Well, make yourself a cuppa as I have a story tell. Pass the biscuits I know I shouldn’t just after Christmas but I am going on a different sort of diet. Back in October I thought about a decluttering the studio. I have a small workroom and for the last 6 months particularly I have been feeling really claustrophobic in that room.
I did propose it as a challenge but there were not enough takers. People wanted a design challenge so the Take it further challenge was born instead but I have decided I need to clear the decks to get things done.
It got to stage where when I went in my work room I saw a to do list rather than a place of creative production. As I said at the time of discussing the Take it Further challenge I would not be stitching along as I wanted to reduce my to do list this year. I am embarking upon a getting things stitched year! This is my personal challenge and I plan to blog it.
First step is to de-clutter and I thought readers might be amused to see the process. De-cluttering for me involves working on current projects, even if they are WISPs (Work in Slow Progress) of course clearing up UFOs, and de-stashing as a sort of getting things done challenge. I just want to clear the decks and feel that my work room is a place to enjoy rather than a to do list.
The best decluttering advice I ever heard was to take everything out of your studio and then put everything back cleaning out what you don’t need before you do. That is what I have done.
Everything came out of my room between Christmas and New year. Now the problem with most UFO challenges and de-stashing challenges is that there is no actual easy measurement that you can look back on and see what has been achieved. It is very easy to feel that it is an endless process of finishing and no progress, in other words simply another to do list which I did not want. I use all sorts of psychological tricks on myself in order to get things done and having a clear measurement of achievement is one of them.
I decided weight of stash/supplies/projects at the start of the year and weight it again at the end of the year. My measure of success would be how much I had managed to reduce the weight. So in the last few days I have weighed everything fabric, lace, ribbons, buttons, beads, charms, threads, haberdashery, wool, UFOs (unfinished objects), WISPs (Works in slow progress) current projects, and since I also work with paper include paper, ephemera etc too.
When I proposed doing this last year some people felt it would be too much work to weigh everything but actually it wasn’t because I weighed everything in their containers. At the end of the year will weigh everything in their containers again so that the reduction of the materials will show up as the difference.
Some people asked how would they would decide between standard supplies and stash. I don’t think you have to do that, because when you go on a diet you do not set a weight goal of below normal body weight. For me standard supplies are like your normal body weight.
Now I don’t know what my normal body weight is when it comes to fiber, but I think I will know when I feel easy about it. So I am going on a low fiber diet for a year and then after the weigh in at the end of year decide if I feel emotionally OK about what is in that room.
It took me a day to empty the room and weigh everything and put everything back, sorting and tossing as I went. Most of my stuff is fairly well organised, so it was easy to take out and put back.
Everything was weighed in containers…
I do not usually have PIGS (projects in grocery sacks) but some went into grocery bags for purposes of of the weigh in.
Here the first empty cupboard.
I did not weigh visual journals, files, tools such as embroidery hoops and the like and the bag of stuff you see are my sewing patterns. There is also a skein winder and drawing board in there. These are tools rather than stash. So they were not put on the scales
On the shelves more visual journals and tools, such as a skein winder, portable day light lamp, brushes (in the cans). These were not weighed as they are tools too.
Then it all went back into my room, sorted lots of stuff, reorganised a little, and tidied
Everything got a good clean along the way too!
Anything I purchase through the year I will weigh and add to the total. Since I am not a huge shopper I don’t see this a huge task.
The final weigh in weight of all my stuff in its containers?
I am ashamed to say I have 399.450 kilos of stuff! Using this converter that is 880.8 pounds or 62.9 stone! Do you think I can shift a third this year and third next? Do you think a basic stash and supplies should be around 20 stone / 130 kilos including the containers they are in?
I will post at least weekly on this process of clearing the decks.
Tune in tomorrow for the UFOs and Wisps I found. I plan the embarrassing process of listing them. . . Then normal link heavy blogging will resume
Oh and do check out the comments in yesterdays post as some people have started blogging their progress for the Take it Further Challenge