What I Can Accomplish When I Put My Mind To It

Yesterday, I decided to stop focusing on what I don’t want to do and the tasks that I dread (i.e., cleaning up the studio, putting things away, and organizing things), and concentrate on the rewards of getting those undesirable tasks done. I know that many of you encouraged me to tackle this job in 30-minute increments, but because this process needed to be (mostly) finished before I could move on to task #2 of the four tasks that I want to finish before the end of the year (i.e., finish painting the walls and ceiling in the studio), I really needed to just dive right in and get it done as quickly as possible.

The room was a complete disaster before I started. I don’t think I had put away a single tool or paint can since I started working on the studio months ago. 😀

The entrance into the room from the breakfast room had dwindled down to a corridor about three feet wide after I rolled this shelving unit over there to make room for the scaffolding.

My work tables had gotten piled higher and higher with stuff — everything from tools to paint to art supplies to wallpaper to trim and more.

I can’t even remember the last time those tables were cleared off enough to actually use them for a project.

Ever since I bought the scaffolding, the room has felt even smaller as I’ve tried to wheel it around the existing clutter. I was able to use it pretty easily in the back entry, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that there was no way I could wheel it around in the main part of the studio to get the walls and ceiling painted with the room in its current state.

I have several boxes that have been moved from room to room ever since I packed up our original bedroom to turn it into our new bathroom. Those boxes have been pushed from one room to another as each room has been remodeled, and now they’ve ended up in the studio. Most of them are in the storage closet off of the back studio entry, but a couple of them have spilled out into the main room. And then I’ve added several new boxes (mostly from IKEA) filled with things I still need to finish the studio cabinets.

My long countertop was still covered from end to end with the various paints that I had used on the paint swatch cabinet.

So while I am naturally a very messy person, and working in a messy, disorganized room generally doesn’t bother me at all (much to the chagrin of many of you 😀 ), it had really gotten to the point that even walking through the room was a challenge. And no one (not even I) can work like that.

When it gets to that point, obviously something has to be done.

So yesterday, I got focused, and I got busy. And I even surprised myself at how much I was able to accomplish, and how motivated I felt to get the job done!

I didn’t actually finish the job, because this was much bigger than a one-day task. But it’s starting to actually look like a usable room again!

What’s funny is that I had actually forgotten how big this room is. With it so much stuff filling up the room, it had started to feel smaller and smaller over time. Now it feels huge again, and I still have so much more stuff to clear out!

While I did move all of the paint and several of the boxes from the office corner, this area is still looking pretty cluttered. But it’s so much better than it was!

And now that I’ve made so much headway on clearing off the work tables, I’m anxious to get that finished so that the clutter isn’t what draws the attention when someone walks into the room. I don’t want that clutter stealing attention from the mural wall. But I got quite a bit of it put away. I’d guess that I put away about 2/3 of the stuff that was piled on those tables, so that’s a very good start.

Now that so much of the clutter is gone, you can really see just how piecemeal the paint job is. 😀 Like I said before, I’ve been tackling the painting of the walls and ceiling only as needed in order to work on other projects, like installing cabinets and wallpaper.

But I almost have things in put away and organized enough so that I can finish up the painting rather easily. And that will feel so good to have that huge job behind me! I love the tall side walls and high ceiling in this room, but I don’t love painting them. I will be so happy to have that job finished in the very near future.

Another thing I’m so anxious to see is the view of the finished cabinets in the office corner from the kitchen and breakfast room. Finishing those cabinets wasn’t on my list of the four main tasks that I want to finish before the end of the year (you can see that list here), but as soon as those four things are done, those cabinets will be next. But at least the view is a little less obstructed now, and I can look in and dream about and envision the finished cabinets while I’m working in the kitchen.

I’m really very proud of myself for how much I accomplished yesterday. I was dreading the task before I started, but once I began, I got really excited about how quickly I was making progress. And I was even more excited about the fact that a clean(er) and less cluttered room means that I can finish up the painting very soon! I may get more accomplished by the end of the year than I had originally planned!



