Kristi's Studio

A New Call For Accountability

I’m not a hoarder. I don’t generally form any kind of emotional attachment to things. In fact, I could probably count on one hand the number of possessions I have that actually have any kind of emotional/sentimental meaning to me. Everything else could be loaded up on a truck and taken away, and I wouldn’t feel a thing.

So no, I’m not a hoarder. What I am is an incredibly messy and disorganized person (although you know I’ve been trying to become more organized.) I can generally handle my messes during a project because I know it’s just a temporary state. My messes do start to get to me when I near the end of a project and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. By that time, I’m anxious to dive into the cleaning, organizing and putting away so that I can enjoy my newly-finished project or room.

But sometimes the messes get so out of control that they seem way too big to manage. And when they get like that, I don’t feel excited to dive into the cleaning and organizing. I just want to shut the door on the mess and bury my head in the sand.

And that’s the point where I am with the studio.

The studio has definitely been messy in the past, but it’s NEVER been like this. This is the result of ten weeks of working on the pantry.

Ten weeks of building cabinets. Ten weeks of installing trim.

Ten weeks of making custom resin tiles and installing them.

Ten weeks of building and creating and sanding and painting.

Ten weeks of pulling out just about every tool I own and using it, and not putting it away because “I might need that again later today, so I’ll just put it right here for now.”

Ten weeks of trying to keep construction debris bagged up, but failing to actually remove it from the room, so the bags just get piled up.

Ten weeks is all it took to turn this big empty room into this unbearable mess.

And now I just feel stuck. Unmotivated. Overwhelmed. Stressed.

So as much as I’d love to just close the door and forget about the mess, I can’t and won’t let myself do that. The pantry has been done for weeks. Now my bathroom is finished. It’s time to focus on this studio and get it done.

And I know that as I start to clear out, clean up, and organize, this heavy weight and the feeling of discouragement that I feel will start to turn around quickly. But that first step is so hard.

It’s all about that first step. And that’s where the accountability comes in. I need y’all…again.

Right now, I’m giving you my word that I won’t procrastinate on this anymore. I will begin today. I will see progress today. And I am giving myself until the end of the weekend to have this room completely cleared out and ready for work to begin.

Right now, the thought of getting started makes me want to cry. But I’d be willing to bet that even by the end of the day today, I’ll be feeling much more positive, motivated, and even excited. I’m counting on it.

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 10:18 am

    Go get it, Girl! We’ve seen you move mountains and you will move this one. How about a picture a day to show us what you’ve accomplished?

    I want to be you when I grow up. Problem is I’m much older than you. Now…get busy, Young Lady!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      January 30, 2019 at 1:49 pm

      I’m in the same state. We were looking at a farm. We would live in the house and have 2 houses built for our son and daughter. Our son would manage the farm.
      The kids were living next to each other in town while we refreshed our home to sell. It sold the first day on the market.
      Our son killed himself. Depression.
      We moved into the house he was living in.
      My basement is Full of Memories, Longaberger baskets(I bought to decorate all 3 houses) and scrapbooking things.
      I can’t start on organizing it. My brain is fogged over.

      A year ago, our grandsons moved in with us and things from their bedroom went into that area of the basement, too.

      I tried to do a couple of feet at a time but it becomes even more of a mess. I’m drowning. I know how you feel. At least, you are young enough and have the energy to get the job done. 🙂 I enjoy your blog.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        January 30, 2019 at 2:19 pm

        My deepest condolences. I can only imagine the layers of feelings you have to face to move forward. Praying for your path to be lighted.

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          January 31, 2019 at 6:16 am

          So sorry for your loss. I completely understand your inertia. This is all good advice. I’ve been through some of this, and will soon be going through some of it again, as my mother is quit elderly and now frail. The biggest thing is to get those things you’ve made the decision to let go OUT of the house as soon as possible, so it doesn’t end up coming back into the house.

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          Janis Hill
          January 31, 2019 at 8:33 am


          My heart goes out to you. I can’t imagine how difficult this has been.

          Instead of looking at the space and thinking it all has to be done, or trying to clean X amount of space at once, try my crazy method. I set a timer and clean for 15 minutes and tackle one project. When my 15 minutes are up I stop. I see a little progress each day which encourages me to do more the next day.

          But first, make a list of what needs to be done. For instance, all the baskets gathered and sorted by size. All scrapbook paper sorted by color and put in folders, or another small project that can be at least started in that 15 minute time frame.

          Please know you are in my prayers.

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          February 17, 2019 at 10:53 am

          Thank you for your kind words. I’m looking forward to spring and to have a garage sale. This will help some.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        January 30, 2019 at 2:58 pm

        Nannie, I am so sorry that you have had so much to bear.

        My basement sometimes becomes too full of items that I *think* I want to keep but the psychic weight of all that stuff becomes another burden. Even if I avoid venturing down there, I can feel it there. When I do look at it, I become overwhelmed, turn around, and shut the door.

