For just over a week, the first mate and I have been making a conscious effort to clean every single day. We started with the kitchen, since it's the room that gets used most actively — we move things in there literally every day, it gets dirtied every single day, its pile of clutter evolves every day. The whiteboard that hangs where we can see it all the time has a count: "Days the kitchen is clean." That doesn't mean the kitchen has to be in a constant state of near-perfection; it means that we — mostly he, since he's taken responsibility for that area ;) — made the effort to clean the counters, put away dishes, put dirty dishes in the dishwasher, etc., that morning, so that the kitchen feels usable, even livable, for most of the day.
This was the kitchen's "cute spot" a couple of days into the effort:
The sunflower came from our local organic CSA and is not a regular denizen of the kitchen. ;)
Aside from the niceness of having clean space, a bonus to making incremental but definite cleaning progress is that I want to clean even more. I really like clean space. Seeing it makes me want to make more of it, and keep what I have. So for the past few days, thanks to the cleaning virus, I've been picking at the several-years' accumulated mess that is the craft room.
In today's craft-room-archaeology project, I excavated a storage stool that was hiding beneath an inherited, old-school electric Singer sewing machine/table, and I cleaned off the top of a box of thrift-store sweaters destined to be recycled into yarn for new yarny projects. Then I went to check my inbox, and found that the Love That Room e-book is finally out. Yay! And hurray for synchronicity!
FYI, Love That Room is an e-book based on an online course created by Lisa Baldwin of Zen at Play. The goal: to help you de-clutter physical spaces that are holding you back from enjoying them, in a way that respects what you aren't ready to let go of yet and helps you uncover things you love that are buried in the mess. I've been waiting a couple of weeks for the e-book to be ready, and now I have it in my greedy little hands. ;D
Those are affiliate links (at least, they should be — I have no idea if they work yet...), but I promise my discovering it today of all days really was synchronicity — I didn't write this blog post just to show off the e-book. ;) I'm actually pretty leery of giving my money to people I've never met who promise to help me do something I haven't been able to do myself, all with the magical power of their PDF e-book or online course or what have you.
But! I also freely admit I almost signed up for the Love That Room course last time it happened. I'm really drawn to its compassionate, intelligent, self-respecting aspects, and I do have a tiny little clutter problem in a few areas. ;) I'm also really big on dealing with non-ideal situations holistically and logically — if there's a clutter problem, that's partly an indicator of mental and emotional conditions. We're not random, unemotional beings; we do things for reasons, even when we don't see them, understand them, or like them. And Lisa seems like a smart, understanding person who gets that concept. I like hearing ideas from smart, understanding people; I haven't thought every thought there is, after all. There are also people who swear by her course ... but I couldn't quite convince myself to sign up.
Then she released the Love That Room e-book. Which, if I remember correctly, is less expensive than the course — at least, the advance copy is (and that's what's still on sale right now). I'm also big on guarantees, which Love That Room comes with: I can have my money back if I don't find the e-book worth it.
So there it was. Leery I may be, but when a product looks good, when I can have my money back if it turns out not to be, and when I know I'm honest and demanding enough to ask for it back if that happens, that's the magical convergence. Yes. I bought the e-book.
It sounds cheesy, but five pages in, I'm already glad I did. I'm still withholding judgement on whether it was worth the money, because although it looks pretty promising, I'm ultimately going to judge it by whether it helps me make real progress, not by how warm and fuzzy it makes me feel. I'm still, as always, skeptical: about whether I'll ever get my craft room into a place where I love it, and about whether this e-book can really help me do it. But I live and die by the facts, and here's an interesting one:
When I started writing this post, I was absolutely not going to post photos of the current state of the craft room. I have photos, but they were taken for posterity — specifically not for public display, except after I finally have the room cleaned up, so you can all ooh and ahh over how amazing the transformation is. ;)
The longer I sit here and type, though, the more I think, Eh, maybe I will just post the photos.
Oh, I'm not going to. Not yet. ;) Caution is one of my numerous (and sometimes contradictory-seeming) middle names. But if I'm considering posting the photos, it's because I'm more confident I'll succeed at making the craft room super-cool. Since that's not a usual side effect of blogging itself, at least for me, it's possible that the e-book is actually having a positive effect on my attitude. And I'm a skeptic, not an optimist. Facts carry far more weight in my mind than random positivity. So if I feel more confident, there must be some new idea in my mind that's convincing enough to seem factual.
Will the attitude shift last? We'll see. Tune in next time for the continuing saga of the Great Craft Room Rescue. And in the meantime, feel free to check out Love That Room. You can always get your money back if it doesn't work. ;)