Saturday, 9 February 2008

Oh, the shame!

I finally finished my study as part of the January Mini-Challenge (50% off) last night, but I must confess that my shame over the promised 'before' photos has stopped me from posting until now. I can't believe that it looked that bad. I'm so glad I took photos though, because it makes the joy of the 'after' photos so much sweeter.

Note that every surface - floor, desk, sewing table, light table - is covered in 'stuff' including things which should be thrown out or given away, Elliot's toys, and things which should have a home.

I had no room to move, no room to be creative or think within this room. The study is my equivilent of Andrew's shed - my place to create. In here I (theoretically) scrap, sew, paint, draw, and do bookbinding, as well as taking care of our finances and the myriad tasks which require the computer. I say 'theoretically, because you can see that there was simply no place for any creative or utilitarian activity in this room.

Now, to the 'after' shots...

My light table is clear and awaiting some exciting project to be created. The sewing table (right) actually has the sewing machine on it, and you can walk around without having to look at what you're stepping on. I can actually close the cupboard now! That's because it looks like this...

Everthing has a home, and almost everything is labelled. From old uni work to wrapping paper (rolls are in the suitbag - cool idea, huh?) to a tub full of yarn and suitcases for different types of fabric, they know where they belong.

And the other view is just as good with a clear desk with room to move and space to work. The filing drawers hide all manner of evil, but that will have to wait until another month. LOL!

50% off? Well, I think anyone can see that I had to get rid of a lot of 'stuff' to change the look of the room this much. My old uni work was culled from a suitcase and a big tub to just one small tub (about 80% off), which left those 2 containers for fabric and yarn. No yarn was culled but about 30% of my fabric went. 100% of the rubbish and junk went, 2 or 3 boxes of stuff went to the op shop, and almost all my Scouting stuff went to Andrew or the Troop.

I just want to end by saying that I'm glad I didn't have a magic wand to fix this problem. I remember my parents tearing out their hair asking me constantly to pick up after myself. I'm not sure why I never learnt to do that. But this Challenge has made me feel really good about putting my stuff away after I use it. I feel as though I have really achieved some personal growth by doing this, as I can see it affecting the rest of the house and the way I think about myself.

Thanks for sharing this mini-journey with me. I can't wait to see the creativity conceived and born in this room.

ETA: This is my now-clear light table. Hooray!


Kelli said...

yay! good for you. It does feel good to have a big clear out. I should do my desk. Perhaps that can be my March challenge. What is a light table and what is it for?

kiwwidane said...

I can really relate to post...except for the fact that our study still has a few piles to file away (doesn't help when a certain young lady comes along behind me and undoes all my good work).

It is hard to be creative when the space for it is cluttered...and once everything has a place it is put things away once finished with them. I had to smile when I read of you culling your Uni stuff - we have done that in the past year or so and I think it alone filled the recylcing bin at least once, if not twice.

Tanja said...

Kelli, I've added a pic of the light table to the post. It has a lid made of white-ish glass and inside it has 4 flourescent tube lights. When you turn it on you can trace things really well (ie patterns), and when it's off it's a great large surface for all sorts of crafting, or for dumping all my 'stuff' on top. LOL! We picked it up at auction years ago for $25.

Kiwwi, that'd be the MMM annual auction. Bargain! No reserve.
Also, I find it exceedingly difficult to imagine your study being anywhere as messy as mine was.
Why do we keep every notebook and every photocopy from uni?

ColdCloth said...

WOW!!! What a transformation!!! You have so totally SUCCEEDED in your mini-challenge. Well done!!!

Tanja said...

Thanks ColdCloth. :)

Eilleen said...

Well done Tanja!! You are a legend! I'm not quite yet finished with my study... almost! (eek)

I can really relate to Kiwwidane's comment about finding it hard to be creative when the space is cluttered. I really need to use that as my motivation to get it done!

Tanja said...

Thanks Eilleen. :)
I can't wait to hear that you've also finished your study. Trust me, it's worth the effort.

Keely said...

Oh my god, what an amazing job!! That looks fantastic, it's amazing how different a space can look and feel once you've tidied and organised.
I can feel myself getting stressed and feeling a bit claustrophobic when the mess gets out of hand at home!