Monday, October 31, 2011

Getting Sorted

I have to confess that for a control freak like myself, the topic of organisation is heavenly.

If you follow me on twitter, then you'd also know that I'm quite addicted to any reality tv shows that feature hoarding/organisation.... think Hoarders on Biography Channel, Clean House on Style Network, and Clean Sweep on Discovery Home and Health.

Unfortunately I was also born with the hoarding gene (it's on both sides of my family). I find it extremely difficult to throw anything away that might be useful one day.

It was definitely time for an intervention!

On Saturday, I was lucky enough to spend the day at a hotel in the city at the 6 Steps Workshop.

The workshop featured three fantastic, passionate Professional Organisers who presented a range of topics around de-cluttering, organisation, and simpifying your life.

Lissanne Oliver from SORTED!
Chantale Bordonaro from Simplicity Source 
Joshua Zerkel from Custom Living Solutions 

The sessions were:

  • Cut Clutter Forever
  • Manage Paperwork Without Pain
  • Moving or Downsizing - Think Outside the Box
  • Need Storage? - Reclaim Your Space
  • Master Your Paperless World
  • Skyrocket Your Productivity With Online Tools

I can seriously say that I've started making changes already which are going to make my life sooooo much easier - most importantly for me I think it will improve the following dramatically

  • No more forgetting things (lack of oxygen to the brain has seriously affected my memory skills)
  • No more double handling of things (means less energy expended)
  • No more searching for things in the craft stash (time saver)
  • No more re-buying things I already have just because I can't find them (money saver)

Some of my favourite tips from the day that are really easy to implement.

  • Stop things coming into your house that you don't need
  • Insist on consumable gifts (chocolate is always welcome if you're giving me a gift)
  • Filing Cabinets are nursing homes for paper
  • Think about retrieval, not storage. If you store it, can you find and access it when you need it?
  • Done is better than perfection (great tip for those of us who read lots of perfectly pretty blogs)
  • Label Label Label (I currently suck at this one)
  • Think Rightsize, not Downsize.

I'm such a technodork - I also finally learned what 'in the cloud' actually means!

All of the online / tech solutions were really interesting. These are the two that I'm using now.

The best one for my needs is going to be EVERNOTE

You can create all sorts of lists and notebooks.
I've taken photos of the business cards I've collected and made a business card notebook in Evernote, so that the actual cards can be thrown away (its ingenious).
I've also made a grocery list, and as I remember what I need, I just add to the list in my iPhone. It can also be synced with my PC and Laptop.

We also learned about DROPBOX

I originally found out about Dropbox from Michelle at Frankie & Swiss. I use it to share my fabric design files so that she can just access each one when I send through a printing order. It's fantastic.

Another thing that I really liked was that it was re-iterated that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to anything. It's important to do a little research and find the solution that fits the needs of the problem that you have. The storage and organisation solutions that I need to take control of my craft/space and back up supplies, are going to be different to what I need in the office to take care of personal and business paperwork.

The trick to everything that I've learned being implemented is to take action within the first 3 days (that means make a start... not a finish).

So today I toodled off to Officeworks and bought some supplies, and then came home and started organising.

My sewing patterns are now all stored in pretty magazine holders. I can't see the mess of all the different sizes / packaging types (apart from a few largish envelopes that are peaking over) 

This was another great tip - all of the stacks of paperwork and receipts that come in via my front door end up in piles on the kitchen bench. I'm now going to categorise them (and separate the personal receipts from the business receipts) as they come in, so that I stop losing things.

I have a little cupboard with packaging supplies for my online orders. It's a bit messy, and it was hard to find which business card / swing tag / postcard I needed each time (depending on what I'd sold)

I bought some business card and postcard holders, so that I can now see the fronts of each type of card and easily retrieve them when I need them for my packages.

I have to also confess that I bought myself a new box of labels at Officeworks and when I moved all the cards around, I found the box of labels that I already had!

My next job is to tackle this cupboard. The plastic containers house all of my bag / pouch making supplies - from flex frames, to magnetic snaps, o-rings, d-ring, slide adjusters etc... you name it, I hoard it (and yes I do have an entire basket of zips....and screenprinting ink - don't ask).

The good news is that I do at least have them containerised. The bad news is that I can't find what I need because there are no labels!

I have a discount code that I can share with everyone for Lissanne's webstore - you can get 10% off all products and services until Nov 7th by using the code 6STEPS.

In the meantime.... I'll get back to my organising.


Mookah Studio said...

I love it. I love it. I love it. Not because I'm a hoarder, cos I've never been one of those, but because I'm a neat freak. In fact I'm noticing now as I approach something resembling middle age that I am more 'neat inclined' rather than neat freakish.

I think that the little man in my life may have had something to do with this, and I think it's a good thing.

Giddyup Curlypops!

sister outlaws said...

