organize/simplify/less

Week 43-44

Another week of Project Real Life… this week focused on organizing.

I love watching videos about how people organize their spaces and their stuff, but I often spend a lot of the time wondering why they are spending so much time and energy organizing things they don’t need! I don’t need color coded, labelled boxes for my holiday decorations because I only have 3 boxes – one for Christmas lights, one for Christmas decorations, and one for all the other holidays, which contains 3 cardboard Halloween decorations, and a couple of red white and blue buntings. If you simplify, you don’t need to organize so much.

I made a layout for the gallery over at Project Real Life. I used scans of the film pictures I’m using for my second Sketchbook Project, which is a home inventory list project. I used 3 pictures of my kitchen, and 3 of my closet on the left hand page and 2 pictures from my kitchen and 2 of my sideboard drawers for the right hand page. I wanted to show how my spaces are organized, and how our small space limits the stuff we can accumulate.

The title card for this layout originally said “organize to simplify” but I played around in photoshop elements and figured out a way to flip that statement around and add it to the card. It took a while and I’m sure there might have been an easier way to do it, but in the end I got both statements on the card. The journaling card took quite a bit of work. I cropped one of the bifold journaling cards from the PL cherry kit to exclude a red element that didn’t go with the rest of the layout. Then I added brown stripes, sampling the color from the main card of course. (I love that feature!) I used the same brown for the text and used another basic font, Myriad Pro, for the title “don’t organize clutter!” and Dakota Handwriting for the text. I want to get a font made out of my handwriting, or maybe buy a few handwritten fonts. My original journaling card wasn’t very legible because I used a very light scribbly font. I like this one better, both for what it says and how it looks. There’s a close-up below. I made the “less” cards by adding brown stripes to the basic grid cards that Becky Higgins has for Project Life and then adding the letters. The font is something basic that’s on every computer. I forget which one – maybe something to do with Impact?

I’m getting better at Photoshop Elements! That’s what I’m trying to achieve with this scrapbooking. I can add photos to the templates really quickly now – in a matter of minutes once I have the photos chosen. Learning keyboard shortcuts from Cathy Zielske has helped a lot – I can select all, copy, paste and clip the photo into the masks all using shortcuts. I need to learn more! Although that’s the main stuff I need to know to do digital scrapbooking. I should probably learn some shortcuts for using the different tools. I did appreciate learning how to zoom to get the image to fill the screen – that’s useful! I am getting better at remembering the process for “saving for web” but it annoys me having to save a layered file, a finished jpeg and a low-res jpeg for web sharing. I might need to get another external hard drive for all this digital stuff!

I’m not totally in love with my journaling – I wanted to say more, but there wasn’t space. So hopefully I simplified it the right amount. Here’s some more info: Our house has about 800 square feet of living space. It’s a 1920 craftsman. My husband has a small secretary desk that we use as his dresser, barely big enough for his underthings, but there’s no space for it in our bedroom. It’s in his man-cave (spare bedroom) as is his closet. We have 12 linear feet of closet hanging space in the whole house. He has 8 feet of hanging space, I only have 4 because I needed the full length for my dresses. I stash my underthings, jewelry, accessories and our sheets and quite a few other possessions on the shelves in my closet. We have a cupboard in the bathroom for towels and a hamper. There are no other closets in the house – no linen closet, no utility closet to stash a broom under the stairs or behind the water heater. We don’t have any hallways in our house. Every room opens onto another room, which means every room has at least 2 doorways, and you can walk our house in a giant circle. We only have one wall in the whole house that doesn’t have a window/door opening on it. Luckily we have a very functional layout, and a beautiful house. We also have an unfinished basement for some storage and utility space, but you have to go outside to get to it.

Something funny I noticed while I was making this layout… in this context, particularly in response to the video Becky showed us of her lovely (huge) home and another organizing video I watched on the youtube channel “organizedlikejen”, I was presenting how little we have, and how little it needs organizing. But my inventory/list Sketchbook Project uses the same photos to tell a different story – how much stuff we have, even in a small house, so much that it’s a massive task to list it all. I’ll show you that project soon – I’m still working on it.

Well, it’s time to carve pumpkins and watch Sunday Night Football…

bye for now,

Jo:)

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