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On Friday, I wrote a blog post about the small changes I've started making in my environment, working to make welcoming, creative spaces for myself.  Over the weekend, I actually completed one of those spaces!

I took my very cluttered, dirty, disorganized bedside cubes and turned them into a space for my books on creativity, other inspirational books, my journal, and a pretty vase full of flowers.  I also completey forgot to take a before picture, and the difference is incredible so I actually regret not having one.  But this is my new, bedside creative space:

Bedside

I'll probably swap out the print above it at some point, but I'm always inspired by Amy Brown's art so this seemed like a good piece to have there for the moment.  I'm going to be adding in some art journaling materials, at least my cute container full of colorful markers and a glue stick.  I've left myself some space to add things I find that I want nearby.

I tried having all of my creative supplies upstairs in my actual studio, but I can't resist the pull of working in my bed (much to my boyfriend's dismay, especially if he's away for a weekend, because I tend to pile things up on his side!).  I have done most of my reading, writing, homework, everything while sitting on my bed since I was a little girl.  I finally realized that this is how I do things.  Putting everything up in my studio with no place for it to live next to my bed just means that I'll bring down what I want to work on and then pile it up around the bed because I don't have a good spot for it.  It makes more sense to make space for the things I want to have near me.

A view of some of the books and things in the cubbies.
A view of some of the books and things in the cubbies.

I'm feeling very accomplished and satisfied by the weekend's work.  And it was a lot more work than I imagined clearing out a relatively small space would be.  There are books, papers, and journals stacked along the wall halfway up the staircase.  I have no idea how all of that stuff fit in those cubbies!

And, as you can see, I celebrated my accomplishment with some fresh flowers.

Spring Celebration FlowersMy next move is some journaling and contemplation to see what part of this ongoing project calls to me next.  I'll keep you posted.  And I'll try to remember those before pictures next time.

Is anyone else working on their creative spaces and clearing the clutter?  I'd love to hear your stories!

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Over the past couple of years, both here and in the newsletter, I've touched on the idea that your physical space and your mental space reflect one another.  And about how you need proper space that feels good to you to do your creative work.  I've briefly brushed up against ideas about clearing clutter, organizing, creating welcoming creative space.  But I've approached this at a distance.  I haven't really been living it at all.  I know it's important, but I haven't been able to really devote myself to it before now.

This week, though, I knew it was time to step into this and make it real.  I've been thinking about it, planning about it, even doing a little work, but for the most part it was all abstract.  This week, I have been bombarded with mentions of decluttering, organizing, etc.  And several of them were in relation to creativity.  If that's not a message from the universe, I don't know what is!  And I know that my emotions and creativity and thought processes all work better when I have even a slightly cleaner, clearer, nicer space to be in.  Imagine what my brain could do if I gave myself a really great space to be in!

I want clean and orderly things around me to open the way to the bright, shiny freedom I see here.
I want clean and orderly things around me to open the way to the bright, shiny freedom I see here.

I declare that I am reclaiming my spaces and making welcoming creative places for myself and my work to flourish!

There.  That's what this is all about.  I'm not going to promise a particular schedule for these blog posts (check under the category "creative space" or the tag "reclaiming" if you want to see more of them when they're done).  But I am going to actually do the work and write about it here.

I'm a little (a lot) nervous about this.  I don't know for sure that this is something I can do, this cleaning and organizing and creating a beautiful space for myself.  There are two of us in our house, and we both make incredible messes.  We are creatives, we are makers, we are busy, and we are naturally slobbish.  You don't want to know what this does to the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies of our house.  Or even the not-really-hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. So I don't know exactly how to do all of this.

I do know this: I am not following any particular plan or organizational/cleaning system or anything like that.  For the longest time (years I'm embarrassed to admit) I would make plans about where to start and what order to clean things in, etc.  And it never happened.  A little cleaning would happen, but it's barely been enough to make a dent.  Now I am following my gut.  And that seems like it might work out, actually.

Last week I felt a pull to clear out the bottom of the linen cabinet, so I did that.  The week before that I cleaned out a massive pile of clothes and magazines and papers that was piled behind the bedroom door making it impossible to completely open it.  Yesterday, after a week or so of having an idea of how I wanted my bedside table to function, I started clearing it out (it's actually two of those stackable cube thingies, so it's four cubes with space under each unit for more storage of stuff that sits on the floor).  In the space of two weeks now, I have made visible changes in my environment.  This is better than I've done in a long time, so I think this "follow my intuition" plan might be the thing.

Anyone else looking to clean and organize and create the space they want to live in?  I'd love company and conversation about it!

Photos:  I know everyone loves before and after pics.  I will post pictures of areas when they are done.  I can't bring myself to post the before pictures.  I promise I will take some so that someday, if I'm feeling feisty and braver, maybe you'll get to see them.  But not right away.

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