Hoarder Update: Going from room-to-room?

Heidi Rettig, Still Life No. 1 (2008) is an encaustic mixed-media piece on panel.


I'm still working on my hoard. I've made a great deal of progress which has been helpful, mostly, for figuring out all the things that are left to do. My super clean office space is now a bellwether of sorts. Desk (or any other kind of) clutter now points to action needed in other areas. My filing cabinet, for example. Also the miscellaneous piles and items that don't have "a place" and just get shuffled from room-to-room. That shuffling is so much more obvious in a half-organized space.

The space that has become my art room works fine for collage but not for sewing. I'm not convinced that sewing and paint should be in the same room at all - but still reluctant to take over yet another room for my projects when the only private space my husband has is his bathroom and the six inch landing above the microwave. Like the pioneers, I will have to make do. That means the art studio - like everything else - will have to be carefully considered by function.

That's the hard work for me. I've got to think and think and think things through to figure out how and when I use certain items so that I can arrange them efficiently. What I find is that the organizing tools purchased before thinking things through are actually a big part of the problem. The shelves with fabric drawers do a great job of hiding my art supplies from view - but they also do a great job of rendering them into a useless jumble. It's tough to donate perfectly good furniture but that might have to happen.

There just isn't room in this little house to store it for "someday." That being the source of most of this clutter to begin with. And perhaps part of the challenge of doing all this work is that I've never been able to plan for now. My mother always discouraged us from hanging things on the walls or making decorating choices that were anything but beige. She believed that these perfect beige walls would enhance the resale value of the home when that time came. Which always seemed imminent. We never imagined we'd move her into a nursing home after 30 years in the same house. The beige carpet was worn bare and the walls weren't perfect either. I can't speak for my sister but -- coupled with other things my mother said and did -- I never quite relaxed into my life in a way that allowed me to make plans. Or decide what I wanted my home to look like or how it needed to be set up. At the moment, the number once clutter-y item in this house is my own unhung artwork. There's something not right about that.

I finished this encaustic piece in...2008. It sits on a shelf but should really be on a wall with some of the others. I must learn to use the hammer.

Comments (1 Comment)

Always glad to read another chapter in the organizing journey. I too have to do some major re-thinking…..when you have gone back to hand washing all of the dishes so that the dishwasher is opened up as a storage space for art supplies, I think you have to. In my defense, it really is great for vertical storage of paper & small canvases. I look forward to the next update!

Posted by Christy B. on November 13, 2013

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