Crafts are my passion, Cats are my obsession

My crafting adventures, my cats, my dogs, my opinons - I never did keep a diary as a child, but I'm doing it now!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Socked Out

This could be my problem.  I've been working on a lot of socks lately.  And I think I've socked out.  I haven't been knitting as much as normal; have trouble getting enthusiastic about picking up the needles.  I think I'm suffering a bit of burnout.  I tried to restart the Blathnat socks last night.  Couldn't even get the first round done on one sock.  So - I think it is time to stop trying so hard, and to put the fun back into my crafting.  This means, either making something else, or doing another craft.

Honestly, I think I'm still a bit cabled out, too - between the cables on the recent socks (Sea Cruise) and the cabled sweater from last year, I think I want a bit of a break from them, too.  So, I'm going to put aside the socks, and work on the shawl instead.  And maybe some spinning, and maybe... I've been feeling like digging out the sewing machine and making some clothes for me.  Not to mention, all the quilt UFO's and WIM's.

Another of the things that I really need to get doing, is the house.  I have to stop allowing myself to dwell on the things I'm not happy about, and just start.  Start somewhere.  Start anywhere... Just do it, and look forward instead of beating myself up for what I haven't done.

I looked up,  mainly for interest, this thing that several businesses are doing these days.  Where my husband works, they are implementing the program in a lot of ways... It is called "5S".  I could/should let you look it up yourself, but basically, it is an organizational technique using 5 (sometimes plus 3) steps that all start with the letter S.  Originating in Japan, the five words start with S there, too.  Translated, they still start with S.  Interestingly, this is more or less what I did some 12 years ago, without knowing what it was called.  Except that, I blew it on step 5...  That only lasted a year.

So, I'm going to apply the 5 S program to my house.  Again.  Only this time, I'm hoping to make it stick!!

Here's the program, described in my own words:
1.  Sort:  Taking an area, clearing it out, sorting the stuff into things that are used frequently, things that are never used, things that are used sometimes, etc.  Translated to the home, of course, is reducing the clutter, getting rid of old stuff you won't use, determining which items can be stored away in the basement or garage vs keeping handy... remember the lack of storage space in my kitchen!!  Fancy serving dishes are mostly in boxes properly labeled.  I'm thinking, there are probably a few more things that don't get used often - prior to the day I took the picture, for example, my bread maker got put into the linen closet, and a lot of my small appliances live in the living room.  Not that those are ideal places, especially for the appliances I use often, but you get the idea...

2. Stabilize (the official translation), or Straighten out, or Systemize:   This is where I determine the best places to store items, where the handiest spot is for those things I use daily, where to put the rest...

3.  Sweeping (official), Shining, or Sanitize:  This is the cleaning, the washing walls and floors, wiping out cabiniets, etc.  Once I've pulled everything out for sorting, I can clean before putting back.  Not only cleaning the area itself, but also cleaning the items that go there.  Seems silly to put dusty or dirty things back on a clean surface...

4.  Starndardize:  This is where you get into the "a place for everything, and everything in its place".  This is the part where you put everything you are keeping back in place; putting the items you use daily in the handiest spot, grouping like things together, etc.  And making it a good place, so that everyone involved continues to replace things where they found them.  And logical, and workable.... We went through a few systems for some things before settling on one that really worked for us - finding the "right" garbage can, choosing the "best" container to keep our cheeses in in the fridge.  This step, to me, can involve some trial and error, and may change over time...

(I think that the actual order to do the steps in doesn't matter much at this stage - some go hand in hand, others can be done at the same time - sorting and cleaning, systemize and standardize)

5.  Sustain:  Ok, this is where I fell down before.  I managed to sustain for a year, but after that year, felt it was time to start again from the beginning - clear out any clutter that accumulated during that first year (it just happened to be 2000 - 2001) and maybe go through some that still needed weeding... you know, like you put some things in the "keep" pile, because you aren't yet ready to part with them, but later you might be.  Well, somehow, I just didn't get far, then that was the year I hit into my severe depression that lasted way too long.... My first major depression.  I never sought help that time, but did the next two times I went into depression.  Anyway, this is the step that I will be struggling most with.  I mean, in some ways, I did the first four steps in my bathroom between Christmas and New Year's.  I washed everything down, cleared out the cupboard under the sink, sorted everything...  But, aside from keeping the toilet clean and the sink washed out, the walls could use a wipe down, the mirror a polish, etc.  Last laundry day, I got a bit lazy and just shoved the clean towels in the cupboard without stacking them proper... No excuse, really, except the part where I hate sorting, and just wasn't in the mood when the time came to deal properly...

Now, for the 3 "extra" S words:  Safety, Security, Satisfaction.

Safety takes into account that if a business/manufacturing firm isn't cluttered and messy, safety concerns will be much less.  I kind of messed up that sentence grammatically, but you know what I mean.  Security, too - people will see a more organized operation, and know what is going on, so they will no longer be worried about their job due to an inability to perform properly or the company's apparent inability to perform.

Around the house, safety and security are much the same - a cluttered house isn't safe.  An unclean house can promote illness.  Not to mention, things like fire safety, theft safety, etc.

And  finally, Satisfaction.  Definitely a good thing for business - both for employee and employer.  The more satisfied each is with their role, and their importance in the organization, the better their moral and performance.

And *DEFINITELY* important to my moral and performance around the house!!  How many times have I said, thought, typed about my frustration levels in not seeming to get anywhere leaves me doing pretty much nothing... Satisfaction is something that can't be forced, but definitely comes as a result of doing the other stuff.

So - that is the plan.

But first, I need to get that special project finished... One of the reasons for this late post, as well as yesterday's late post - I'm trying to get off the computer earlier in the day, and getting my "work" done, so if I don't quite get done all I want to on the computer, I can catch it up later.  Like, now :)


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