Monday, June 8, 2009

Organize Your Stuff Challenge - Week 3

Welcome to Week 3 of the Organize Your Stuff Challenge! By now, you should be pumped up (with or without caffeine) and ready to go get that space of your dreams! This week, no more lists - you're going to start seeing results.

Today you are going to make a decision. A big one. And this is one that only YOU can make. You are going to decide whether you want to start small or go for broke.

Let me explain.

If you choose to start small, you will choose one problem area. Choose the one that first comes up on the Challenge list. Say you can't find a good way to organize your stamps. You are going to get all your stamps together. Every last one of them. And put them in a large box. And remove this box from the room. And not touch this box until Week 13, when we tackle the stamps. You will leave your other problem areas untouched until you conquer your stamp issues, and then you will come back to this Challenge at a later time and go over the next problem area.

If you choose to go for broke, you are going to get several boxes. As many as you need. You are going to box up each of your problem areas in a box, label that box, and take it out of your scrap space. That box will not be allowed back into your scrap space until it decides to behave nicely. Which means it had better be in its working container, all neat and organized. Then it may return to play with the rest of your supplies. This will also mean that you will be without a lot of your supplies until you get your act together and organize. Which may be exactly what you need.
So which one should you choose? YOU know you. I don't. But here are some guidelines:

If you are 100% committed to this challenge and want to completely reorganize your scrap space; if you are the type of person who can complete a project, no matter how long it takes; if you don't get easily discouraged or sidetracked - I would choose option 2. Go for it.

HOWEVER - if you aren't sure you have the time/money/interest to keep up with us; if you get bored with projects easily and lose interest; if you are just casually looking for some ideas and not up for an overhaul just yet - I would choose option 1. You can always go back and box up more problem areas if you need to at any given time.

Special note for some of the Challenge followers - and you know who you are, because I saw the photos you posted of your (ahem) "scrap space." If your room is a catch-all for diapers, too-small clothes, boxes of fake flowers that you bought at a garage sale, and at a place where you can't even find your computer monitor (how does that happen???), then my advice is to suck it up and go for broke. Get a LOT of boxes. Go to Target or Big Lots, you can get free ones if you ask. You're going to not only have boxes for your scrap supplies, but I want you to set up 3 more categories - SELL, ATTIC/BASEMENT, and GIVE AWAY. As you're uncluttering your space, if it doesn't involve scrapping, put it in one of these boxes. Oh, and get a REALLY large garbage bag as well for the trash. Take one item at a time from your space and put it into one of the above categories, or if it has a home in another room in your house, then put it away. Then take the boxes and do something with them - I'd box up the "Sell" stuff for now and tackle that once this Challenge is over. Take the "Give Away" box to Goodwill this weekend. And put the "Attic/Basement" box in it's proper location as soon as it's packed up. Get them OUT of your space. I want you to spend this week making your room a clean slate.

For the record - I went for broke on my space. I was also in the position that we just moved into a new (to us) house, tho. I refused to unbox any of my scrapping stuff until I had my organizational systems in place. I did one type of supply at a time, pretty much following the list from the overview. I would figure out how to store it, get the supplies, organize, THEN put it in my space. Slowly my empty room filled up with clearly labeled boxes and pretty containers that housed my stash, exactly where I needed it to be. It was heaven. I cannot tell you how easy it is to organize when you have a clean slate to work with. Nothing in your space, at all. You see options and possibilities that weren't there before, because they were obscured by other supplies. It allows you to move furniture and possibly even change locations in your home. It took me about 4 months to get the room up and functional. I have done minor tweaking since then, but no overhauls. It hasn't needed it. And if I ever did choose to do an overhaul again, I wouldn't hesitate to box everything up and take it out of the room. Despite the overwhelming stack of scrapping boxes in my kid's room, it was definitely easier for me than trying to work in a cluttered space. I'd get sidetracked into other projects, I know it.

Now, I have a special assignment to those of you who chose to go for broke. This is the week to get your "pretty things" rolling. Your space is empty - there's no better time to paint if you need to, change out the flooring, put up that new light fixture. Or at the very least, VACUUM it. It will be a nightmare to try to do some of these things when your supplies are back in the room, trust me. Also, if you have your space cleared out - it's time to think, is this where you want your space to be? If you have a spare room, it's a no-brainer. Or if Mr. Duchovny converted your garage into a studio for you while you were taking a bubble bath, then you're set. But if you're in a corner, a closet or the dining room - now is the time to make sure that your space is optimal. Maybe you've been thinking about moving out of the basement to the spare room? Or moving out of the linen closet to a dining room armoire unit? You already have your things packed up - why not? And since we'll be taking a week at a time to move everything back in, you'll have plenty of time to get your new space ready. So think about it. If you're not ready to take action, then don't. But I just want you to be aware that this is a perfect time to do it. To help you out, I'm including a bonus post this week. It's a monster list of links to spaces I've come across that I think are spectacular. Not all are rooms - some are corners, closets, you name it. But they are so well done that they will give you loads of inspiration and a jump start on your design file. I've also included some tips for designing your own space and would be happy to aid in space planning for anyone doing a full remodel. So go check out that bonus when you get a chance.

Anyways, you choose an option and grab your box(es) this week. Clear out your space - that will make you feel better immediately. And feel free to post pictures. The girl with the most boxes this week wins!

See you in Week 4 - we're going to start big - PAPER!



  1. What have I gotten myself into..I will have to really have at it if I plan to fix my space. I'll get my boxes tomorrow and hopefully won't buy anymore stuff while I'm out. hee hee hee This week is the toughest.

  2. Ooooooh, you are a tough teacher! I think I'm not going to go for broke (cuz I don't even have enough space to move stuff and I organized/cleaned this weekend), but choose a couple of problem areas and get rid of it.

    I plan on posting some pics of my cleaner space on 2Peas.

    I am loving this challenge, thank you for it!

  3. I'm totally going for broke. But why not? At the moment I'm packing everything into moving boxes anyway, so why not. And when I unpack, I'll be in a completely different home in a completely different room... That said, I may end up doing a few different weekly challenges at one time. And I feel like I'm going to be a bit behind for the next few weeks, but I'm going for it!!

  4. You are doing a fantastic job of taking us through this step by step. I decided not to go for broke because I am already happy with a lot of my space. I will just target the areas that are bugging me from the list made during the first week.

    Would you consider adding JOURALNING to your plan? I make notes as I take photos and they end up stuffed in a page protector in no order. I tend to miss them when I actually get to do the page.

    Great challenge! Thanks so much for doing this! Nancy Jo

  5. Well...I do have access to boxes, so that will be the easy part, lol. I think I'll be able to take care of the stamps. I'm going to do step 1. I don't have space to stack boxes here and there nor the time to devote to big chunks of time. Little chunks will hopefully keep me on track.


  6. How do I joing this post and challenge?Thanks,

  7. Just found this blog, Moving through the challenges. Scrap corner is beginning to look pretty good.

  8. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this Challenge. I just started "collecting" supplies and really identify with a lot of the things you talk about. Made me laugh out loud a few times when I recognized myself in some of your descriptions! What a fun group to join and learn from.

    Am glad this is still posted in 2011!!!