Saturday, March 24, 2012

Horizontal Messes!

THIS is the mess I am dealing with.

Why is it that EVERY horizontal surface becomes a place for clutter to accumulate?

I fight it and fight it and fight it ---When I’m home, it might be for a few days or a week, if I’m lucky more – but often times I am in such a hurry to get things done because time is short, I don’t take time to always put things away as I am done using them….and stuff begins to pile.

Some of this fabric.

Some of these strips.

Some things waiting to be cut down.

Some are quilt trimmings, remnants of backings after quilting is completed and binding has been put on.

Different rulers I’ve used.

Cone threads left from quilting previous quilts.

Cookie sheets that were stacked with quilt parts waiting to be sewn --- are now empty, and also become a place for things to pile.

TOO. MUCH. STUFF!!

I can’t stand it any more! It’s a CLEANING DAY!

And maybe – if I get this all cleaned up, I’ll find the inspiration to want to sew something, because right now…..I’m just not feelin’ it.

Shhhhh. Don’t tell anyone I’ve lost my mojo. I know it will come back, if I can just get out of the clutter and BREATHE!

PS-- can you tell from the window that it is raining outside? It kinda matches my mood. Just sayin'

59 comments:

Tilly said...

Story of my life! I made a pact with myself that I would clean up after every sewing project this year...having spent days cleaning at New Year's. So far, so good. However, the rest of my house looks just like your longarm.... One step at a time, right Bonnie?

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

I think my mojo is with yours LOL.
I am taking a family day..and will look for it next week!

Quiet Quilter said...

For some reason the window does not fly to the forefront of noticeability...had to up-size the photo...hummmm,cookie sheets to hold fabric...interesting.

Anonymous said...

I also have a habit of not putting stuff away! When the grand kids come they sleep in my sewing room so everything gets stuffed into the closet! I'm scared to open the door, I'm going to get buried alive! My sewing/guestroom is 10 x 11 and is the only extra space I have. Be thankful that you at least have space to put things!! Sometimes I wish that I could loose my interest in quilting the I could get rid of everything and have some extra storage space! Is there a quilters anonymous group???

Iowa Comfort said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iowa Comfort said...

Bonnie I am going to make you feel better. Here is a link to what I was dealing with earlier this week

http://iowacomfort.blogspot.com/2012/03/oh-its-bad.html

I had to clean to work in that room There is a post showing the after.... I'm trying to put things away once I'm finished, but it is hard.

Good luck getting your mojo back!

Marge said...

Where's the window Bonnie, I think you lost it too. Just kidding, it is always so easy to just put things down when we are involved in something. I think it makes us want to clean when it gets too bad. that's the way it works. Good luck with yours, now on to mine.
Marge

Becki said...

Haha! I don't have any horizontal space, so my messes are all vertical. Hope we don't get any earthquakes. ;-)

Laura said...

You meke me feel better about my sewing space and dining room table. My space looks a lot like yours.

Julierose said...

I feel your pain; just drink another cuppa "mo' joe" and get re-energized....what is it they say.."..the hurrier I go, the behinder I get"....just sayin' Julierose

HoosierKitty said...

It looks beautiful to me. When I do clean up days I end up cheating by finishing that project that was hidden, then I cut up that fabric left from a backing, then I find something I've been looking for and the space doesn't look much better but I've had so much fun! Just messing around in the fabric makes my day.

Gail said...

Hi Bonnie - sorry to tell you but you are experiencing a law of physics in which it states "everything moves towards a state of chasos". You clean and tidy but it will get messy again, so you clean and tidy, and on and on.

Valerie said...

My room looks very much like this now, too. I'm trying to work through my stash as much as possible to whittle down the clutter... and make room for more stash. The one thing I'm allowing myself is to buy backings if/when needed, or if/when I find a good sale. I got some on sale from Connecting Threads for $2.96/yard... at that price I'll stock up on backings. I have 6 or 7 tops that need backings, so I know it will be used quickly LOL.

banjo795 said...

Sometimes, I think we just need some off-time from creating. I went through a "I just don't feel like quilting" time this past winter, and I was worried. And just not inspired to do anything. But you are right, it does come back! And, like you, I spent the time clearing and cleaning and re-organizing. And finding UFOs that I had forgotten about! Now I'm off to go work on that baby quilt for the new great-niece!

Randy D. said...

Funny that I have already started cleaning my horizontal messes also.
I think the more horizontal surface space there is, the more I tend to "park" stuff on them! And I agree that it's very difficult to get into the "mood" when the place is a mess! :-)

Jan Thompson said...

