Monday, October 24, 2011

Are you a cluttered creative?

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 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

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...

and this is only one fraction of the space...

Are you like me, or have you already found the secret to avoiding this kind of disaster?  Do tell...I'm with you either way in this never ending quest for simplicity, harmony, and opportunity. 


Jane Perala said...

Yep - I'm a total "clutterbug". LOL

Izzy said...

I completely reorged my workspace last week. Just couldn't take it anymore. You are not alone, my friend, you are not alone. =)

stacilouise said...

Well, since we are confessing, I too have lots of clutter. And its not that I don't like things organized, I just get behind and then get overwhelmed. I JUST last week cleaned the kids hallway and bookshelves. There were half packed diaper bags on the top of the shelves, and my youngest is 5. Yeah, talk about overdue. But it feels amazing each time you tackle a space! I too will never be on hoarders, but it piles up. My studio needs to be organized at least once a month, as I get into creative frenzy's which don't allow for clean up time. I can sooo relate!

mairedodd said...

while i will say that i don't think it is a big deal to end up with a ton of tools and such all over your workbench while attending to a piece, it becomes hard to move on to the next one when the bench is still full... i am trying very hard to put things away frequently... now, the rest of my house? we are not even unpacked... because if i am not running the kids all over the planet, i want to be working... as long as you keep taking steps, it gets done... and you are... this blog/site you shared? it is wonderful.. and the manifesto moves me - i love how the sacred space is encouraged to be protected... this is new to me... and it rings so true... thank you patty... release is beautiful because it allows so much else in...
and you know that i am smitten with einstein...

Marie Cramp said...

I think as creative people we all struggle with one disaster or another. I know it's an issue for me, but at the same time if it gets too clean I am less inspired. So the beads stay out, for me to admire and fondle, and to let me inspiration flow!

Spirited Earth said...

yikes, have you been peeping into my window? the problem with me..i get called away and don't return to properly put things back.
my eternal goal is to be organized..perhaps that is heaven

SummersStudio said...

Oh, oh, how I relate to you and the organisational issues. And my studio space is far more cluttered than yours. Not just one hydra in there.

Artisan Beads Plus said...

I wish I could be different when it comes to the way I work.... One problem.... I work until I'm exhausted and at that point.... who wants to clean it up when you are just going to go back at it again? I've accepted that is just me and it won't be changing. I can relate to the closet..... I cleaned mine too in the beginning of the summer and have worked REALLY hard to keep it that way!!! I think I've surpassed my longest duration..... progress!!!!

Regina said...

As all as we are all confessing, I am one too! I love get organized but do not stay organized, I feel that it just takes too much time to stay organized and time is precious.

Kelli said...

I think it's the artistic nature... maybe... Well, that's my argument, and I'm sticking to it!!! :) Right now, at the height of art show season, my entire house is cluttered. It's TRULY making me crazy, but it's just going to have to be that way until January (yikes!) My studio is ALWAYS cluttered. My sister bought me a handpainted sign, which proudly hangs on the wall.... I refuse to organize my life, as it interferes with my creative process... :)

Linda said...

I'm very cluttered to. I like the mantra you cited and I will go check out that website. Congrats on the progress you have made.

Jennifer Hofmann said...

I'm totally late to the party, but I juat had to thank you for writing such a lovely post about my work at Inspired Home Office and the result that it had on your space (and heart)!

I would love to offer you a free Studio Spa Day class to you and your readers if you're interested (read: unclutter without stress, guilt, or exhaustion).

Thanks again -- and happy creating!

Jennifer Hofmann

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