A good number of creatives work well in spaces which to the casual eye look as though an art store detonated in the middle of the room. I am not one of those individuals.
It's simple enough for an artist who specializes in acrylics or oils, to spread out and allow a certain level of messiness free rein. All materials lead back to a singular purpose. It becomes problematic if one works in numerous mediums.
I'm fairly good at keeping my items organized, but over time control of my space errodes and inevitably the piles begin to grow, and then merge into a full blown shambles. My accumulation of 'stuff' not only creeps into my work area, but like a slow motion tsunami of chaos it begins to wash away my ability to make art. Stuck between the need to create & the knowledge that to do so I must first clean-up I fall into a state of frustrated inaction; not unlike a vehicle stuck in the mud, spinning its tires.
Signs that I need to reorganize my work space:
When I place an item down on a surface in my work area and can't find it a few minutes later.
Having purchased an item that I 'need' only to discover that I now own two of them.
In a large space, working on a project I turn to place a component of it aside in order to work on another part of the project, only to realize there is NOWHERE to place it.
When I reach to open a cabinet door and the pets immediately spring up from their napping positions and hastily exit the room. They have no desire to be bonked on the head by whatever will fall from the cupboard. Can't say I blame them.
All of this points to one thing: I need to set aside time and get on with decluttering.
So that is where I find myself and chose to just get started. Having deposited the contents of one section of my studio onto and around the kitchen table, I am forcing my own hand to begin sorting and editing. It's now in the family space and must be dealt with. Instead of tackling it all at one go, I've committed to spending about an hour each day sifting through the mounds of items. It isn't as daunting a task when it's broken up into digestible sections of time.
This is not the first time I've tackled a mess of my own making. Once the ball is rolling I become energized by the process and end up working longer at it than planned each day. The more progress made (whoa is that the floor?!) the more I want to keep slogging away at the job. It's at this point I'm faced with a more difficult problem...letting things go.
Hoarding is not something that is the sole province of creatives, but we are rather hardwired to compulsively collect. Many of these items are practical, others inspiring or perhaps just make us happy as we gaze upon them. There is also the odd tendancy amongst some people to not actually 'use' the higher quality materials they own because they are expensive, and therefore using them would be a waste of money. So the materials are left waiting for a perfect project or until a skillset has reached a level that is worthy of the paper or paint. As idiotic as that sounds...it's a thing.
Life is fleeting and you certainly can't take these things with you, so you're better off to avail yourself of the precious materials. One is also under no obligation to be a slave to inanimate objects. If I'm not going to use an item, it no longer inspires me or pleases the eye... then it needs to find new home. And so the sorting goes: use, give away or trash it. Repeat.
I expect to be finished this job by the middle of the month.