I am sitting in my office and realize it is full of clutter. So much stuff everywhere. I know it drives my husband crazy but he is good about it. It is my office not his. I try to fold things into corners when we choose to curl up on the little couch to watch a movie but still as your eyes travel the room it can be a bit overwhelming.
He is neat and organized. His work is all neatly set up in his computer. His guitar hangs in a case in his office closet with music tucked on the book shelf. There are neat collections of office supplies on the little wooden corner box. His couch is clear and the room looks clear and simple.
Then there is my office. You start by walking into an ironing board which I am keep out as I work toward finishing a baby quilt and need to iron seams and such. It stands in front of two large bookcases full of children’s books and a few stuffed animals in front of them. You never know you might need to hold a small green stuffed elephant some days.
Then there is the table with the printer, extra paper and supplies, a plant and for now my colored pencils and holder that will support plants that I might be drawing. My computer is there, plugged in and waiting for me to begin writing at any moment.
We move around the corner to my desk that has been taken over by the sewing machine. I am hemming curtains for a baby room and sewing long seams for the quilt with this machine. Under the desk is a colorful fish stuffed fish that needs a fin repaired and a small Dr. Seuss lunch box with supplies for making hand made books.
The couch, next to the desk, is clear so any one can sit there.
Left of the couch you will find a little bookshelf with drawing notebooks, field guides for plants, insects, rocks and more. Another plant on top and a small collection of rocks I have found when out walking. I can’t leave an interesting rock behind. There is always an open space there for my tea cup when I am writing.
Then comes the work table. Here is another plant, a book on Heirloom vegetables, sewing supplies for the other quilt I am working on, a box of dried plants or seed to practice drawing and underneath are narrow file boxes that hold my seed catalogs, and the rest of my drawing materials – pencils, paper, rulers and so forth. (There is a closet next but we are not opening that door or talking about that space. A bit scary in there – it holds a lot of history.)
The last turn in the room takes us to the books shelf with picture books, garden journals and a box of seeds. The top shelf holds a smallish TV and a sound bar. From there you can catch your breath and head out of this room of clutter.
Most of the time I am very comfortable in this space. I know where everything is. I can turn to any project at any time and begin working. It is cozy and comfortable. There are days like to day that I think my gosh – clean this place up girl!!
But in the end it stays – I can’t decide what to put away. What project am I not going to be working on in the next few weeks. In truth I will be doing it all
- I have started the seeds for the garden and am recording in my journals
- The baby quilt and curtain need to be working on now since baby is coming in a few months
- The computer is always out since it is used daily
- My drawing materials I am not using daily but if I hide it away in that scary closet I will let it sit longer than I should – seeing it help remind me that drawing a little bit every day makes a difference.
And so I will keep my clutter and call it creativity instead. This is what happens when an elementary teacher retires – all the energy around classroom projects comes home.