Do you think you can learn this stuff Cam? My workspace is so untidy because I have such limited time and want to use this time MAKING - I'm always too keen on doing things rather than sorting which I see as a waste of time when something could be getting made/ done - even though I know it makes the process smoother in the long run. You'd find a photo of my making space hilarious! A MOUNTAIN of craft stuff in the back room! You've inspired me to spend some time sorting sorting labelling...

Rie said...

Thanks for the tips & links Cam. I'm off to check out the links now & Lissanne's store too!

Ren @theredwren said...

Fantastic Cam! You've inspired me! I'm going to organise my study this week right along side you :) I started a few months ago and purchased storage boxes and containers but I never finished!

I love that the changes you've made are so simple and inexpensive but they've made a big difference.

I'm a massive hoarder learning how not to be. I read articles on how throwing things out doesn't lose the memory or change the event - it's something I have to keep reminding myself of.

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for the fabbo post! Love the changes you've implemented (I just KNOW you're going to label those lovely new mag holders, aren't you?!)

Also, just want to clarify that the 10% discount is until November 7th (not the 1st). Look forward to more makeovers cam (including your lung makeover when it happens!)

Melissa G said...

Oh, yes. A lil organisation goes a long, long way.
I am sometimes a list girl. Without my lists I'm completely lost at sea.

Cathie said...

oh Cam, I so need to get sorted! our kitchen bench looks like a mountain at times.
well done! hope you can look at all the organisation and smile.

now if only the laundry folding pile would get sorted too..that would be wonderful ♥

p.s word verification "nuthin"

Cate Lawrence said...

I have always been horrendously untidy and disorganised. Running our own businesses, I'm not great but getting better! We use evernote and dropbox, extremely helpful...

Bron said...

I too was born with a hoarding that what makes us good crafters? I love organisation too...just never seem to get it though.
Your spaces are looking great.

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

Oh I really need to do this too! I'm such a hoarder, as is the man, and the little one is starting to display tendencies as well.... time to get on top of it me thinks!

Sarah said...

GO girl you can do it.

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

Although I am not a hoarder we do live in a small house with limited space. the small built in in the kids room is like a jumble of shoved in linen and clothes that don't fit her and toys she doesn't play with. Ditto the sewing room- linen not folded properly etc. I am overwelmed by it. So my solution was to cover it with curtains so i don't have to look at it. I do need to get organised. I need a week!

Jennie said...

You are so great - getting onto this!
The post/paper that comes in the house is a huge thing here. There is a pile next to me here that I have been ignoring for AGES! I've got the files in the cupboard - its just a matter of doing it!!
Great post Cam!

The Creative Beast said...

You're the second blogger in a week that I've seen tackling clutter in the workspace and this post is just as inspiring as the first one I saw!

I particularly love the tips about consumable gifts and keeping unnecessary items from coming into the home. The point about filing cabinets as "nursing homes" is HILARIOUS because it's TRUE!!! And it's making re-think keeping my papers and considering scanning them into tech files instead...

Thank you for posting about your inspired progress toward organization Cam - it's galvanizing me to tackle my creative space BIG TIME!! =-)

74 Lime Lane said...

What a great way to spend the day!! I think one of the best things is how inspired and motivated you feel afterwards, ready to tackle all the clutter. Great job getting stuck into it!

Lotti said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for sharing ..... I am a hoarder and I hate it. This is a post I need to read and re-read. But thank you. I think I will get the book you talk about in this blog ...... Thanks

Joshua Zerkel, CPO said...

Cam, thanks so much for attending on Saturday. The three of us had a great time sharing our tips and ideas with the delegates. I'm thrilled to hear you're already implementing! Keep at it.

Jennie said...

Sounds like a great workshop! Wish I could steal all your new knowledge.

My plan for our new house is to have a recycling bin at the front door for junk mail, supermarket receipts and all those little bits of paper crud that I need to pull out of my bag as I'm leaving the house and usually shove on top of something *just for now*.

The consumable gift idea is a sterling one!

Cherie said...

Inspirational!!! Those programs are on my faves list too ... some of them are so sad and so gross aren't they?
I'm in the throes of de-cluttering. I'm sick of the hoardes, I want space. Best investment for me has been a shredder. As soon as anything with my name appears for rubbish ... whizz ... plus I love doing the task of shredding :~) Excellent post Cam :)

Michelle said...

Wow! Love this post so much Cam. It's inspiring! Have decided to chuck sentimental momentos like bags and coffee cup cuffs from suitcase starting immediately!

Anonymous said...

I SO need to do this workshop it's not funny! I am definitely a hoarder and some things are organised and others are a disaster. Already I have piles of paper in our apartment in the UK when I thought that I'd have 3-4 months of tidiness!

Also, just to let you know that I'm thinking of you and fingers crossed for that next phone call....tried to comment on your post a couple of weeks ago but didn't have internet at home and wouldn't send my comment from Starbucks free wifi! Take care. x

Sally Cooper said...

PLEEEEASE come and help me do my house! I soooooooo need it!!! Great post.

Unknown said...

I'm so impressed with your promptness to hit the ground running! You're on a role, and it looks like life is going to be different for you from now on!