        But once I convince myself that I MUST act, I get a whole lot of boxes (luckily I have access to a lot of copy paper boxes) and start sorting things into them, like with like. That includes having a Donate box, a SELL box, and a big garbage bag-lined Discard box. Each Donate box goes out to the car immediately and when the car is full, I drive to the place to which I am going to donate it. I often find that when I look at my Sell box, I think, oh, the heck with it, and also put it in the car to donate. Then I begin on the next section. I end up with a big stack of boxes (labeled with what is in them, e.g. Bike Stuff, Tools, Drop Cloths, Tiling Supplies, Car Supplies) and a lot of empty shelves. I then put things away in the correct place or put related-boxes on a shelf. All along, more weeding is going on. (Do I need to keep the new, unused tires for a bicycle I no longer use? Do I even need to keep the bicycle?) If I have stuff I really do want to sell, I use the best method for that, such as Craigslist, NextDoor, or a yard sale.

        Yes, this is a long, tedious task and I usually need to take several days off of work to do it so I don’t lose momentum. But when I finish, I feel lighter and even healthier. I only wish I were better about keeping it up so I didn’t have to go through it again every few years.

        The things that have the best memories are the things to keep, upstairs where you can see and or use them or, if you must, in boxes in the basement. You bought those Longaberger baskets for a life that is no longer available to you because you no longer have your son. They are not being used and they have become a weight. Your son never used them so you won’t be throwing out memories if you choose to sell them or donate them. Sell or donate the scrap-booking items. The stores will have plenty more if you decide you want to take up this hobby again. If you donate them, be happy someone else will put them to use. If you sell them, set the money aside to do something special with your grandsons. Those memories made with them are the things that will last into the future and will be the best tribute to your son.

        Finally, perhaps you shouldn’t try to go it alone. I was once overwhelmed with where to start on cleaning out a full-to-bursting closet so hired my friend’s teenage daughter to help me. Having her there kept me on task, she could be dispassionate about things in a way I could not, AND she carried things out to the car. And it was delightful to have a lovely person with whom to chat while we worked our way through that mess.

        I don’t mean to sound preachy. I know the weight of grief and I truly understand how hard this is. I wish you the best.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Christine Czarnecki
        January 30, 2019 at 4:04 pm

        Nannie, have you considered that the disorganized basement is a symptom, not the problem? Have you thought of getting grief counseling? My aunt found it was of tremendous support after my cousin died at a young age. And if you still want to do the basement first, don’t go in there until your grandsons have organized and stored away their things from in there. They can do that with the guidance of other family members, if necessary. And then look for a professional organizer who helps in sorting in grief situations like this. A competent therapist will have someone equally competent to recommend for that project. Just know that the right professionals can help you enormously, and it may take some time. Your age is not the cause of your lack of energy. It is a natural response to your loss.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        January 30, 2019 at 10:41 pm

        Nannie, I’m so sorry to hear about your son. Matt and I have experienced the sudden loss due to suicide, as Matt’s brother took his own life in 2011. I’ll never forget the shock and devastation. I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with that loss.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Laura Leigh Stroud
        February 1, 2019 at 8:54 am

        Nannie; I am so sorry for your loss. I am all to familiar and understand what you are going through. My partner took his own life this past November. I am still in a state of shock! I have said that Death takes your breath away……but this Stopped my Heart. I am having the hardest time going through his things. He had a life before me and I am now finding things out about him; I WISH I never knew. I am striffled with Guilt beyond words….I am sad, lonely, angry and confused. And most of all….I have SO many questions that I will NEVER have answers to. My heart goes out to YOU…as I know what and how you are feeling. I don’t know HOW to pick up the pieces either. xoxo

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          February 1, 2019 at 10:18 am

          My heart breaks for you, Laura. It’s so hard to know what to say to people dealing with such devastation, but I do wish I were there and could at least give you a big hug, and then sit and have some coffee and just talk. And cry. And talk. Or not talk, if that’s what you need. Silence with someone else present can be comforting as well. I know you never get over a loss, but I do pray that the pain begins to ease for you, and that you can find someone to walk through this with you, whether it be a close friend or a grief counselor. Praying for you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 10:23 am

    I am like you 100%. I am so involved in the project and so excited about it, that I work like a tornado.

    Don’t you need a space to cut, sand, stain, and paint though?
    Until you get your work shed done, won’t some space in your house have to bare that burden?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      January 30, 2019 at 10:24 am

      The carport can serve that purpose.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        January 30, 2019 at 11:46 am

        Oh yes! I forget that there are parts of the country that are warm outside. We are at -27°, plus a wind chill that makes it “why do we live here nasty cold”… The whole state of MN is closed this week!

