De-clutter your creative workspace
Welcome creativity by de-cluttering the crafting nook
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.”