Monday, May 16, 2011

Messy Bed, Messy Head

I cleaned.

And I don't just mean tidied up - I purged; a throw-open-the-windows-get-down-on-your-hands-and-knees scrubbing.

I tackled my house - and my mind - with a vigor I haven't felt in a long time, sweeping away cobwebs of stagnation and infusing my creative space with a energy and light.

As my recent posts reflect, I've been feeling creatively and existentially stuck lately.   I woke up Sunday morning early to work on orders, and as I walked into my studio I felt a heaviness, a kind of dread, as I sat down at my work station.   Every inch of my desk was covered in detritus; beads, little snips of wire, discarded scrap metal, and it hit me:  messy bed, messy head.

My counselors in rehab used to chirp this at us bright and early each morning; we were required to make our beds and tidy up our room every day before morning meditation.  I grumbled about it every morning, failing to see what was so important about this menial chore.

Yesterday, it all tumbled into place:  my studio was a physical manifestation of my mental clutter, my stuckness.

It took me five hours, but I cleared every surface.  I scrubbed and organized and gutted out every drawer, every dark corner full of junk.   I rearranged my entire space, pushing my work table up against a window and separating my office space from my creative space. 

When it was done, I rubbed my aching back and stood back to admire my work.  I felt a quickening in my pulse, an eagerness to get to work.   I'll be damned, I thought.   It worked.

Next I tacked my in-home store (read: converted dining room).  I separated the store space from the studio space, moved in a comfy chair and organized all my jewelry displays.

Without any before pictures, it's hard to get a sense of the light and space this purging created, but it's much better.    I used to kind of dread when people would stop by to shop; my work station was always cluttered and messy, and there were no places to sit and chat.  I have more plans for this space, down the road: a coffee station, pretty display cases, a nook with a set-up to teach classes.   Now I can actually feel how this will be possible, some day.

I woke up this morning refueled, recharged and totally inspired.   I spent a few minutes just sitting in my studio, sipping coffee and dreaming.   With a big smile on my face.

I'm back.


  1. Yeah! Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I do the same in my house. Purge the desk. Scrub the counters. Make all of th ebeds with fresh sheets. It works wonders for me as well.

  2. Beautiful! Now that looks like a space I'd want to enter.

  3. It looks all organized and beautiful (and I love the glass art piece with the flowers and butterfly) I would definitely want to sit there with a cup of coffee and talk some jewelry!

  4. My favorite thing about cleaning isn't even the result. It's the fact that I can do something productive instead of just spinning my mental wheels faster and faster. Those mental wheels are the source of so many problems for me, and having a method to interrupt them that's actually positive might just be my personal definition of happiness.

  5. I want to shop now!!

    And of course I totally get this--especially since I'm in crazy-nesting mode :)

  6. Gillian in WalesMay 17, 2011 at 8:39 AM

    You know, I was thinking about posting a link to a site I have just started using. And then I thought, hey, she might think I'm crazy. And, 'who am I to suggest *cleaning* to anyone.' 'Maybe she'll be offended.'

    Damn it, I should have! It obviously *wasn't* a thought just from me...

    Anyway, I have just found and started to use She has a list of Baby Beginner Steps and the very first one is 'Go shine your sink.' So I went and shined the sink. Bleach, scrub, polish, go round the edges with a blade, etc etc. And I have KEPT it shiny. A quick swipe every night before I go to bed.

    So what? Well, in order to shine the sink, it has to be empty, and the dishes on the drainer put away. And there's no point in shining a sink where there are dishes waiting to be washed, so they get done, too. And a wipe down the side because the sink is so pretty. So I put the ingredients away to be able to reach the side. It cascades.

    But the best thing is the way that it makes me feel. A smile of satisfaction every night, for just 2 and a half minutes work. I know it takes that long because I do it while microwaving my wheat bag for bed. And then a glow of shiny happiness every morning.

    I highly recommend FLYlady and her beginner baby steps. Especially her idea of de-cluttering for 15 minutes at a time.

    So anyone looking at what Ellie has achieved and looking at their own clutter and mess, and thinking, "But it'll take HOURS and I don't HAVE hours." go look at FLYlady and see what she recommends.

    And, no, I don't get paid to say it, and yes it is all free!

    It is making such a difference to me as I clear out more and more STUFF, and get our hosue looking more like a home I would want to spend time in - so I completely understand and congratulate you on recognising and doing something about it, Ellie. Your new space looks LOVELY. Now to create something as nice in MY home...