My workroom is a rather small area, and over time just grew, with my bringing more and more stuff into an area that was not expanding.
You can see it as it was when I was working on The Wife of Bath, by going to this page: My Workroom and The Wife of Bath in Progress, and then come back to this page to see how really awful it got after that!
The word stasis, which I recall from my science courses years ago, comes from the Greek, a "standing still," from histasthai, "to stand." Some three years after the Wife of Bath project, this was an adequate description of my end of "The Back Room." Things had reached such a point that I could not work at my table and just felt paralyzed, as if I had one foot nailed to the floor in the center of the mess.
Okay, deep breath. Here's how it looked after I decided the area HAD to be reorganized.
Well, it really wasn't THIS BAD. This is the calamitous overview AFTER I started sorting and throwing away and moving stuff out. Oh what a mess! The end of a former tv cart is visible under the table. On it is a ladybug scene I quit working on when I couldn't stand the room any longer. The rest of the stuff on and in that cart is grandchildren project supplies.
I hoped to have at least one area that could be kept clear for works-in-progress, like the little ladybug box. I wanted to put my husband's old desk where that worktable is. It is very sturdy, its top is almost impervious to damage, and it has six drawers, plus a small, shelf unit-type hutch that sits at the back. Which meant I was going to have to take down those two hanging shallow cabinets where my paints and stuff are now. Oh dear; then where wouldl they go?
I thought at first I would put the old worktable at right angles to the window OVER these two pieces. It would fit, but then I would have had to keep those rolling carts in the window behind the table, (not visible here, except for the corner of the table) and I didn't want to do that. So, then I hoped I could put at least three of the carts under the work table. That way, theoretically at least, I could work at the desk, swivel my chair and have a surface for in-progress pieces atop the old worktable - and easy access to the carts.
Then what would I do with the glass-doored case? Gee, I didn't know, but I didn't want to get rid of it because it's great to keep miscellaneous pieces and seasonal dome settings away from the ubiquitous El Paso dust. The little chest was my son's old nightstand. I hoped that the drawers in the desk would make it unnecessary and it might be eliminated.
As long as you just look at the shelves, it's not too bad at this stage. I spent many an hour over several months getting everything sorted and labelled in those drawers and boxes. That really helped in this reorganization process. At least I knew where everything was, pretty much.
This side looked even less tidy because of the different levels of old furniture and wall shelves on brackets. One piece looks ready to topple! Most of the stuff you see here atop the old chest of drawers (my son's childhood fascination with goofy stickers still evident on it) is quarter scale. Since I am running out of space to display things, I plan to do more smaller scales. That small teacup and saucer has strawberries on it; I keep thinking I will make a quarter scale strawberry scene of some sort in it.
Oh, ugh. Now we've reached floor level again. That's a quarter scale Sunday House in progress in the house gift bag; heaven knows what else. The lamp fell as I was moving things out of the room.
This is the rest of the right wall. Not too bad; at least everything is labeled. (Gee; do I see an empty drawer? How is that possible? lol) I used that ice cream carton to transport my Desert Dweller to the Santa Fe International Figurative Arts Doll Show for a critique.
Here are some items I was grouping to photograph for a Cheap Thrills page. The box holds wooden bases for scenes; the brass base was from an old anniversary clock. Lying around and underneath are things like plastic bags and disposable plastic aprons. I learned to provide something for my grandchildren when we do messy projects. They like opening and peeling apart those plastic aprons, too. Where in the world am I going to put these in the new arrangement? Beats me.
Here I've started moving carts and other storage pieces into the grandchildren's playroom. Not too clear a picture, but the light was bad, or maybe the battery was getting low that day, or both ....
That's my McKinley hanging on the wall. It used to hang in the entryway; right now it is full of rabbits and bears. I am not sure what its final form will be. There is a toy box underneath it, which nobody can get to right now. Normally, I have a few mini scenes in the shelf unit against the wall. You can get a glimpse of the Peppermint Point roombox that I won as a table prize at a NAME convention in Minneapolis.
Perched atop a cart is one of those Hallmark greenhouses available a couple of years or so ago; one of these days I am going to fill it for my daughter, who has a real green thumb. The tallest cart on the right I bought to hold doll stuff; it still wasn't big enough, so I have to rethink that idea!
Here is the other side of the room. Normally I use that desk as a sewing space. Next to the sewing machine is a tall glass case that holds a wonderful Flamenco dancer who is too big for one-inch scale. Think I'll see if my daughter wants her, since she has Southwest stuff in her den. That's a half-inch scale McKinley sitting next to a San Francisco house waiting to be wired and wallpapered.
Back to the back room again. Oh, shoot. I have been working here forever and it still looks impossible. I think I will just dump everything that's loose into a box and then later, when all the furniture is in its new arrangement, figure out whether to keep it all or not. I probably wouldn't miss any of it.
By the way, that yardstick which is glued/screwed to the front of the worktable has been very handy.
See those white labeled boxes under the table? They are stationery boxes my DIL saves for me at her job. They are great because they are sturdy, stack easily and with labels added look relatively tidy. I have used them to save items for future projects, for things like cardboard pieces, etc. In the real world of my "serious" writing I also use them to organize research materials and various chapters, etc., of my novels.
Well, there is some progress; I've emptied some boxes and cartons, started filling up that white trash bag under the table. But the more I get rid of, the more I pull out, and it seems to look messier than ever.
I have a hard time getting rid of various sizes of boxes and ice cream buckets. What makes me think I will need to keep a supply of them? They are renewable resources. Just buy some more ice cream!
My gosh, I can see bare wall spots above and below the work table!
Well, the glass-fronted unit and the old nightstand are gone.
And that is red carpet visible to the left of my chair! Wow!
And the worktable has been emptied and there is clear space underneath. Amazing. Sorry for the poor quality of the photos; my camera must've really been needings its battery re-charged or something - or maybe I was sick and tired of the whole thing! lol.
Oh, I will be glad when I don't see this when I look in the doorway of our spare bedroom/playroom. Maybe I should just shut the door.
I have not gotten photos of my work area after the reorganization was finally concluded, but hope to soon. I assure you it is much better than the pictures above, particularly because I finally MADE myself throw away or give away a whole bunch of stuff. It's still not big enough, however.
Should have pictures soon.