February 17, 2023

Sorting, Rearranging, & Clearing the Way For the Interior Greenhouse Door

Two of the items on our winter project list are:  

  • Continue working on the greenhouse
  • Tackling our two unfinished rooms, which have become catch-alls. The accumulation needs sorting, purging, and re-arranging before we eventually finish the rooms.

Although progress on the greenhouse is slower than Dan would like, because of the weather, I need to make some progress on those two rooms before spring planting beckons. My first goal is to clear one end of the sun room to install an interior greenhouse door. The greenhouse will have two doors, one from the greenhouse to the outdoors, and this one, to give us access to the greenhouse from the house.

This was the sun room when we first moved in.

May 2009 image from The Sun Room (My Studio)
The window on the left is where the door will go.

By the next month, I had set the room up to be my textile and fiber studio.

June 2009 image from Trial Set-Up For My Studio

Unfortunately, that didn't last long because we quickly started in on some major renovation projects and needed to clear out the rooms we were working on. We ended up taking the loom down, packing up my yarns and supplies, and using this room as storage. I eventually managed to carve out enough space for a comfortable office area.

2015 image from Evolution of a Room. I have a
different chair now, but the set-up is still the same.

It's been that way since. But to replace one of the windows with a door to the greenhouse, means everything must be moved out of the way. And that means I have to find a place to put it.

We always planned that once we got the interior of the house done, this room would become my studio again. (Our proposed floorplan is here). But it's a narrow room, 9.5 feet by 20 feet with one small closet. We'll need a clear path to the greenhouse door, which will further decrease the usable size of the room, and to be frank, my equipment, tools, and supplies need more room than that. Instead, I proposed eventually turning the front bedroom into my studio. It's large enough for my loom, spinning wheels, sewing machines, yarn and fabric stashes, plus a work table and my computer. 

Before I can do that, however, the room will have to be finished. We've already replaced the windows (one when we re-did the front porch, the other three years ago when we finished the exterior of the house). But we left the interior unfinished, so the framing and insulation are still exposed. That needs to be finished. And if we manage our masonry heater project this summer, the wall where the old fireplace was will create a lot of dusty work. But to do all of that means I have to rearrange my boxed up studio stuff to give Dan room to work. 

All of this has been a slow go for several reasons. One is because on nice days, I want to work outside.  Another is because I don't want to simply push boxes from one corner to another. I want to sort, reorganize, and discard stuff that isn't needed. I want to reduce the amount and clutter. Then too, every time we push boxes around, I lose track of things and can't find things I need, such as my needlework, knitting, and crochet tools. 

Why are we humans such pack rats? We do love our stuff. I don't consider myself materialistic, but if something appears to be useful, I want to hang on to it. Anybody else that way?


SmartAlex said...

Oh yes! We are packratters too. My husband and I are collectors by nature. And if something appears useful, we want to store it away. Its nice to be able to put your hands on just the right picture frame or have the weird little tool required for an odd job. I love it when my husband asks "do we have a..." and I can produce one. Right now we are gearing up for another garage sale so I have edited out so much of my redundant stuff and things I have "just to have". Its a nice phase to go through too and having some empty corners gives me room to breathe. Makes me feel lighter.

Mama Pea said...

I think we've all gone through "the shuffle" if we've ever done any remodeling or made changes. Funny thing is that each time our stuff gets carted from one location to another, we do manage to pare it down which is a good thing, don't you agree? (Plus, how many times have we said, "Oh! So that's where (fill in the blank) has been!") I find it hard to be patient enough and not get discouraged as to wondering when it will all be done! ;o)

daisy g said...

That room has such great light! How cool that you will have access to the greenhouse from inside the house!

Oh, I wish I were there to help you with your organizing. It's something I love to do.
Just keep thinking of how great it will look when it's done!

I've heard lately that some folks buy those shipping containers to convert into studio or guest space. I guess you could do that with a shed as well!

Enjoy your progress!

Leigh said...

Alex, that's it exactly! It sounds like you're more organized than me, though. I'm hoping with this latest sort and shuffle, I can get all like items together in the same place! That would help tremendously. Good idea about the garage sale.

