I’ve just completed a makeover of my studio. I’m including some before and after pics below.
I’m also reading a book called The LIfe-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the Japanese art of un-cluttering and organizing. There are some fundamentally good principals in this book. I think I should share some of them with you, my kind readers. The author Marie Kondo, suggests that one should never tidy and organize the entire house, or an entire room all at once, but rather should organize and tidy by category gradually.
You should start with socks and work your way to personal papers, and then do memorabilia last. Things with sentimental value and/or things that are rare should be the very last and take the longest to winnow.
What struck me most in reading this book was that she says, getting organizers (all those plastic drawers!) to store everything neatly in is, in reality, just another way to hoard things.
I never considered myself a hoarder. I think of those ghastly reality television shows with those poor people who can’t move for the mess in their houses! That’s not me, no, definitely not me.
What about all my teapots, my music boxes, and my books? I’m allowed to “collect”, right? Right. Collecting is another topic. Not according to the dictionary.
Hoard 1. a secret store of valuables or money. synonyms include accumulate, amass, and collect. Hmmmm. *sad face
Am I a secret hoarder? I decided to put this theory of hoarding to the test. I thought instead of starting with socks, (I can hold all my sock pairs in two hands), I would start with office supplies. Office supplies hold no sentimental value. Breaking this down by category, I pulled out all the pens from drawers in my studio, then out from all the drawers all over the house, my husbands office, gulp! in the kitchen. Goodness! We had so many pens. There was a pile six inches deep and three feet wide on our dining room table. Whoops.
So I’ve gone through and trashed all the ones that didn’t work well, then I filled all the pen holders in the house, and then I put the remaining pile in baggies for my church pre-school. The teachers are always looking for the allusive, working Sharpie.
But wait! That’s not all. While searching for pens I found we had four boxes of paper clips, eight boxes of staples, four staplers, way too much tape, and when I stacked the sticky note pads one atop the other, the stack stood fourteen inches high. Double whoops. While in the bedroom I found a lot of old prescription glasses. What to do with them? I don’t know.
So I’ve got some tidying to do. I’m not talking about organizing, I’m really pretty organized (mainly because I have so many boxes and whatnot drawers to hide things in). I’m talking about piling things up and deciding how I’m going to get them out of my house. Apparently, I’m realizing, I’ve got more than I will ever use.
Now, the author of the tidying book says I should touch everything individually and wish it a better life elsewhere, and give it a kiss. Look, if you hear that I’m talking to inanimate objects you have my permission to call the white-coated folks. If I’m that emotionally attached I’ll just keep it. Seriously.