As we wait for the arrival of our first baby, there’s been a lot of cleaning up and reorganization around here. This includes my office studio space that is doubling as baby play/changing room. I suspect that I’ll be doing double duty when it comes to childcare and work – as best I can anyway – so it makes sense to have these spaces combined. With the start of a new year, the idea of reworking my space was exciting! Of course, it turns out to be a pain in the butt as well. Everything is a mess around me and about every hour, I plop down with fatigue and exasperation.
Deep breaths. One. Step. At. A. Time. Realizing my physical limits, I’m totally okay with a bit of disorganization as I slowly chip away at this task. I target one little area at a time. One thing to organization today, another tomorrow. So much more approachable in that manner. Slowly but surely, it is coming together here and there.
Reorganization inevitably comes with a lot of purging as well. I’m finding things I forgot I had… random materials just popping up around me. Oh dear. It’s actually a bit suffocating to have all this stuff. I know, I know… it’s a bit of a trend and fad these days to talk about the simple life and minimalism. But really, I think it’s so easy to fall into this hoarding, consumeristic robot mode. I’ve always thought that I was good at not buying junk, but things just pile up over time.
I think the problem is that we continually add to our lives, but we don’t continually purge. It’s usually one of these big spring-ish cleaning activities. I wonder if I could ever live with the rule that when something comes into the house, something has to go out?!
Perhaps I’m not ready for any kind of strict or dramatic change, but I do want to simplify, reduce and reorg. Marisa from Creative Thursday spent years heading into the direction of a simpler life and an organized life – not to mention there is no perfect state, it’s always a work in progress, I say. But just thinking about cleaning out house (physically and emotionally) makes me breath easier and look forward to lighter, brighter days.
There are so many gurus out there that blog about the simpler life (Zenhabits, Marc and Angel, Becoming Minimalist, Rowdy Kittens, to name a few) and I’ve always been interested, but obviously not enough to make it an integral part of my life. Perhaps this big life change of a baby arriving has sparked something within me to really get on it. I want to use my time and space wisely, no room for waste and no time for waste… perhaps that is where this feeling is coming from. The need to get organized and simplify, so that I won’t be cluttered with little things. I want to be immersed only on the most important things in my life.
So as I’m organizing my space, I’m decluttering as much as possible. At least I have most items grouped together to start with – see all the photos of random things I seem to think I need? Corks, leather, journals, stationery sets, ephemera papers, craft supplies galore, string and ribbon of all kinds (in a big mess)… oh my!
I’m sure the materials can be used in many a craft project, but if I never get to doing them it’s just a big waste of space. They say that something that occupies space (physically or mentally) just clutters things up. Don’t you just want to start afresh sometimes? Wipe the slate clean?
Okay, let me take that back, because there are some things that I really really want to keep. But over time I’ve realized that it’s a lot easier to let go of things as well. It’s no big deal and often, I don’t even think twice when giving things away or trashing them.
So I’ve decided to really make use of this stuff or get rid of it somehow. I blogged about putting inspiration to use, so it’s a bit in that same vein for all this physical stuff. Why am I hoarding my own art postcards? It’s obvious that I’m not sending it out into the world enough and they really do no one any good stuffed in a drawer.
I’ve also fallen into the discount trap as well, buying a million envelopes because of the savings. Hmm, still got a whole lot of them and no need whatsoever. Perhaps I need to take a cue from our Italian lifestyle, where folks buy exactly what they need – same idea with food – because it’s fresher!
Besides trashing certain items, I’ve also decided to send off materials to others in hopes that they can make use of it. I know that art journalers love ephemera and stamps… why not give to someone who can actually put the items to use?
It’s amazing how long we keep lugging items around with us, place to place, with no apparent practical reason. For me it’s even crazier given that I moved from Los Angeles to Italy. Don’t tell my husband that I totally regret bringing certain items… eek!
I’m hopeful that my efforts are heading in the right direction and will lead me to a simpler, cleaner, organized life. When something gets put in it’s place, I feel lighter instantly. I’m starting in my studio space, but my efforts will be moving to my closet and the dreaded attic of everything and anything!
I’ve learned that sometimes it takes a big life changing event to be the catalyst for even more change. Becoming a mommy means more responsibility and frankly it’s a bit scary to me. We can never feel totally ready for such things. But it’s also exciting and I can’t wait for the little one to be here. I already imagine us creating together in the future and all the cuteness! Obviously getting ahead of myself, but I know that this is all part of the natural progression of life. New life means new beginnings and a new chapter of my journey…
I’ve also realized that organization and simplifying life doesn’t mean the same thing for every person. It doesn’t mean the perfectly modelled photos in all those magazines or being on top of things 24/7. I know that it’s impossible… but more importantly that we all have our own “ideals” when it comes to living. Being organized for me, means getting to that point physically and emotionally when I won’t be apologizing for having a mess in the house. When I won’t feel overwhelmed by my surroundings. Yes, I think it’s about rolling up your sleeves and getting things ship-shape, but it’s also a state a mind. More than anything, it’s a state of mind, right?
So taking it bit by bit, I’m making progress in my efforts and excited to be able to create a space – a life – that feels more me. I actually have a pinterest board that helps me to visualize how I want everything around me to feel and I think vision boards are a great tool to use as a guiding light.
Finally, it’s always a work in progress, so this is not like a project that we start one day then we finish another. It’s an ongoing process – really a way of living. So in realizing that I have set proper expectations as well.
So, all this to say that I’m on the road of simplicity and organization for my space, my life – physically, digitally and emotionally. Yay!