I have helped clients organize their quilting and sewing rooms; scrapbooking, jewelry making, painting, and glass art studios; and elementary school art classrooms. Their respective supplies and equipment all had different storage requirements, but the clients all had these things in common:
They all started with the same thing:
- A creative mess
And they all wanted the same thing:
- To be able to find their supplies and tools when they need them
- Sufficient clear table space at which to actually work and create
- An attractive and inspiring work space or studio
Some artists and crafters feel that a creative mess is inevitable, and that they can’t function without it. But when does a creative mess become a quagmire of excess supplies? Are your tools and equipment piled up and unusable because they are inaccessible or forgotten about? Are you re-buying supplies simply because you can’t find them? Is every surface occupied to the point that there is no room to actually work?
I am not suggesting that you work in a sterile Zen-like environment. Not at all! By all means have an idea board, and display some of your favorite pieces. But also consider doing the following:
- Declutter and create more S.P.A.C.E. for being creative. Get rid of old projects and supplies to make room for new ones.
- Keep the 80/20 Rule in mind when purging excess supplies and tools. You only use 20% of your stuff 80% of the time…don’t you? And some of those projects you always thought you were going to finish… or start…you aren’t really so interested in anymore… right? Are they really worth doing?
- Find ways of storing your supplies that not only make them accessible, but also keep them from overflowing into your workspace. (I’m a big fan of clear plastic shoe boxes.) Keep only things you use every day within arm’s reach. The less frequently you use it, the farther away it should be stored.
- Ask for help if you need it.
Do you have a creative mess that needs to be (or already has been) organized? Do tell us about it in the comments below!
Copyright 2014 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life — updated 2016
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