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          January 30, 2019 at 12:23 pm

          Wow! And I was feeling sorry for myself this morning because I have to work in my super cold studio. It was 52 degrees in there. 😀

          • Reply To This Comment ↓
            Kate S
            January 30, 2019 at 12:44 pm

            Now that gave me a great laugh!!! My brother is updating me on the -52 degrees windchill and the cord of wood delivered two days ago that is burning non-stop 😀.
            Get that first little couple things cleared out and you will catch fire 😀👍🏻

          • Reply To This Comment ↓
            January 30, 2019 at 2:11 pm

            Oh my gosh. This blog struck a cord, had myself a little cry. No back story but I just came up from my basement going through stuff dumped by son, daughter, mom’s estate, a couple of my own projects and transitions…….. yup, overwhelm, sucks the energy right out of a person. And I’m a fellow Minnesotan like Carol homebound because of this POLAR vortex…. so there is no escaping it. Bet there is more then one person in this group that needs to light a fire under a job like this!!!! Count me as one. I’ll lend you my encouragement. Now, knowing I’m not alone, lol, I’m heading back down into the “cave of poo”. At least it is nice and warm down in the basement. Lucky you for having bearable temperatures. Our freezers are warmer then the outside by 50 degrees. Who would have thought!!!! YOU GO GIRL!!!!! You can be energized by all the awesome beautiful things you have accomplished!!

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        January 31, 2019 at 7:56 am

        I was also thinking about the space beyond your music room– is it the sunroom?
        Could you set it up as your temporary workshop, until you actually build your workshop?

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          January 31, 2019 at 8:01 am

          Technically, I guess I could, but it would take a lot of work. Right now, my washer and dryer are in there, so I’d have to walk through the “workshop” part to do laundry. That might pose a problem with sawdust and mess. And the hot water heater is also in there. I might be overly cautious, but I would think that sawdust flying through the air might be combustible.

          But if there were some way I could partition that one side and keep the sawdust out, that might work. It’s an interesting idea that definitely deserves some consideration.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Wow! You should think of hiring someone to help you clean that up and hiring them periodically so that things don’t get so out of hand. You shouldn’t have to design, plan, shop, haul, build, paint, decorate, and clean all by yourself. Set aside a small amount of your budget for cleaning help. Free yourself to do the skilled, fun, and creative activities and leave the mundane tasks to others!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      January 30, 2019 at 12:42 pm

      My thoughts exactly. I even suggested one time that she gets an apprentice. Honestly, I don’t know how Kristi does all of this stuff by herself. I feel there is not enough time in the day for me to do half of the stuff that she does(even if I had all of her skills).

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      January 30, 2019 at 1:44 pm

      My friend would hire a “Mothers Helper” from the high school to entertain her twins while she was getting ready for her annual ( adults only) Christmas Party. And as I get older I can’t get all of my yard work done and there’s a program at the community college to hire landscape majors to do odd jobs. Might be worth looking into.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 10:32 am

    It’s time to “just do it.” 🙂 I’ve been there, over and over again because I’ve never learned from my mistakes. Just pick up one thing, then another…and keep it going. Usually I hold food hostage to motivate myself. “Sherre, you can eat dinner when you finish this mess.” haha! I also recommend putting on some peppy music! Amazon has an All 80’s station that is super fun, or I sometimes like 2000s pop. Can’t help but move it with N’Sync 😉

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 10:34 am

    Girl I’d be out there in a skinny minute to help clean up! My OCD just went into overdrive from those pictures. We all have our talents, yours is creativity and mine is cleanittivity. LOL We would make a great team. Rooting for you!!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kate S
      January 30, 2019 at 12:47 pm

      YES!!!!! She needs to get with us OCD gals …. a perfect match 😀

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 10:36 am

    You will feel so much better! Cheering you on!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      January 30, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      Lol. Yes, the OCD AND Type A in me cringes. But that creativity is something I am just plain ol’ jealous of.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Gail Ebeling
    January 30, 2019 at 10:40 am

    Just pick one small area each day. It’s easier to break it into pieces so it’s not so overwhelming. We are all here cheering you on because we are amazed at your abilities. You more unstoppable than the energier bunny. Boy that bathroom is definitely you. I was surprised before because it looked like my choices I am so neutral. Now it says this is Kristi’s house.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 10:40 am

    Good, it will be good to see your progress pic tomorrow. This isn’t good for you (or your dog). I can’t relate to this level of chaos at all.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Victoria Jewel
    January 30, 2019 at 10:42 am

    Woo-hoo! So jazzed you are heading into the studio! I also get overwhelmed when I need to clean up a mess I’ve allowed to get to the point where becomes the last thing I want to tackle. You can do this and once the bags of debris are gone you will become excited too! 🥳🥳🥳

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Maybe you can break it down into parts, kind of like the checklist you made for yourself to finish the pantry? 1. Remove all black garbage bags. 2. Move all large tools to one spot. 3. Go thru all cans of paint/other and store together or throw out the empties, etc… You can do it!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Becky J
      January 30, 2019 at 1:13 pm

      The Marie Kondo cleanup style. Does this saw bring you joy? LOL. That works for me.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        January 30, 2019 at 11:38 pm

        Ha! That whole concept makes me laugh. I have lots of stuff that doesn’t bring me joy, but I need them. In fact, I can’t think of any material items that actually bring me joy. I don’t think her system would work for me. 😀

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Man, that sucks. WHY do the unfun jobs have to interrupt the fun ones?!?!? lol

    Just put in the earbuds and get started. That’s all you can do. Maybe you could binge a podcast you’ve been putting off? I do that a lot with chores, I start listening and then find things to keep doing so I can keep on listening. Or, maybe you could treat yourself to some new music if that’s your thing? Once I start listening to the Hamilton cast recording I know I’ve got a solid 2 1/2 hours of entertainment! Good luck!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marilyn Canaday
    January 30, 2019 at 11:08 am

    I know you can do it! I can’t wait to watch you transform this space. It will be beautiful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 11:10 am

    OMG, Cooper’s face in that one photo! It’s like he’s thinking “this would be a good place to play if mom didn’t have this mess!” Just keep reminding yourself how great it will be to get it cleaned up and the real fun of getting your studio together will be. Plus, isn’t your studio supposed to be a little mess? 😉

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      January 30, 2019 at 12:14 pm

      !!! How did you even see him?! hahaha, I had to go back looking really hard in the pictures to find Cooper! He blends in with the wood.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 11:13 am

    I’m so excited to see your studio!!! Watching you accomplish so much is motivating me to work on my own problem spaces. Can’t wait to see your progress tomorrow!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 11:15 am

    You’re a miracle worker! Once-a-day pics please! We’re here supporting you! Think ahead to Monday when this necessary task is complete!!! Thank you for being such an inspiration!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Hey Kristi
    I don’t know if you can follow the link above, but it is a really easy way to build a scrap wood bin/organizer from a single sheet of plywood (or scraps you may have there already!). I know it is a build and might be a slight distraction, but it looks like it could be very helpful for you.
    Good luck!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Elaine Morgan
      January 30, 2019 at 1:31 pm

      omg…i dont have any scrap wood or a reason to make this, but it’s fabulous! the Organizer WannaBe inside of me wants this! Great link to include here!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Heidi G
      January 30, 2019 at 2:53 pm

      This is amazing! I can see Kristi using this with casters on the bottom so she could move it to her projects. Ok Kristi, not to distract you but get to building and show it to us! 😉

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      January 30, 2019 at 11:56 pm

      I love that! I will definitely have one of those eventually.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 11:18 am

    When I have an overwhelming “something” to do, I tell myself I must force myself to work on it for 30 mins. (or hr., or 10 mins. whatever you choose.) I find that while forcing myself to work on it, I get involved & don’t mind spending longer. My advice is, don’t set a time to be done. Just wok on it each day for a time, & it’ll get done.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Debbie Elliott
    January 30, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Throw on your favorite music play list and think about all the steps you’ll get in and how many calories you’ll burn. I’ve been following your blog for a long time. I know you’ve got this!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 11:21 am….I can’t do anything but laugh at those pics and your confessions. This is exactly how my husband works…except it is with everyday living…not just DIY construction projects. I think this is part of the gift/curse of amazingly creative imaginative people….
    I say do whatever it takes to get this “not in your zone” work done…music, friends, hire it out so you can get back to your gift of creativity! Looking forward to an end of day update pic!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 11:22 am

    I would be feeling anxiety about this too! I think a good trick is to tell yourself you will work for 20 minutes. Do 20 minutes, then take a break. If you get into a groove and keep working past those 20, hurrah! If you stop at 20, at least you started something and can return to it when you are up for another 20. Go easy on yourself and keepin taking small bites until you get over the overwhelming feelings and feel energized again. Focus on how good it’s going to feel when you can see all of the floor :). Good luck!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carole Prisk
    January 30, 2019 at 11:28 am

    I had to go back and look hard after someone mentioned seeing Cooper’s face in a picture. I totally didn’t spot him the first time through. I kind of want of want to say, “It is okay, Kristi, you can have a mess after all you get done.”. But that’s not what you are asking for. So here goes, ” Kristi, enough of this lollygagging. Get cracking, girl, and make us proud!”🤣

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lynda Pearson
    January 30, 2019 at 11:37 am

    Give yourself a break. You’ve accomplished so much and have such amazing skills just look at this project as evidence of what you’ve accomplished. Forge forth in true Kristi fashion. It will be done!! We know it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Right there with you. Basement and storage closet … gotta keep the door shut or put blinders on! So, while you begin yours, I’ll start on the closet. Here’s to success! We’ve got this!😄

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 11:43 am

    What you are looking at is the by product of progress! So now that you got two big projects done, clear your work space out –call your brother for help with the heavy stuff– and you will be able to pull up a chair and envision what comes next!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barbara H.
    January 30, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Just a few words – again, “Action begets motivation” (thank you friend Ross). Also for now and in the future – you must ALWAYS have access to an emergency exit. Two words that have helped me clean up areas are “Fire Hazard”. And thinking about how the firemen would not be able to get through my large enclosed back porch to put out a fire. Also true for my carport – I’d better throw some warm clothes on and get out there to work.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Joan Hornung
    January 30, 2019 at 11:51 am

    Hi Kristi, My husband always says I make SUCH a mess when I take on a big project – like totally cleaning out a room. But he is always amazed in the end, when it turns out awesome! You and I are the same about this, make a mess, while creating something beautiful. When it is done it is worth it. I remember someone worried about your floors in the pantry. I would be the same way…when I am done, it gets cleaned from top to bottom, and turns out great. You will do the same with your studio. It makes a mess even when we decide to organize one closet, but the end results are what counts! One day of work will make this a totally different area. Best of luck…and DO put on some great music!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Elaine Ness
    January 30, 2019 at 11:52 am

    Kristi, of course, you can do it all yourself. But, why oh why do you need to do that? This seems like the time to outsource (let’s make that In-source) and hire it done. Best dough you will ever spend. You sound exhausted.

    You need to hire brawn; you are the brains.

    How about staying calm, grabbing some super sticky post-its and labeling where you want stuff to go. Easy peasy. “It is easier to do it myself,” you say.

    Moses felt that way too, but his father-in-law, Jethro, encouraged him to enlist help by delegating others to assist him with his heavy responsibility. (“Make it easier for yourself by letting them share the load along with you.,” said wise Jethro. Exodus 18: 22) Apparently, Moses had not even thought of doing that. Nothing ‘preachy’ about it. Makes sense.

    Okay, so the comparison might seem like a reach but perhaps it is included in the Bible record to highlight the principle of delegation. There is nothing creative about clean up work, so why not get that out of the way with help so as to free yourself for the big and fun stuff ahead? Saves exhaustion, tears, and a whole lot of energy.

    I am dying to see that studio!

    Whatever you do, this phase will pass. Everybody’s rooting for you. Onward!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Just do one thing at a time, this is how I’ve learned to tackle my littles rooms. First get all the bagged trash out then gather up the rest, next move on to putting away all your tools, after that the wont be as much to deal with. How I wish I was your neighbor, I’d be over there in a heartbeat to help you tackle this!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    I have a similar mess in my garage and I will walk out there, take a look and get overwhelmed and walk back in, so I know exactly how you feel! I MUST get it cleaned out soon because it’s my only work space and I can’t build anything until I get it done. You seem to have so much energy–It always amazes me at what you seem to get done in such a short time. I’m hoping you can share some organization/cleaning tips while you are cleaning! Maybe that will be the encouragement I need to get started on my mess.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Yikes! I can’t think straight when my area is so messy during a project. I think I’ve said this before but some temporary racks/ tubs to organize your tools would save soooo much time. How much time do you spend looking for things, going to store for things you already have or moving things out of your way for space to work. The carport would be a good area to keep things out of the way, but nearby while you are completing the studio.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alexsandra Thompson
    January 30, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    You can do this! Just removing the full trash bags will give you a lift. Don’t look at the task as
    the whole thing, divide it up into manageable chunks. Good luck!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    You’re amazing and you totally got this! Can’t wait to see it all complete . . . baby steps.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    You CAN do it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Whoah, girl. That is one heckuva pile. You should think about renting a small dumpster when you start work on the studio. Stuffff can be hauled out after each work session rather than piling up. Totally justified for a large project like the studio or pantry, and no dread and bad energy at the end (I feel for ya….).

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheri Hepworth
    January 30, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    As has already been mentioned, I dare say if you toss out the garbage bags, your room will look a lot less cramped. Then, move on to filling more trash bags. sss

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cheryl Smith-Bell
    January 30, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    In each corner of your room
    Okay here’s the plan I would do. Easy for me to say, right!
    1. Gather all your tools, first, That would enclued long cords.
    2. Then sort all usable materials, according to size/type like with like.
    3. Then hunt for all hard wear, nails, staples, hinges, handles, ect. put in one area/corner.
    4. Then find all your paint, and art materials, sort as to house or art, find a spot to put it to be put away, as you get to it.
    5. Then anything else that may need to be elsewhere?
    6. Now you can remove all trash,…. all the way to the curb.
    7. Now, go find homes for all your piles, as you get to each, just do one at a time.
    Braking it down into steps is the only way to tackle an overwhelming project.

    I’m writing this to me also, as my art room is so unorganized, and I have to get it where I can start a drawing ASAP, and finish some painting that have set by the wayside for way to long.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 12:19 pm

    You might be stressing yourself out too much about thinking you have to have it cleaned by this weekend. Maybe say until next weekend and it won’t be so overwhelming. We know you can do it. It amazes me how you are able to tackle those messes and have everything looking so great. I would also consider hiring out some of the things in the studio you don’t like to work on like sheet rock, electrical, etc. Maybe that would help you get more excited to move onto the studio if you weren’t overwhelmed by the amount of work that has to be done in there before you even get to the fun stuff. You’ve got this! Can’t wait to see your progress.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathrine Anderson
    January 30, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    My best advice is to go for it – but don’t beat yourself up if everything isn’t completely cleared by the end of the weekend. Guilt makes everything worse and ultimately hinders progress. It will get done – just getting started is the hardest part! Cheers to you and all your hard work!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Try the 15 min fling.

    On another note, how is your Keto Diet going? I would love to know the recipe for your Keto ice cream.
    I started Keto after reading your post back at the end of August. I’ve lost 50 pounds and will be forever grateful to you for the very clear explanation. It’s changed my life literally. I’ve gone from desperately trying to lose weight on a low fat calorie restricted diet to now being a lot thinner and and a happier Keto person. THANK YOU!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      January 31, 2019 at 12:02 am

      Wow! Congratulations! You’ve done better than I have! 😀

      I actually started a new blog just today about my keto journey. I lost some motivation during the holidays to stay strict (I was more low carb with some cheat days interspersed in there), but we’re back on keto now, and I’m determined!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Any chance you want to hold yourself accountable by posting daily updates like you did on the pantry? I loved that series.

    Good luck! Any woodworker can relate to this. It snowballs quickly.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alta Craig
    January 30, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    When I get to that point, I just lay around and look at pictures on Pinterest until I’ve seen something that sparks my motivation to get up and get going. Maybe you just need a break! If you force yourself, it’s not fun, it’s WORK. Just sayin’.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    Those pictures look totally normal to me. End of project mess. I’d start on the easy stuff. For me that would be the scrap lumber. One step at a time. It will be picked up. You’re awesome.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    I’ve been there many times. After every large project, and about every 3 years in my basement. Like others have suggested, I put on upbeat music and just pick a corner to start in and work my way out. I can’t wait to see your progress reports 😀 Good luck, Kristi!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    As an organizer/tidy person by nature, here is my tip–clean as you go and DAILY! It’s much easier to put away a few things a day than wait for the end of a project–like this–and get completely overwhelmed! Even if you think you *might* use swizzlebob later, force yourself to put it in its home. You will appreciate always knowing where swizzlebob and dinglestick is when you’re looking for them, and having a clear path to find said objects. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    Kristi, however you go about it, you can do this because you’ve done it before! But have you ever thought about setting a goal of spending 15-30-? minutes at the end of each work session/day, or before beginning the next one, putting things away, removing trash and straightening things up. Your studio project is a huge one and no doubt will produce another phenomenal mess before it’s over. Why not challenge yourself and make it one of your motivations as you go along. If you get to feeling lazy, put that mental “junk pile” in front of your face and congratulate yourself on not having to face that at the end of the studio redo. I know it’s easy for me to sit here and talk, but I’m being “my Mom.” She always, and always, told me “keep things up, and you won’t have to dig it out at the end!.” Not an exact quote, but close enough. Regardless, you’ll get it done. Looking forward to the studio work. I know it will be beautiful and functional when it’s done, just like the rest of your home. Blessings,

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    Getting started is so hard! When I have a small project that I’m dreading, I crank up some music to make it a little more fun. When I have a BIG project that makes me want to run away, I find a bingeworthy podcast, and I only allow myself to listen to it while I’m working. It takes the drudgery out of the task and it helps the time pass by quickly. I have often wondered how you push through some of your big projects. Do you have any tricks that help you get in the zone and stay on task?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary O.
    January 30, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    Yes, you can clean this up in a matter of days. But what happens then? From what I can tell you will be doing the same sorts of projects over and over for years to come. You need an organized workshop. A place where sawdust isn’t an issue. A permanent place to saw. A permanent place for cans of paint and scraps of wood and organized storage for smaller tools. When items have a designated spot it is easier to keep them picked up. That’s why kitchen items don’t end up in a heap. Kitchens generally have ample storage and everything has a place. Translate that idea to your primary work space. You have all the skills to make this happen.

