2018 Final Countdown, Task Two

Posted on December 30, 2018 by prairiemoonquilts in Challenges, Organizing, Studio Organizing Challenge

So did you make any progress yesterday? If you’re a morning person, I apologize. I screwed up the scheduling time of the post, and it was nearly noon when it came out. So I’m a little earlier today! And never fear, you have until January 7th to complete all the tasks. Lord knows it’s for sure gonna take me that long to get them done, if I can even manage it by then!

So here we go with today’s task:

Deal with a pile

I realize this may feel somewhat similar to yesterday’s task, but seriously, it’s what I’m up against here in my own studio after a year of pitching and flinging and not picking up after myself. Maybe you don’t have this problem, or at least not on such a grand scale as me.

My first step, years ago, was just to simply admit it — I’m a pile maker! I don’t know why putting things in random piles in odd places seems better than putting them away properly, but my brain seems to think that makes sense somehow.

I drool over all the Instagram and Pinterest photos of nice neat beautiful organized (and color-coordinated!) sewing rooms posted there, and I wonder how they do it. And my first realization is: they probably don’t have as much stuff as me to begin with — simple as that!

So here is the pile I’ve decided to tackle for this Task:

It’s not the only pile I need to deal with, but it is probably the largest and most annoying. It’s in the FLOOR of my sewing room. I have to walk around it every day — HOW does this make any sense?

I have started a give-away box (so if you’re in one of my guilds and want some of my cast-offs, you’ll be in luck at the next meetings), and I have the trash can and recycle bin nearby, and after working on cleaning off my cutting table for a bit, I’ve cleared some areas to store more projects (because I obviously can’t finish them all in a day, so they’re gonna have to hide somewhere for a bit until their turn comes up).

I’ve also attempted to adopt a ruthless attitude about whether I will actually use, finish, or want to keep any item in the pile. That “ruthless” bit has been difficult for me in the past, and still is. Is that a problem for you as well?

When you decide on a pile for this task, keep the following in mind:

  • • A pile does not have to be a random pile of crap like mine, altho if it is, then I feel for you, and I completely understand!
    • It can be a pile of fabric.
    • It can be a pile of scraps.
    • It can be a pile of magazines or books.
    • It can be a pile of projects.
    • It can be a pile of leftovers from other projects, or things that simply need to be gotten rid of or put away.

Now is the time to stop walking past the pile without doing anything about it. My pile was not nearly this large even 2 months ago, but as I’ve been working on more remodeling projects downstairs and have unpacked more boxes, I’ve unearthed things I’d nearly forgotten I even had. And as I did that, I got rid of a lot of it right then. I called that “ruthless” attitude into play and asked myself, “If I haven’t even seen it since we moved in 6 years ago, do I really need it?” I’ve made two trips to the donation drop-off, one to recycling, and I’m sure our trash man wonders what the heck we’ve been doing around here for the last month!

But, there were also things I’d been looking for and finally found, which made me happy! But I brought them upstairs and just dumped them in this pile — hence, an even bigger pile. It made perfect sense in the moment!

And now it’s time to deal with it.

I have the same rule for this as I did for my cutting table: I can’t take something out of the pile and simply add it to another pile. I have to actually deal with it, so that’s it’s put away properly. So now you know where you can find me for the next few days!

What about you? Are you a pile maker? Do you have random piles of stuff that need to be dealt with? Do you have organized piles of stuff you need to do something about? Or are you not a pile maker at all? If such is the case, I truly admire you. I aspire to be like that!

If you’re like me, it’s time to choose one and make it disappear. Let us all know about it in the comments! (Mainly because I need to know I’m not alone on this one, either!) Hop to — time’s a wastin’! See you tomorrow with our third and final Final Countdown Task!

41 responses to “2018 Final Countdown, Task Two”

  1. Carol says:

    I am an admitted nester (no matter where I am a pile/nest appears beside/around/surrounding me). I have a pile (not a nest) in my sewing room. I have 5 more days off! Time to work on it!!!
    Happy New Year!

  2. Karen says:

    You are not alone. I’m definitely a pile maker, too. It will be a good task to do. The hardest part will be choosing which pile to tackle first!

  3. Sandra says:

    I am guilty of piles too. When I finish a quilt I keep all the leftover fabric/scraps together in case the quilter needs more fabric when they are finishing the quilt. Then I do it again and now I have piles of scraps that needs to be divided into color groups and dealt with. Good task

  4. Randy says:

    got it… pile…

  5. Judy Smith says:

    Pile? Try piles. They are everywhere. Tackling at least one today.

  6. Cathy Wight says:

    Have a pile at each end of my Quilting room. Today tackled the one most visible to the hallway door. In doing so, had to clean a hallway closet too in order to find a ‘home’ for some of it…you’re working us hard Shelly- but it will be SO worth it!

  7. Barbara W. says:

    I have stacks of denim jeans people have given me and I have purchased at yard sales. I do a lot of projects using the repurposed denim, using the waistbands, inseams, pockets and of course the fabric mostly from the legs. I need to start cutting them up and storing the various parts and sections in bins so they are ready to go when I want to start a project. A good project for the snowy days ahead!

