And The Winner Is ………... Cheryl
Thanks so much to Candy at Finding Order in Chaos for having this contest, and thanks to those who voted for my title submission. (And thanks to whoever designed the image, it wasn’t me but I really like it!) To get organized this is what I have to do – Dive Right In!
Yes, I’m trying to get organized, again. I find that organization is something ongoing and it is definitely a big part of being creative. Lack of organization can slow creativity down; it can even bring it to a grinding halt.
There are two kinds of organization that I usually have to deal with, and if either area is a mess it becomes a roadblock to progress. The first is organization of my thoughts and mental projects. The second is organization of the physical things in my life. These two broad categories cover just about everything.
As I am moving into a new stage of life where young children are not the center of everything I do, a lot of reorganization is needed. It begins with mental reorganization; creating new thought patterns and priorities. However, there’s an awful lot of physical stuff that just seems to collect when you’re raising a family. It can be overwhelming.
However, with my desire to creatively take charge of my life and move forward with new possibilities, I decided to start in the living room. The Feng Shui had become stagnant and the dust bunnies of winter were making nests so I determined to make a change.
It took 2 weeks of thinking about it before I could make any changes. Then it took 2 days of moving shelves, the desk and a computer, getting rid of unnecessary stuff and cleaning. It’s not that the room was a mess, it wasn’t really, but the computer next to the TV was really bothering me, and there were too many books that we didn’t need. I also needed to find a way to store my photo albums.
The living room was just a start that led to some dining room changes, and will continue to some kitchen changes. It’s step by step, but with each step I feel free to be even more creative. Physical organization effects mental organization, and mental organization will help physical organization. You might say they are like two sides of a coin.
During these past few weeks of getting organized I also came in contact with Candy from Finding Order In Chaos and Order Your Steps. Before visiting her blog and website I had only thought about organization as something we just need to do every now & then to make life look, feel and work better. Her work made me realize that organization really is creative activity, and some people have a greater talent in that area than others. So, if I lived in the DC area I would be calling her and saying, “Come on over, I need some expert help.”
I guess I’ll just have to do it myself. It’s coming along, room by room, mental file by mental file. Slowly but surely I will create something new and good.
I’ve always had some type of collection, (I don’t know why). When I was younger it was bottles of all kinds, shapes, sizes & colors. After I moved away from home it became little treasures from places I had traveled. Sometimes that just meant seashells, post cards, jewelry, or my own photos.
For as long as I can remember though, I’ve had a fascination with rocks & gemstones. So I’ve often picked up a rock as a souvineir from a foreign travel, or just because it was a really cool rock. These end up all around the house, windowsills, in plants or the fish tank, or as a paperweight. Eventually I’ve had to get rid of some of them, but I keep the memorable ones. I still don’t know why I do this.
Recently I attended a funeral of one of my husbands former students. Her daughter & granddaughters all talked about the rocks & shells she collected throughout her life. She even smuggled some into the country just like I did. Ahh… someone else like me, I thought.
But why do we do this? It’s beautiful, it’s unique, it feels good, it creates a memory? I don’t really know. Some might say it’s unnecessary & useless stuff that junks up the house. I use it to decorate because it evokes a feeling for me.
Do you collect something? What do your collections mean to you?
I can’t believe I did this, I just changed our bedroom from orange & pinks to blues & whites without even really planning to. It was just something that happened by chance circumstances and following my gut. I only spent $4 doing it too.
This is how it happened. My daughter came home from a summer job as a counselor at a music camp. She said one of the campers had bought a quilt to use while there, but couldn’t fit it in her suitcase to take home, so she gave it to my daughter. It was not something that my daughter or I would have ever picked out for ourselves; light blues & grays & white in a generic linear pattern. We didn’t think one of her brother’s would like it either, so there it sat in our living room.
Everything tends to sit in the living room for a day or two when someone comes home from being away, one of the drawbacks of having a small house. It got a little chilly that night and I found myself wrapped up in the quilt as I watched a movie. It was comfy. I fell asleep on the couch in the quilt.
The next night was similar but I ended up moving to the bedroom with the quilt wrapped around me. I slept well. When I woke up in the morning the orange curtains & bedspread seemed to jump at me in an irritating way, while this gentle blue quilt comforted and soothed me. Curious, I thought, but I left the room and began my daily routine.
Our bedroom is right off the kitchen and every time I walked past the door I saw the blue quilt and felt it’s soothing, calming energy. At the same time I couldn’t help but notice the intensity & high energy of the oranges & pinks. I suddenly realized why I haven’t liked our room for the past 5 years. It wasn’t just the wall color, or the smallness, it was the restlessness of the color scheme.
I never thought about this before because I like the Hawaiian print bedspread even though it is loud. Orange is my husbands favorite color and it made our room kind of spicy. It worked in our old apartment, but we had different furniture then too, and we didn’t have the curtains. Since we moved to this house 6 years ago I haven’t slept well and I have never really enjoyed our bedroom, but I didn’t think much about it because redecorating our bedroom was not on the list of priorities, not with 3 kids going through middle & high school & heading off to college.
Suddenly I knew what to do. Within an hour I had pulled the orange curtains down and replaced them with some blue ones I had bought for my son but he hadn’t like them. I folded up the old bedspread and put it in the attic, took off the bed skirt and spread the blue quilt over the bed. There was an immediate feeling of being relaxed and comfortable, and I just wanted to curl up & take a nap. I noticed how many blues there were in our photos & other random items around the room. It was so pleasant and peaceful, even though I would have never chosen a bedspread like that, nor would I have ever thought to redecorate our room in blue.
Now when I walk by the bedroom door I want to go in. I felt motivated to finish the cleaning & organizing I had started in there a few weeks ago. Eventually I will paint the walls, but it’s already so much better that I don’t care about the walls right now. I went to Building 19 and found a perfectly matching bed skirt for only $4. I slept very well last night.
Sometimes things happen by random chance and you just have to follow your gut feeling or your intuition to see where it leads. I’m happy that I did.