In pursuit of a more yarn-centric life I knew space would be an issue. I live in a very small bedroom, contained within a very small house, which I share with my mother, sister, and four cats. I had been trying to keep all of my possessions contained within my own room as much as possible, but as more and more yarn entered the house this was becoming problematic. Let me show you what I mean.
This was my bedroom. I did what I could to keep it clean and maximize storage space, honest! I had my bed on risers so I could store more things under it. Unfortunately many of those things were NOT MINE. See, I moved back into my mother’s house several years ago in somewhat of a hurry. My previous living situation had rapidly become intolerable and my mother kindly took me in. My bedroom had been used as a storage area since I left for college and not everything could be moved out when I returned. It was supposed to be temporary until I found a place of my own, but we didn’t know at the time that this would be financially impossible on my salary. So here I stayed…with other peoples’ things in my room.
I bought a desk so I could manage my grown-up life as best as possible. I had a filing cabinet to keep all my grown-up paperwork in, but it got too full and files started piling up on the desk. Once a pile starts it tends to consume everything around it, like books, games, knitting projects (both finished and in progress) and even clothes. Those plastic drawers next to the desk were primarily for knitting supply storage, but those drawers were overflowing too.
Of course, once the desk went in, things had to be rearranged for it to fit, so my bed ended up underneath a shelf. There wasn’t anywhere else to put my reading lamp besides right above my head, which is a totally logical thing to do in earthquake-prone areas. While you’re at it, how about storing a ton of magazines above the bed too? Due to a distinct lack of wall-space my earring storage ended up on the wall above my bed, which is super easy to get to if I’m in bed, not so much if I’m already dressed and ready to head out the door. I had some super klassy decorations thanks to my sister, who enjoys collecting alcohol paraphernalia for unknown reasons (she’s not old enough to drink, nor does she have any interest in doing so…strange girl). The dresser was stuffed so full of clothes that the drawers were hard to open. I had extra plastic drawers for more knitting storage that I arranged in a step-like fashion for my cat to access her bed and food. At least she enjoyed this set-up.
After my cat had an injury she decided she’d rather spend most of her time in my room than outside, so I had to add a scratching slope and litter box to my already crowded floor. This meant I had to get rid of the extra bookshelf I bought to make room for the litter box. The scratching slope ended up in front of my dresser, blocking the bottom drawer. I figured it couldn’t hurt since my bin full of photo equipment was already blocking it (you can only see the edge of the bin past the corner of my bed in this picture). Also, there was a giant red stability ball looming over the room. There really isn’t an elegant way to store a stability ball I’m afraid.
I have an air purifier/fan thingy that I like to have pointed at my bed because I get really overheated at night. It had to be elevated in order to reach me since my bed was on risers, so I put it on top of haphazardly stacked bins full of yarn. This was always a pain to move out of the way when I needed to vacuum or, you know, access my yarn. My laundry basket didn’t have any place to go really, so I ended up just sticking it wherever I wasn’t walking at the time. My sister’s bookshelf (yes that’s right, my sister’s, since MINE had to go to make room for the cat) contained mostly my sister’s books, but she was able to make room on two shelves for some of my books. The rest of my books had to be stored in the garage. My knitted shawls didn’t really have anywhere to go, so I just hung them up on my door with my purses out where any moth could get at them.
I also would hang shawls on my necklace rack for lack of anywhere better to put them. “Why not put them in the closet?”, you say. Because there wasn’t any room. I didn’t photograph the inside of the closet, but trust me, it was a mess. I did have a closet organizer installed back in high school, but you can only do so much with such a tiny space. Just imagine the racks so stuffed with clothes that you can’t move the hangers, the shelves full of haphazardly placed belts, hats, and other accessories, hidden under the hanging clothes, along with all of the other crafting supplies I had nowhere else to put. In fact, I’d say at least 50% of the shelves in the closet were taken up by random crafting supplies that didn’t have a home and were difficult for me to get to (or find).
My bedroom was not the only non-functioning space in the house though. There was also the dining room.
The dining room table really didn’t get used for dining. Mostly it was a catch-all for whatever mail/random crap we’d bring in with us when we got home and whatever flotsam and jetsam we might churn up in our daily lives within the house. Several times a month though, it would all be cleared off and turned into my photo studio! This table has the distinction of being The Only Table in the house that my lights are able to clamp to. We have several folding shop tables in the garage, but the sides are too thick for the clamps. I bought a folding card table in hopes of using that, but the frame is made of rounded metal that the clamps will not cling to without the use of shims, and it’s too shallow to hold the frame of the light box. So, with this being The Only Table that will work for my photography, I have had to set everything up in the dining room. With the cats. Three of our four cats – all of the Ragdolls – are not allowed in my room unsupervised because they mess with everything. As you can see (that’s Stella in the picture), they like to be all up in your business whenever you’re doing ANYTHING in the living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom….anywhere really. Usually it’s adorable, but not when I’m trying to do photography. I have had cats leap from their cat tower on top of the light box. I have had cats leap into the light box on top of whatever I’m taking pictures of and scratching up the poster board background. I have had cats knock over lamps and break my not-cheap light bulbs. I have had cats try to electrocute themselves by trying to chew on the extension cords I use to plug in the lights. Usually when I needed to take pictures I would just lock the cats in a room and listen to them cry for the 3+ hours it took to get through my photo sessions (which I would procrastinate on and let my photo list build up because it was such a pain to get it set up and manage kitties). Aside from the dining room table, that area was basically a storage area. Drinks that we didn’t have room for in the fridge yet would go in the corner. My sister’s guitar (which she doesn’t know how to play and has no intention of learning…strange girl) lived in the corner. The giant turtle shell (don’t ask) lived in the corner. The cats’ basket of toys and smaller scratching post were stored next to the table. Then there was my sister’s second bookshelf, full of her books and her My Little Pony figurines, which housed some of my overflow yarn.
My boyfriend recently found me this GIANT cedar chest to keep my knitting in, but as you could see from the previous pictures there was nowhere to put it! It lived in the living room for a bit until I made room for it elsewhere.
Obviously it was time for a massive rearranging. More on that tomorrow.
First off, thank you so much to those who have contributed to the Indiegogo campaign to Save The Knotty Narwhal. So far $190 have been raised! I’m still quite a ways away from being able to replace my stolen computer though, so keep spreading the word!
Secondly, you will all be hearing much more from me in the future. I am participating in National Blog Post Month and will be posting EVERY DAY in November no matter how painful my sister’s computer makes it. (Seriously this typing lag is driving me nuts, and her photo editing software does in 5 clicks what mine did in one. Argh.) This probably means some posts will be short, some might have crappy pictures, and some may not have pictures at all, but you’ll forgive me right? Wish me luck!