Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hoard, Sort, Play, Create, Repeat - Step Two: Sorting

Out with the old. Rethink the new. That's how I started 2011. I just came back from a Goodwill and consignment store drop off and feel like I've both literally and figuratively shed some 2010 baggage. It's funny how much can build up around you when you're not paying attention.

Letting go can be difficult, especially for folks like me who love the thrill of the hunt and can fondly remember the circumstances and stories behind every found object. Since I make jewelry from old/used junk, I can always find an excuse to go out and get more. I'm quickly learning that less can mean more.
"Lucky You" upcycled necklace made from vintage child's magnet and old pendant.

Being a teacher, I had a good 10 day stretch off. Toward the end of my break, I went on a purge and organize mode. This doesn't happen very often. I said goodbye to many things, including:
  • old clothes and housewares
  • untouched craft supplies that I was keeping around "just in case".
  • a teeth collection (medical models, dentures, plaster casts, etc.) - I am officially not creepy anymore.
  • piles of old programs, maps, brochures, ticket stubs, and other vacation ephemera.
The last remaining pair of teeth from my dental collection.
    Fear not - not much went in the trash. Most found a good new home or was consigned. The biggest relief for me was weeding out and organizing my jewelry supply collection. I think I touched every bead, little plastic bag, and component. I never thought in a million years that I would get rid of jewelry making supplies, but it happened!

    I went to my local craft store and purchase a few more plastic organizing boxes. Items were sorted by material or purpose and labeled with masking tape. Everything was stacked up in crates on a table in my living room and TADA! Organization!

    The biggest thing that came out of this process was inspiration and many "oh ya, I totally forgot I had that" moments. I feel like I've rediscovered my collection and can plan new pieces with a clearer head. For the year ahead, I must remember to stop and sort every once in a while. From this past purge and shuffle, I've learned:

    There's a fine line between gathering inspiration from objects and gathering dust from objects.

    What is your favorite tip for staying organized?

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