    BTW … I posted yesterday but didn’t see my comments.

  8. Kate says:

    Yes, and you have forced me to face it and admit it. I, too, am a pile maker and I need to deal with it as well. It doesn’t seem as bad when others admit the same habit. I will go and choose a pile to deal with it and make the same tough love decisions to destash, declutter and as Elsa says…..Let It Go. Off to the messy room to make room for more positive creativity to happen there.

  9. Shirley Guier says:

    During my Christmas cleaning I got rid of who knows how many piles! I even went through magazines that had taken over and got those piles down. Unfortunatel, I still have piles that I can tackle. I’m not sure where they will go. I’m running out of storage!

  10. Meloney says:

    Yes, I make piles and piles of things or put them in boxes, which is just a contained pile.
    I’ll be blogging about it here https://melsquiltingblog.blogspot.com/2018/12/day-two-countdown.html when I get something done.

  11. Janet M Smith says:

    I tackled a pile of Christmas fabric. Cut it all into usable strips and squares AND put all those little piles away in their keeping place. I feel sooooo organized today. For a few minutes anyway.

  12. Virginia Smith says:

    My piles are still boxes of things that need to be opened and maybe find the blinding for that quilt and several quilt tops that are ready to quilt and ones just waiting for a border then they are ready for quilting. That pile of boxes has many other things that I am wanting to find along with a number of things to get rid of. Of course the bigger question is where to put all of it without just making more piles.

  13. Christi Bentley says:

    I don’t know if this counts as de-piling, because my pile became a stack, but it is so much neater and easier to access. I received several smaller plastic storage tubs for Christmas and now have my PILE of unfinished projects all sorted out into tubs with the directions, notes, completed blocks, fabrics, etc. in one tub. Tubs are neatly stacked next to my bookcase where I can just pull out the tub with the project I want to work on. I think I will tackle that basket of quilting magazines next!

  14. You’re not alone. I still have stuff on the floor and that is my aim this year is to eliminate stuff on the floor.

  15. Sandy says:

    I have a stack of table topper kits that I plan to complete this year. This may be the only organization that they get. At least they are in one spot and I know where they are.

  16. Suelynn Williams says:

    You make me smile! I made a good start yesterday on the cutting table, rearranged a few things under the table, delved into a pile I moved to get closer to the table and immediately became sidetracked on an unfinished challenge quilt until I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Today I will tackle a pile on my ironing board which is convered end to end with piles! Never ends!

  17. Bonnie Epperson says:

    I had my cutting table all cleaned off. Then today I cut out borders and sewed them on mt ufo. Now I will cut the backing and get the table cleared before I go to bed. Sure does feel better when it is clean.

    I started today on cleaning and organizing my stash. recently I got project boxes for my ufo’s. Now the stash needs a lot of work which will take more than 1 day. I will start today. This is feeling great!

  18. Karen E. says:

    I’m pretty good at keeping my cutting table cleaned off, but I am bad about making piles. I didn’t check my email til nearly 4, but I’ll go through one pile yet today.

  19. I actually cleaned out 3 more baskets yesterday, and set some things aside for donation. Today I have cleared up 2 piles of stuff.

  20. Diane Jarvis says:

    Ok the pile of Fiesta ware that I got for my birthday has been dealt with. It was definitely in my way of productive sewing. Now it’s time to embroidery and watch some Chiefs football!

  21. Tonia says:

    Don’t know where my comment went after the captcha thing–but I love these tasks to get me going. Yesterday’s created part of the need for today. I guess that moving the pile is not the logical place for it. Here’s to being able to walk around the table and getting to the lovingly created Scrap Saver boxes.

  22. Sharon says:

    You are not alone! I cleaned up a pile when I cleaned off the cutting table. I bought a galvanized desktop organizer and sorted it into that – books, patterns, etc.
    Unfortunately, today I received ten tops and backs in need of quilting for Quilts of Valor. I used to only get a couple at a time, but the time before last, I quilted fourteen in sixteen days. Next I had ten that took a month because of “issues”. What happens when I get them is cutting the batting to “pile” with each top and back. My husband then chooses the thread which gets thrown on the pile. Ten new piles. Hopefully, these will get done before the end of January.
    I think the pile I will choose to eliminate is the quilt books on the coffee table. Some of them need to go to the freeby table at the next guild meeting.

  23. MJF says:

    It seems I make a pile or piles when cleaning up a pile! But, I’m getting better.

  24. Louise says:

    This is the easiest year ever for the Final Countdown tasks. Since I had to completely clean my sewing/guest room to house some guests for a month, my sewing room is clean. There are NO piles. 🙂 Of course, that isn’t the normal condition of the room. While cleaning, I found a favorite knitting pattern that I was sure I had lost. My daughter will be very happy when she sees her birthday present made from that “missing” pattern.

  25. Kris P says:

    Thank you for your very honest post. Earlier this year I lost my craft room to become a home office for my husband. That change required packing everything up during the remodel, and re-evaluating everything to fit into the space in the cabinets I had when it was over. Overall, it was a good thing.

