And just like that, I moved my office back home again. I know what you are thinking. You saw this coming a mile away…
It was an incredibly difficult decision that I went back and forth over for MONTHS. I hemmed and hawed every day. Some days I loved the separation of home and work and the blessed peace and quiet of the office, other days I missed my bright sunny room, the proximity to all my many boxes of craft supplies in Diagon Alley, all my happy sunny photoshoot spots, my plants, my animals…my family. I wish I could just keep both but then the expense. I can’t stand spending money on something I’m not using every day.
So I packed everything up in my car and two loads later everything was back at home.
It seems overwhelming, right? Not to me. Clutter like this is a joy to me. I LOVE organizing a new space. I see this as a challenge that I can conquer in a day. Bring it on! I sing. I know I should hire myself out to do this for others but nobody ever wants to really hire me. Plus there is a lot of psychology that has to go into sorting and when it comes to someone else it’s almost like doing hours and hours of therapy. I know this because I’ve spent my entire life doing this with my mom. My stuff: no sweat! Other people’s stuff… well, it depends on how attached you are. If you are ready to be ruthless then I am your girl. Call me.
It took some time but bit by bit I found a place for everything and everything found its place. Lots of envelopes got donated and my new toaster and printer found new homes.
I have to say I’m really happy with the new space. I’ve figured myself out: I just need change. Every six months I need to rearrange or up and move, get a new hobby or try a new work-out. I just crave change. It envigorates me and helps me feel like I’m making progress. I can’t stand feeling stuck. I’m sure there’s a lot more to unpack there mentally but for now I’m sticking with actual physical unpacking.
Besides the hot weather of this room (that is very sunny, bright, and unbearably hot in the summer) one of the things I was trying to escape when I moved to an outside office was how my homelife edged into my professional life. That is still going to be my biggest challenge. When I’m home I like to tinker. I like to clean, I like to garden and I like to make things. I love having a sewing room next to my office and a painting studio in between. I can slide my rolly chair from one project to the other with ease. It’s super fun but it’s also not so great for focusing on work projects. I can spend my whole day organizing the kitchen, baking bread, driving the kids around, and never touch a drop of work if I’m not careful.
My plants missed me. My garden has been terribly neglected, my kitchen too. The dogs are super happy to have a playmate back home again. I can get more walks in… it’s just going to be nice but also difficult.
We’ll just have to see. I did talk to the office manager and they will welcome me back anytime. We’ll see if I can make it till summer.
Different people do different things to cope with their anxiety. Some people smoke pot. Some people drink. Some people run marathons or join cross-fit or become extreme yoga enthusiasts. Some people watch cooking shows, eat Cheetos all day or go to health food stores obsessing over ingredients. Some people watch cute animal videos on high volume or pimple-popping videos (Ew, David!). Some people watch the NEWS all day and get in heated political discussions. Some people garden or trim bonsai or make tiny houses out of milk cartons. Some people play mindless video games… There are so many things to do to keep yourself from going crazy. I do (and don’t do) a lot of the above but one of my favorite things to do is organize.
I know! It’s a sickness. But it really does make me happy. Do you know that show: The Home Edit? I loved it. I binge-watched it in a few days and immediately had an unbearable urge to go The Container store or order all the clear plastic bins on Amazon. I talked about the show to a few friends and they looked at me like I like to drink sour milk. Organizing freaks with high squeaky squealing voices!
Different strokes for different folks I guess.
I am one of those crazy organizers. I don’t have a high squeaky voice, I promise! I have a quiet soft voice like a mouse that nobody can hear. I do sometimes get excited and talk too fast but it doesn’t squeak. At least I don’t think so anyway.
So let’s talk about my pride and joy: my craft cabinet! I call it Diagon Alley. The photo above is the before. It wasn’t that unorganized. But things were getting slightly out of control. Bins were getting too full. I was stuffing things above, beside and around the bins which made it impossible to pull them out without causing a small avalanche.
Why do I have so much stuff? Well, I come from a long line of hoarders (probably brought on by poverty) and I do crafts all the time for my job and just because I love to. Since I hate the craft store I like to keep things and re-use them. I hate having to re-buy things just because I can’t find them.
You know how organizing goes, it always gets way worse before it gets better. I subscribe to the “A place for everything and everything in its place” method and that doesn’t mean just adding on a second story to your house or renting out a storage unit when you over-flow, though I’ve dreamed of those things many many times. I say get everything out and then shop from your stuff putting only the things that you really need/want back. It’s a massive purging opportunity.
And it’s work. I have to shake every paint bottle to make sure it’s not dried up and draw with every pen to make sure it still writes. I have to go through old notebooks and pull out the blank pages if they are nearly filled up. I have to throw out whole projects that I really wanted to do but they’ve been on the back burner for way too long… It’s a long arduous series of decisions.
I just put on some headphones and commit to rocking out for a good day. Wittle wittle wittle away at the giant pile of crap, grouping like objects together, consolidating and then, of course, tossing a good percentage because EVERYTHING HAS TO FIT!
When I’m done I am exhausted but it’s peaceful exhaustion where I sink into the couch, completely relaxed and happy. I try to watch television and unwind but I constantly interrupt whatever show we are watching to gloat about how great the organized cabinet is. Payam is used to me. Murder, schmurder, crime show schmimeshow…Did I tell you how great it is to go out into the Diagon Alley and gaze at all the perfectly aligned bins of crafty goods? It’s like angels sing!
As you can see I am not a perfectionist organized freak. I’m somehow missing the OCD part of this mental illness. It suits me because I think often perfectionists get hung up on the details and get overwhelmed by the sheer effort needed to organize all the details perfectly. Not me. I just throw things willy nilly into my sense of order (whatever level of type A I happen to be that day) and then shrug off anything that doesn’t quite fit. My stickers are not even, my fonts change, some pricetag stickers are still slightly stuck… you get the idea.
But this time I decided to step up the organization a notch and I made a spreadsheet! I kid you not. I have a google spreadsheet of every single craft supply I have and a corresponding bin number. It’s goooooood.
The great thing about the internet is that I’m sure there is somebody out there who is looking at these photos and saying, “me too!” In fact, I fantasise that someone will even zoom in and take notes of all my supplies. They are great supplies. You can make so many things with these odds and ends.
Sharpies, fabric paint, craft paint, feathers and shells, raffia, ribbon, tissue paper…. so many things!
Glue, tape, foam, all those containers and odd collections. Looking for a cassette tape? It’s in bin 15 of course with all the other tape. Makes perfect sense to me!
So anyway, you get the picture. Ooops, I repeated a picture. Oh well, I’m not fixing it because I have two pies to make today and a needy client. I think all three readers of this post can acknowledge the imperfect in me.
At the end of the day, I am a happy crafter. I love to take anyone and everyone out into my garage to show them Diagon Alley and brag about it. Need to borrow some craft supplies? I’ve got you covered!
I know I’m super lucky to have so much space but on the flip side, I can’t park my car in my garage because we have a man-cave/woodworking shop on one side and an awesome Diagon Alley/laundry room on the other. To each their own, right?