I’m trying, with varying degrees of success, to run my own business from home designing and putting together tapestry kits using my own original designs. Unfortunately, I do not possess all of the prerequisite skills; organisation, planning and focus being just some of the areas in which I find myself wanting.
Whilst I have managed to overcome the butterfly-like tendencies of my mind in order to achieve some end products, no sense of order has emerged miraculously of its own accord, as I had hoped. If I was feeling generous, I could put this down to my ‘artistic temperament’, but in reality my lack of any designated workspace to call my own is partly to blame.
Instead, I shoehorn myself into small areas, whenever I find them unoccupied by the various cats and humans with which I share my home. The spaces I do have are as follows:
1. Behind our bedroom door.
This is my filing cabinet and storage unit. Chic, isn’t it? Cunningly secreted behind the bedroom door, it is yet to be discovered by modern civilisation (the kids). So far, so good.
2. The ‘desk’ in the living room
Occasionally, I find it necessary to use my long-suffering sewing machine to make up a cushion cover or two for display purposes. In these instances, I efficiently* relocate the play table, five or six boxes of lego, a pile of old copies of Cbeebies magazine and about 78 children’s books in different states of repair/digestion, move a chair into the well of the desk, and plug the old boy in.
*This process is not particularly efficient.
I then simply* retrieve my pins, ruler, iron, ironing board, and various other necessary paraphernalia from their random locations around the house (locations 3-6), sit down and away I go.
*This process is certainly not remotely simple.
Bob’s your uncle.
3. Ironing board – down the side of the fridge. Relatively normal, no?
4. Stuff, including ruler, in booze cupboard. Who says accurate measurement and wine are not natural bedfellows? Anyway, by the time I have shlepped all over the house getting the things I need, I have worked up a thirst.
5. Under the stairs. Perfect organisation makes for an easier life. Apparently. To retrieve my iron from the farthest corner of this perfectly organised* under stairs cupboard, I simply* turn myself into a human cantilever. This manoeuvre is made slightly more high octane whenever it is employed for the task of getting some hot food out of the microwave, conveniently placed* at the opposite farthest corner. But that is another blog post.
*none of these descriptions are accurate.
6. Meter cupboard. Home to the lecky meter and not to the 1960’s New Orleans funk band, but I can see how you might have got confused. The Meters could have thrown together some pretty awesome stagewear in there, as it is also my makeshift haberdashery – pins, bondaweb, fabric, yarn, webbing et al. Luckily, there is a kiddy safe thinger on it – that’s all that holds it shut.
7. Shelf in the living room
I am challenging our floating shelves to stay afloat with this unwisely heavy load. Here, out of paw’s reach, is where I keep my stash of partial wool skeins which I use for trying out ideas, alongside a load of other stuff which I’m dubious as to why I have kept at all (a flattened-out Colgate box, for example).
8. The craft basket
I have instigated a craft basket in the living room, containing some reference books and resources, where I can pop my current stitching project whenever something more pressing comes up (which is almost always). This, more often than not, is commandeered by everyone else in the house for the storage of the remote control, toys, the missing piece of the puzzle (literally, not metaphorically), a snack we plan to return to at a later date… Juno is the only one who leaves this pretty well alone, showing uncharacteristic self-control, for a cat.
I estimate that about 30% of the time I have available to devote to my business is spent on tasks such as removing the layers of stuff that lie between the equipment I require and the current geological era, trying to remember where I put that thing last Monday and then putting it all away again, usually before I’ve actually finished what I was doing.
If by any chance you are a millionaire looking for an act of benevolence to carry out today, please buy us a bigger house. I’ll pay you back! After all, I like to delude myself that all that stands between me and world tapestry domination is another bedroom or two! And maybe some basic organisational skills. If you have any tips, I would love to hear them 🙂