  26. mimisdarlins says:

    So, I’m going to try to play (work) along on this countdown, which seems to be a neverending challenge. It’s nice to hear that I’m not alone! I haven’t cleared off my cutting table yet, but I’ll get to it. No doubt I’ll be working on all three tasks simultaneously. Once again, thanks for the motivation!

  27. Marsha Y. says:

    I had trouble deciding which area to work on today as I had several to choose from, but finally decided on basket of scraps and small pieces. It took a while to sort, but finally threw away all those very, very small strips that I thought someday I would use. I do mean small (probably less than 1/4″ to 1/3″ wide). Now I can fit more in the basket and the wastebasket is about full.

  28. Ann Ostermann says:

    I ended up tackling several piles. I had quilting magazines and books stacked on the floor (although they were in magazine files). I remembered I had a bookcase in the basement, so I brought it upstairs and put it in the kitchen. My magazines/books now have a new home. While I was at it, I also moved my cookbooks to the bookcase. Win-win! I was motivated, so I cleaned the piles off my desk and my sewing machine table. Planning on doing some sewing this afternoon!!

  29. Tia says:

    I can say this task is complete for me. Again, because of the cats, I cannot have random piles of sewing things in my sewing area. Everything is organized by whether it is a cut of fabric or a part of a kit. All kits are together on several bookcases. The cuts of fabric are organized by precut or length. If they are less than 1/4 yard, they are folded and put into color-coordinated plastic bins.

    Now, at my desk at work, things are COMPLETELY different. There I fully subscribe to the PILING system and not the FILING system. My order of tasks goes by whatever is on top of the piles. Hahahaha.

    I guess my cats keep me in line at home. But I once left WHITE yardage out on a desk. Came back the next day and there was a hairball right in the middle of it. Yeah, that stain didn’t come out. So NOTHING is left out.

    Even my tools and rulers and notions must all be put away or they become a cat toy. Hahaha. And I must be careful with pins for they would be dangerous for a kitty to find. Magnetic holders are my best friend!

  30. Emma says:

    The pile I dealt with was a pile of papers on the cutting mat on the corner of my desk. Handout from church, inserts from online purchases with coupon codes on them, things my toddler put there, etc. My cutting mat is clear, only one envelope on it that I’m saving for the address…gotta get that card in the mail…

  31. Deanna says:

    Task TWO complete–https://weddingdressblue.wordpress.com/2018/12/31/final-countdown-task-two-2/

    Now, I just need to work on at least one of those projects.

  32. Reporting on task one. Completed – you can see the results at #Nudgecleanup . Life interrupted my countdown, so I’m going to attack a pile on my applique table and clean that up. It’s a start.

  33. Stephanie says:

    I am totally a pile maker. Eventually I can’t find anything and have to deal. I did a clean sweep before company arrived for Christmas, and now I don’t even know where I put most of the piles!
    There is one on my cutting table end, not too large. It is the leftovers from the last lot of Aussie Hero laundry bags I made. My clean up task is not to stash the fabrics away, but to cut as many more bags as I can get from those leftovers. Sewing them can come later.

  34. Bonnie Epperson says:

    I srarted on my biggest pile and worked 1/2 day on it. I could not see much of a difference in it that night. Clearly I need to work on it more. I also need to be more ruthless in my initial decision making. I am trying that today.

  35. Amanda M says:

    I dealt with a pile in the search to find my journal but I got it all sorted and put away. I also found the journal and have my list of projects updated so I actually done tasks 2 and 3 in the same afternoon.

  36. katie z. says:

    I should have taken a picture, but didn’t think of it until past the halfway point. We have a utility room with workbenches built along two walls. My “other” crafting materials as well as the kids legos and all craft things are in this room and, well, it looked like an explosion had happened. I let the kids muck around all break, but today, one daughter and I spent two hours cleaning it. Two bags of trash and two of recycling later, I can reach my counter and not step on legos!

  37. KT says:

    Got this done–biggest problem was deciding which pile to deal with!! I had dealt with a lot before the holidays, but still had a pile at the end of my ironing board, making it challenging to press anything! Got that taken care of, and found some pieces that I can add to a quilt I’m working on right now–bonus! Thanks for the push!

  38. Sharp, Judy says:

    Oh, piles! I’m got piles of piles, like lists of lists. Magazines are one of my worst. I keep them for when I “have time” to go over them again, time to cut out things I want to keep, and so I keep them forever. Boxes, tubs, on top of one another to hold more magazines. I have to quit my subscriptions to get ahead, then get behind again. Where will I put the clippings when I cut them out? Ah, but I will tackle one box of magazines this week. I think!?! Thanks for the push.

  39. Karen says:

    Task two is done. Getting rid of those piles sure makes a difference!

  40. Scarlett says:

    I dealt with a pile today that was half blocking the door to the studio. I had to move stuff around in the storage room to make a “sewing room” for the kids – all five of them have their own machines! Now I can come upstairs, through their room, to my studio.

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