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Thursday, 5 January 2012

Holy Moly! What a Mess!


I'm reorganizing my craft room.  Sounds innocuous enough, right?  Well, let me tell you:

I decided a couple of months back that I wanted to switch our second bedroom into the room which is currently my craft room and my craft room into the room that is currently our second bedroom.

Why?

Well, it has to do with watching TV.  The bed in the second bedroom sits parallel to the dresser where the TV rests, rather than being perpendicular to it.  Since I don't share my husband's taste in TV programming, I do most of my TV watching (and reading and noodling on my computer) while curled up on that bed.  It gives me a crick in my neck if I watch TV for too long, even when I prop my pillows up in the corner where the bed meets the wall.

I debated long and hard about this change because I'm a sprawler.  I tend to spread my work over every available surface.

The second bedroom is smaller than my craft room.  If I leave things as they are, there's no way I can arrange the bedroom furniture in such a way as to allow for more comfortable TV viewing.

If I switch the rooms around,  I'll have the space to watch TV more comfortably but I'll also have less square footage for crafting.  I generally need every square inch of work space I can find, plus a little more.

I think I've worked out a solution to my dilemma:  There's enough space in the larger room to accommodate the bedroom furniture, including the TV, and to hold my paper storage cabinets.  If I leave the paper storage where it is (well, at least in the same room), the smaller room will accommodate my computer desk, my work table and some of my craft supplies.

Additional shelving is definitely included in my future plans for both rooms.  In the meantime, though, there's the physical reality of moving stuff from one room to another and both rooms contain a lot of stuff.

When I decided upon this plan, I failed to consider three things:

First, the floor space in these two rooms comprises about 25% of the total space in our apartment.  Displacing the contents of the two rooms while I switch them around means we effectively lose the use of half of our living space.

Second, the contents of both rooms needs to be sorted through and purged.  Logically, this is the best opportunity I'll have to undertake such a project, but it's time consuming and the resulting disarray is causing us a fair bit of stress.

Third, it's incredibly hard to get any creative work (or even creative thinking) done in the midst of such a mess.  As sprawling a worker as I am, I need a background of order and routine in order to do what I do.

I still think switching rooms is a worthwhile project.  I still think that when I'm done I'll be using both spaces much more effectively.  I still think that lightening our load and thus freeing up some space is a good idea.  It's just that the work itself has left me tired, dusty, a little discouraged.

Today I took some time away from my big switch in order to go foraging for inspiration.  I visited several thrift shops and to my two of my favourite building salvage yards.  I looked through racks of bedding and table linens, stacks of dishes, piles of trays, and about a ton of furniture, doors, windows, cupboard fronts, cabinet hardware, and old light fixtures.

I know.  More stuff.

But, surprisingly, none of it came home with me.  Just the process of looking, of handling different materials, of shifting through piles was enough to re-start my creative process. You don't need to physically own something in order to carry it home.