08 July 2013

Reclaim Your Space - No Time Like the Present

* This is the fifth post in a six part series about how I reclaimed my studio spaces.
* See the fourth post "Reclaim Your Space - Containers and Labels".
* See the third post "Reclaim Your Space - Hyperfocus".
* See the second post, "Reclaim Your Space - Enlisting Help".
* See the first post, "Reclaim Your Space - Your Mindset".

As I was about as desperate as a teenager who has lost her cell phone to downsize my belongings, the need for a plan to get things out of my space was at the top of the list.

My original plan was to gather all the things that I didn't want, put them in a few really big boxes and then invite all my art friends over to dig through it and take away the treasures they wanted to keep. I informed Mary the Wonder Organizer of my brilliant idea and her question to me stopped me in my tracks, "Are you sure they will want it?"

Um. No, I'm not. The concern then became that I would end up storing things I thought were cool that someone might want but the chance existed that people wouldn't be able to come over to get it or just wouldn't care (we are all kind of having stash management issues at the moment) and I began to get a little twitchy just thinking about it. That meant there was a very strong possibility that the mess would continue to live with me for an undetermined amount of time.

Not such a good plan after all. Two rules emerged for the items that I wanted to have new homes:

1. If I knew for absolute certain that someone would want to have it, it went into a pile for them with the understanding that I would move it out quickly (quickly for me meaning within a week).

2. If I couldn't think of anyone, then it got donated to The Salvation Army. (My favorite charity, by the way.)

90% of what I wanted to get rid of ended up going to The Salvation Army where it will be sold for a donation and good things in the world will be done. Took the sting out of not only letting it go but getting comfortable with giving away things that I had spent good money on (always a sticking point, right?).

Luckily I have a really huge Sali Army right by my house with a drive thru donation drop off. The back of my car got loaded up (three times), I took a five minute drive, they unloaded it and I'm about a hundred pounds lighter possession wise. (They will also come get things from your home. You have to call and make an appointment but it's a really good alternative if you are not able to take it to them.)

I told Mary the Wonder Organizer that the realization that I can just let things go like that so easily was worth the price of admission alone. It had never really occurred to me that that avenue was open to me. Now I won't keep things because I'm not sure how to get rid of them.

But the biggest thing I learned was this: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS "LATER". The odds are that I won't sort it later (I don't, I have the photos to prove it), it will sit there and take up space and slowly the mess will return to it's former glory.

Lesson learned: Deal with things on the spot. Don't make piles for later. That's my hardest lesson, not only to learn but to keep up with. :)

In the final post, I'm going to share my thoughts on how I'm going to maintain my new found freedom from clutter.


Robbie said...

I'm really enjoying these posts!!! But Sali won't take those little bits of strings, fibers, etc. and it's so hard to part with them!!! I will be headed down to wet room this afternoon...just finished some weeding and washing some windows outside!! UGH...don't like the heat or bugs!! Now for my coffee break..

Nancy said...

Hmmm... later. Yes, that's a danger. Good info in your posts. You've done a great deal of work.

Denise said...

Have learned so much from your cleaning-and-purging experience. Do we get to see an after photo of the studio and warehouse? You have inspired me! blessings, denise :D

Gerrie said...

Excellent advice!!

Mia Bloom Designs said...

Love this post! I have a bag of clothes, etc. in the trunk of my car. It's been there for awhile because I thought I might change my mind. After reading your post, I'm going to drop if off at the thrift store on my way home from work...today!

Lisa Chin said...

Ugh I have the hardest time with that! I always think there will be more time for it later. :S Thanks for the great advice!

Unknown said...

For those of us who live in SE Michigan and have rafty items that the Salvation Army may not want, you can always donate them to the http://scrapbox.org/wordpress1/

Art Tart on a Farm said...

I plan to donate mine to the art reuse center here in Salem. If they don't want it off to the nearest donation spot.

Gisela Towner said...

Well, I beg to differ...there is such a thing as "later". I know this quite certainly, because I have several piles of it in my studio...@@