Fresh Start For the New Year
I don’t know about you but January always brings a mix of emotions for me. I’m sad to see the last year pass but happy and excited for what the new year can bring. My mum always told me you need to start the year the way you mean to go on. With that in mind I set myself the task of getting organised for 2019.
Being a crocheter means, if you have yarn and a hook you can pretty much work anywhere. It sounds great but it isn’t always such a good thing. That means I have projects, or parts of projects, or patterns for projects all over the place. My long suffering husband, the resident Monica-neat-freak of our little tribe, is very tolerant of my more ‘creative’ nature. But there are times when I stretch his patience a little too thin. By New Year, we had reached crisis point.
After a hectic Christmas period there was too much yarn hanging around. It was in various bags in various rooms in various states of disarray. Some of the yarn was leftovers from completed projects. Some were from being too busy (or preoccupied) to put them away. I needed to get my butt in gear and put everything where it should have been all along.
The Room of Requirement
I ‘m very lucky to have a room in my home where I can work and store all my lovely crafty yarn and accessories. We’ve been calling it the “room of requirement” because, like in Harry Potter’s world, this room has many uses. It’s a craft room, a gym, a laundry, an office, a library, a storage space and a general glory hole depending on… yes, you guessed it, our requirements!
I had delayed the clear up as long as I could and I’ll admit I was dreading it. There were upward of ten bags with so many balls of yarn in each one which all need to be sorted, wound, weighed and stacked. I had patterns that needed to be filed away and hooks that need to find their home. Part of me kept saying I should be working on my newest order but I knew I wouldn’t be able to concentrate until I had organised my hoard! I picked the first day my husband went back to work after the holidays to steam into tidying up. For once I kept to my promise and refused to get sidetracked.
I’d love to say I went through one bag at a time and stacked all the yarn in it’s respective cubby, job done. The truth of the matter is, the problem was WAY worse than that.
For a start the wool I already had in the cubbies was falling out at me when I opened the door. Some of the doors wouldn’t even stay closed! So I had to start there before I could even think of putting anything ‘new’ away.
What A Mess
I opened all the doors to see what I was working with (big mistake). After five minutes the floor looked like a cat had gone berserk in a wool factory! There were tangles of yarn everywhere. Multi coloured strings of all descriptions making walking without tripping almost impossible.
I have to be honest, I didn’t even take a photo of the carnage because of how affronted I was that I had let things get so bad. There were visions of those hoarding shows on TV when they need to hire a skip and a crew of people in hazmat suits to decontaminate the place. I also noticed that for some reason I find it impossible to throw away the smallest amount of leftover yarn. Even if I know I’m not going to be able to make anything with it, into a little ball and back in the cupboard it goes. I may need therapy!
It was overwhelming. I didn’t know where to start to get this guddle (good Scottish word) sorted out. I flopped on the floor almost in tears then it came to me. Tea…I needed tea!
I staggered out of the room, dragging a lovely strand of silver aran yarn behind me, and made myself a great big cup of green tea then headed back into the fray (pun intended!).
Make A Start
As I stood, surveying the mess and sipping my brew I decided I’d work on a colour basis. As you can see from the photos that is how I had ‘organised’ my cubbies so I thought that would be the easiest. I pushed some things aside to make space for me to work. Set up my ball winder and my scales then set about putting things in order one ball at a time.
I got into a nice little rhythm. It was soothing, if you can ever call tidying soothing. My arm was aching from winding all the loose balls into tidy, stackable cakes, but it was very satisfying. I’d finish with a colour and take great pride in closing the cubby doors as I went so I could track my progress. Progress sounds quite grand but was time consuming.
IT TOOK ME THREE DAYS!
I’m not kidding, it took three whole days (6-8 hours a day) to get everything, wound, weighed, labelled and put away. I lurched out of the room each of those three nights like Quasimodo but when I crawled into bed I was content.
I’m glad to say I now have a restful space to sit and work in our ‘room of requirement’. I don’t need to ‘make’ space for myself, it’s already there. I don’t need to move anything out of the way to find what I’m looking for. Finding things I need now takes seconds, not minutes (or hours). I can even leave the door open when we have visitors without any embarrassment. BONUS…my OCD Husband is even happy to go into the room, a rare and beautiful experience in itself.
I made myself a promise (I do that a lot) to put things away at the end of the working day. I schedule myself some tidy up time. Only five minutes or so, to sort myself out and clear my rubbish up. I kept one of the cubbies empty so I can put my WIP (work in progress) in it when I’m done for the day.
The room has stayed spotless for over a week now. My patterns are in folders, divided by project and filed on a shelf. My hooks are in a holder waiting for a new job. I’m not counting any chickens (or sheep) but I’m also not planning to go back to the bad old days anytime soon. As much as random, casual and creative are great. It seems that organised, systematic and planned is working out better . Only took me 45 years to work that out!
If you are looking to get organised this year, don’t do what I did.
I did some things right
Thank you for reading all the way to the end. If you have any top tips on getting and staying organised I’d love to hear them. If you just want to get in touch for a natter you can find me on Facebook or email. I have no doubt, with my magpie mind, I’ll trip over my promise at some point in the future. I’m hoping you’ll keep me honest and I promise to update you on my “staying organised in 2019” plan!
Until next time,
Be productive, be brilliant, be kind