Thursday, August 21

Organization..... of the future!

Once upon a time, I was super-heavily involved with cross stitch, luckily just as it was on its biggest upswing and all the way through what seems to be its height of popularity.   I spent time on several very active bulletin boards (I still float around, but mostly lurk and their activity is much diminished), I had a blogroll of probably hundreds of blogs, I followed trade show news like I was breathing air, and I went to shows, retreats, shops everywhere I could, and had quite an extensive collection.    I had tons and tons of charts.  Luckily, I was into collecting charts, and not fibres or fabrics, so while I had a sizable craft collection, it wasn't too crazy.

And, once upon a time, I was dating an IT guy.  He made me a database (way back in the day - think mid 90s) with Access where I could keep information, including pictures, of all of my patterns.   I ended up using excel spreadsheets for a few years after that, but I've always been bad at maintaining them - who wants to have to print out a huge spreadsheet before going to a show or shop?

I move to the Triangle area more than 5 years ago, hauling what possessions I could in a small Uhaul after substantially de-stashing.    I then de-stashed a couple of times while living here (selling/giving away everything I was no longer interested in).  I even went to a couple of small/personal GTGs where I again brought stash I had identified as expendable and donated everything left over to women's shelters.

Basically - I lost/got rid of a lot of my shit.

I think after going through a major life change and moving a few times, I suddenly realized I didn't need stuff and got rid of a bunch of my "collecting/gathering" instinct. 

With a substantial reduction in my charts, there was no way I had any kind of accurate notion of what I still possessed and with the joy clouds, I actually CAN use a spreadsheet, keep it "on hand" at all times (as it were) to prevent duplicate issues (which have now happened 3 times, and prevented more as I realized my wishlist and inventory seemed to have a bit of overlap).

So I made a skeleton of a sheet during lunch or something and hit the stash with my laptop

I was so happy to get a spreadsheet rolling.  I re-filed/sorted everything, going from numerous 1" Unikeep binders sorted by Designer/Subject into a whole bunch of unsorted boxes into half of a filing cabinet drawer, with only a few magazines, Mirabilias, and Teresa Wentzler collection books living in magazine holders.

Essentially: Huge destash with only things I think I might actually stitch means I think I'm technically not at SABLE, unless you count the TWs, which I have almost all of, but only because of the collection books.  I'm all kinds of excited about that.

Also, thanks to cloud computing and the awesomeness of Drive, I have multi-tabbed spreadsheet listing everything I have, want, am selling, have done (in the last few years), and am working on!  Even the stuff in magazines, something I've struggled with inventorying before.  If my computer crashes or I get lazy, it's still there and so complete that it should be pretty easy to update at any time.  I even have a Pinterest board just with things I'm interested in.   AND thanks to the glory of Google Drive, I can upload any e-charts I buy or freebies I download and no longer have to worry about keeping them safe (other than maybe a back up CD).   Just. wow.  I love the future (for many reasons, but this is definitely a perk).

 In the middle of organizing my stash (I posted a previous pictures of what my WiP "slot" looks like in my IKEA Expedit closet set up, the rest of the "slots" are taken up by various crafty stuff), I found my original tracking notebook, which I think I started in '01.  I've never been perfect about tracking things, but now I can pinpoint when I finished most things, even stuff I had forgotten that I gave away (seriously, I did a wedding bell-pull for a coworker at my first job and it took me hours to realize whose name that was).
Look! Fo' realz!  Started in 2001! (sure, it's a "dream journal", but it was apparently too pretty to pass up)

As close to a diary as I'll ever get.
  In any event.  I'm all kinds of spread-sheeted and inventoried and it's awesome!!  Doing this has even helped me identify that stuff I really wanted to stitch again, and how I can combine small and large (and companion) pieces to maybe maximize my enjoyment of stitching and the excitement of happy dances.  There's nothing to get one as excited about stitching as just playing with with stash.  And nothing as mentally calming as having everything organized and having oodles of information at one's fingertips.

Yee Haw.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to leave any kind of comment or question I love and will answer comments, and if you're new to me I'll stalk you over to your blog and add it to my feed!