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Posts Tagged ‘Clutter’

Reclaim Your Creative Energy

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

reclaim-creative-energy

I am really a very organized person. I know where to find what I need. I could say, “A place for everything, and everything in its place,” only that is not quite exactly true.

While I am organized and I know where everything is, I can become someone who is consumed by stacks of this and that. Yes, I know what is in the stacks, but all those stacks are robbing energy from me.

When the space is clearer, so is my mind. When my mind is clear, I will work better. I know this to be true. I also know that once I start working in a clear, clean, clutter-free environment, new opportunities show up for creativity and for business. Why would I — or you — not want this to happen?

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How Is Your Clutter Control?

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

small_4342382904I am really a very organized person. I know where to find what I need. I could say, “A place for everything, and everything in its place,” only that is not quite exactly true.

While I am organized and I know where everything is, I can become someone who is consumed by stacks of this and that. Yes, I know what is in the stacks, but all those stacks are robbing energy from me.

When the space is clearer, so is my mind. When my mind is clear, I will work better. I know this to be true. I also know that once I start working in a clear, clean, cutter-free environment, new opportunities show up for creativity and for business. Why would I not want this to happen?

Last month I decided I really needed to get back in control of my space, back in control of my energy, and I launched a clutter reducing plan. (I think the visit to the used book store where I couldn’t find my way was part of the incentive. I am making it fun for myself. I have got three days a week that will have clutter-reducing activities. They are Toss-Out Tuesday, Weed-Out Wednesday and Throw-Out Thursday. I really only have to schedule a little time each day to reduce what I am saving.

And, I have planned my rewards. In addition to a treat at the end of the de-clutter session, I purchased an orchid to keep on the quasi-desk I have behind my computer. It looks nice in its new space!

It is nice to have the files in a drawer, and fewer files in the drawer. I managed to get rid of quite a lot. I have boxes of books in the garage waiting for a friend to pick them up and deliver them to the Virginia Quilt Museum where they will be sold to support the museum. Old quilt magazines are set aside for another pickup. And, the recycle bin has been quite heavy on its weekly trip to the street. Why was I holding onto this? In some cases, I thought I might need the material in the future. (Wonder if I would remember where it was?) Some I felt guilty about having purchased and not used. Some were pretty projects that I wanted to make. Of course, I have not yet, so I tossed 90% of those, too. Not to mention my tastes have changed over the years.

Will you join me? As you pick a time to sort through what you have, ask yourself some questions. Why are you holding onto this? What happens if you toss it? Will you really even miss it?

Will you join me and make space for good energy in your business and life?

photo credit: Vanessa Penagos via photopin cc

Is Clutter Hampering your Creativity?

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Over the weekend we had a family gathering to celebrate the end of summer, the return to school, and my husband’s birthday. One of my nieces shared that her favorite day of the summer is the day she gets new school supplies. Can you still remember the smell of the new crayons when you opened the box?

I’ll admit I love to browse through the office supply store, looking for some new treasure that’s sure to solve my organizational problems and instantly improve my time management issues. Of course, that’s not likely to happen, as it takes more than pretty colored plastic boxes and a new calendar. Before you make the trip to the office supply store, try the following:

1. Clear the clutter. Do you really need that copy of Quilters Newsletter Magazine from 1998? You know, the one with the fabulous quilt you liked back in 1998, the quilt that doesn’t hold the same place in your heart today. A couple of years ago, I went through all the old magazines I was holding onto. I put a note advertising them on the QuiltArt list, and I had a taker rather quickly. I don’t know why I held onto all the magazines for so long. Well, maybe I do. I would feel badly (i.e., guilty) getting rid of them. I held some warped concept of their value. They had really stopped being of value to me long ago and were only collecting dust. They went to a new home where they were valued, and I had several shelves open in my studio.

I could look at my fabric collection the same way. I know we need a “palette” as quilt artists. Do we need that large of a palette? And doesn’t our palette need refreshing every now and then? If you’re like me, you’ll never live long enough to use all the fabric you own. You’ve seen the saying, “The one who dies with the most fabric wins!” I’ve decided I don’t need to be in the competition. I regularly donate fabric for charity quilts and recently made a donation of fabric for my guild’s annual show. I think some month, I’ll just show up with a fat quarter or two for everyone who comes to the monthly meeting.

I know it’s hard to get rid of “stuff,” and it can be overwhelming to do it all at once. If you can’t set aside a full day, block several hours in consecutive days just to clear out what you don’t want. Sort it into two piles – items to donate and items to trash. I know many people say add a third pile for stuff that needs to be fixed. I used to go by that theory, until I realized I didn’t want to fix the stuff.

2. Keep clearing the clutter. You made great progress getting rid of stuff, and your studio is now clutter free. However, the magazines will again stack up and the fabric will again overflow. Part of the solution here is to decide what you allow to come into your space. The other is to maintain a system to keep up with the clutter. The easiest way to do that is to set aside a certain amount of time each week or month to de-clutter.

One of the theories behind clearing the clutter is that clutter is energy draining. I can see that. When my space is clean, my mind is clearer, and I work better. You’ve heard the saying, “less is more.” Well, this is a good example. Once you operate in a cleaner, clutter-free environment, watch what new opportunities arrive or how your creativity expands.

3. Look at how you use your space. Do you need something to hold your papers or tools? Maybe you uncovered something during your de-cluttering phase.  And if not, head off to the office supply shop and enjoy picking out the supplies you need, knowing they will be put to good use and not just add to the clutter.

And, as you think about adding to your space, remember this wonderful quote from designer and craftsman William Morris, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership and join here.

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