DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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6 July 2015

Cleaning my desk - the pleasure of an organised space

Well, it's taken a good two months to mess up my work table. That's good for me! I'm usually much faster than that. ;- ) But now I have the familiar piles of books, candles, fabric, scissors, camera gear, note books and pens completely covering my work space.  Only this end of the desk gives me enough elbow room for writing on the computer. Time for a clean up!




I'm feeling particularly enthusiastic lately so finding the motivation to clean up this room was easy. I know I'm lucky to have this work space so it's up to me to respect what I have and keep it clean and organised. I see it as a gift to myself. A gift that will help me remain productive and creative and in touch with all of you out there who are all being productive and creative in your own ways. 

Since I finished the bulk of the writing I've slowly been slotting myself back into my routines. I'm not quite there with everything yet, but work is proceeding in that general direction. Every day I feel more of a pull towards sewing and mending and for that to happen I need a clean and tidy space that gives me enough room to spread projects out and to sit and think about ways to work efficiently. 




I've never been one who tidies up my tables at the end of each day. I have a friend who does that - when (her office) work finishes for the day, she spends time organising everything so it's ready for the following day. I've never done that, maybe I should, but I tend to be a bit chaotic and when I finish for the day, I just stand up and walk away. How do you organise yourself in your work or craft room?  Do you tidy up when it needs it or do you organise at the end of every day?  Or is there some other way? Let me know, I want to know what you do.

This room is an important part of my small life. It's where I have most of my ideas, I work here on writing and craft, I have phone conversations here - I need it to support the effort and time I put into my home, my family and myself. I feel the inclination towards sewing grow every day so I'm hopeful that some useful work will happen here soon. I've already got my first project waiting in the wings.

25 comments:

  1. Hi Rhonda
    My therapy is to make handmade cards and I absolutely love it! I have tried all sorts of crafts - embroidery, macramé, salt dough and knitting (my tension was always far too tight!) but I have settled with card making. Unfortunately I haven't got my own craft room and have to make do with the dinning room table BUT when I eventually get my own craft room (which is a double edged sword as it will be when one of my sons leave home :-( ) it will be the messiest craft room in the world as I will like you leave everything where it is and won't care!! This is probably because at the moment I have to pack everything away in boxes so that we can eat our dinner at the table.
    xx

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  2. Oh my gosh, what a timely post, as I look at my messy work space. I told my nephew and his wife who were visiting the other day, that I need to clean up, just so I can mess it up again. I clean it up and put things where they belong when I can't stand it any longer, or can't find something and it is no doubt underneath everything. :-)

    Have a great week and thanks for the inspiration to clear my space ~ FlowerLady

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  3. I usually feel the need to tidy up at the end of each completed project. One of the benefits to me having a craft room is that I don't have to tidy up at the end of each day. I walk away, and can start right in the next day. It can get a little cluttered sometimes, as I don's always only work on one project at a time.

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  4. Hi Rhonda,

    I have two rooms that really need a clean out!! I'm in need of a desk and just wondering where you got yours from?

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    1. Hi Ellen. We bought two identical kitchen tables from Ikea - $99 each. I just checked and they're still available: http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/30264278/ If it's a desk you're after, I like this one too, it's a drop sided table with a little drawer, perfect for a desk but also usable in other places: http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/00221426/

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  5. I'm with you Rhonda, clean up when it needs it, or I've run out of room. I have a very long table that's exclusively a cutting table, and a separate sewing cabinet for my machine, so can spread out on the worktable. I usually can't wait to start on the next project, so when I'm finished one, everything gets moved to one end and I start again. Tidy up happens when there's no room left or I can't find something. I know it makes sense to tidy at the end of the day, but I do like to stand up and walk
    away. I have an old wardrobe fitted with shelves and drawers and there's a place for everything in there, and when it's time, I do enjoy tidying it and putting things away and re-arranging it, but not every day. I like your comment about respecting the space and keeping it organised and tidy, but I sew or use the room every day in some way..planning, tracing patterns, auditioning fabrics, cutting out or sitting in there going through my magazines... and I think the fact it's a well-used disorganised- at- times space and not an occasionally used tidy space is reflected in the way it feels, it's a welcoming space, and friends love it in there. I often find visitors have made themselves at home and are looking through my books, or checking out work I have displayed, so I relax now and don't stress about it being untidy, it's a feel-good room no matter how it looks. Remember when you did the kitchen sink posts, perhaps sometime we could share our sewing spaces?

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    1. Funny you should say that about the sewing spaces Nanette, stay tuned.

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    2. Oooh a surprise! I'm tuned :)

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  6. I don't have a craft room so use a desk in the bedroom to sew and do craft work. If it gets cluttered then no sewing gets done and I feel so much better to have a clear space to start work. However, I think about doing that more than actually doing it until it gets too much and everything gets put away in its rightful spot...for a time ;-)

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  7. I tend to just tidy when it needs it, or once I'm so frustrated by it I need to start again!

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  8. There is a pretty apple green room I sew in; and I am lucky now as I never had a dedicated sewing space before. I try to keep the room clean and tidy; generally after a sewing session I at least cover my machine, put pins back on a pincushion, brush off the table of threads and organise scissors, rulers, and other sewing notions. Once per week I go in and vacuum and really put things away such as any sewing books I have referred to; or any pattern pieces that need to be folded and slipped into an envelope. The iron gets turned off, too. At least this way it looks decent and I can find things.

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  9. I usually tidy up at the end of a sewing session - though my natural inclination is not too - a bit like you. I like to leave my work at what ever stage its at (sewing etc) so when I come back I don't have to un-pack it all again and I can jump right into what I was doing.

