more about that later. It's your preference. These are just suggestions. Try both to see what you like best, but think about what would work out best for you to maintain order. And remember that nothing is set in stone. If it doesn't work then change it.

So if you are going by my post then you should have:

  1. Picked out the space for your hobby.
  2. Decided what would occupy that space.
  3. Separated in piles books, supplies, and loose patterns to see what you have accumulated.
  4. Start to put your books away.
  5. Sit down and praise you for organizing.

The next post will deal with supplies. Enjoy.

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