#MentalHealthMonday: Spring Cleaning Edition, Part 1
I have a love/hate relationship with cleaning. I love for things to be neat, tidy, and organized, but sometimes, it just feels like another task on a never-ending to-do list. That being said, cleaning, at least for me, is like a trip to the gym - I never want to do it, but I always feel really good when it’s done.
I want to talk about cleaning in a couple of different contexts: the literal and the metaphorical. This week, I’ll focus on the literal.
Cleaning is great for your mental health, especially if you’re like me and start to feel agitated when you’re surrounded by clutter. As the incredible Kendra Adachi talks about in The Lazy Genius method, making sure everything has a place and then putting things back in their places gives us a sense of calm rather than feeling chaotic or distracted.
I’ve shared a lot about my craft room in the past and talked about how this place is a sanctuary for me. It’s where I do most of my work at home, where I go when I need to collect my thoughts, where I rest - it’s even where I attend my virtual therapy sessions! I’ve gone through many stages of organizing this space, and I’ve ultimately developed a system that I think might help you to create a workspace that allows you to best utilize your space:
Separate the space into clusters that work for you. Even the smallest spaces can be multifunctional. When I first setup this room, I knew I wanted a big desk for sewing, writing, packaging orders, etc., and a comfy chair for doing things like crocheting, reading, and turning scrunchies. I knew that I wanted to be able to see my little tube TV wherever I worked, and I knew the rest of the room was going to need to store all of my “stuff.” With those goals in mind, I created clusters of space, then worked my way outward. (See professional blueprint by yours truly).
Keep the items/tools you use the most closest to you. For each cluster, I think about the tasks I most regularly perform and then create “zones” for storing them. At my desk, for example, I sew, which requires thread, needles, bobbins, scissors, trimming tools, and sometimes the dreaded seam ripper. I have all of these things on the right hand “zone” of my desk near my sewing machine. I also use my desk for packaging orders, so the left zone of my desk contains my printer, packaging materials, cards, gifts for customers, and - here’s where I get kind of weird - another pair of scissors I use exclusively for cutting labels. Part of this is because I’m picky about my scissors, but this really comes down to accessing what I need quickly and not crossing “zones.” Items that I use less frequently are in zones farther from my workspaces. For example, my closet has plastic containers that are organized by items - one item for excess scrunchie fabric, one for ribbons, buttons, and zippers, etc.
I realize that to some, this seems like a pretty obvious way to organize your space. I’m certainly no expert. But when I figured out what worked, it helped me to start applying these strategies to other workspaces (I have three non-home offices; one for each school and a shared one for the union) and even throughout other areas of the house like the kitchen.
Let me tell ya, the feeling of getting in the groove on a sewing night and just rolling around in my chair grabbing things from their places without trying to remember where they are is an amazing feeling! Do you have strategies that help you to organize your space? Tell me about them!