My bead table hasn't been completely cleaned off in a year. There. I said it!
I do like having a clean space to work in, but this year I've had one deadline right after another. The pile of beads started with book projects last spring, immediately followed by a busy holiday season with jewelry created galleries and shops, as well as for my online customers. I always feel like I never had enough time to devote to this growing pile of bead stuff. With the annual busy holiday season coming up (customers are already asking me about Christmas items!), I know I need to get this area under control and soon.
15 Minutes a Day
A post by Better Homes & Gardens suggests starting with piles to donate and to throw away. The trash is the easiest part and it makes a huge difference to get those little scraps of paper picked up and those paintbrushes cleaned. I haven't started a donate pile yet, but I can see that I might do a destash event sometime in the future.
At Momcrieff, blogger Susan actually sets a timer and tries to get as much housework done as she can to beat the timer. It feels more like a game than work. She does warn against getting sidetracked. (That is one of the hardest parts of cleaning your studio space. I keep finding half-finished projects and want to stop and finish them.)
Instead of a timer, I've picked a podcast I like so that I have definite time period to work. (I'm happy that CraftSanity is back to posting new content.) If I just listen to music, then I'm likely to work for too short or too long a time. As much as I want to just work until I'm completely finished, I do have orders to ship and books to edit.
I decided to sort some materials into larger categories, rather than trying to sort every head pin down to the metal type, length, and gauge. The amount of random jump rings I've collected is amazing. I have a similar container for head pins and eye pins. Not only is the sorting process going more quickly this way, but it's also starting to change how I design, since I'm feeling compelled to dig through some of my boxes of unsorted spacers, clasps, or ear wires to find one to use. It feels like more of an accomplishment to "rescue" findings from a pile of randomness.
I have a container filled with beads that are already wire-wrapped rather than sorting them by color and putting them in with the rest of my beads. A friend of mine suggested I just make one giant necklace with all of them. Even though that sounds a little too random for my normal design aesthetic, it's a very tempting idea!
Clean = Happy?
Now that I can see some of the table underneath the mess, I'm feeling a little less stressed. Apparently that's a common psychological effect. As Gretchen Rubin writes in her post "A Surprising Happiness Booster?: Cleaning My Office" in Psych Central, "Outer order contributes to inner calm."
How's your beading table looking these days?