Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Space, Time, and Project Management

Change isn't easy. I've been 'unventing' this simple truth ever since I signed up for the February 30-day Challenge as part of the Organized Knitting Group on Ravelry. My goal - to organize my stash.

I got inspiration from many of the posts to this group. What I came up against was that I couldn't simply reshuffle all my yarn into a new set of containers or buy another set of shelves. I had to work with what I had, which meant I had to rethink how I wanted to access my yarn, and the best set-up for doing this.

I approached this on two fronts: the yarn front, and the space front.

I decided to separate my stash into 3 groups: the Works In Progress; the Designated Yarn for a specific project-to-be; and Free Range Yarn. First, I unearthed almost all my WIPs and piled them in my bedroom; then I identified Designated Yarn and moved that into the dining room; which left the Free Range Yarn in the Front Room (used to be the living room). While the rest of my apartment was in shambles, I now had room to look more critically at the space in the Front Room and could now try to come up with a plan for arranging "the stash."

It was important to me to keep everything as visible as possible, so I could see what was waiting to be knit up, and also see what I still had to play with. I told myself to think outside the box, and came up with the idea of hanging WIPs in plastic bags from a metal shelving unit I have. Ideally I should be able to walk around both sides of the shelving, so I will have to relocate it (thankfully, it's on wheels!). The cabinet for Free Range Yarn wasn't on wheels, and I first had to dismantle the shelf unit that was on top of it (for which I have plans in the dining-room-about-to-become-office/reading area). I emptied the cabinet (which is 6-feet long and about 3-feet high), removed the sliding glass doors, maneuvered sliders under each corner, and dragged it across the room to the outside wall where there are no plugs. The small computer desk was relocated where the cabinet had been, because both the telephone jack and an electrical outlet are on that wall.

I know this is not the most interesting chain of events, but in order to reorganize my stash, I needed to reorganize my space. And in order to reorganize my space, I needed a step-by-step plan. Even though I started working toward my goal of Organizing Stash at the beginning of the month, it took me almost 3 weeks to work out what needed to be done, and in what order things needed to be done, before I actually started the work.

This is the basis of Project Management - figure out what you have to do in fairly granular detail, and then do it. Don't leap in and start what you don't know how to finish. Always have a back-up plan for each step, in case what you thought would work doesn't (if it isn't obvious, I'm a Professional Project Manager, I can get points towards maintaining my certification for this project, if I wanted to).

I know there are no pictures, but it's embarassing to post pictures of messy chaos. I will post before and after pictures when this part of the paroject is done.

(Note: cross posted on Organized Knitting Club)

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