We moved, expanded the shop from around 1,400 s.f. to 6,000 s.f. We bought the second longarm, had more employees, took on a sewing machine dealership....and I started falling away from it again. Afterall, there was so much more to do. I tried to get back into the 1/2 hour to an hour a day, but wasn't always successful. I would try to hide in the classroom and just finish a little something. I had to face the fact that the identity of the shop was me. I'm not taking away from my employees at all. My customers ALWAYS complimented me on the friendliness of my staff, and if someone was on vacation, I certainly got the inquiries from customers wondering where they were! But, those stolen moments in the classroom ended up being 15-20 minutes here and there.
Fast forward to now. The shop is closed after losing our lease and yet I STILL couldn't find time to sew! I still have the website and the longarming PLUS the household chores. Overwhelming? You bet! So, I did what I do well....make lists. Yup, I'm a confessed listmaker. I've made several that you have heard about, and some that you haven't! I get a sense of accomplishment from marking things off a list that encourages me to move on.
- The first list I made was of my flimsies that needed quilting. It was on the post "Accountability" a month or so back. Not only did I have MY unfinished projects, but those that my employees helped me with....94!
- The second list I started to make, and talked myself right out of...UFOs! Argh! I had started so many projects for classes, etc. Class was over, no time to finish, need to move on to the next class sample. So, we chalked that list up as one that was detrimental and moved on.
- The third list I made...some of you will groan and realize just how OCD I really am...I made a list of weekly household chores. I divided these up into 6 days, dividing my house into zones. (i.e. Monday I clean our bathrooms)
- The fourth list I made...well that was more of a schedule. I am a creature of habit and routine. So, here is how that one goes.....
Next, I do my household chores for the day. Bluck, but it needs done.
Then, I "work". I have web orders to do, going to the post office, longarming, customer pick-ups and drop-offs, etc.
I told you I like to be organized....well, now you see. My life revolves around it. If someone messes with my routine, well, I am just downright evil! :P
Here are a few things I do to keep "organized":
- I keep all portions of my projects together in a kit. This can be a pizza box or a big clear plastic bag. The pattern, fabric and everything needed for the project is right there. I keep these in order of what I want to do first, second, etc.
- Once a project becomes a flimsie, I use a suit hanger to keep them organized. The backing goes over the slacks portion. The flimsie goes over the other bar and the binding is pieced and hung over the hanger portion. They are hung by size...small quilts, throws then larger quilts. Depending on how much time I have in between customer quilts, it makes it easier to know which one I can pull to put on the machine.
- I have organized my UFOs (somewhat) by what needs done. All of the UFOs that just need borders are together. All of the UFOs that need more piecing are all together. If I start to get that feeling that I need instant gratification, I go for the UFOs that just need borders.
- I have organized my cleaning duties by what they are. For example, I just do all of the bathrooms at one time. I do all of my mopping at one time. I already have the mop bucket out, so just get it all done and over with.
- I have a 'cleaning' closet where I keep my cleaning supplies organized. I have one of those little carriers that enables you to carry cleaning products around with you all together. I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous, but it is a big timesaver. If I am cleaning bathrooms, for example, the Windex, toilet bowl cleaner, etc. all goes in and I trudge from bathroom to bathroom until they are done.
- I do at least a load of laundry a day. Even when I worked, I did this. I would just throw it in the washer in the morning before I left and in the dryer first thing when I got home...before starting dinner.
- As soon as I get the mail, I tackle it. I IMMEDIATELY throw away the junk mail. I do online billpay, so those are all entered as soon as the bill comes in. This came from my old days of saving a pile and writing out all of my bills after I got paid, then filing them. It was taking hours! No more piles of bills moving around the house waiting to be paid or getting mixed in with catalogs and magazines!
- I "clean-as-I-go" when I am cooking. While I am waiting for dinner to bake/boil, etc. I am unloading/loading the dishwasher, washing down the fronts of cabinets, cleaning out the fridge, etc. If we have had take-out and don't have many dinner dishes, I fill the dishwasher the rest of the way with things that collect dust...i.e. vases, coffee pots, etc. I keep two crocks on my counter for kitchen utensils. Every once in a while, even though they are clean, I will take everything out of the crocks and put the crocks and all of the utensils right back into the dishwasher (to fill it up) and run it all through again.