HMMMM I don't see an Antique Churn Dash amoungst all the stuff! Must still be in the car. LOL

I am making progress...blocks are done, and fabric put away....now putting loose odds and ends away.....There is hope, just hard to find sometime. Jan

Mavis said...

'what she said!' :o)

In other words...I could have written that blog post but with a different picture. You are not alone Bonnie. I know you will feel better once it's dealt with. And so will I for my studio.

I can see a Florabunda peeking through yes? It looks like a flimsy. Maybe if you load it on the machine you will find your mojo. Hugs.

Mavis in Victoria

Kate Mooers said...

You nned the Fly lady!

vickie in nh said...

WOW!!! your long arm table looks like my long arm table, including the cookie sheets for projects! Do you think that the long arm is kind of like a treadmill - everything lands there - except of course, that the long arm gets used more :-)

Gwendolyn said...

I totally hear you!!! I haven't sewn in weeks because I couldn't get to my sewing table. Yesterday was dedicated to cleaning and now I am ready to SEW!!!!

Taryn said...

I am right there with you. I started cleaning yesterday and am still at it on this rainy day. Now that I am starting to see a little light at the end of this dreary project I can feel the inspiration pouring back in. I need to hold it off until everything is neat and organized so I can do a better job of keeping it that way. At least for a little while.

Michelle L. Momof11 said...

The existence of an empty horizontal surface is a myth....LOL!!! I wuish I had a way to build a house without horizontal surfaces, because they ALL gather junk. I wish i had the solution...or energy to deal with it. I guess i just need to get busy!

Frugal Queen said...

When I'm in the middle of a project, my sewing room looks like a bomb's gone off! I'll tidy it when I'm finished.xx

Jennifer said...

My husband always says if you stand still too long in my house I will pile stuff on top of you. I ignore home.

Jenny in Florida

Kim said...

Yes, I'm in the same boat.........I'll wait for the rainy day tomorrow to clean up......it is a mess all right.
So how do you keep stuff available for sew alongs but not have it "out"?

Happy cleaning :0)

Tracy Johnson said...

Okay, we are sister clutterists. I have such an affliction, it drives my DH crazy that there is not a flat surface without something piled on it. As for my sewing room it also serves as a guest room, so occasionally I have the drive to set it back to rights. My other affliction is 'Out of sight, out of mind' When I clean I find projects I had forgotten about and get excited about it all over again (instead of barreling through to the finish.

I find myself in your position (daily) when it starts to drag on me I do a few basic yoga stretches and look around and say, "Thank you God for having this problem. I thank you God for your abundant Blessings that need to be picked up and put away.

Not Lucy said...

It seems to be the time of the year to tidy up our creative spaces. I started that process about 2 weeks ago and I am making progress. Here is my post showing what it looked like: http://lucysquilts.blogspot.com/2012/03/time-to-clean.html
It isn't totally clean but at least I have cutting table space and some of the storage spaces are tidyier! In the process I have been trying to tame some of the scarier collections that have accumulated. I am almost done with the random little triangles and I really need to deal with the denim!

Kathy in GA said...

I wish it were raining here Bonnie, supposed to all day yesterday and it bypassed us in Gwinnett County...I so need to pollen to be running in rivers instead of floating in the air!
How could you not bring the feathered star home too?
And PLEASE motivate me to clean out my entire house so I can find things when I want them...I might have something finished to show you in August if I could manage it!

mariebeers said...

My husband says that any flat surface I have will have stuff on it. I am not piling things on my sewing room floor. I wait till I can't even stand the mess and spending the day cleaning and putting away-----then I don't remember where I put things. I always say--organized people are too lazy to look for it.

Kelly said...

When I was an auditor for a large paper company, we would travel from one mill to another to complete our audits. Sometimes we would work in large conference rooms. Sometimes four of us would be squeezed into a small office. It didn't matter how much space we had - we always spread our work out to cover every inch of available space!!! But we had to pack it up and organize at the end of the week to go home. Maybe that's why I tent to clean up a little more frequently. Rainy days are perfect for that!

mary e said...

we call em 'flat surfaces' here. my quilting frame looks exactly like yours (no cookie sheet, but that's a good idea). and to think i use to sew in a small corner of my kitchen, i always cleaned everything up when done for the day. now i have a basement with a 5'x 6' cutting table plus the quilting frame and tons of shelves for stash. and i carry my projects upstairs to sew where there are more "flat surfaces". okay this is depressing me just typing about it. time for basketball. love all the comments! are we just a messy lot or what? :>)

CARMEN said...

Same way !!! Here my GSon is learning to sew and "respects"the machines!! Know to safe Handel it!!! I do not have to stow way !, my grand dauther is 2 nd much more trouble !!!! Only in the quilt- guest room if I'm there !!

