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Creativity and the Space You’re In

I've had this idea for a while. But I did the thing I'm always telling students and clients to avoid--I thought it had to be perfect before I did anything with it. So what's the thing? It's how our physical surroundings affect everything in our lives including our creativity.

I'm pretty sure I've touched on this in a few other posts, but I want to dive into this topic while also diving in to making my spaces someplace where I want to spend time. I took studio "before" pictures in the spring (I'll share those in another post) when I decided I really want to make doing this work A Thing. And then I thought I had to figure out how to do it all and organize and clean it all and get it all organized and beautiful and worthy of a full set of Instagram photos.

That's not how big projects like this work, especially not when you're trying to reset a lifetime of habits and thought patterns. Which I am trying to do because I've always been messy. It's just that when I was a kid (and by that I mean all the way through college), a couple of times a year my cousins would come over, and we'd have a huge cleaning day. They would keep me from getting too sidetracked by all the cool things I'd find that I'd forgotten about. My play room or bedroom would get cleaned and look and feel wonderful, and then my mom would feed us dinner or take us out to eat.

My cousins live 2,200 miles away now. And I live with another messy person (who is worse than I am if I do say so myself!). And I'm in dire straits. And the messy (sometimes downright dirty!) spaces around me have been affecting everything in my life for years now. But I kept trying to make cleaning and decluttering and organizing secondary. Okay, probably tertiary. Definitely not enough of a priority. I have been avoiding admitting to myself that not having spaces I love to be in, being surrounded by mess and squalor, is keeping me stuck. I'm not getting anything done because I don't like to look up, look around me, take in my surroundings. And I can't find my things when I want to do a project. It's a mess all around.

In case you're wondering, I'm not telling you this because I want sympathy. I am telling you this because I want to make big changes, and I do best when I know I have an audience checking on my progress. I'm going to launch a creative cleanup project, and I'm going to blog about it, and I"m wondering if anyone wants to do this, too? Company to share goals and successes with and get cheers and support from is a great way to do something like this. So, anyone want to get in on this making our spaces better thing?

Drop me a note in the comments or over on my Facebook page and let's create the spaces we deserve to live in. We can do this, and I think we can do it better together.


10 thoughts on “Creativity and the Space You’re In

    1. Kim

      LOL! And I picked the not-quite-the-worst photos to share. I think we are not the only ones who need to give this attention.

  1. Betty Kay Price

    I am in the same situation. It is terrible to have to take 2 to 3 days to clean up enough to start something new. My house is horrible and my art studio is ugh! This situation causes overwhelm.

    1. Kim

      It really does! It causes overwhelm and so much stress, and it's really hard to get out of. I will be writing more about some ideas I have right now. I hope we can all share ideas to help each other move forward on this. Hang in there!

  2. Nolwenn

    I can't wait to read more about how you're doing in this project.
    I hate tidying and cleaning... but I love how it makes me feel once accomplished. So I guess that I usually try to focus on the endgame to make it more bareable. This is one of the things I try to work on. I see something misplaced or dirty, clean it the moment I notice it instead of telling myself it can wait.
    You got this <3

    1. Kim

      I think taking care of things right away is a great habit to build! I am working on it. It's hard, because I have so much stuff that's just everywhere with no clear place for it to go, so I give up. But if we keep trying and keep doing things, I know we can make progress!

  3. Lisa Andruszkow

    I like to organize for others, but not so much for myself. I feel more at home in my chaotic mess, it's like I know more where my things our when there is a mess rather then all my ducks are in a neat row.
    But sometimes that chaos keeps me from my projects because I can't even find my art table. As was the case recently because I kept dumping things on the table until I had no place to even work.
    It isn't perfect, but I do have a workable space on it now.
    One thing I want to do in my cave though, is have designated spaces. Places for my art supplies. A separate space for my writing stuff. All my crochet stuff in one place. Instead of everything stuffed where ever I find a free spot. Goals 🙂

    1. Kim

      I think we all have to figure out how to organize for ourselves. The Marie Kondo style is not for everyone (not for me!). So all your crochet stuff together sounds like a thing you want, but perhaps you want it in open bins or just on shelves where you can see it? I also like to be able to see my things and reach out and touch them, so perhaps we are not super tidy, everything hidden away organizer types.

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