by Patty Lakinsmith
My name is Patty and I am a cluttered creative. There, I admit it. It's gotten to the point where I need to have a few grown up words with this demon. My creative space, my office, my bedroom closet, my garage - where to start? There are so many targets of opportunity. Don't get me wrong - you won't be seeing me on an episode of "Hoarders" any time soon (probably never), but the ratio of stuff to space has just become a little overwhelming in our small space. My ability to create is hampered by my inability to find things on my crowded workbench, and there is no free space to start new projects. I have purchased special storage containers, and have even started using some of them, but I fall down in the regular upkeep. I am weighed down by a feeling of overwhelm.
The key, I'm told, is that once you purge your life of clutter, you make room for new things, new joy, and new experiences. Since my mantra for this year is "Release", I plan to interpret it literally and make some hard decisions. Release materials I know deep inside that I'll never use. Release clothing I should have never bought, or no longer wear. Release my mind from old ways of thinking to embrace the new. Right. Easier said than done.
And then I found Jennifer Hofmann over at the inspiredhomeoffice.com blog, and I am hopeful. Her site is aimed at creative people, and she has a ton of great, gentle advice. I clicked on the cloud tag "clutter", and found this great set of posts. I was hooked the minute I read this "Manifesto for Cluttered Creatives", and it starts like this...
I have the right to express myself
(c) Jennifer Hofmann, Inspired Home Office.com
to live my life as I see fit
to say no and mean it
to say yes with my whole being to what I love
I have the right to my own creative space
to draw a real or imaginary line around my domain and claim it for myself
to a door that closes
to absolute silence when I need it
I have the right to spread out
to interact with my ideas
to see them
to touch them
and doodle in the margins
until the ideas seep into my bones and become mine
I have a right to a sacred space
that is free from intrusions
that is free from guilt
that completely supports my spirit
that is truly sacred space
powerful as an ancient circle of standing stones...
for the rest of this wonderfully inspiring manifesto visit the inspiredhomeoffice website.
Invigorated by what I read, I attacked my closet last weekend, and I won. A small closet, and as such, a small victory, but a monumental boost for my morale. Does anyone need any hangers? Not the wire ones from the dry cleaners - those are all bundled up ready to return. I actually have free plastic, metal, and wooden hangars, and free cubby space in the closet. And floor space. And room to move hangers about on the rod. Hot damn. I've got a carload of items for Goodwill and a small pile of decent things that can actually go to the wonderful Career Closet. Yay. Baby steps, right?
My attention next turned to the guest room I use as a temporary office, and I made some headway. Two bags of shredded paper, and dwindling piles. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Now I need to go face the hydra in my studio...