Clutter isn’t just the stuff on the floor. It’s anything standing between you and the life you want to live – Peter Walsh
One of the things I struggle with as a multi-passionate creative is keeping my creative space organized and clutter free. I don’t mean keeping it pristine and beautifully decorated. We multi-passionates don’t work like that.
What I’m referring to is being able to walk into my creative area, and find not only adequate space to work, but be able to quickly find the supplies and tools I want for the project I’m currently excited about.
Can you feel me?
On top of that when I add my small business tasks, like photographing images for blog posts and Instagram, it seems like I am constantly leaving messes behind me. Like most of you, I jumped on the organizational bandwagon in January and cleaned my room. Well guess what? Mere weeks later it was once again an unholy mess.
I am tired of that cycle, aren’t you? So I’m saying no more, and I’m taking charge of it all because I am sick and tired of the scenarios below.
- You hop from project to project without cleaning up after yourself
- You come in from a shopping trip or back from a crop or creative retreat and you drop your bags in a corner. Weeks later (maybe months?) you realise you haven’t unpacked anything
- In order to start a project you need to move piles out of the way. Then you have to search frantically for your supplies
- You try to start or continue a craft piece, but end up working on yet another re-organization project
- You keep adding more shelves, or boxes or other storage solutions. Your space is cramped and still untidy.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, read on!
Here’s How to Stop This Cycle Once & For All
Step 1 : Where’s Your Head at?
What are your beliefs around your supplies and how they relate to your creativity?
Do you buy into the “Creativity is Messy, and I am Very Creative” meme? (I confess to sharing that more than once)
Do you believe that you need to have lots of supplies to be creative? That you need to have many options to be able to produce? Or that you need to use what other creatives are using so your work can be better?
Are you holding onto unfinished projects that you know you’ll get to “one day?”
Try to get clear on how you feel about your supplies affecting your creativity. Do some written or visual journaling before moving on to the next step.
Step 2: Take Stock
Just how much stuff do you have? Spend some time really taking stock of everything. Remember, some of your supplies may be hidden, ahem, I mean stored, in various places of your home.
If possible gather it all together, but at the very least, make a list of the various categories of stuff and where they are located.
Now for a fun exercise. How do you want your creative space to look? How do you want to feel when you are in there? Do some written or visual journaling before moving on to the next step.
STEP 3: Get Prepared
Before jumping in, get prepared both mentally and physically for getting rid of things that no longer serve you.
Now set up boxes or bags for things you plan to sell, donate or throw away.
Step 4: Purge
It’s time for the metal to hit the road! (Wait, was that a mixed metaphor?) Now go through all your stuff and piece by piece and clear out the things you no longer need, use or love. This includes unfinished projects, as well as supplies for things you don’t even do anymore.
Think Marie Kondo: Does it bring you joy? No? Then out it goes. Remember to say thank you before tossing it though!
Stuck on where to start? Check out my blog post from a few weeks ago.
Step 5: get it Out of There!
I know you’re feeling great now about getting rid of stuff, but before you start organizing what’s left, you need to make sure to get rid of what you don’t want.
The trash is easy, just toss it. However you’ll need to spend a bit more time dealing with the items to donate and sell. Make sure you have set up a system for getting these out of your house as soon as possible.
Step 6: Organize
Yay! You did it! Now you can spend some time organizing the things you have left, and decorating your space to feel the way you want it to feel. Here’s where your innate creativity will really come in to play.
Keep only that storage items that you love and that are actually functional.
Pay attention to how you work as a key to how to organize. For example, do you choose supplies based on colour, shape or function? That’s a clue to how you should store things.
You might prefer to have different stations in your space for different activities, for example a sewing corner, a scrapbooking table, or a painting shelf
But if you mix up your different media it might be better to store things that you use together regularly in the same general area.
Have fun with this and remember to add in some decorative elements!
Now pat yourself on the back, and get ready to create!
P.S. I’m working on an online class to hold your hand through this process. Interested? Sign up to get notified when it goes live.