2017 Final Countdown, Task Two

Posted on December 30, 2017 by prairiemoonquilts in Challenges, Studio Organizing Challenge

I’m happy to report that my magazine stack is already half gone!

That’s mainly because I’ve been stricken with some sort of winter malady, and have been confined to my easy chair under a pile of blankets with some hot tea, so how better to entertain myself than look through quilting magazines?

I’ll keep at it, but it’s already time for Task Two of the Final Countdown!

Today’s task is one I evidently dislike a lot, because I can never do it and keep it done, but I think it’s one of the most important to creative productivity.

Clean off your flat work surface

For me, this is my cutting table island in the middle of my sewing room.

Here’s its current state:

Seriously, I don’t know how I can actually do any real productive work in this mess! I’m certain it’s slowing me down and keeping me in a state of angst. I try this one every year, and I canNOT keep it cleared off. I don’t even know what incentive I can give myself to make it happen.

Apparently, rewards for keeping it clean mean nothing to me! Haha!

My goal is to have a maximum of 2 projects out on top of this surface at any given moment. I have places to put the others away, but my mind seems to tell me “out of sight, out of mind”, so I leave them out so I’ll remember to work on them — that makes no sense at all, right?

I’ve heard over and over that a messy work surface is a sign of creativity, but even if it is, there comes a point of ridiculosity (there’s that word again), and it simply becomes overwhelming and super counterproductive. It’s time to clean it off again, and see if I can finally learn to keep it that way.

How about you?

Do you let your work surface get out of control, too?

Does it take you a long time to get it reclaimed?

Or are you fast to notice it’s become ridiculous, and you rein it back in quickly?

Or are you like my friend, Barb, and you are able to clean it off every night before you go to bed?

I just need to find a happy medium between letting it get crazy and keeping it super neat all the time. I need to be able to find things, work productively, not have anxiety over the mess, and yet let it get messy enough that I can actually accomplish something, too. There has to be a middle ground, right? Please say yes!

How do you feel about your work surface’s current state of affairs?

Do you need to tackle this task? Or do you already have it done?

17 responses to “2017 Final Countdown, Task Two”

  1. Virginia smith says:

    At this moment that task is under control. It does get bad but am getting much quilting done? so not msking much mess. Getting something going is my delema

  2. Louise says:

    My flat surfaces are completely empty right now. But, that is because my sewing room doubles as a guest room and we had all our guest rooms full this week as 4 of our kids came home for Christmas. The last ones left last night. It won’t be long before my cutting table looks like yours. 🙂

  3. Rose Marie says:

    Lucky you………..you have a flat surface. I have only a card table and I have to keep it pretty clear most of the time. I dug into some bins today to see what is hiding out and wanting to come back to the land of the living. Scarreeeeeyyyy!

  4. Carol Wesolik says:

    Done! I keep 2 projects on my cutting table, one WIP stack on my sizzix table, orphan squares stored in large baggies in my elfa storage drawers, and stash fabrics stored in my elfa storage drawers, organized by fabric designer / style. I don’t like having things messy. Blame my grandma- I learned to sew when I was 10 at her house – each evening, I had to clean up all threads, pins, scraps and put everything away and start clean the next day. You know, discipline in a good German household! Oh my!! (Well, I do have one junk drawer in my machine cabinet, truth be told, and now I will straighten out those notions ?)

  5. Mary D says:

    My cutting table and ironing board are both piled high and wide. It’s so bad I’ve been taking my cutting board to the kitchen cabinet to cut for the past couple of months. The past few days I’ve been working on a major clean-up of the whole room, going through every drawer, basket and surface reorganizing and weeding out some stuff. This was long overdue and I have a ways to go to be able to do any sewing.
    Good luck with yours.

  6. Mary Delia says:

    My work table is cleared off mostly due to wrapping gifts on it. It won’t stay that way long!

  7. Grammi (aka Tonia) says:

    Flat surfaces are highly over rated! One third of my cutting area is reserved for current things I think I need to see often….This year’s pile is Christmas stuff I didn’t get to…..so the plan is –leave it and finish one a month and get a jump on next year! My biggest piles are on the love seat, no room for company there! So, today even before reading this, I did the machine work for the binding on a queen size that topped the pile. It has moved to the house for hand work during tomorrow’s games…Ladies there is hope for us! Let’s see who can keep those surfaces in sight the longest!

  8. Danice says:

    Got it cleaned off. Wow, a lot of stuff, lol. Now to find places for a lot of that stuff…

  9. Thelma says:

    I’m a nut about a clean surface. I have a small laundry basket that I throw clutter into until I can get to it, or it’s running over. It’s a good thing I have clean surfaces, I’m still working on my paper. LOL

  10. Cathy Poyner says:

    Cleaned off my cutting table, and it only stayed that way for the picture. Finished cutting a quilt that I want to finish in the new year. Thank you for this challenge.

  11. Sherry V. says:

    My cutting table got cleared off today. I was busy with paper pieced blocks till the wee hours of this morning.

    After a couple of hours sleep I cleared off the cutting table so I had room to cut down some piecing I have been doing in anticipation of a New Years Day mystery.

    Happy New Year!

  12. Mary says:

    My cutting table is covered with piles because I have too much stuff and not enough room. The local Salvation Army has a fabric sale in April and so far I’ve pulled 145 yds to donate and need to pull more. I thought of selling excess on EBay but haven’t figured that out yet. There was a death in the family with 3 weeks out of town and some health issues so haven’t done much sewing. But I was able to make 2 kiddo quilts and a lap quilt in a week and a half before Xmas. But all the fabric I pulled is still setting on the cutting table, so time to get to work.

  13. Barb Bevell says:

    Well, I did find a small area to tidy up. After a friend came over to sew, I realized I moved some things so she could work. She’s done and that needs to be put away, so it’s my next goal!

  14. My cutting table was inaccessible in addition to having some things on it. I cleared it off and around it and started cutting a new quilt for the beau!

  15. Darlene says:

    The cutting table …. OH the flat surface with the pile of fabric on it w/ corner of cutting mat sticking out!!! This needs work I have to many things on it … work in progress, scraps to be cut into squares and pattern books. Will keep you posted on the progress.

  16. katie z. says:

    My ironing board, set as high as possible, has becoming my “flat surface.” It’s the only unreachable place in my sewin room since it’s shared with the playroom. I’ve cleaned it off twice since the challenge started, and it’s emptied of “non-current” projects, so I’ll count that as success.

  17. randy says:

    I can’t figure out who is messing my flat surfaces up. LOL. I have been keeping things pretty clear. After clearing everything I have a humble stack of the start of the lucky star quilt. I found some panels( christmas) and went to town on them…..

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