Over the weekend, I decided to tackle what I lovingly call (and what Dear Husband less-than-lovingly calls) the Land of Unfinished Projects: my workshop (the shed) and office.
There are two real problems to tackle here, as I see it:
- Where is my real, actual work space?
- Where should my projects and materials be so that I can most efficiently work on them?
I think the problem of organizing my tools, paint, supplies, and materials for the projects I work on is that I don’t have a dedicated space in the house for that work; in other words, #1 leads to #2, above.
Because I’m a bit stumped with this problem, I decided to read some of the KonMari tidying up method. And while I’m not sure that I can hold a can of spray paint and ask if it brings me joy, I do think she raises a great point about organizing, which is something that I’ve even talked about before:
Like items should go together.
I’ve called them zones, but whatever you call them the idea is that items that are similar should be kept together. For example, when you organize your clothes, the KonMari method says that you should gather ALL of your clothes from any part of your home and put them all out, together. Then go through the pile of clothes and decide whether to keep or discard each item.
This makes sense to me – the idea that you should gather all of one category of items together and then go through the pile, keep or purge items, and then organize what’s left in its own space.
And this is EXACTLY why organizing my work space – whatever and wherever that is – has given me heart palpitations. First, all of the items I use in my work are all over the place:
- Paint, spray paint, painting tools, tile, and some tools are in the basement.
- Larger tools, my wood supply and scraps, and other tools or materials I have to use outside are in the shed.
- Unfinished projects; craft paint; craft materials; screws, nails, and fasteners; salvaged old house parts; and my work files are in my office.
- Fabric, foam, and extra decor items are in the attic.
And I don’t have a designated space to work on the projects. Sometimes I work outside. Sometimes I work in the shed. Sometimes I work in the carport or front yard. Sometimes I work on the kitchen table.
Right now, I can’t put the paint in the shed because of the temperature changes outside. I don’t want to put my smaller tools and screws and nails out there because I usually use them in the house. I can’t put paint in my office because I share it with Dear Husband, the office is right next to the living room, and I won’t be painting in there anyway.
See? No wonder I feel anxious about my work space! All my stuff is everywhere, and I don’t have a designated space to put all these materials and work on the projects. Heart palpitations.
So I need to figure this out. Is there a space somewhere where I can make a workshop that functions for all these things?
As I see it, the shed is my best option. Right now, the roof is leaking and it’s not insulated. But if I put a new roof on it, fix the siding on it (which is rotting and getting gnawed on by animals), and add some good storage, then it might work as my work space. Then my office could be my office, reserved for administrative tasks and files, and not unfinished projects or half-full paint cans.
(As I see it, the paint can is half-full, not half-empty.)
Next steps are:
- When it stops raining (it’s been raining here for 10 days straight, if not longer), fix the roof on the shed and clean it out. The rain should stop tomorrow, but we’ll see.
- Gather all of my projects/work materials in one place.
- Go through them and decide what to keep and what to toss/recycle/donate.
- Add storage to the shed that will accommodate the stuff I decide to keep – pegboard, shelves, etc.
- Move everything to the shed.
- Make my office a proper office by cleaning and organizing it.
While this doesn’t seem like I’ve accomplished anything today, I have. I needed to write all this out to figure out how to find and manage a work space for me.
Thanks for listening to my ramblings. What do you think?
Mickey Wood says
You totally summed up my exact same dilemma. Half finished projects everywhere & spies & tools in every room in the house. So this weekend, we got the downstairs front r [m cleared, shelves cleared, furniture moved, & junk to the dump. Now I have a dedicated craft room tight next to the garage, which my son actually cleared out because it was driving him insane. A d he bought me a work bench & more shelves. And put them up, and assembled the work bench (I am a very lucky mom)
Anyway, as if all that wasn’t enough, I finished a baby blanket tonight, & the baby isn’t quite ready to make his debut, but should by morning. (It’s on Instagram – mews978) it’s a first. I didn’t finish my sons until he was 40 (this past February).
Gazp, gasp. : p
Karen Cooper says
First of all, I was really excited that you had spies everywhere – now THAT would be exciting!! But second, that’s awesome about your new workspace and even better about your grandchild!! Congrats!!
Mickey Wood says
That should say ‘piles of tools – nor ‘spies & tools’ ~