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      1. I had to go find it and was expecting a big grocery store one, not a table top one, lol. I have no idea why this is controversial either (whether big or small). I’ve seen them used in lots of fun ways.

    1. Ehat an odd comment 😂. A gumball machine triggers judgement? What a time to be alive 😉
      Excited to see your dream room progress!

    1. It holds the quart and gallon cans of paint. But I found that the little drawers on the mural wall are perfect for the sample sizes! They may not stay there permanently, but it was fun to put them in there for now and to see how perfectly they fit.

  1. Oh my! You did make incredible progress! More than enough to motivate you to continue. Amazing what you can do…

    PS. We have a gumball machine too, and a stand, but they are not connected yet….

  2. Yea! So proud of you, this looks great, and when you get it all tucked away you will feel such a relief. Have a safe holiday.

  3. You did a great job on your studio. I knew once you got started, you would fly through the work like lighting. Just keep that spark going! You will ge it all cleaned up and then you can’t find a thing!🙃🙃

  4. You’ve made a huge improvement with what you’ve done so far. Bravo to you! I’m almost as excited as you are to see it done. I hate cleaning, hate it, hate it. But I love organizing. It always makes it easier on me personally to put on a upbeat music playlist and listen while cleaning. I catch myself dancing and actually enjoying it.

  5. Hurray! A very wise friend once told me “Action begets motivation.” I have found that to be true for me. Sounds like it might be true for you, too. Very impressive clean up job.

  6. HUGE progress! As a messy adult with ADHD I have found that organizing like objects together helps. May not be as efficient but I can see all the paints, paper etc then decide where they go. I’m also super impressed with how well your painted floors hold up!

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  7. The clean up is dramatic already! You’re so right in how the clutter was detracting from the work you’ve done, but I also understand working on a project in chaos until it’s either done…or you just can work no longer the way that it is.

    All to say, great job in motivating yourself and GETTING IT DONE(-ish).

  8. OK, I won’t lie, I can’t remember – is the studio ceiling going from white to blue or blue to white? I feel like it’s blue to white but can’t remember and couldn’t find the post where you mentioned it.

  9. Here’s why I love you and have followed you for years and years, you show the good the bad and the ugly! Good luck, you’ll have it beautiful in no time!

  10. Kristi…I am so glad you showed us the way you work. By that I’m talking about how you let the work area, and the surrounding area where you are currently working on, where ever you are working at the time. I love that you shared this because this is exactly how I work on my projects too. I drive my family and friends bonkers with all of the tools, paints, and even stuff that just appears there as I’m on a project. I used to feel bad about myself for being this way. As time went on the beautiful final results of the project always made me feel so good about myself…..and the compliments I received for actually creating something so nice. The guilty feelings of me being messy went away and now I just tell every one who visits to steer clear of that area. I’m glad you are in the clearing up and storing of the working clutter and unorganized mode. Actually, I don’t think the unorganized areas bothers your followers at all. You are doing great.
    Another thing about me is….the very end of every project I do gets into a “I’ll get to that later” mode. I think that is normal for us DIY’ers.

    1. I used to feel bad/guilty/embarrassed about being a messy worker. Over our years in this house, I’ve gotten past that. I figure my final results speak for themselves, and my process, as messy as it is, is what gets me to those end results. So I’m no longer embarrassed about being a messy worker, and I’m no longer interested in trying to change myself to make others happy or more comfortable with my work methods. I just embrace my methods and get the jobs done. 🙂 The messes will eventually be cleaned up and the projects will be finished. I’m glad I can help my fellow messy workers feel okay about their work methods! 😀

  11. Great job I knew you’d feel better after you tackled it. Don’t stop organizing.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and Matt.

  12. I could never sit and write a blog at the desk in the studio with so much clutter. I’d have to get up and start organizing and putting things away. Clutter gives me anxiety. I know people would think that I’m crazy and need to relax. I know God wired each of us differently and I accept and appreciate the differences between myself and others.

  13. The creative process is very messy, imho. You weren’t merely renovating; you were being VERY creative, and it was ongoing process throughout every step. I salute your work on The Cleanup before you were done.

