13 May 2013

30 Days - Day 13 - Making space with SPACE

The blank page feels daunting at the moment.

Sometimes I'm excited about the potential of filling it up; sometimes I'm not. Today I'm not.

I was feeling good this morning, but now I'm frustrated and annoyed at myself because I talked myself into a corner even after Joyce said not to.

I listened to her talk about "The Hope of Change" this morning. It's the same video I linked to the other day where I mentioned hope was expecting something good to happen.

I honestly feel like two people sometimes.

The one who's mature, deals with things and moves on.

And the one who's...well...not.

Sometimes I don't want to be mature, I just don't.

I'm finding it really hard to do this today and put it my feelings on the table. I'm feeling extremely vulnerable - it's hard to put your faults on the table and have everyone judge them.

I'm trying to work things out, but to do that in front of others?

It's hard.

It's hard any way you do it, even in front of a computer screen.

As I was listening to Joyce's message this morning I thought, I need to hear this a few more times.

I print out things and put them in front of my face until they sink in.

I read them out loud when I see them sometimes.

If they're no longer relevant I take them down.

I think sometimes the messages are about the actual words, and sometimes they're about the spirit of it.

Sometimes we eat a certain item of food because we want that particular thing and nothing else.

Sometimes we eat a meal (without being too concerned about what it is in particular) because it's good for us, good to eat and good for our bodies.

Joyce's Hope of Change message was both of those. Particular good food and general good food.

I want to listen to it again - and others too - and just soak them in.

So much I do nowadays needs to be intentional - and this is one thing I'm going to focus my intentions on for a while. That, and my photos. Looking inward at my life - what it contains, what I want to keep, what I'm grateful for, what I want to remember, what makes me happy, what I love and what I look forward to in the future.

As I work with my photos and listen to Joyce I know I'll be soaking things in, new things, to replace a lot of the old things I've typed out. I've made room in my life (I can feel it) for new things to come in and I'm waiting for them to come. Good things...things from Him - they're the only ones I want.

My words for the day are:

Thinking differently
Doing differently
Emoting differently
Soaking in


Organising is hard work.

I've organised many craft rooms using the SPACE method by Julie Morgenstern.

S = Sort 

Sort stuff into like piles. When organising the craft room, I do this in the lounge room close by. A lot of work yes, but I can't organise mess in the actual space it lives.

No wonder I can't organise all my thoughts/emotions/hurts/frustrations about everything in my head - I have to do it outta there. Like, out loud. Or on here. God knew what He was doing when He told me to do this.

Sorting my emotions is taking inventory of what's really there and being brutally honest about it. The sorting part can be okay, it's the brutally honest (with yourself) part that can be hard.

So, like piles - all the adhesives that might've been in three places in the craft room go into one pile in the lounge room.

All paper and card - one pile.

All dies - one pile.


P = Purge

I love to chuck obvious rubbish as I go. I put laaarrrggeee boxes in the craft room, lounge room and in between, for easy slam dunking! Having somewhere to put my rubbish is key. I don't want it, and I'm certainly not going to deal with it more than once if I have to, so into the bin it goes.

What do I use as an emotional rubbish bin?? Do I have one? Some? What are they?

Forgetting it doesn't help. Talking about it doesn't help after a point either.

Like, what is it? Choosing to let it go?

How do you do that anyway?

Yes, you make a choice, but for me it takes a while for my feelings to catch up with that choice.

I have to shut the lid on it, that's what it is.

The bin in our kitchen sits at the end of the kitchen bench. It has a lid that slides across the top. I keep the lid open when I'm working in the kitchen and shut when I'm not. I've walked passed it before when it's been left open and crinkled my nose at the rubbish in there. I don't want to see all the used tea bags, eggshells and dog hair every time I walk through. They're rubbish; they've been dealt with, so I close the lid and move on.

That's what I need to do with my emotional stuff, close the lid and move on...

Purge - part 2

I go through all the piles I've made in the lounge room and purge.

The 'don't want' stuff is either rubbish, stuff to sell or stuff to donate. All that stuff goes into the bin or new piles on the floor.

A = Assign

Right, I've got what I want to keep, so where do I put it?

I assign homes for everything.

Hold on...I move the furniture first if I want to get that fresh, this-is-a-better-arrangement feeling, then I assign homes in the new space for everything.

Sometimes the homes are the same as they were before, sometimes they're different.

Sometimes the fact that I have twice as much adhesive as I thought I did requires me to find a different place for it.

I guess it's like assigning homes for our story. Our emotions, our memories, our thoughts and feelings - they all need homes in our emotional lives. 

If they're not organised we can't access them when we need them because they're all over the place.

And if they're not organised we certainly can't use them.

I saw a before and after of a scrap room makeover on You Tube this morning. She was very brave to show her before footage - the room was a disaster. It made my eyes blink and my heart race a bit, I mean, how could you do anything in there? She spent three weeks re-doing the room. Unlike me, she kept all her stuff in the room as she was sorting and purging it. Obviously it worked for her because she got the job done, but I hate trying to sort out one thing when everything around me's a mess. Don't. like. that.

At some point everything got taken out of the room because she re-did the floors and walls, then all the 'kept' stuff and new stuff came in. I really liked her new furniture actually. They had huge shallow drawers with dividers - perfect for paper crafting.

What I'm interested in is how people organise their spaces and if they're organised according to who they are and how they work.  

~ Neat is not accessible.
~ Identifying workflow is paramount.
~ Speed bumps and roadblocks are a huge part of crafting and they need to be addressed to keep the flow going.
~ Containers do not equal organisation.
~ Just because my friend likes to see all her stuff doesn't mean I want to see mine.
~ Just because that container's pretty doesn't mean it's going to work for me.

