Wednesday, January 17, 2007

One Neat Space

I haven't done much serious work on decluttering since before the holidays, but I think it bodes well that my Christmas tree was put away last week. My desire for this to be an utterly honest documentation of my de-cluttering odyssey makes me also add that the ornaments are still out on a table in a room upstairs awaiting proper wrapping and storage. I have in mind a project (eeek, I am beginning to hate that word) to sort through the ornaments and keep only my very favorites since we've started having a small tree. Let's see if I can manage to do that before it becomes so close to next Christmas that I deem it silly to put them away.

Of late my intention has been to keep one space relatively neat so that it is restful and soothing to occupy it, a space that will be my retreat from the disorder of the other areas I need to work on, a space that will be renewing. It seems to be the living room.

Now in the living room, the Big Armchair with Ottoman is where I sit to do nearly all of my fiber work. And the ottoman has had a tendency to become a chaos of yarn and fiber and tools and patterns and books and magazines (big ottoman). The effect of that chaos on my work and on the pleasure in doing my work is profound. If the space so close around me is so cluttered I do not focus, I move from project to project, ideas spin off into the ether, and I feel scattered and unsettled.

Before the holidays, I managed a huge clean-up of my fiber arts clutter in the living room (there is another ottoman that was absolutely full as well as the floor space around it.)

And I have been making a conscientious effort to keep that space free of clutter and regularly tidy up the Big Armchair with Ottoman. I re-organized my knitting and crochet tools,
and gave projects containers of their own. I try not to have so many at hand by putting them neatly away in the room that is becoming sort of a studio--Patrick's old room.

The reorganization of my knitting and crochet tools came about because I purchased needle and hook storage cases, ones which I had turned up my nose at before but which I now love. They are the Ashland Sky translucent vinyl envelopes, and they seem outrageously expensive and sort of unattractive. Martha at my yarn shop had a great sale before Christmas, so I picked them up for a bit less.

But now that I am using them and finding them exactly what I needed, I'd say they are worth the price. The vinyl is soft and supple and rolls right up and I like the translucency that allows me to see my tools.

So, I have a relatively organized and neat work area and when I look at most of the room around me, I am soothed by the gleaming wood floor and neatness and order.

My view from the Big Armchair used to look like this (these before pictures were taken just less than a year ago--and it pretty much looked worse by the time I began to work on it mid-December!):

Now, it looks like this: