A Second Look At My Work Tables (Plus, Encouragement To Get That One Task Done!)

Yesterday, I took on what seemed like a monumental task in my mind. I cleaned off my work tables in my studio so that I could start sewing the curtains for the back entry French doors today. Have you ever had one of those tasks that you needed to do, but you kept putting it off because it seemed so challenging and overwhelming, and the longer you put it off and dreaded the task, the bigger and more monumental it got in your mind?

That’s exactly what I had done with cleaning off my work tables. Granted, these started off way more cluttered and filthy than probably anything any of you have on your home (unless you’re on a similar DIY home remodeling path that I’m on) because in addition to all of the clutter that had accumulated on these tables, everything was also covered with about 1/8-inch of dust still left over from when I sanded the studio floors so that I could paint them. So tackling the clutter plus the dust seemed overwhelming.

I did tackle part of this cleaning task back in November. Before I started back then, they tables looked like this…

They were so loaded down with stuff you could barely even see the tables!

So while I got most of that cleaned up and put away last November, I still had quite a bit of stuff left, plus all of that dust. And since the next project I need to tackle in order to get the back entry finished is sewing my curtains, I couldn’t go any further until I got this task done. So I buckled down, set a timer (I had an hour-and-a-half while Matt was on his Theracycle), and I got busy! This is what I had to tackle, but the pictures don’t show all of that dust that made me dread this task so much more than just a standard “put away the stuff” kind of cleaning.

I got about a third of it done before I had to help Matt after he finished using his Theracycle. And then after I got him situated, I came back in and worked until it was finished. I can’t even tell you how nice it was to walk into my studio this morning and see these clear and clean tables!

They are completely clutter-free and dust-free, and ready to be used for sewing curtains this afternoon. It has been so long since these tables have been completely clear and available for use, and the room feels so much lighter now!

They’re no longer in perfect condition. I’ve had them for a while now (I built the first one back in August of 2019), and they have definitely been used for lots of fun projects in the past. But they’re work tables in a studio, so I never had any expectation that they would stay perfect.

But do you know what I realized? One reason I’ve been dragging my feet on finishing the painting in this room (as you can see, the walls and ceiling are still not finished) is because of these tables! With them so cluttered and covered in dust, not only could I not move forward with my sewing project, but it also seemed so overwhelming to have to work around them and move them in order to get the rest of the painting done on the walls and ceiling in the studio.

Now that they’re clean, I can very easily move them around as needed, and get the rest of the painting done!

So I’m here to encourage you. If you have that one nagging task that you’ve been putting off for weeks, or months, or even years, and it’s the one thing holding you back from making progress on other things, just jump in and get it done. Once you get started, you’ll probably realize that it’s not nearly as monumental, overwhelming, or difficult as you’ve built it up to be in your head. And you’ll feel so much better when it’s done!

Those nagging unfinished tasks really weigh on us more than I think we realize, and getting them done really is like lifting a weight off of our shoulders that we’ve been carrying around. So jump in, get them done, and get that weight off of your shoulders! I love sitting here at my desk this morning and looking at those huge, clear, clean work tables. What a difference that made in the room, in my mind, and in my level of motivation to get this room finished now!

I have one more task in the studio that feels monumental to me, and that’s getting the storage closet cleared out and organized. But after tackling those tables, I’m even feeling excited to get that done.

On another note, I’ve been contemplating what color I want to paint the table bases. I don’t think that the current color is right, although it’s not terrible, either.

So I’m pretty sure that I’ll keep them green, but as of now, I plan to repaint them the same color that I have on the walls of the back entry.

I think it would be nice to bring that color into the main part of the studio. It’ll bring a cohesive look to the room. So unless a better idea strikes me between now and then, I’m almost 100% sure that’s the direction I’ll go with it.

But for today, I plan to sew! And even though sewing is probably my least favorite type of project to do, I’m actually looking forward to it. Other than hemming pants, I haven’t done any sewing in a very long time, and I’m anxious to see some real lined curtain panels back here instead of fabric draped over a curtain rod.

It’s been years since I’ve sewn lined, pleated draperies, so I anticipate that I’ll be slow at it, and I may even have to refer back to my own tutorial on how to do it. 😀 I’m hoping to get them finished this week, so we’ll see how it goes.

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38 Comments

  1. Kristi- I noticed on your work table you have a measuring tape of sorts adhered to your table. I just finished building my own work table and would love to know what you used and how you attached it. Congrats on getting that nagging task done! Onward!

    1. I don’t have a link, but I got them on Amazon. They’re a relatively thin metal measuring tape with an adhesive tape backing. So you just peel off the paper, and stick them to your table. Super simple, and very useful!

        1. Totally off topic but, I couldn’t help noticing Cooper’s very long nails. Do you do them or does he see a groomer?

          1. Cooper is a very anxious dog (we got him from the shelter) who won’t let anyone touch his feet, not even me. When we first got him, he wouldn’t let anyone touch his feet, his tail, or his ears. Over the years, I’ve gotten him used to me touching his ears and tail (although he still doesn’t like it), but the feet are still completely off limits. I’ve tried everything I know (including many suggestions and product recommendations from commenters on my blog) to cut his nails, but nothing has worked. The only two people who have ever had success are (1) one particular groomer who came to our house, but then hurt her back, so could no longer work with big dogs like Cooper, and (2) a pet emergency room vet who had to put Cooper under anesthesia to get an X-ray, so she cut his nails while he was under. Other than those two, no one else has been able to do it, so I’ve pretty much given up. When they get so long that they irritate him, I’ve literally seen him bite them off, very much like some people I know bite their nails when they get too long. All that to say that I’m all out of ideas. The only time Cooper has every been aggressive with me and scared me is when I’ve tried to cut his nails. I’m guessing that it has something to do with his pre-shelter life, but I won’t risk it anymore.

  2. Dear Kristi,
    Thank you for this encouragement today for all of us who are putting off tasks/ projects we dread for whatever reason. You’re right, it does become this overwhelming weight. I hope I can chip away at mine today.

  3. I am so both proud and excited for you! I kept thinking when you made your
    incredible work tables how perfect it would be for making long drapes. So that, when you had to cut, measure or hem that much fabric you could spread it out and keep it overnight without moving it…unlike using a small kitchen table to work on. You are amazing and a cheerleader to people like me who sometimes get so paralyzed with trying to be perfect or get so caught up in our thoughts that we can’t even take
    the first step. I’m looking forward to seeing these beautiful drapes on that stunning
    curtain rod!! 🙂

  4. As a New Year’s Resolution, my far-away daughter and I made a pact to do a half hour phone call weekly to each tackle an icky job “together”. It’s working great – and I think ahead to make a plan and appreciate what I did between sessions. It’s enough to make a visual difference and small enough that there’s no temptation to cancel or skip.

  5. Thank you for encouraging all us procrastinators. The studio is looking so fabulous. And I am loving your quick videos on Facebook and Instagram. You are beautiful and sweet. Can’t believe you have hiding so long.

  6. So…..I’m curious….where did all the “stuff” go??? Do you now have a place for all of that in your cupboards??

    1. Everything had a place! All of the craft/art/sewing stuff stayed in the studio and is now in the cabinets (although I still haven’t settled on exactly how I want everything organized just yet, so for now, everything is kind of grouped by category). All of the tools and paint were taken to the sunroom where I have my huge rolling tool box and shelves for paint.

  7. Great job getting the tables cleared! I have to wonder, did the stuff find a home, or just get moved elsewhere? That was a lot of stuff to find a home for! I know I would probably just move it to a less needed space for the time being, then when weather is better, do a major haul to a dump or donate site! And I would not be in any hurry to repaint the tables…you have enough to be busy with for the next month or two, and then it will be spring, when you should work on the front outside, enjoying the weather (maybe while Matt even keeps you company out there!) We always save painting for days inside, when we can’t be outside!

  8. I too get overwhelmed with the thought of certain projects but usually once they get going things turn out ok. Glad you were able to check that off your list! As I was reading the post I thought “now they’re ready to be painted and she should use the entryway green”… you read my mind or I read yours!! Can’t wait to see the curtains.

  9. Kristi, I think your work table legs will add that touch of harmony to your studio if you do decide to paint them the same color as your studio entryway walls.

  10. I know you didn’t ask, but I’m voting for the eggplant color of the doors for the work table legs. The green seems to be a more muted “wall color” to me. I think the eggplant would be a good contrast and pop of color at the same time. Just my humble opinion!!! Love what you’re doing!

    1. My thoughts exactly! I just love the eggplant. It is such a gorgeous, saturated color that it doesn’t take much to make a statement.

  11. One thing I learned from my ex is to do a task right away. For me, it is vacuuming. I hate it so much. But I save myself hours, or days to be honest, of DREAD. I dislike dread.

  12. I am also bad at dreading undone projects! One thing that helps me is to just repeat over and over “the motivation comes after I start.” I will set a timer and tell myself I only have to do it for a little while. What typically happens is that the motivation does come and I finish the task. With a lot of diet soda, music, or tv in the background lol

  13. So excited for you! And I love the encouragement – “Those nagging unfinished tasks really weigh on us more than I think we realize.” I am heading to my basement craft room right now. Thanks for the little push.

  14. I have been known to procrastinate. I have to tell myself that the job isn’t going to be nearly as terrible as I’ve made it out to be – and it never is! I’m glad you got your job done and can move on to painting. I like the entryway green for the worktable legs but also think the entryway door eggplant would also be great!

  15. Well done! Everything you seem to touch turns out beautifully and perfect! Do you have the plan(s) for the work tables? This is something that I definitely need in my life! PS, can’t wait to see the curtains/drapes when you are done!

  16. I am shocked at the difference the cleaned off tables make in the look of the room! I know you are relieved to have that done. I’m in the middle of a project like that but I will not allow myself to do anything else until this is finished. May take me another month to complete it, but I have been putting it off for 8 years. When I am finished I will have Christmas presents made too.
    Keep up the good work. Where did you stash all that stuff?

    1. All of the art/craft/sewing stuff is now put away in the cabinets, although I still need to figure out how I want everything organized. For now, everything is just generally grouped by category. All of the tools and paint were taken to the sunroom where I have my big rolling tool box and shelves for paint. I didn’t want to just move piles of stuff from one area to another, so I took the time to put everything away. I threw a lot of stuff away, too.

  17. I know that feeling of dread. I always like to start the new year off feeling accomplished. Ive been working on the outside projects all year. My sewing room and am art room wer both used as storage from moving 3 years ago. After Thanksgiving l worked in the sewing room and since l mainly make quilts l have a good bit of fabric. Well l got everything out that wasnt sewing. It went to a thruft shop or friends and in the art room. My goal was to use the week between Christmas and new year to get that room done. Well Christmas day l had a bad asthma attack. When l have bad ones my lungs get really bad. So for two weeks l was on a nebulizer and inhalers etc. No energy if you cant breath. Ever since those 2 weeks l just couldnt face that room.. now this week as you know its rain
    Everyday! Im outside of Lafayette Louisiana so l pretty much get the same weather you do. All that said your tables have inspired me to start on that room today! I have painted in 6 months at least and there’s a show coming up i need to finish a painting for. Thanks for the well placed kick!

  18. As someone who makes drapes and quilts on tiny tiny surfaces, I am beyond impressed with your work tables. Wow!!! Can you iron on them as well? They will make drapes SOOOOOOO much more fun. Drapes aren’t technically hard to make, just very difficult to wrangle between cutting out and pressing up. (I’ve sprained my foot tripping over yards of fabric). I will be watching your progress and being slightly envious…

  19. I would love tables like that but I am out of room. My sewing room is 24 x 24 and jamb-packed! And I thought it was going to be big enough, says us all! Anyway, would you be interested in getting your workshop built first so you can store your tools and all the other related stuff you use all the time in your projects so that you aren’t just moving them from one side of the room to the other? You use all of your tools, etc. all the time. That would also eliminate all of the sawdust, dirt and dust from always collecting all over your room. The rest of your house works well for now, just a thought on what you really need most at this point.