So, January's nearly over, and my daunting art studio organization project is nearly done. Next week, I'll do the dramatic "reveal" of my new space, and in the mean time, I thought I'd share some of the tricks I've used to get there. I've gleaned many of the ideas from books and Pinterest, and some I even came up with all by myself.
Cutting Through the Clutter
This idea from Kathi Lipp's book The Get Yourself Organized Project helped me feel less overwhelmed as I approached the chaos in my art studio. Lipp suggests that, when you begin to clean up and organize a room, you have ready three boxes and two bags. In Box 1 you place anything lying around that needs to be put away within the room. In Box 2, you place the things that belong in other rooms of the house. Box 3 is for the things you want to give away. The two bags are for garbage and recycling.
In the photo, you can see my three boxes. Using this little system cleared the clutter so that I could focus on organizing my space. After all, what's the point of putting things away if you don't know where you're going to put them? The three boxes also kept me on task. Instead of getting side-tracked by putting things away in other parts of the house, I just put them in my "other rooms" box to deal with later.
Scrap Paper Organization
I have a lot of scrap paper, and keeping it organized has always raised my blood pressure. I never know where to put it, and more so, I don't know how to find the pieces I want to use when I need them.
I came up with this idea, and I'll see how it works: I sorted all the scrap paper by colour, assigned each colour a binder, and organized the paper in each binder with page protectors. The page protectors help me organize the scraps into similar sizes and shapes - as you can see below - so that I can find exactly what I need when I'm working on cards and art.
I adhered coloured stickers to each binder's spine so that I can easily pull the binder I need off the shelf when I want to use some paper or put it away. As you might have guessed, the white binder stores white and off-white papers. The binders are within easy reach of my art desk to accommodate my laziness.
Mmmm . . . Wine Boxes
Herding the Hoard of Ribbon Scraps
Like scrap paper, I have a lot of ribbon scraps. They have sat overflowing in a plastic container in a tangled mess that looks like a bowl of spaghetti. To start sorting this out, I untangled and unknotted the ribbon spaghetti, and sorted it into different types, like fabric, wired, gift-wrapping ribbon, string, etc. I had an empty small storage unit with fabric boxes and figured this would be great for keeping the ribbon organized.
I wrapped long pieces of ribbon around toilet paper rolls, fastening them with tape. I had some sections of narrow cardboard tube (no idea where I got them), and they were perfect for wrapping short pieces of gift-wrapping ribbon. Short pieces of fabric ribbon got wrapped around clothespins, an idea snagged from Pinterest.
It took a while to do all this, but now that it's done, I think it will be pretty simple to prevent ribbon spaghetti in the future.
Organization for Lazy People
I will be the first to admit that I am bad at putting things away. If something can't be put away quickly, I put it off. There. I said it.
So rather than fight it, I am arranging things in my studio to accommodate my laziness. One way of doing this is to employ what I will call the piggy bank tactic. When I'm sorting out my upcycled materials, I find it tedious to pull containers off shelves and open lids to put things away. I realize how ridiculous that sounds. Nevertheless, I thought I would make life easier for myself by cutting slots into the lids of containers so that I can just drop items into their proper places, like putting coins in a piggy bank.
Over the next few months as I work away in my studio, these organization ideas will be put to the test. I have high hopes that they'll help me stay organized and make my work easier.
Jane Hogeterp Koopman
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