    Whilst I have a lovely sewing area, with a big desk now in the lined shed I pack it up as I don't want my small boys getting curious and messing up my work. I have been known to catch my Waldorf doll heads flying across the room or brand new dolls ready for a customer to be caught in a precarious position nearing disaster. - LOL. cheeky monkeys.

    They are good at leaving my shelves alone but if it is left lying on the desk it sometimes poses too much temptation. ;)

    But after each doll or two I thoroughly tidy and sort the area ready to start fresh. I tend to get into a space of "inspired creation" and pull bit of this and that out during the planning process, chopping and changing my mind. I put it all back to start with a clean slate and so I can find things again.
    xx

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  10. I'm looking at the mess on the desk here and feeling a little inspired to do something about it. I used to tidy my desk at the end of the day, I should get back into the habit.

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  11. I've recently discovered your blog after reading your book, Down To Earth, last year and I love it! Thank you so much for sharing, it has been really helpful and inspiring. I never thought too much about simple living and the benefits until I had children! Now with three very small children I think it will be key to reducing the feeling of being completely overwhelmed.
    I have a space very similar to yours for my work and crafts, it's in a state of disarray at present too, so your post is very timely as I intend on tackling it today. It tends to become a dumping ground for things that don't have a home yet!
    I have my sewing machine set up on the desk too as I find I use it a lot more that way than when I pack it away in it's cover but was concerned that the dust that often settles on it might affect the motor. Do you usually keep a cover on your sewing machine? Or is it ok to leave it uncovered?

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    1. Hello Rachel, it's lovely having you here with us. I intend to make a cove for my sewing machine in the next month. It's better to be covered unless you use it a few times a week, and even then I think it's wise to cover. xx

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  12. For years I worked in a small space on my upstairs landing. And, it stayed remarkably neat because it had to do so! Then, I went back to college (while having four young children) and moved to working from my chair. All the books and things for classes were stacked on ONE side of the chair and all the needlework was on the OTHER side. I used baskets to keep it straight. There WERE times that I had remnants in my back pack for college.... :)

    Now, as an empty nester, I have a large, glorious room to work in! I am blessed to have an Ikea cubby system to hold all my fiber for knitting, spinning, and weaving. We just installed the Ikea Algot closet system which has made such a nice space to organize my embroidery, herbs for dryer bags and such, as well as other goodies. My work table has bookshelves in either end where my books are tucked for reference. I can sew, weave on a small loom, or cut out things on the top as it is large enough to do all three.

    Clean up?

    When I get tired of not finding things! LOL I do dust, vacuum and mop every week in the room, however!

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  13. Hi. I try and tidy up after each project, but I always seem to have remnants lying around when I'm into the next project. Eventually they will be moved and put away, when I have no workspace left. I have a table and a desk along one wall, sewing end and computer end, the two often overlap. I think it's normal to be messy when you are creative. My excuse is my living room is my studio.

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  14. have your heard of Konmari Rhonda? I have been very busy around here!

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  15. My office, work area and kitchen are all possessed. Must be because how else could they get into such complete mess whenever I use them? I swear I am just working away quietly and efficiently but when I leave to get a cup of tea or go into the garden for some basil and then return to which ever room it is I am using it is in a complete shambles.

    I am an obsessively tidy and organized person so this situation always surprises me since everything does have its place. I have now learned to clean and tidy as I go. Putting things away after even just one use and getting them out again even if I need them again within the same work time. Oh well, at least it gets me off my chair and moving around and I never have to take a long time to tidy.

    Another reason I have learned to tidy as I go is because I have cats. We have always had cats but these are collectors. If I leave something out they play with it or steal it. Got the scare of my life when one of them paraded through the house carrying a sewing needle in her mouth.

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  16. Rhonda, I am a newcomer to your wonderful blog. I have been laid low, recuperating, and found your blog. It hooked me immediately and I read every single entry. It was like good medicine during a difficult illness. First off, thank you for generously sharing your life with all of us. I've taken notes, copied recipes, and feel downright inspired. My husband is a few years from fully retiring, but we are on a similar journey as you and Hanno. Working hard in our garden, preparing our home and property for our later years, and simply trying to find the very best way to live for today and in the future. Many, many thanks to you for your valuable blog!! BTW, I'm still hoping and praying for grandchildren and so enjoy seeing your two grandsons as they have grown. Best wishes to you!

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    1. Welcome Pam. I'm sorry to hear you've been sick. I hope that's behind you now. Good luck with your work towards retirement. Remember, small steps. :- ) xx

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  17. Oh dear! I commented on your lovely new work space initially and mentioned the chaotic state of mine. Unfortunately nothing has changed here for the better. Maybe I'll try again next week when Wimbledon is over :-)

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  18. Oh I like to leave myself with a clean slate all ready for action the next day. Whether it is in the kitchen, at my desk or in the polytunnel, I just can't bring myself to leave until everything is cleared and ready to start over again next time.

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  19. Hmmm, If I clean up at the end of the day it is because I have finished the current project I have been working on, or I need/plan to do something different the next day. I tend to clean up only when a project is finished. This is mainly because if it is out and available I will work on it throughout the day (and night if having insomnia). But I seem to have a need to clean up and put away when I am completely finished with a project before I move on to a new one.

    I do also tend to multi-task between my projects too. In that case I tend to do a tidy up to keep the loose pieces together and separate for each project when I am finished working on that particular project and before going over to the next. jackie m

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