Unfuck Your Habitat’s ongoing challenge this week is “Put It Away.” They meant this in reference to laundry and dishes, and although I do have a tendency to let them sit in the basket/drain, they are neat and contained and do get put up in some form next time I do that chore. Basically, they don’t bother me nearly as much as my other habits.
But UfYH’s Put It Away challenge had a lot of significance to me for other bad habits I have. So in a move that, judging from the nasty comments I see over there all the time, must seem VERY novel, I decided to apply her advice in a way that made sense for my life instead of bitching at her about her stupid fucking rules that I voluntarily signed up to have conveniently delivered to my dashboard for free.
Namely, I never clean up after myself when I do artsy craftsy things, which is most of my day now that it’s my living. Today I had to work on some brooches and sew up some needle cases, so I decided I’d clean up after each step instead of doing what I normally do and letting it pile up forever until it’s a crisis and I can’t find my liquid stitch and have to buy more (true story—found it recently).
I keep this corner of my desk full of things to make me happy, to motivate me to be neat there. I took during and after pics and timed myself. See my results below the cut, as well as more wordy rambling.
First the brooches: usually there’d still be piles of clay everywhere after I finished and my various tools and implements would be in a pile somewhere on my desk under a stack of wax paper and yeah, it’s a mess normally.
Before, during, after. The paint and pinbacks are still out because I’ll need them later tonight, but I put them to the side even!
TOTAL TIME: 3 minutes. Why do I put this off again?
Sewing is the big one. I am very messy when I sew. I used to just avoid sewing but then at some point I realized I could just not clean up (I’m such a genius!) and it gets VERY BAD VERY FAST if I don’t do what I did tonight and stay on top of it RIGHT AWAY.
Behold also my very crooked needle books. I made them to practice sewing straight, precise lines as I tend to be better at big sweeping curves. I’m getting there :) I just have to train myself not to be such a lead foot.
TOTAL TIME: 7 minutes, including picture taking. Again, why do I put this off?
I am about go and paint those brooches and finish them, and I’ll do the same thing. My goal from now on is to go to bed with my workspace totally clean. No more of this “well, I’m working on more tomorrow anyway” business. That’s the way madness lies.
I’m also about to go and do the dishes and a load of laundry. Those will probably stay corralled in the dish drain and the laundry basket for another day. But they’ll be corralled, and they’ll be on the counter and in closets, instead of piled up in the sink and spread across the bedroom floors—a step closer to “Put It Away” than it would have been a few months ago. Progress comes in small steps. :)
I’ve never been a neat person but I’ve gotten better at a lot of things over the past year or so, and am good at identifying my weaknesses and working on them. I get better all the time, and discovering UfYH has helped a lot. I can’t recommend it enough, and for everyone there who signed up for it and then took it upon themselves to bitch at the very kind owner for some perceived insensitivity (which… what?) or moan that her advice is bad or doesn’t apply to you, please be aware that everyone sees you and is totally judging you. Better to apply her great advice and morale boosting in a way that makes sense for your life than expect her to be personal cleaning genie to every single person who reads UfYH.