A few days ago, I realized I was going to come completely unglued if I did not do a little organizing in my studio! I started with the first logical step – DESTRUCTION! I think I have a talent for it. 😉
In truth, I started with thinking about how I use my space and the things I keep in my space. I took a good hard look at things that had been sitting untouched and then I mercilessly trimmed everything that had outlived its usefulness. I have to admit, this took a little soul searching – I started out as a paper artist and have collected mountains of scrapbook of paper and related stuff over the years. In my destruction, I realized how rarely I go to those stacks these days – I’m drawn more and more to my own hand-printed papers or “found” papers. While I LOVE those beautiful stacks of scrapbooky goodness, I’m not actually using any of it – so it has to go! Okay, I’m not ready for it to GO go, but it’s at least been relegated to storage outside my studio.
Other things are not going to be so lucky! I’m a habitual rubber stamp buyer (user, not-so-much) and had accumulated drawers and baskets FULL of both the wooden and cling kind – many of which I had never used or, at best, used only once. I trimmed 4 baskets and 3 flat file drawers full of stamps down to 2 baskets and 1 flat file drawer! I may trim further, but I’m calling that a very good start. Same with paint – I hadn’t touched any of my two drawers full of craft paint in months, as I’m leaning more towards artist grade paints, so they are gone! Actually, if you have a resource that needs supplies of this nature, please let me know. My discards are currently cluttering up another room until I can be sure they are going to someone who will truly use them!
Once I’d cleared out the things I don’t use, I took a careful look at how I use my space. Monoprinting has become a central activity over the last year, so I made sure everything I need for that task is within easy reach of my work table (printing plates in a flat file drawer to my right, paints in a bin to my left). I printed a bit last night and it was heaven! AND, wonder of wonders, I did not wreck the studio in the process! I realize having the things I need close at hand and organized makes it significantly easier to actually maintain order!
Another big thing I looked at was wasted space. I had a tower of drawers I purchased at a hobby store that were about 5-6″ deep and I realized, for the most part, the top half of those drawers was wasted since many of the items I store take up only about half that depth (pens, stamp pads, little pots of paint, etc.), so I took out all but a few of those hobby store drawers (kept 3 for taller items – placed where my stack of scrapbook paper used to live!) and replaced the whole thing with a cabinet full of shallower drawers – literally doubling the amount of storage without taking up any more space!
I still have more to do, but feel so much clarity from this little bit. Joseph Stalin is credited with saying “We must destroy in order to create” and, in this case, it couldn’t be more true – only, now, I’m thinking I’ll have a little better luck creating withOUT destroying. Such a relief!!