Mama Pea, yes, we're the same way. Every time I sort and shuffle, I manage to pare down. I've got a good pile to donate to the thrift shop, but there's still a lot to go through! I guess I'm weary of it because we've been like this for 13 years now. Will it ever reach and end????

Daisy, the funny thing is that I think of myself as an organized person, but my real life betrays otherwise!

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Leigh, for two years now The Ravishing Mrs. TB and Nighean Bhan go through a 31 days of decluttering exercise in January. On the 1st, you find one thing to discard or give away, the 2nd two items, etc. At the end of the exercise literally bags have left the house - yet the house appears no emptier for it.
(I say that: They, at least, do the exercise. I shuffle some items around.)

Why? I think my own aversion is that while I like the idea of true minimalism, it relies on a civilization and society and money always being present and available. It is one thing to minimalize knowing you can buy something if you need to; it is another to do it knowing that if you need something to cut a branch, you will have your pocket knife and nothing else.

Leigh said...

TB, that's it exactly. Everything must be judged according to its lifestyle use and how easy it would be to replace it. It's easy to get caught up in a grand discard, but I've learned it's better to assess and evaluate. That's why I don't do the "if it hasn't been worn/used it in the past year, get rid if it." I think that works well for impulse purchases, but for thoughtful and needful purchases, it's not a good method. I did manage to go through my closet, though, and trim down my wardrobe quite a bit.

I like the annual de-clutter idea you mention, but isn't it interesting how quickly we manage to re-fill the empty spaces with more stuff! Everything I need to go through is in boxes, so, I'm going through these one at a time. Fewer boxes is very helpful! (Plus I found lost sewing and knitting supplies.) I have to go through everything in the cubbies on my desk too, because we have to move it. I seem to have collected lots of old paperwork that is no longer needed.

Lorraine said...

Right now we are down sizing. After living in a 2 story 100+ year old house we are moving to a smaller one story place. My husband doesn't do stairs very well anymore and is not in the best of health. My problem is I do many different crafts including stained glass which takes up a lot of storage space. Every day I weed out a little more. Wish me luck.

Fundy Blue said...

I'm a packrat too, Leigh. You have my sympathy! Wishing you lots of progress sorting through things.

Leigh said...

Lorraine, I can empathize on all points! Especially the stairs and the crafts. I hope it your downsizing and move go well for you both.

FB, it's a lot of work, but it feels kinda good to pare down. :)

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

If I get my husband on board next year, I have a plan for a door and green house. This year my focus is on a new coop, but I am enjoying watching your build. I'm still un-boxing from all the floor repairs in our home. We have more to do too.

Ed said...

Remodeling a house you are living in certainly isn’t for sissies. I have parts of three bedrooms scattered around right now.

I am constantly fighting to reduce clutter and storing things we never use. Unfortunately my wife sees pennies in all that stuff and can’t bear to let it go. So we compromise somewhere in between where if it fits in our storage room it can stay. But finding something in there is never easy.

Leigh said...

Kristina, I will be interested in both your new coop and your future greenhouse! I love seeing what people do because I always get good ideas.

Home repair and remodeling are always disruptive projects, although I'm always glad to get things sorted and cleaned.

Ed, if all we had to do was the house, we would have been done years ago. But, we really didn't buy the place for the house, we bought it for the land, and the house is one of those things that we often set aside for things like gardens or barn building. I don't regret doing that, but I will be glad to get it all finished!

Florida Farm Girl said...

When we moved from Florida coming up on nine (9? already??) years ago, we purged truckloads of stuff. You'd never know it now, particularly my sewing studio. When we moved here, I got a much larger space to use and have filled it right up. I am trying to give away or sell some items that no longer appeal to me but not having much success as yet. The greenhouse will be lovely when its completed.

Leigh said...

Sue, we always manage to fill up our spaces and then some! I'm currently going through boxes of fabrics and yarns. I have to ask myself if there's enough for a project, or if I'm saving it "just in case." I can definitely say I'm making progress!

Jenn Jilks said...

I've tried to declutter, but I have some inertia!

Leigh said...

Jenn, ha! I confess to doing a lot of procrastinating before getting started on this. It's easier now that I've got momentum and can see some progress. :)