It’s been nearly seven years since I overhauled my studio space using the methods in Organizing from the Inside Out and I am still reaping the benefits.

Even I can hardly believe it. Often, my studio looks like a wreck. I have a tendency to spread out when working on something.

Construction zone! Fortunately, I don’t need a hard-hat.

When it’s time to change projects, I’ll spend an hour or so putting away everything that is sitting out. But I confess I have never done the “Equalize” step in Morgenstern’s SPACE system for the studio, which is supposed to enable you to not only stay organized but improve on your system over time. Instead, I’ve just added piles as more materials get added to my stashes and I’m coming to the point where I need to figure out how to integrate all the extra stuff — or throw something out.

Despite this, the underlying organization still works. My recent foray into stitch meditations has proven that I can easily lay my hands on an item in my studio when I think of it, even if it’s something I haven’t seen in ages. In fact, I’m finding stitch meditation really fun because I can use whatever pops into my head. If I decided I needed a metal key but then spent an hour looking for it, it wouldn’t be very enjoyable. In fact, I’d probably give up on doing the meditations at all.

I’ve especially appreciated the organization during my recent beading frenzy. When I organized in 2009, I took the time to sort my bead collection. Things are labeled and grouped in ways that make sense to me, so when I want to put fringe on a book, I know exactly where to look for the sort of bead I need.

All my beads, right where I can find them.
Making this fringe was fun because I could quickly find the beads I needed.

I am not a neat person. I like abundance and stink at keeping things tidy, which is why I am astonished that my studio is still organized after all these years. It reminds me that Morgenstern’s system really works, and that I should apply it to some other rooms in our house.

Does organization help or hinder your creativity?

10 thoughts on “How Organization Improves My Studio Time – Still!”

  1. I am definitely more creative when I’m organized. But when I’m in the middle of a bunch of projects, especially designing, and I haven’t figured out exactly what direction I’m headed in, trying to stay organized feels like I’m chasing the proverbial carrot!

    1. Me, too. The piles grow as I consider my options and there’s no point in cleaning up until I am done.

  2. That’s a good question… I’m trying to organize sometimes, then it’s chaos all over again. I feel like when I’m in a creative mood, I don’t want to waste time organizing. But I have moments when I don’t feel like creating, but really enjoy classifying instead. It’s difficult to find the balance, but I like finding out stuff that I completely forgot I had when browsing through my piles of chaos !

    1. Organizing really helped me discover the treasures I had forgotten about. Also, when I don’t have any ideas or feel inspired, cleaning up and organizing can give me exciting new ideas.

  3. Organization is desirable but… I waste hours gathering pages for writing/drawing projects into different piles. Fear of company or an upcoming exterminator visit is a good deadline. Looking at my past journals– it’s always the same refrain. “Need to clean and tidy the apartment.” And yet, I don’t.
    Thanks for this post.

    1. Different things work for different people. Sometimes sorting and re-reading is how I get to a new level with a writing project.

  4. Organisation definitely helps and reduces the prep time for project when you can just put your hands on everything you need. I struggle a bit through lack of space so it can be hard to organise things in a way that is visually appealing rather than just chucking it all in boxes, which makes it harder to access. Things definitely do get a bit chaotic when I’m mid-project though!

    1. My organizational system is more practical than pretty (the bead boxes are one of the few exceptions). I’d rather spend time making things than making my storage units look lovely. I also find things get messy in the middle, when I’m working on a project. I’ve got a new “5 minute clean up” rule that I’m trying to apply before I leave the studio to at least tidy up the work areas even if I don’t put everything away. It seems to be helping.

      1. That is true but I do love looking at displays of lots of coloured thread or fabrics all laid out. That’s definitely a good idea, it’s much more manageable to do it in small chunks.

      2. Having materials out when I’m in the middle of a project is a must. I need to see my options!

        I totally use the color of my materials to make things look nice: I have ribbons sorted by color hanging on the wall and thread racks and such. But I don’t paint hand-me-downs or sew curtains for my studio. That was the sort of thing I meant.

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