January, where did you go?

  I am both happy and sad that January is almost done. It means that I accomplished what I set out to do for the month, but that the year is already starting to slip by quickly. It's hard when you have depression to escape from the sense that things are moving too fast and you get overwhelmed much too quickly. However, I have been tweaking my process here and there, and it is helping quite a bit.
  All over Facebook and the Internet there are things for organization. Michael's had/has their big sale on storage solutions, and there are a ton of bloggers and crafters putting up their cute little (or large!!) craft room pictures, perfectly organized. Just hop onto Pinterest, and you can find just about any solution for any sort of space... except your own. Yup, there is no one size fits all, and it can be depressing... especially if you are already overwhelmed and depressed. I miss my craft room, even if I never utilized it and let it become the "dump it in here company is coming" room. Now hubby and I sleep in it, and it is kept relatively neat.
  So, like every other person on the planet who has about a room's worth of creative ideas and parts, but their sole space consists of the dining room table and a set of shelves, I sit and dream about making a little space just for me. I can wait for the boys to move out; their rooms are not my future sewing/craft spaces... not enough space, HAHA! Instead, I will clean out the shelves again and get rid of some books and magazines and unused yarn (Shelley, I will get your daughter some goodies!), and I will be happier.
  So what is the key to organization, when you have depression, and it's the middle of winter? Everyone is different, but for me, it's just starting with one small space. For an example, I had to create a weekly "chore chart", ostensibly for the men here, but really to help keep myself on task. Monday is Living room and Dining room cleaning day, which means we dust, sweep, organize, pick up and vacuum. Tuesday is Kitchen day, which means mopping, all dishes taken care of, wiping and sweeping, fridge, etc. I broke up my cleaning routine into bite size chunks, and now I don't feel overwhelmed by that looming "clean the whole house" vibe. It also helps that I have 2 boys that are big enough to help with a great many of those chores too, so I'm not the only one doing it. Bonus: it counts as Home Ec for the homeschool thing. Score!
  For my craft items, I make sure my floor is clean, and then I take it all off, one shelf at a time. I have one of those Ikea shelves that are 4X4, so 12 total shelves. It looks something like this:
from my last purge
I took all the yarn out of the boxes and spaces, and sorted by weight. I have this annoying tendency to toss ball bands, so I don't know what over half my yarn is anymore. I am trying to get better at that, and actually write this stuff down, but so far it's only been a small success. I also took all my books and magazines down, as well as my hand written stuff. I had meant to sort it out, but did not get that far. Instead, I made sure everything was in it's cover and such, and put it back. I am going to sort the books and magazines... today is a good day to do that, in fact! I also sorted out my other craft accessories, like embroidery floss and all the materials I have for counted cross stitch. Then there's the glue gun box, the beads, etc... And it is now time for some of that to be gone. I can reuse the containers for the things I am going to do, instead of hope to do.
 I kind of went on a little tangent, but you can see my process. I get distracted by the mess, and get very little done, and go off on tangents. If you are going to organize things, it's best to take it one little spot at a time. This isn't my only space with things. I have a couple of boxes with paints and such that need to be purged/cleaned/sorted, several bookcases that could probably use a cleansing, etc. The trick is just to pick one and do that. The sense of accomplishment is what will keep you motivated.
  This also works with completing projects. The hardest part is the end part. I used to have several 3/4 done projects, and I knuckled down in December to get many of them done (most of them were gifts anyway), and this month I did the same, finishing 3 projects just last week. I have about 5 more to start/continue on, but I got some done, and that sense of accomplishment was awesome. I want to continue that trend, and let it leak into the rest of my life, so that I can feel more positive. January and February are hard for it. That lack of sunlight, not as much outdoor time because of the bitter cold, and the kids requiring that much more energy to keep THEM going, makes it very difficult. Clean out that one small space, it will be that little thing that can keep you going.

  I did not mean to write about this today. As a matter of fact, I was originally going to write about those 3 pieces I finished last week. It's kind of interesting the kinds of things that come out of the writing process when you sit down. This must have been what was stewing in my head for awhile. I will post some pictures of the finished stuff now, though:

The fingerless mitts were made with Tink Yarns worsted weight merino wool in Jubilee color. Packie modeled them for me, since his hands are almost my size... eep!

The bright red hat was modified from a pattern I had called The Catbird Hat, and was made with Bernat Softee Chunky yarn in Berry Red.

The men's mittens were made for my friend's husband, with a free pattern from Ravelry called Kalle, and the yarn is Bernat Softee Chunky Grey Rag. 

   January is coming to a close so quickly, but it can be a blessing too. We are that much closer to Spring and sunlight! Good things to come!
Craft on!
Alyssa, aka 2 Dainty Crafters


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