Welmoed Gets Organized!
April 23, 3005
The adventure begins
My first meeting with Sandy Maynard lasted two hours and consisted of a tour of the whole house, during which we highlighted priority targets and came up with a plan for tackling the most important ones. My office was the prime target, starting with the two closets.
Here are the "before and after" pictures.
Closet 1, before. This is where I stored paper, labels, shipping supplies, inkjet cartridges, and who knew what else. The storage cubbies are actually FedEx boxes stacked on top of one another. As you can see, this kind of worked, but when things were stacked on top of them (see top shelf), they tended to buckle and things would fall over.
Here is Closet 1, after.
I added four new shelves, purged a great deal that I probably would never use, and labeled everything else.
Here is Closet 2, before:
This closet was the literal "dumping ground". You can't see it in this picture, but the boxes of "stuff" spill out beyond the door and into the hallway. It was impossible to close the door.
Once I started purging, I found I had at least 6 boxes of hanging file folders, all purchased at different times. I could never find the boxes when I needed them, so bought new boxes. Such is the cost of clutter.
Here is the same closet after cleaning:
I removed the hanging dress bag and fabric, added two shelves, moved some items into the other closet, and stacked everything neatly. Now I can actually close the door!!
These two closets were part of my assignment for this week, and I'm happy to say they are DONE! Total cost was about $60 for melamine shelving and some 1 x 2 lumber for supports. I am confident I will be able to complete the rest of the assignment by this coming Saturday when I have my check-in with Sandy!
Time for my weekly check-in!
The office is done! I now have a separate desk for "computer work" and "paper work". Hopefully this will keep papers from accumulating in front of the computer, and will keep me from gluing myself to the screen too. There are still a few final touches to be done, but for the most part I am happy with how it works.
First, the view of the doorway:
Now, the computer corner:
Next, the copier corner. (Not much changed here, really)
Now, the corner that used to be the "comfy chair" corner, and is now the "paper desk" corner:
I feel very good about my progress!!
Next week, I hope to have the fabric storage area and the workroom cleaned up and organized!
Fabric Storage Area tackled!!
Here's what the room used to look like:
Pretty awful, huh? I'm lucky it never caught fire.
I had fabric and stuff going back years. There was simply So Much Fabric that I really couldn't do much with it... I couldn't find anything, and ended up buying more because it was easier, less stressful (and more fun) than searching through what I already had.
Then my dear friend Henrietta came to my rescue and helped me wade through the mess.
What a difference two weeks make.
Here is the same room, believe it or not:
What isn't immediately obvious from this picture is that prior to the cleanup, I had fabric scattered in another room or two of the house. Now ALL my fabric (with the exception of my business-related fabrics) is in this room. No more bins in the furnace room or hidden under a staircase.
How much did I get rid of? Six lawn-and-leaf-sized garbage bags full, plus two boxes that went to a church project and a scout troupe, a bag to each of two good friends, three boxes of sewing patterns, and a laundry basket full of thread. Painful to let go of, perhaps, but now at least I know what I have and where to find it.
After waiting for more than two months for a new rack to be delivered to hold my increasing collection of fabric sample books, it dawned on me that perhaps staying with a rack system just wasn't what I was meant to do. So, after convincing my husband Bob that a few holes in the plaster weren't going to permanently damage the house, I installed closet rod holders, poles and shelves along one wall, and now I have an easily accessible fabric research corner.
Before: the corner was a multi-function space with far too many functions to maintain. Not only was there the fabric rack, but the piano as well, plus a table for clients to use when looking at samples. Not professional or attractive at all.
After: what a difference.
The piano was moved into another room, the sample books are all against the wall, and the top shelf holds trim books and other samples. I'm going to reupholster the four chairs at some point so they are more attractive.
My New Worktable!
The worktable I had been using was really a platform built to rest on top of a ping pong table. It wobbled a lot and since the top was in three pieces it wasn't as flat or even as I wanted. Also, all the space under the ping pong table was unusable.
Here's what it looked like before:
Now, here is my wonderful new table!! What makes me even more proud is that I built the entire thing myself. I cut all the lumber, drilled all the holes, tightened all the bolts.
This sturdy table is 5 feet wide and 12 feet long and is covered in padding and canvas. The two lower shelves hold a TON of stuff. You can see that I've been able to get rid of one of the fabric racks against the wall (the fabrics are all under the table). Also, the extra fabric rolls that were on the guest bed are now under the table. And there is room for a lot more!!
If you look closely at the near corner, you can see a little plastic box attached to the side rail. There are two of these attached to the table, to hold scissors, markers and other tools so they're not in the way (too much).
The stack of things at the left is waiting to be brought down to the basement storage room.
Another change in the workroom is that all the machines are on smaller tables. The large folding banquet tables were really too large and tended to become "convenient horizontal surfaces" to collect clutter. Now each machine has a little rolling cart with drawers (except for the Juki industrial; it has a drawer built into the table) for parts, tools and such.
The serger table (with the backup serger underneath):
I still need to find a home for the pillow samples (they had been on top of the fabric rack) and the trunk. The television blocks some of the shelving, but on the "wish list" is a wall-mounted LCD screen that will be mounted just to the left of the bookcase.
With the smaller tables, there is a lot more room to move around. I haven't yet found a place to store the three wooden braces on the floor at the back of the room; eventually they will find a home.
Another addition: each machine also has its own little trash can.
This is what I was working on this evening: going through two years of old brochures, magazines, price lists and the like from three conferences. Everything was put into folders to make my own "resource center" (the plastic file box by the chair). The big plastic bag at right is trash: all the outdated and unneeded brochures and propaganda. And I even found a book I had been looking for! I'm not quite done with the sorting (I ran out of file folders) but it will be done tomorrow.
The press on the white cabinet also needs to find a permanent home; it isn't used very often but I'd like to keep it handy.
I feel great about my progress!!
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