    I am not sure if you have a place for such activity. Forgive me if there’s a plan I am not aware of. You mentioned the carport. In this case it doesn’t seem you used it for sawing or storage. It seems you need two spaces. A workshop for dusty work and a studio for clean work. Is that possible? I hope so. It’s amazing what you accomplish. But it would be so much easier with the right work space. Good luck Kristi.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      January 31, 2019 at 12:07 am

      I will eventually have a workshop, but it’s not in the plans for this year. It sure would be nice, though!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    You’ve worked all these years without a great space to do it in. When you complete the studio and everything has a place, you may find yourself working more efficiently. And in less chaos.
    I can’t believe no one’s said “a place for everything and everything in its place”!!! It’s my mantra and keeps me sane. I helped a friend purge and organize her kitchen and I’d be rich if I had a nickel for every time she decided to put something in a place just “for now.” I’d ask her why she wasn’t picking a place “for always.” Obviously we have different brains and methods but she never knew where something was because she really hadn’t chosen a place. And, in the end, she was overwhelmed by the chaos. It’s a discipline. But it has to be worth it to you to work that way. Maybe it won’t work for you, but give it a try during your next project and see if it’s worth it or not. I’m glad you’re determined to tackle this project today. I have a feeling it won’t actually take as long as you think.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie B.
    January 30, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    I would have a dumpster deliverered. It’s much more efficient than endless trips to the dump.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    My first tho’t is…oh my gosh, she can make a mess too! My next is…get the trash bags to the curb. They are ready to go & will make a HUGE difference! And hiring help.

    Can’t wait to see the progress! You are amazing!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    Hi Kristi!
    You can do this! When you think you can’t, take a walk around your house. No, it not all done. Yes there are a few things left to do. But what is done, well it’s just beautiful.
    Your shop is going to be amazing! You can make it happen!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Can’t say my place hasn’t occasionally looked like a storm blew through so I feel your pain. Seems like maybe the next project you need to work on is storage for tools and wood that make it easier to put them away and take back out again than shuffling through the mess to find what you need.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Christine Czarnecki
    January 30, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Kristi, I am so relieved to see that your next project will be your work studio. Once you have this done, everything else you remodel and build will be so much easier.

    You have inspired me to hit the garage today. Thank you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    Have to agree with the comment above re: scrap lumber “truck”. Some wheels, some 2×10’s, some metal pipe, a few hours to build. Doesn’t matter that it’s not “perfect”, just something to hold the scrap that is easy to move. You can fine tune it later.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    January 30, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    Hope by now you are out there cleaning/organizing, and not reading comments. Those photos frightened me, and I’m not a tidy person either! If I let things get too messy like that, I run thoughts through my head, a few of which are: what if I had a house fire and this was the only way to get me, Matt and the animals out? What if I suddenly died (crazy thought, I know, but it could happen!) and my family was left to clean up this mess? What if I tripped, fell and was knocked unconscious in here and wasn’t found for hours? These thoughts motivate me to at LEAST make sure I always have a clear, wide pathway to move about before I quit for the day. Even if you had just tossed the bags of trash outside, that might have helped, and if you put them somewhere outside where they would need to be moved (behind or in your truck for example) they would be gone to the dump by now! Maybe for the future you should make another list of daily tasks on a whiteboard, and it could be checked off each day before ending/beginning that days’ work. Place it where you will see it before bed or when you start your day. You will NEED to learn discipline once the work spaces (studio, workroom) are finished, or you will never accomplish bringing clients around! I wish I had your weather to work in, but we won’t be close to that until the weekend, while now it’s 5* with a -20 wind chill!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 4:24 pm

    You’ll do it. I’m certain.

    Another subject, Thanks so much for the download of one of your paintings. I printed it out and put it on the front of a turquoise Blueline journal I just bought for “My journey, 2019”, my inspiration journal, goals, moving forward, whatever you want to call it. The timing was just perfect and it looks so lovely on the front of the journal, which I love because it has repositionable pages . True serendipity on the timing of your download. Thank you.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    Just get started. You got this.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    I’ve seen you do this before. I understand the overwhelm, I am exactly like this, but unlike me, you’ve always just rolled up your sleeves when I couldn’t even deal, and cleared it out in three days. You’ll do it again. It’s who you are.

    And once this studio is fixed up like you need it, the mess will never re-occur because you’ll have a place for everything.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary P Hall
    January 30, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    I’ve helped MANY people declutter, clean up, organize and sort. Hands down, every single one of them has said something along the lines of, “It’s too much. I’m too overwhelmed. I don’t know where to begin.” I tell them the same thing I’ll tell you: You start this the same way you eat an elephant–one bite at a time. It doesn’t matter what you do to begin, what counts is that you begin and keep moving. Hang in there–it’ll get done!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    Start small…

    Put blinders on & tackle one section at a time!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chelle Ellis
    January 30, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    There’s some motivation. That wall will inspire you every time you look at it.