Hettie said...

You are actually a normal human being. Halleluja! Some days I think you get plugged in and your batteries charged overnight like a robot of sorts. Gosh you get done so much with all your travelling in between, a little mess needs to build up eventually.

stitchinpenny said...

I didn't see the window because I was rejoicing that someone else falls into the trap of stacking "until I can get it put away". When you mentioned it I did see it, but it definitely isn't a focal point in the picture, more like an eye test.

Anonymous said...

Window? All I could focus on was that beautiful ironing board cover at the far right!! Did you get a new one? You are a little "mojo refreshing" after the jet lag of the West Coast. Enjoy your "at home" time.
Faye

Jody said...

Bonnie, clutter suffocates me too, if it gets really bad I can't think straight! Right now I am positive my mojo is buried somewhere in my sewing room! I usually work until the messes start to interferes with my ability to think then take a day to clean and re-organize. I am at the tail end of spring cleaning the house and saving my sewing room for last. I have to do it last because once it is back in order I will want to sew, not spring clean! lol

Anonymous said...

At our home we refer to this as HSD: horizontal surface disease. It affects not only my sewing area, but my husbands end table....which spills onto the stack(s) on the floor. It is hereditary! But alas today we are sorting our taxes so decluttering will wait!!! Joy in AK

Jill said...

I do not know one person that does not suffer from the same problem. But, that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. What I try to do, is say to myself..."It is only a few more steps to put this away instead of leaving it here. I will save myself time and headaches if I just put it away now." Sometimes this actually works, but not when I am going in ten different directions and time is short. So, rainy days are good cleaning days. I hope you make some progress on your mess. I am doing the same today.

scrappy101 said...

All 's good....Just signs of progress...

Anonymous said...

I thought that was normal for a quilter, if it 's not than I have to do a lot of cleaning to do;-)
Greetings from The Netherlands, Henny

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I can so relate. My sewing table becomes a catch all, and then I have to dig around to find things :-(

Lisa said...

To avoid cleaning the sewing room (tables AND FLOOR) I set up a card table in the corner of the living room with my travel sewing machine on it with the idea of taking one project out to finish at a time in a fairly clean area. That lasted a week and now there are 4-6 projects in the living room and the horizontal surfaces are beginning to resemble the sewing room! I guess I have to clean the sewing room. That means less time to actually sew! Ugh, but it is necessary.

Anonymous said...

LOL Lisa!! I have done that too. Sewing room sometimes becomes such a mess that I can't stand to be in there so I move to the family room. Not the sewing machine but projects to cut out. Drag down the big scrap basket to iron and organize scraps and the family room starts to look like my sewing room.

Work is such a waste of my time. If I didn't have to work all day my sewing room might be cleaner. LOL!!

Karen

Christie said...

I hear that not wanting to sew funk is going around. I'm sure it'll pass. :)

Charmaine said...

You work so hard all the time, you have permission to take a vacation! Rest, reflect, refresh-----it's good for the soul and the sewing mojo :)

Anonymous said...

Bonnie, you are suffering from a sudden, viral attack of "Flat Surface Syndrome", very debilitating and frustrating, and experienced by many mums and crafters alike.
A little 'time out', then short spurts of tidying, just one task at a time, a little light relief, and repeat untill suddenly, it is all better. Mojo returns and everything is right in your world again.

Love your blog, you are an incredible inspiration to quilters everywhere.

Cheerio from Marie in Rockingham in Western Australia

Anonymous said...

Bonnie,

I sometimes call them "D-Day" otherwise known as dump day. And then there is "B-Day" - get another box out and stuff the mess in there! Hope you got yours cleaned up. Mine is a mess too right now. BT

lfrihart said...

Bonnie, I sympathize and hope you'll let me know the secret to not stacking things on all available spaces. As soon as I clear an area I promise myself not to clutter. Not the solution. Less things doesn't work either. Do we just accept our lovely messes and clear out every once in a while.

Hugs and quilts,
Linda in Pittsburg, KS

Margy T said...

Bonnie - I think it's just a natural progression, that mess-making/creating/clean-up process. At least I do it that way too, so don't feel bad, LOL! I work on a project (or two) and while I'm working on it, everything gets piled everywhere. I think it would hinder the creative process if one took the time to allways put everything away as one used it. (That's what I tell myself anyway!!) So I make a mess, then clear the deck and start the new project.
Don't worry - you'll be back on top in no time!

Mickierae said...

