De-clut­ter your cre­ative workspace

Wel­come cre­ativ­ity by de-clut­ter­ing the craft­ing nook

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Jen­nifer Forker

For crafters, de-clut­ter­ing and re­think­ing a cre­ative workspace might reap ben­e­fits be­yond just find­ing the right paint­brush more quickly.

For some, it can spark cre­ativ­ity.

“It’s dif­fer­ent for ev­ery­one, but it’s su­per-psy­cho­log­i­cal,” says pro­fes­sional or­ga­nizer Fay Wolf of Los Angeles. De-clut­ter­ing “cre­ates space for the things you love and makes them ready to use at a mo­ment’s no­tice.”

“Peo­ple think struc­ture is bad, but I think rules are great. They give you this frame­work so you have con­trol,” she says.

A few years ago, Wolf set up her pi­ano key­board in a spare closet at home, and found she be­gan us­ing it more. And writ­ing mu­sic. And singing. Song­writ­ing “be­came the pri­mary cre­ative thing in my life, and all be­cause I set up the key­board. I gave it its own place,” says Wolf.

Wolf shares tips for get­ting rid of stuff, in­clud­ing art sup­plies from long-ago craft projects, in “New Or­der: A De­clut­ter­ing Hand­book for Cre­ative Folks (And Ev­ery­one Else)” (Bal­lan­tine Books, 2016). She sets up a stag­ing area with la­beled sort­ing bins, and warns against let­ting per­fec­tion­ism pre­vent progress.

“What plagues many of us is the ‘wait­ing for the per­fect mo­ment,’” which leads to do­ing noth­ing, Wolf says in her book. “Ditch the ex­cuses and start with any amount of time.”

Wolf rec­om­mends us­ing a timer, which many cell phones have. Set it for 20 min­utes; you’ll be amazed what you can ac­com­plish in that small amount of fo­cused time, she says.

“You have to be OK tak­ing small steps and know­ing that’s the only way to do it,” she says, adding that it might take five such ses­sions be­fore a craft­ing room starts to change.

Darcy Miller, editor at large for “Martha Ste­wart Wed­dings,” main­tains an im­pec­ca­bly or­ga­nized crafts room in her New York City home — un­til she doesn’t. Ev­ery­thing has its place: Pens are or­ga­nized by type in glass jars on her work­table, and draw­ers are filled with tiny con­tain­ers hold­ing ev­ery­thing from color-coded pa­per­clips to washi tape. But when she’s in the midst of a project, the room gets di­sheveled.

“If you could see what it looks like right now .” Miller said re­cently, shortly af­ter host­ing a daugh­ter’s craft­ing birth­day party. Miller is the au­thor of the new “Cel­e­brate Ev­ery­thing” (HarperCollins).

Cleanup is eas­ier be­cause of her or­ga­ni­za­tional sys­tem, which puts fre­quently used items in clear, lid­ded boxes close at hand, and messy, bulkier sup­plies in gray, lid­ded boxes tucked


In this un­dated photo pro­vided by Darcy Miller, Miller, editor at large for “Martha Ste­wart Wed­dings,” is joined by her three daugh­ters in their New York City home’s craft­ing room, which is cov­ered in wall-towall cork for pin­ning up in­spi­ra­tional and project im­ages. Be­cause ev­ery­thing has its place, clean­ing up af­ter an art project is eas­ier. “It’s so much bet­ter to clean it up and put it back be­cause then you know where things are be­fore you start the next thing,” says Miller. “You can use your space more ef­fi­ciently.”

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