    God speed!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    Kristi, you have a tremendous work ethic; I’m sure after a few gulps of “Man, what a mess.” you will be plowing through this. Not sure if you still plan on the wallpaper but if so, visions of that on the wall sure would motivate me! Thanks for being so candid!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan Price
    January 30, 2019 at 7:09 pm

    The upside is that it’s not just a messy room that needs cleaning…….it’s a wonderful space that will be fantastic and so enjoyable/useful when you are finished!! (Did that help?)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    I would kill to get my hands on that mess that kind of thing is right up my alley. Here’s some suggestions on how to get moving. 1st get some supplies. A roll of garbage bags a couple large empty plastic bins and if you have a xtra large garbage can get that too. First take every bag of garbage that’s already full and throw it out the door so it’s out of sight and out of your way. Then put a bag in the can and open another one. Start pitching everything that’s obvious trash in both bags, plastic cardboard rags etc. keep going till all the obvious trash is up. Tie the bags and throw them outside with the others. Don’t worry about hauling them to the tras( you can do that later. Now for the bins one is for hand tools another for electric tools the third for paint and if you have even another for the small wood scraps. Keep going until that is complete. Bet you can see the floor now. Next tackle the other wood. Put them in piles. Trim in one long pieces in another and plywood scraps in the last. Then after all of this is organizes you can haul each bin to where the supplies go and put it all away at the same time.
    Hope this helps. Can’t wait to see the progress.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    Call and rent a storage container! It will help just knowing you have place to put stuff. Take baby steps, as in taking the trash bags out on trash day, then pick up the paint, then stack the wood, etc. before you know it you got it done!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rene' Marie/ Lilburn, Ga
    January 30, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Just an idea but couldn’t you rent a pod for 12 weeks and store everything in it so that you have a blank canvass to work on finishing your studio? This way you still have your access to supplies and tools walking distance from your studio but you aren’t hauling them into your house or getting your house dusty. For me when I make those sorting piles over the years I have changed it from donate to BLESS. I am way less likely to remove items out of the box if I know it will BLESS someone else. I also immediately put that box in my car and donate it at least within a 3 day period…..kind of like playing the game “hot potato”. As far as getting over the procrastination bug………you could accept another 1 room challenge from your blogging buddies! LOL 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    I’m sure many of your followers would help you clean and organize if we lived close.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 30, 2019 at 11:13 pm

    What comes to my mind-is how you have already utilized this space and the blessing that has been ! All this stuff would have ended up in your house if you hadn’t built the studio. It’s obviously not a done space but it Is a space you use . I’m really hoping you are going to enjoy this next phase in the construction and design – I know I’m really going to enjoy seeing what you do next!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 31, 2019 at 6:28 am

    Not that I am lucky enough to have created a mess like yours, but when our house is a mess and I just can’t get beyond it to DO anything, my husband will step in and START, and that bit of physical encouragement will get me going (if for no other reason that, in the end, I will want it MY WAY! Lol.). I am sure Matt is shaking the encouragement pompons, so to speak, but perhaps your helpful brother will spend an hour or two with you doing “‘physical therapy?” Either way, sending encouragement – in the end, you will be one happy DIY-er!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 31, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Well, Kristi! If you get this far reading the comments, you now know you’re in good company!

    I have asecond floor room that has been untouched (by me) for 18 years and 11 months since I moved into my 1860s Victorian farmhouse.

    March 1 will be the 19th anniversary of closing on the house. My goal is to have the room empty by then so that the work needed to refurbish the room can begin. Right now the biggest challenge is that I have a broken ankle. I am in a boot, so I can walk. However, I do not carry anything up/down the stairs! I can sort and make decisions and call in some help.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      January 31, 2019 at 10:22 am

      I read every comment. 🙂 I often fall behind in answering questions, but I do read every single comment on every post.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your ankle! I pray for quick healing, and that you can find some help with your room. We can do this!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 31, 2019 at 10:55 am

    Thanks for the good wishes, Kristi! I am extremely fortunate that I can get around and actually walk on the darn ankle. Your post got me excited again about my project.

    YES! We CAN do this! 😍😍😍

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 31, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Your honesty is so very refreshing. If I had a studio, it would look just like this. I don’t have a studio so my lanai looks just like this. And I’m only making 6 doors.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Andrea B
    February 2, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Parts of this look like my garage. 🙂 I love the random sofa out there too. Life happens when you are working on projects and I completely agree that the clean-up is the worst.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Seattle Sue
    February 4, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    We all know that you will get through it. And maybe to make it easier on yourself, try taking it on only a half day at a time even if you’re on a roll. One of the problems of being in A type personality is the desire to push through and get something done all at once. But reality is we have many days ahead of us, and a half day of working and a half day of doing other things actually refreshes one for the work. Getting out and going for a walk, doing some shopping, fixing meals, are the types of things that tend to go by the wayside when we try and push through and get everything done in a couple of days. At this point in our lives many of us would do better to look at projects A couple hours at a time. And then move on to other enjoyable things.