We have a saying in our house - "flat surfaces gather junk"! There seems no way around it. I pick up and pick up and then I turn around and a flat surface is covered in "something" - mine, my husband's or our son's. It may be a sewing project, workout gear, computer stuff, camera stuff, paper. I keep saying one day I will have a neat, organized home. Yeah, right! Our home is lived in and shows it. When I get my sewing table nice and clear, the ironing board and cutting table have a pile or two on them. I try not to stress and enjoy our home and family.

Sharon said...

I had an idea while reading about the stacking mess you were going to have to work on. I'm thinking of getting some sort of rolling cart to push around my studio from station to station. That way when I want to load something to get it out of my hands there will be ONE mess that rolls around (or even into the closet out of sight where I don't have to look at it.) I will just postpone the final clean up, but I'll take it. LOL Don't worry about your mojo, it may be jet lag.8-)

quiltacademy2012 said...

I too am paralyzed by the clutter I cause. Back in the 70s, I found a book "Sidetracked Home Executives (S.H.E) - From Pigpen to Paradise" by Pam Young and Peggy Jones (aka The Slob Sisters). They came up with a system to "change lives with 3x5's" in order to get rid of CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome). When applied, it worked for me, although when I went overboard with organizing organization, I reverted back into paralysis.

In today's world, Marla Cilley (a.k.a. Flylady) used Peggy and Pam's system as a springboard to build and mentor a tribe of women like me, teaching them how to organize their homes and how to love themselves. Her mantra -- you can do anything in 15 minutes! I think one of her followers came up with an acrostic for F-L-Y as "Finaly Love Yourself" -- it will happen--even for heavy travelers and women who work outside the home (especially for us!)

Have you heard of her? Maybe not if you didn't know who "Dr Who" is! ;-).

Google her!

LesQuilts said...

Hi Bonnie! Have you thought about a professional organizer and a vertical storage cupboards/system? If you go vertical, you won't have horizontal messes. So vertical cupboards with bins inside, you can automatically put the fabrics to clean out later. Vertical storage systems for rulers, current projects, books, etc.
The world of organization is amazing! Plus less STUFF is always helpful too!
Good luck, take care, Leslie

Gramma Quilter said...

Wish i was closer. I would come over and help. I love seeing peoples sewing spaces (is that weird?) second only to the quilts they make. We could trade....i could have everything neat and tidy for you when you come home in exchange for bits of this and that. It is hard when you work full time, i remember. Then add that you are not home evenings in between your days sometime, makes it harder. Just know we all love what you do to make the quilting community a great thing to be a part of, no mater how big or small we are in it. I have a confession, i let your blogs build up a bit four or five and then i sit down, relax and enjoy them all at once. It is something i look forward to as i watch them come in. Have a good nites sleep to night and you will have your mojo back and be your bubbly encouraging self. Remember you dont have to be anything for any body. It is better to just "be" you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie,
I am soooooo like you, in that once in awhile I lose my mojo for a day or so—and it is almost ALWAYS because of clutter.
Here is what I do. First I take a hard look at the mess, so my brain can register the scope of it. Then I just LEAVE it for ONE DAY. I allow myself to READ—you mentioned that you love historical novels. I do too! Let your mind get into another time and place for a day. Then get some sleep.
The next day, somehow, while I was “in another dimension” my brain has begun automatically sorting thru ways to cope with the clutter and I can handle it. My best “trick” at this point is to take EVERYTHING off my work surfaces and put ALL of it on the floor. Next, I “Pledge” the work tables, and put my sewing tools and machine back. There--just out of reach, those clean work surfaces await! NOW, I sit on a beach towel ON THE FLOOR and sort stuff from there, store stuff, trash stuff, until it’s all taken care of. What a RELIEF.
I love your blog! You are an AWESOME inspiration to us all!
Anne-----Anne.Collins.2007@hotmail.com

Madakamom said...

that reminds me..... I better get downstairs and clean up some so i can work some more! LOL

Anonymous said...

That's right! And aren't artists supposed to be more creative surrounded by heaps of stuff to be inspired by!?

Donna K said...

I am very curious how long that table is? It looks like a mile long! Are there shelves under the table? That is one thing that I find frustrating is lack of space to spread out. I have to put everything up after I use it because (2) lack of space but really it is (1) my OCD would not be able to take it. I have to put everything back in it's space before I can do the next thing. Even if I am currently working on a project I still have to put my rule away when I am through cutting that strip or my rotary cutter. That is probably why it takes me so long to finish a project.

Beth said...

I had to empty my sewing room for some reno work. I can not believe how much stuff is in there. (And not all of it is in there).
It will not be any neater when I get it all back in there.
I'm sure your mojois just taking a nap.