  14. What a difference you have made already! I am so excited to see the room come to life for you. All that hard work is really going to pay off when you have a creative space that is all your own. Wish I lived in Waco so I could help you organize it. I love to organize other people’s stuff, just not my own (and my craft room looks like your before picture).

  15. Kristi,
    I’ve been working on my screened patio for a week now. I’m ocd about everything being in it’s place. My large tool box is on the patio until i finish all my projects. Allthe drawers are organized. If i use a tool. I pit it right back where it goes when l think l’m done. A friend came over to help a few different days. She’s the type that leaves everything out and about. I really tried to let things lie where we used them. It was mentally exhausting for me. We work well together but this is one point we differ in. So l understand your method. I was wanting to come to your house and organize you room so bad when l saw these pictures. My patio needs a new roof so thats our next project. So l have these 2 large tray boxes to put things in that we will need up there. She doesnt try to change me and l know l can’t change her. We get the job done is the important thing! You are doing an amazing job no matter what your method is.

    1. I’m the same as you! We would be a good team. I long ago made up my own toolbox to avoid my husbands chaos of tools. Had my own circular saw, levels, sander, drill, etc. along with hand tools, and he was not allowed to touch! He had to ask permission if he needed to borrow, and I would stand watch to make sure he put it back! LOL! It did nothing to encourage him to be more responsible, but I got a kick out of it anyway! Married 47 years, so we work well together.

  16. LOL, I think we are sisters! This reminds me of my studio mess that I make just drawing and painting! Of course, it’s on a smaller scale, but I can relate! I think it’s the dream and excitement of the next creative challenge that pulls me along and makes me overlook abandoned items from previous challenges. I am a master at seeing beauty over piles of “stuff!” Good for you for getting onto the not-fun job of sorting and putting away! You have some wonderful cabinets to put stuff in, and that is something I’m trying, too. We recently moved, and I got a bunch of Ikea cabinets for all my art stuff. Now the challenge is to keep putting away, putting away, putting away—and I have no doubt that there will be massive clean-ups in my future, just as in my past. I’m too good at starting the next gleamy thing, often before the previous one is finished! I too don’t mind a messy work area, but there are moments when it’s all just too much, and I have to do something about it. Again, kudos for doing that! Enjoy the increased space and uncluttered corners while you have them. Heheheheh.

  17. Glad you got motivated to do a bit of cleaning up. I’m the opposite of you; I HAVE to start a day by having an organized space. I may not put away everything when I’m done for the day, but it has to be orderly at least. I will group like items together, and if I am not going to use it going forward, I will put it in its home. This way, I can come in and get going right away with a tidy space and only what I will need to get started! If I’m doing a big project, the most vital item I have nearby is a large trash can, along with a roll or two of paper towels and a couple of rags with a bucket of water. I clean as I go, or while I’m “thinking” about what I’m doing next. I cannot work in chaos! My brain freezes up! We are all different though.

  18. Whenever there’s a chore that needs doing I repeat the Nike mantra. ” Just do it!”. I can procrastinate with the best of them but in the end there’s just me. Works every time. Anyway, clutter is something I can’t stand. Maybe it comes from growing up in a very organized house with 10 people!

  19. Just a though. You really need a shed/ shop for all your tools. It looks like your dream shop is way off in the future. Have you got a storage plan for all of this & your stuff in the sunroom. My thought is to have the slab payed for your future shop & put a metal/shop building on it. You can use it till you can build your dream shop. Just a thought to share .

  20. Hope you & your family have a wonderful blessed Thanksgiving!
    Amid, the flurry of activity, hoping you find time to relax and enjoy your time with family! Hope Matt is doing well!

  21. I can’t wait to see the rest of the room painted and then your office closets! Very exciting! And, of course, absolutely beautiful.

  22. I think nothing makes organizing and putting things away doable like HAVING A PLACE FOR THINGS. You did an amazing job for one day! Enjoy all that gorgeous storage space! I’m always awed by how much you crank out from one update to the next.