Saturday, May 22, 2010

My Studio Before Photos and Things to Think About as you Deal with Clutter

This is so embarrassing to share with you, but it shows what can happen when you aren't somewhat organized. Being organized doesn't have to be putting everything behind closed doors and having a sterile, uninspiring studio. I have heard that if it is too neat and organized it is not a creative environment. I like to call my ideas 'organized clutter'. It took me awhile to get to the point I'm at as you will plainly see in these photos.

This first photo is my 'new' bead shelf in my old studio/office which was a 10' x 10' bedroom. Before I had these shallow shelves built, all of these beads were stored baby food jars in boxes or in plastic bags in drawers. I really had no clue what I had in the way of bead supplies. When I began to pull them out and place them on shelves I was shocked! How would I ever live long enough to use up all these beads?

As you can barely see, the bead shelf was behind my sewing machine. Whenever I wanted to use my sewing machine I had to pull it away from the wall to open the cabinet (after I took off the bead overflow). I also had to close my sewing machine to open the closet door.

Above and below are photos of the small area where I did my beading. My drawers were jammed, the floor was stacked with overflow, the closet was bursting. My workspace was basically a board propped over two bedside tables. The more supplies I pulled out to work with as I was inspired, the smaller my actual beading area. This is clutter, but is not conducive to creativity. It was more like frustration. Another problem I had with this area was poor lighting, even with my lamp. I may talk more about lighting in a later post. For now, lets focus on all that stuff.

I have a bad habit of stacking things on the be put away later because it was such a chore to put things back where they belong. Even the beads that didn't fit on my shelf were in plastic boxes that were stacked. Now, where did I put that?

I even had things stacked on top of my filing cabinet. As you have maybe surmised by now, I am bad about throwing things out that 'I might need for something later'. Unattractive plastic drawers...a good place to stash stuff.

I have more photos, but I think you get the picture. Clutter does not feed creativity unless it is organized clutter. Everyone is different and works differently. Some are more creative if they can see what they have and easily get to it. I fall into that category. Others want everything hidden away until they need it. And yes, there are probably some that would love working in utter chaos.

This bedroom was too small to accommodate everything I was trying to do in the room. It's functions were beading, sewing, painting, computer work, storage for reference materials. If you are in this situation and don't have an alternative, I urge you to downsize. I know, I know..."Get rid of my stuff???" I am the same way! Some good questions to ask yourself are:

(1) What art/crafts do I really want to pursue? Do I want to decoupage that paper onto that clay pot or is it just that I can...someday? If I do, then what will I do with it? Is your passion painting? scrapbooking? sewing? beading? The answer to this will help give you focus.

(2) Should I get rid of this or hang on to it? To answer this, ask yourself the following: Do I love it? Is it expensive to replace? Will I really ever use it? Is it easily replaced if a time were to come that I actually had use for it? (p.s. clay pots are pretty inexpensive) Does it fit into the criteria of the art/craft I really want to pursue? If I don't get rid of it will I have a place to keep it or will it get in my way and annoy me?

(3) How should I get rid of this? Give it away and let someone else find a place for it or use it, throw it away and be rid of it, or donate it to a school, scouting group, senior citizen center or some other worthy group that could use it.

How do you like to work? Have you found yourself in this frustrating situation and just thrown everything down and walked away, closing the door tightly behind you, because you couldn't find what you needed? What sort of problems do you face with your studio or work space? Have you found a solution? If so, please share with the rest of us.

In a near future blog I will share some photos as I moved into my new space and some of the issues I faced. I am certainly no trained expert at this, but I do love finding solutions to storage problems and, as you can see, have been at that place where I just can't take it anymore!


Jane said...

Hi Connie,
Thanks for stopping by my blog and your nice comment about my lace organization. I'm really trying to get my studio space organized but I'm running out of room!
I've signed up to follow because I would love any and all ideas for organizing!
Have a great day.

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

Hi Jane! I enjoyed looking through your wonderful blog. I loved your idea for lace storage. I hope you can find some helpful ideas on my blog. Thank you for signing up to follow! Regards, Connie