Friday, May 2, 2014

I'm on an organizing kick!

If you missed yesterday's post about beading for a different cause, please go here and check it out, then share it with your friends.  Thanks!

On April 7th, almost a month ago, I took absolutely everything off of my desk (including about 3 layers of dust and cat hair from underneath the big things).  I made some decisions and revisions on what went where, and I even rearranged my magnet boards to be more useful.  My post shows before and after pictures (and a cute picture of Frisco).  Since those pictures were taken, I've added a bi-level letter tray - one is for personal and one is for business.

I love it.  I thought for sure that within a week the desk would be a big mess again, but I found myself straightening up and putting things away when I was done (yes, Mom, I know) or at the end of the day.  At the most, things have stayed out for one night so I could finish what I was doing the next day.

The cats love my clean desk, too.  They have lots of room to stretch out but also be close at hand.  Pixel likes to move from my lap to the desk and back.

I'm really proud of myself for keeping it so clean.  This is a record.  I always thought I thrived in clutter, but the opposite seems to be true.

I have put a few (well contained) things on my printer, but those are for kits I'm planning on making in the next week or two.  Also, the letter trays are a little messy, but that's because I'm putting new purchases there so they can get put into my inventory program.  Nothing gets put away until it's inventoried.

One area I have had problems with is this "putting things away" concept.  If I haven't had a quick place to put something, it got stashed on trays or in boxes.  Every once in a while I'd clear out the easy stuff but then would leave the rest "for later".

Later came today.

Do you remember that new wall unit I got last September?  (If not, click that link.)  I have slowly been putting my seed beads on it in little photo boxes.  A lot of beading folks call them "incubator boxes" and put projects in them.  They grab the boxes for what they want to work on, and everything is right there.

The boxes come individually, or you can get them in a case with six photo boxes or with sixteen.  I've used them for projects, but I really like using them to separate my seed and other "stitchable" beads.  Ooh - follow those links to get the cases for 50% off right now!  I have three of the largest cases and one of the small, but it was always a pain to pull the case I want (it's never the first one, you know) out from under the china cabinet.  It was just easier to keep the photo cases piled up on the desk.

Putting the boxes (very well labeled, of course) on the wall unit has helped me quickly find what I need and easily put it away.  I found some non-photo boxes on clearance for thirteen cents or something ridiculous and use those, too.

I had planned something very different for today.  I wanted to make a faux Solidarity necklace (like the Senhoa Foundation has, only not as pretty) with a heart crystal I knew I had somewhere.  I thought a necklace like theirs could hold me over until I could afford the real one, and I'd still have a conversation starter.

The problem was that I didn't know where the crystal was.  I had a general idea - in that tray or this tray or that other tray or in that wooden box.  Oh, geez.  I glanced at all of those jumbles of everything and moaned.

I then looked at my clean desk and said, "Well, I have the space to spread everything out.  Might as well do it today!"

I started putting things away as I found them, but that became irritating.  I then made piles by type of bead (11/0 round, 11/0 Delicas, cubes, Rizos, etc.).  I even cut apart some samples and failed attempts and put those beads away.  In for a penny, in for a pound.

Fortunately I had a number of empty photo boxes, so I didn't have to cram things into boxes already too full.

Here's how the wall unit looked after Steve put it up:

Here's how it looks tonight:

The top cubbies still need some work.  They're too small for the boxes I have, and I have to strain to reach them.  They might end up being decorative only.  The green glass in the rightmost cubby was my grandmother's.  We found it in a cabinet, and since it's cracked Steve wanted to throw it away.  I said, "NO!!" and secreted it away in my room.

I have some empty boxes in there, but most of them are filled with seed beads, shaped beads (including a bunch of two-holed beads), and keys.  I took the ribbon dowel off so I could use the bottom shelf to full capacity.

I am pleased to report that I put everything away.  I didn't put anything aside for later.  I did find the crystal, but I don't have any chain that I can use to mimic the Solidarity pendant necklace.  Oh, well.  The heart was an odd color anyway.  It's red, but it's a little more orange than red.

While I was on an organizational streak, I wanted to do something with my purple Caboodle that I take everywhere I bead.  As much as I've tried to keep things in their place, it always ends up looking like this:

I like to keep all kinds of tools and supplies in here to cover most beading "emergencies".  The tiny pliers come in handy, but they don't stay where I put them.  There were also a lot of little bags of findings that floated around.  In short, I could never find anything, and every time I dug I made a bigger mess.

When I was putting the beads away today, I noticed that one of the magatama boxes wouldn't fit in the photo box:

I put the beads in a baggie, but instead of throwing the box away, I cut off the top and the hang tag and used it to corral the tiny pliers, needle packets, and a tiny scoop:

To give you some perspective, the whole thing is just over 3" tall.  And, yes, I have a tiny purple scoop (thanks, Kathy!).

I couldn't stop there.  I dumped what needed dumping and organized the rest.  I took a few of the tiniest boxes and put the free-floating little things in them.  In one I have some change (in case I need a pop or something), some extra needles, bead stoppers, a few cinnamon candies (thanks, Cindy!), and a few cough drops (thanks, Amy!).  I had quite the cough at the LBS Retreat a few months ago.  People were throwing things at me all weekend to try to get me to stop.

The other little box has all the findings and materials I could ever need in a pinch: beading wire, crimp beads (two kinds), regular wire, earring wires (4 kinds and colors, including sterling silver), earring wire stoppers, headpins, toggle clasps (two colors), snap clasps (two colors), a magnetic clasp, and a few lobster clasps.  If I need to fix anything at a show or if I forget something (which has happened no less than 1000 times), I should be covered.

I put a few other necessities in the Caboodle, and here's how it looks now:

It's ready for a bead mat, Fireline, Fireline scissors, and project.  There's plenty of room!

I have a tiny bead mat underneath just in case I forget a mat.  That's happened more than once, too.  The other necessities are business cards (which can also be used for jotting notes down), bobbins with Fireline scraps, a mini Sharpie, a mini Lo-Lo Lov bar from Funky Hannah's, a mirror from Fusion Beads, a ruler from Beaducation, a tape measure from Ace Hardware, a pen from Rings & Things, and a magnifier and bead reference card from Fire Mountain Gems.  As you can see, I love little giveaways.  :)

Those are my projects for today!  I'm very happy and can't wait to put things away as I go (Mom will be proud!) and to take my Caboodle out and show it off.  "Anyone have a headpin?"  "Why, yes, it's right here!"

1 comment:

  1. Okay, since you're on this organizing kick, maybe you'll find more ideas here:
    P. S. The 'Clutter Coach' would have things to say about that green glass.....