Incremental January: Week 4

Every month I’m picking one skill to practice everyday for a month and updating my progress every Monday. I call it Project Incremental. Read up on how it all got started. 

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Last week was all about clearing up the digital clutter - no more unnecessary emails, unsubscribing from overwhelming RSS feeds, and gaining more hard drive space - but I’m back to the physical world this week. I’ve sorted and donated and trashed a lot of stuff to meet my January goal of de-cluttering and prepping for the rest of the year. Lots left to do but the list is shorter.


Now that I have less stuff to worry about, I’ve started thinking about how to hack the stuff I have to work better for me. I encourage you do this too. One, you get to make things. Two, you can personalize and upgrade your space. Three, you get to have some fun. 

Over the course of a day, I spend a lot of time in front of the computer which means I spend a lot of time at my desk. It’s a nice desk with lots of drawers, space for all my tech, and enough room to make something when I feel the need. There’s even a raised section with two more drawers and two open spaces that I barely use because they are not drawers. Well, I’ve fixed that.


I’ve made drawers for my “Things” and for my “Stuff”. The drawer of things holds all the crafty stuff I need on a regular basis: scissors, buttons, a knitting needle gauge, a tape measure, and random tapestry needles. The drawer of stuff keeps pens, pencils, hair ties, lotion, lip balm, and a needle felted heart. You know, the necessities. Everything I need is at hand and easy to find.


To make the drawers, I measured the dimensions to be filled and adapted this handy stiffened felt box tutorial from How About Orange to fit. Next, I drew up the cross stitch charts, stabbed the necessary holes in the felt, and got to stitching. The last step was gluing the sides together to finish the boxes. As a bonus, whenever I move to a new desk, I can just make lids for the drawers and use them a boxes instead. Win win. 

Just in case you feel like labeling any of your possessions with a bit of cross stitch, here’s “Stuff” and “Things” to the rescue. 


Incremental January: Week 3

Every month I’m picking one skill to practice everyday for a month and updating my progress every Monday. I call it Project Incremental. Read up on how it all got started. 

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De-cluttering continues. Clothes, books, shoes, and yarn have been sorted and rearranged. There are bags of stuff sitting by the door just waiting to be donated or traded-in. I’ve even cleaned out my car. Still, there’s a lot to do and the work continues.

This week, I’m still going to be focusing on the space around me but I’m also going to work on cleaning up the digital space. This week isn’t just about freeing up space on my hard drive. This week is about getting back my time, cutting out distractions, and saving my attention for the things that really need it. The 10+ emails in my inbox every morning trying to sell me stuff are not worth my time. So, this week I am going to:

  • Edit account settings to reduce the amount of email various sites send me every day.
  • Unsubscribe from newsletters that I’m just not excited about anymore.
  • Clean up my RSS feeds. Blogs and comics that don’t hold my attention? Gone. Sites that post more 3-5 times a day? Bye-bye. Etsy shops I’m not fond of anymore? (Yes, Etsy shops have RSS feeds).  Deleted. My wallet is already sighing with relief. 
  • Stop emails from social networks saying that someone has commented/pinned/tagged whatever I’ve posted. It‘s just distracting and hides the important stuff in my inbox. I’m already going to the site whether I get an email or not. 
  • Delete bookmarks to sites that are no longer relevant or dead.
  • Delete blurry and unusable photos. Must make room for the good ones. 
  • Uninstall programs that I will never use and forgot about because I found something better.

Now if I could just stop checking my email or Ravelry or Reddit every time I get bored, I’d have a lot more time on my hands.