Out With the Old, In With the New…

The current FlamingHot topic is “What are you grand plans for the year?”

Well, I already blogged about my studio focus for the year and that I’m coining it “Art for Art’s Sake.” But, in an effort to follow the sentiment of “Out With the Old, In With the New” I’m making a personal goal to reduce clutter.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  That sounds like a goal that I’ve been meaning to get to every year, right?  But this is the year.  (And I just typed that as my 6 year old handed me a package of daddy’s old guitar strings that I asked him to save for me.  I tossed them into a pile with other stuff on the side of my desk).

Seriously though.  While Cathy Lybarger considered naming 2008 “The year of clean laundry and dirty living” I am going to coin the personal part of my year, “The year of no more $h*t on my counters.”  If you follow my battle with counter top clutter you know that this is not going to be an easy feat.  But, unless I want to ruin my kids for life, I must undertake this challenge.  Or maybe I should get worse at it since you know kids want to be exactly opposite of their parents, right?

Check in with me later to see how I’m doing.  Right now I’m off to buy industrial sized garbage bags for the initial clearing.

By the time 2009 rolls around my kids rooms will be de-toyed.  The ‘play room’ will be converted into a game/video room and the computers will be moved out of the living room.  Heck, I might even get around to some decorating here or there.  On second thought, maybe I should save that one for next year.  I don’t want to over-do it, you know.

The Walls of Toys are Caving in on Me.

Do you ever feel that you clean and clean and clean and nothing ever gets done? No, I’m not obsessive-compulsive, I don’t wash the same thing over and over, so that is ruled out. I think I just haven’t quite given into the fact that having kids in the house all day, as well as both my husband and I working from home, makes for more mess.

I admit that my studio can get pretty messy when things get really really busy. But when I clean it, it stays fairly clean for a long while…not like my house. So I have to recognize the difference as KIDS.

What do you think? Am I just making excuses? Don’t get me wrong…it’s clean…I just feel like I’m being invaded by toys and sippy cups. You know..clean living room, go throw in a load of laundry, come back and the toys have multiplied. I don’t get it.

Organize Your Studio Time Fly Lady-style.

Do you remember how I used to talk about flylady.com? Well, the time has come again, when I feel the urge to get organized…not in my house but in the studio. Show season is approaching and I have a million things to do to get ready so it’s time to reorganize my tasks again.

Since there is no Fly Lady specifically designed for an artist’s studio, I’ve devised my own plan to start with…scheduling when things get done day by day. Now, this might sound a bit cheesey but the last time I did it, it was amazing how much time I found available. Already today I feel like I have extra time, and that is because my tasks have been broken down into manageable portions.  Also, I don’t have hanging over my head:  “take pictures for that ad, create that ad, get it in by the deadline, fill out that show contract, clean those beads, do that shipping, write that chapter, submit that article, take those pictures for auction, ftp those pictures to the layout person, write and post that auction, make those beads, fill that order, ship that order, etc, etc, etc.” I know they will be taken care of on the date and at the time specified in my new schedule. My brain is free.  Who of you can say that?

It’s not about breaking things down too specifically but knowing that there is a time in a day when those things get done. Example, from 8-11:00 I need to get Grover to school, get Starbucks for everyone (yep, scheduled that in), soak and remove last sessions beads from mandrels, do my shipping and then blog here (or at the kids sites if I have time). 11:00 – 12:00 I leave open for stuff that might have come up or not gotten done the day before because of a doctor’s appointment or something else. 12:00-4:00 is torching, 4:00-5:00 is photographing. Then in the evening as time and energy permit, posting auctions and working on books and articles.

On top of that, I’ve scheduled 15 minutes each day to clean a particular area of the studio. Only 15 minutes a day makes an amazing difference. Before you know it, the areas are spotless and way more manageable. One section of course is my torch area, one is my bead area, one is my glass area, one is computer area and the last is the sink area. If there is extra time I branch out to cabinets near those areas.

Other days are basically similar but the administrative tasks change, one day has paying bills, one has doing our other businesses paperwork, etc. Try it for a week and you’ll see how well it works.