I don't know what mental process this lady went through to organise her stuff, but when I was looking at it, I knew it wouldn't work for me. That's okay, it's obviously not meant to, but I wasn't sure it'd work for her either.

What I always find with scrapbookers and their makeovers, is there always seems to be sections of junk in their neatly organised rooms! Look at my new room! Now let me take you around and show you everything. Oh, that's stuff I don't use much anymore. I'm thinking of selling that. I don't do this anymore, but I'm keeping that tool. I've got things up here in all these boxes that I don't use much. That's just some extra bits and pieces I don't know what to do with.

I think that's what drives me nuts -

The inaccessibility of things


those bits of junk that get taken back in and stored again!

I hate those things in my own room.

I hate when I can't get to stuff because it's either stored wrong or it's stored in the wrong thing.

And I hate all those extra bits and pieces that I gather and don't know what to do with.

Some I have to keep, so I put them all in a big box and put 'em on the shelf. They're still accessible, but a lot less annoying because they're together, sorted and outta my sight.

I also have a give-away drawer. It gives me a place to put things, so they're not cluttering up the cupboard (that I'm in all the time) or the rest of the space. Ah, breathe easy.

Same with my emotions/thoughts/feelings etc - I assign places for them. If they're parts of me I have to keep, I try to store them outta sight. I know where they are, I'm not in denial about them, but they're not in my way every day annoying me!

I don't know if that makes sense, but it makes sense to me. I stand by this SPACE method, so maybe it's a way for me to think about sorting and organising my emotional life.

Food for thought.

Anyway, I assign. Bin, keep, store etc.

C = Containerise

This is the time where you put things in containers and put them away. It's also the time where you shop for fun containers if you need them.

A lot of people say "I'm going to get organised" and then go and buy containers. How do you know what you need to buy if you don't even know what you have to store?

That being said, I've bought containers FIRST in other instances and it's all worked out in the end. Not everything is step by step all the time, is it? Hello, inspiration and doing things from the heart = (I believe) it'll all work out in the end.

Anyway, container time and put-everything-away-time. I think it's my favourite part.

I remember when I did my room last time that I got really anxious at this part. At the time I didn't know why, but later I realised it was because I was putting too much pressure on myself to find the right storage solutions the first time.

Would my papers work best here or here? What's the right decision? Multiply that by 100 and I found the whole process overwhelming. Like I said, I've done SPACE many times previously and all of a sudden this pressure was at a roadblock I'd never encountered in myself before.

In the end I just made decisions about what I thought would work (what else do to you do?) and left it. Later I found myself moving a couple of things around and that's when it all twigged.

Oh, so I don't have to get it right the first time? What a revelation that was.

I just re-organised my scrap cabinet like I said. I spent some time thinking about it at the time, moved things to where they made sense and moved on.

I am going to view the organising (managing?) of my emotions in the same way.

Make decisions, move on.

Keep that, chuck that.

That was stupid, forget that.

Sort this.

Store that.

Store this with those.

Move them.

Bin that.

Make quick decisions...

...and don't double-handle things!

I know this all sounds a little airy fairy, but it makes sense to me. I hope it's resonating with some of you, too. I'm still trying to make sense of it all, so it makes sense anyway!

E = Equalise

I refer to equalising as putting stuff away.

Obviously when I use things I have to put them away, and if I'm not putting them away it's because my system's not supporting how I work.

Some scrapbookers file their paper scraps. Like file them in a filing cabinet. Some would rather walk the plank than do that, so they chuck 'em in a basket. I actually do a bit of both - I file them by chucking them into three shallow containers - small, medium and large. I have the sizes separated because it drives me nuts having them mixed. When I want a bit of yellow I can't stand digging through all my scraps to find some.

Interestingly enough, I used to separate my scraps by colour in different bags. That worked beautifully for me for years because it supported how I scrapped back then. I do things differently now, so I store things differently.

I store things (all things, not just scrap stuff) according to how I go looking for them. You know that thing you want to keep, but you don't know where to put so you'll find it again? I always ask myself, "Where will I go looking for this in the future?" and I put it there even if it's in a ridiculous place. It's all about me finding it, not just storing it.

Equalising my emotions?

Sorting them, purging them, assigning them, containerising them...and equalising them. After all the work's been done to sort them out and organise them, equalising emotions is keeping a check on them to see that they're in balance, they're in line with the system (God, basically, and what He says) and tweaked when necessary.

Sounds good.

Okay, I'm going to click over to Julie Morgenstern's page to see what she had listed under SPACE - I didn't read it properly when I linked it earlier because I wanted to draw on my own experiences with her system and not on her words.

I'm reading her words with physical organisation in mind, but also emotional organisation...

Main points from her:

  • Do all the steps
  • Do them in order
  • I sort differently (out of the room), but that's fine I know it works for me. If I have a smaller amount of organising to do in a space I'll do it in the room. It depends on the situation. 
  • Yes, purging can be tough because what if I need this in the future and I chuck it out now? Some people have a halfway house for things in their space. They go in there for a while and if they've not been retrieved after a year, goodbye. 
  • "A simple maintenance program" - that's how she describes the Equalise step. Like it. 
  • "Annual 'tune-ups' will ensure your system keeps pace with your changing needs, possessions and priorities." Again, part of the Equalise step. Like it.

But what I like the most is the sub-heading at the top!

Taming the Chaos So You Can Make Your Unique Contribution

Ah yes, that's what it's all about.  

Do this...

S = Sort my emotions
P = Purge my emotions
A = Assign my emotions
C = Containerise my emotions
E = Equalise my emotions

...to tame the chaos so I can make my unique contribution to the world. 

Like it. 

Worth it. 

Doing it. 

Do the SPACE to make some space, so new things can come into the space! New things, good things. Yip, yip.


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