No matter what your passion, craft, or hobby, it needs a proper home. We should honor and respect our interests with pride of place. A little organization goes along way.
I can still vividly recall (over 20 years ago) my son’s obsession with Legos. He would incessantly build kit after kit and display them with pride on every horizontal surface of his room, refusing to deconstruct any one of them. Eventually, we ran out of space (duh) so I had to convince my beloved Lego-maniac to re-create a new space in the playroom, break down the projects, organize and sort their separate components into bins. Despite his resistance, he soon realized that it was a lot more fun to play with the Legos in this way because he was able to continuously create new designs and structures. The bins were organized with like shapes and so he was able to access the pieces very easily. In retrospect, the old “sets” just sat there collecting dust. They did not provide my son with the same endless amount of joy that he got from the actual assembly process. Granted, it fulfilled an immediate sense of gratification but then once they were assembled and completed, they became merely frozen statues he never played with.
There were other hobbies too. My family (self- inspired) had a love for jigsaw puzzles. It was such a fun and engaging activity that set a great stage for intimate family interaction and a natural flow of conversation. The sheer joy came from the family’s participation and our team effort to complete each puzzle. We set up a card table in our den, which was a designated space for the current puzzle in progress. This was an ongoing activity that often found its way into the wee hours of the nights. Admittedly, there was always both a sense of satisfaction as well as a sadness that transcended, upon completion of each puzzle. I recall with delight how we would fight over who could place the very last piece down. As to preserve these memories, we glued and framed most of them, and decorated our playroom walls. Glancing at them provided us with immeasurable joy as it rekindled the moments we shared. We since moved from that home and as “empty-nesters” with less space, it was time to bid them farewell. I took photos of all of them, and then donated them to a Senior Care facility for others to enjoy.
So if this blog has a teachable moment, here it is…if you have a hobby that still brings you continuous pleasure; whether it be crafts, home decor, carpentry, books, coins, etc., design a beautiful space for them. Chances are, if your space is inadequate, your hobby won’t thrive in that negative environment. It is so much more inviting to delve into a hobby where you’ve created the proper home and organized all its accompaniments.
These are some key elements you should consider;
- Storage is paramount. It doesn’t have to be fancy or super high tech, but a simple system that any family member using an item can return it back to its proper home. If you like to tinker with tools, try organizing like this http://www.organize.com/garage-tool-organizer-clear-frosted-pegboard.html so your pliers won’t disappear when you’re looking for them, and everyone can find a hammer and put it back. Or if you’re really a serious home improvement dabbler, try this http://compare.ebay.com/like/270833654379?_lwgsi=y<yp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar. I love these clear organizing cubes for storing beads, buttons, and hardware because you can corral them all in one place and see them. http://www.organizeit.com/four-drawer-acrylic-storage-chest.asp?cmpid=SLI. And for even smaller storage, try this product for assorted sized nails, hooks, screws, and sewing supplies http://www.organizeit.com/44-drawer-storage-chest.asp?cmpid=SLI
- Ergonomics of the work space is crucial. The hobby/table must accommodate all that you require in order to be efficient while working on a project. Make sure that the space matches your needs. Ample shelving surrounding the space will give you additional storage and easy accessibility. Ditto to the chair…it’s a essential to have a comfortable chair to sit in for countless hours. It may or may not be critical to be on wheels, but it is important for it to be comfy.
- Lighting is also an integral component of optimum workspace design. Poorly lit hobby spaces do not emit high functioning environments and can cause chronic eye strain. It is likely to discourage you from pursuing it further. If you are fortunate enough to be working near natural lighting, or directly adjacent to a window, that’s ideal. But if you’re not, there are multiple Halogen lamps available that can provide superior light in which to work by.
- Space matters. Anticipate and factor in the future and allow for expansion. Hobbies grow. Too often the space is outgrown in a short period of time because it wasn’t designed for growth and change.
So make your hobby space succeed for you and design it with optimal functionality in mind. Think about it…have you really invited your hobby into your home? Don’t leave it out in the cold garage, or strewn all over the floor. Unattended hobbies generally find their way there. Invite them back in or send them on their merry way. Love them or let them go.