Monday, October 24, 2011

Are you a cluttered creative?

Enjoy this mirror of my Tuesday post for the Love My Art Jewelry blog, and have yourself a wonderful, harmonious day.


My name is Patty and I am a cluttered creative.  It's gotten to the point where I need to have a few grown up words with this demon.  My creative space, my office, my bedroom closet, my garage - where to start?  There are so many targets of opportunity.  Don't get me wrong - you won't be seeing me on an episode of "Hoarders" any time soon (probably never), but the ratio of stuff to space has just become a little overwhelming in our small space.  My ability to create is hampered by my inability to find things on my crowded workbench, and there is no free space to start new projects.  I have purchased special storage containers, and have even started using some of them, but I fall down in the regular upkeep.  I am weighed down by a feeling of overwhelm.

The key, I'm told, is that once you purge your life of clutter, you make room for new things, new joy, and new experiences.  Since my mantra for this year is "Release", I plan to interpret it literally and make some hard decisions.  Release materials I know deep inside that I'll never use.  Release clothing I should have never bought, or no longer wear.  Release my mind from old ways of thinking to embrace the new.  Right.  Easier said than done.

And then I found Jennifer Hofmann over at the inspiredhomeoffice.com blog, and I am hopeful.  Her site is aimed at creative people, and she has a ton of great, gentle advice.  I clicked on the cloud tag "clutter", and found this great set of posts.  I was hooked the minute I read this "Manifesto for Cluttered Creatives", and it starts like this...
I have the right to express myself 
(c) Jennifer Hofmann, Inspired Home Office.com

to live my life as I see fit
to say no and mean it
to say yes with my whole being to what I love

I have the right to my own creative space
to draw a real or imaginary line around my domain and claim it for myself
to a door that closes
to absolute silence when I need it

I have the right to spread out
to interact with my ideas
to see them
to touch them
and doodle in the margins
until the ideas seep into my bones and become mine

I have a right to a sacred space
that is free from intrusions
that is free from guilt
that completely supports my spirit
that is truly sacred space
powerful as an ancient circle of standing stones...

for the rest of this wonderfully inspiring manifesto visit the inspiredhomeoffice website.

Invigorated by what I read, I attacked my closet last weekend, and I won.  A small closet, and as such, a small victory, but a monumental boost for my morale.  Does anyone need any hangers?  Not the wire ones from the dry cleaners - those are all bundled up ready to return.  I actually have free plastic, metal, and wooden hangars, and free cubby space in the closet.  And floor space.  And room to move hangers about on the rod.  Hot damn.  I've got a carload of items for Goodwill and a small pile of decent things that can actually go to the wonderful Career Closet.  Yay.  Baby steps, right?

My attention next turned to the guest room I use as a temporary office, and I made some headway.  Two bags of shredded paper, and dwindling piles. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now I need to go face the hydra in my studio...

and this is only one fraction of the space...

Are you like me, or have you already found the secret to avoiding this kind of disaster?  Do tell...I'm with you either way in this never ending quest for simplicity, harmony, and opportunity. 

10 comments:

susanlambert said...

Great post! the same issue here, although I work and work at making it 'less'.
I read _The Joy of Less_ and that was helpful. It talks about working through your home, drawer by drawer. Your post reminded me to get the book out and do some more 'cleansing'. However, I haven't even thought about cleaning my studio space. That's all 'good stuff' LOL!

Lori G. said...

What a GREAT feeling! I've recently read the book Clutter Busting and it changed my life. A simple mantra follows me around...Do I really need this or not? I have passed up every single yard sale since I read that book and I used to go to them just for fun (always picking something up).

Clutter Busting gets to the root of clutter and how to rid yourself of it...not just teaching you how to organize it.

Best of luck!

Patty said...

Thanks for the book recommendation, Lori. Part of my own challenge is keeping things organized too, and doing that little cleanup periodically. But you're right, the best way to keep it in check is to prevent it from ever getting to your house.

Patty said...

Susan, my main problem is the studio, since after all, we need STUFF to fuel our creative work, right? I'll have to check that book out. I just saw a forwarded email about a guy who creates incredible art by using a paintbrush to manipulate dirt on unwashed car windshields - it was amazing. I hope my art doesn't have to come to that in this battle! ;-)

TesoriTrovati said...

'cluttered creative'
well, now I am so glad that I have a name for this affliction! I fear that my clutter is going to engulf me soon. So many projects, most unfinished becasue I can't get out of the rut, nor find exactly what I am looking for. I really need an intervention! Thanks for this great post. I am with you! Let's start that support group!
Enjoy the day!
Erin

Laura Twiford said...

I am in good company I feel. You have put words to what I have been feeling for a long time but can't seem to change! I have done the whole cleanout and purge thing in the past, took an entire suburban load of things to shelters but it only made room for me to buy more stuff! And with every new technique or art avenue I follow it requires yet more new tools and supplies and I'm not willing to part with the old because I might need them someday! LOL, I'm hopeless. But in my defense, I remember my grandparents saying either " don't throw it away you can always use it for something" or ' I wish i had kept (fill in the blank here). So maybe we are not only cltter creatives, maybe we are uber prepared !

Patty said...

Laura, I completely understand the frugality aspects, both from an economic viewpoint, as well as a sustainability one. The thought of sending anything more to our already overcrowded landfills gives me great pain, but so does the thought of having to find a new, appreciative home for every single thing I'd like to purge.

Sharon Driscoll said...

Hi Patty - I did the closets last year. LOL - Now I wear the clothes I wash off the dresser...pitiful. I have creative clutter that grows like dust bunnies and travels to TV tables when I run out of room. I'll join any support group for creative control. Not being able to find what you need on your bench is called "bench blindness". HA - who'd of thought they had a word for it. Thanks for the web site recommendation - I'm on my way over there now and LOVE the manifesto.

Snowcatcher said...

This was SO good! Yes, I'm cluttered, and I'm also crowded. But I'm creative, too. So I'm slowly making my way through the stashes...

Teresa said...

Oh boy, I seem to have a problem, no matter how often I clean up my bench and tables, I seem to always end up with about 6"x6" of cleared space to work in. I'm often inspired by things I find amongst the "stuff". Sounds like I'm rationalizing, even to me... I love your blog, you've introduced me to a couple of my favorites, the civil wars and blogess--LOVE them, thanks!

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