Clearing the Desk: My Creative Space Reorganised

We moved into our house 2 years ago. I unpacked my room and have never had it quite right. The furniture from the old room didn’t work the same, I always seemed to be tripping over things, I could never keep the floor clear, but I had more storage! A giant built in robe and a brand new stand up desk with shelves AND a big cube bookcase.

Turns out the problem was TOO MUCH STORAGE. I had culled supplies you see, but not the storage furniture that held it. It was very very hard to let go of that storage. It’s so USEFUL! I might NEED it!

I should have taken “before” photos, but I didn’t. But I made a video explaining the main organising tricks I used to get the chaos under control.

Summary of tips:

  • Create a hierarchy of accessibility: Put things you use often closer to your work area and within easy reach. Spare supplies and things I don’t use are in less accessible places. Colouring mediums (paints, pencils, pastels, gelatos) are all near my desk and on one shelf.
  • Create safe resting places: When I first started monoprinting (with a gelatine plate), the most frustrating thing was getting paint on things I didn’t want paint on because I had to put the prints somewhere to dry. I also have a feline companion who likes to “inspect” artwork while it is still wet. A string run from one side of the room to the other, a few paper clips and bulldog clips, and I have a handy dandy drying line for the prints to hang from safely. I also hang my stencils to dry after I have washed them.
  • Make stuff easy to put away: Personally I like the ‘toss and go’ method, so open containers are my preference. I also love my plastic drawers that come all the way out.
  • Don’t make it too complicated: Do flowers really need to to sorted by colour AND type? I have two flower categories: flat and dimensional. Buttons all go into the button jar (well button jarS if I’m honest).
  • Visibility is key: The old “out of Sight, Out of Mind” problem. I used to have a very organised scrap paper file. The paper went into its neatly labelled colour category… and never came out again. Now I have a large basket and everything goes in together. When it gets full, I empty some of it out and donate it to the local child care centre.
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