This is a major, multi-day project that I am breaking down into tiny pieces.
SO let’s go over why this is a Big Deal.
Several years ago, I started a DBA called Divine Bird. The idea was that I would sell the fruits of my hobbies, most notably art, knitting, and spinning yarn. It also covers the classes I teach in knitting, crochet, spinning, baking, and using alcohol markers, as well as any talks I give to local groups. I filed all the necessary paperwork and set myself up with a schedule, then got to work.
It became clear very quickly that I needed a Proper Space in which to work. So I tried to carve out that space in our tiny apartments, never really succeeding. And then we got a two-bedroom apartment where I was able to claim a whole room just for my business. Lovely!!
I set up the room as best I could. Desk in the corner with my computer, yay! Office supplies! Storage in the closet! Shelves on the walls! And then the rest of our stuff needed a home…so of course I put the extra boxes in there. And the shelves that hadn’t been hung. And then the extra clothes. And then we emptied our storage unit, so all the stuff we kept from THAT went into the room. My desk became a flat surface on which to place things. My sewing table went the same route.
I never used that room. I couldn’t work in there; it was too cramped! There was no floor space left! My only choice was to work in other rooms, and I only went into the ‘studio’ to grab supplies.
Somewhere along the line, I decided that I would do an overhaul and Organize The Shit Out Of This Room. I took ‘before’ pics and posted them on Flickr and everything. I Had A Plan! I had a layout drawn on graph paper! Except THEN I had nowhere to put the rest of the stuff.
It is about this time that my business began to falter. The classes kept it afloat, but when it came to my production of yarn, I just never felt comfortable working on it. I was always worried the cat would shed on it (a big no-no in the yarn world) or I could never sit in a proper chair (terrible for ergonomics) or there was just No Space.
When we moved into our condo 3 years ago, I thought things would be different. I claimed the sunniest room in the house, and all it needed was a coat of paint and I would have my beautiful restful haven for creative works. That…didn’t exactly happen. Because I never had a system for my old studio, the new one ended up with all the junk and the stuff I’d moved with for 10 years, some of which I hadn’t even gone through in all that time. Bins of old artwork, bags and bags and bags of fiber, yarn, and fabric…and don’t even get me started on the equipment! Sewing notions, ribbons, knitting needles, crochet hooks, yarn spindles, spinning wheel attachments (for 5 wheels that have come and gone over the years!), hand cards, yarn winders, a table loom, a FLOOR loom, and more. My little studio became a glorified walk-in closet, and a poorly organized one at that.
See, a friend recently moved back to my town and her current place is tiny. All her possessions in one room and she can’t really manage working in there. But she has this fashion show she’s prepping for in early 2013, and she needs a sewing space.
Oh hey, I have a space. Technically.
Just after that, I found UfYH. Several days of 20/10s later, and holy shit, I have a semi-functional room at last.
It’s not done, not yet—but it’s getting there. A little bit at a time, 20 minutes here, 45 minutes there, I have been going through EVERYTHING. I’m ‘destashing’ stuff that I have loved and carried with me for 10 and 20 years, things I have kept out of guilt because it was important to me once, or I spent lots of money on it. With every piece I discard, though, I am feeling lighter and more free. I was excited about the things I AM keeping, and excited about the things I’m going to get rid of.
And here’s the great thing—as I do this, I’m eager to get to work on my production again. I have things I know will go into the shop, and I have a dedicated space in which not only can I work, but also I can CLOSE THE DOOR. It won’t have to spill out into the living room or my bedroom. I am creating a storage system now that will allow me to access all my tools and supplies with ease. I might even FINALLY start sewing the bags I wanted to make.
It’s all due to UfYH. I couldn’t find the motivation to tackle such a huge project. I always felt overwhelmed by the Stuff. But now I feel like maybe, just maybe, I can not only do this but do it RIGHT. I need for my business to succeed and it won’t unless I work on it. Having the space and the system in place will help me achieve my goals. So thank PoM for starting this movement, because without it, I might not have gotten my ass up off the couch to begin with.