Friday, December 9, 2011

Make Your Stuff Earn It's Keep by Lissanne Oliver

This is Lissanne's final blog hijack installment. Thank you so much for taking the time to offer us your useful tips to keep our studios and workrooms organised and clutter-free. - Peta

Did you know we use 20% of our stuff 80% of the time?

Think about the books, patterns, templates, tools and equipment you favour for your craft. Did you know that you use these supplies 80% of the time but they account for only 20% of what you own? It’s called the Pareto Rule, or 80/20 Rule.

Here’s some fresh ways you can use the 80/20 rule in your world:

*Ensure items are versatile. For example, a washing basket is almost only ever going to be a washing basket. Whereas a tub can also be a vessel that will hold water too. Suddenly, this item easily qualifies for your valuable 20%.

*Avoid multiples. Do you really need that cache of buttons, trims, stationery or stash of “collected” magazines? Be ruthless. I know you own multiples of things that you will never use again. Do you have multiples of items because the original was broken or lost? Time to pare down.

*Feeling cramped? Storage at capacity or overflowing? Try having your storage only 80% full. Having room to move is very liberating. If it’s tricky deciding what to let go of, remind yourself about what are you making space for- for example, all the homeless items you can’t put away!

*Choose just one day a week as your maintenance day. Only spend 20% of that day on your craft, and the remaining 80% dealing with paperwork, doing accounts, decluttering. I love Mondays for maintenance - it's an easy start to the week and allows for planning the coming days.

*There will be 2 things on your to do list that are more important than the other 8 (eg getting your tax done, so you can claim a lovely refund! Or making the call to the photographer who will shoot your next work, ready for sale). Identify the two and get cracking. The two that are most important are often the most overdue or the tasks we perceive to be unpleasant. Remember I said perceive!

*Are you not using a tool or piece of equipment to it’s full potential? I’ve been guilty of this. Make the time to read the manual so you can achieve a better end result. Do you only know how to use 20% of the features on your camera – what a shame!

Taking the time to make good decisions about the things you own is an investment. Through the process, you will find lost items, reconnect with valuable items and feel liberated physically and emotionally. Get to it!

Image sources: Vilfredo Pareto, Blue tub, Pink basket

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