10 Jan my 80/20 challenge for this year + organization as self care
I mentioned on facebook that I was thinking about doing a “work only from my stash” this year challenge. For myself, not for you. Don’t start sweating. 😉
One FB friend mentioned that she doesn’t think she could completely abstain from buying art treats/supplies because…well. It’s just too fun and let’s face it, there’s always new and exciting things coming out. And I agree with her.
I also said that if I were to do a challenge like this, it would have guidelines so that I don’t go stash diet crazy and buy everything off the Blick site. I’ve been giving it a think and here is what I’ve come up with.
- New artwork must contain a minimum 80% stash materials. That doesn’t mean I have to go out and buy new stuff for it, just means I have the wiggle room to do so should the project need something new.
- “Need” is defined as the following: this item simply does not exist in my stash or I will want to bury the project in the backyard if I don’t get the proper color/thread/fabric/<insert item of choice> for it. Because no one wants to create art that they hate straight out of the gate (sometimes you end up there anyway) so if I tear the studio apart and still have that “meh” feeling toward my choices, I’m allowed to go buy something appropriate for completion.
- In person stash enhancement without purpose is allowed only when attending specialty events such as quilt shows or workshops when said items would not be available otherwise.
- Pattern purchases are acceptable. I have a lot of yarn and have a lot of patterns I’d like to use it on. Not all of them are free so pattern buying to use up the yarn stash is a good thing.
I haven’t yet decided what my guidelines for online stash enhancement are. I do love the magical mailbox portal and don’t intend to let it go cold all year. But…well. I may just lump it into the first two guidelines and call it good.
I’m also going to downsize the stuff I’ve been hoarding just because. Stuff that’s been in the spare room I affectionately refer to as “The Warehouse”. And honestly? I haven’t looked at it before I got sick two years ago so that tells you right there just how much use I’m getting out of it.
The past few months I’ve been doing a lot of purging and organizing in anticipation of a home renovation that is currently underway. It’s taught me a lot. It’s showed me that getting things organized is not a weekend project. It takes a looooonnnnnngggggg time. Especially if you’ve been living in the same space for a couple of decades. And it’s okay if it takes a while. There are no Organization Police that will haul you off for taking a while to do it.
I’ve also learned that my mind rests so much easier when there is a reasonable amount of order to things. This makes it feel like a form of self care. I am by no means a minimalist. I never will be and at this point in my life, I’ve no intention of working toward that goal. (Marie Kondo and me? Not going to be besties anytime soon.) But this is something I’ve struggled with for years. I’ve got a lot of work to do yet but I think making conscious decisions to use the wonderful items I purchased to create art is a good step in the right direction.
And I’ve really come to value SHORT LISTS. I have a tendency to do brain dumps when I make my to-do lists and then I look at the five thousand things I’ve written down and then go take a nap. Short lists that have a max of five things on them are totally doable and even though I sometimes get frustrated that it doesn’t seem like I’m doing enough? The list tells me otherwise. I swear there is incredible power in drawing a line through a task that you’ve just completed.
This seems like a reasonable and achievable challenge. I will post monthly updates to keep me accountable. Onward!