Thursday, June 24, 2010

Top Tips for Decluttering Your Art Studio

A friend recently purchased me a copy of Cloth Paper Scissors' Studios Magazine and I've been slowly soaking in all the art and inspiration like a sponge. My favorite part of this magazine are the decluttering tips. All artists and thrifters need these. The following is my re-adaptation of featured expert organizer Barbara Tako's tips (
Controlled chaos is stimulating for many creative people. But when chaos gets out of control and clutter starts to impede your creativity, it may be time to cut back on your stash and re-organize.  

Take Small Steps

Spend 5-10 minutes a day working on the clutter instead of cleaning in big bursts. I did this- now it'll take me a whole day of cleaning straight to get my house back in order. (Boxes....everywhere...) 

Toss the "Guilt" Items
You don't want to get rid of something because you "paid too much for it", "it was a gift", or "I might use this one day".  Shut off the voice in your head and toss the junk, you'll feel relieved when it's gone.

The 80-20 Rule
"You spend 80 percent of your time with 20 percent of your stuff. You're just storing the rest."

Form New Habits
Toss trash as soon as you see it. Wash a dish as soon as you use it. Continue to exercise your new habits and your work space won't get cluttered again.

Everything in its Place
Don't store the same stuff in multiple places. Rubber stamps go in one place, paint brushes in another. Always store your supplies in the same place- nothing ruins your flow like having to dig for a certain tube of paint or a certain type of paper. Use labels if necessary.

 I wrote about this artistic and inspired space here. Some people just see a lot of clutter but an artist might see an inviting place to work and live. Organized doesn't imply that everything is out of sight and spartan.

Group Like Things Together
Keep the stamps and their ink pads together, keep the paint brushes near the paint. Keeping things in their "collective" makes working so much easier.

Organize to Suit Yourself
How do you work? Standing up? At a desk? Sitting down? Note the rhythms of your day and your style of working, then organize accordingly. Don't imitate something you see if a magazine if it doesn't suit your style, or you'll mess up your work flow.

My favorite tip from Barbara is, "Organized doesn't mean that everything is out of sight". Sometimes having supplies displayed is inspirational and will inspire you to work while also being organized and effective.

This post is linked to: Get Your Craft on Thursdays / Somewhat simpleTransformation Thursdays / Show off Your Stuff / Hooking Up with HOH / Just a Girl / It's Party Time


  1. I can only dream about becoming this organized, even if only to get to where my place looks like that room with the big blue table. I literally have paths between stuff in my office--I'm not happy about this but just thinking about actually doing something about all my crap makes my head hurt. Cloth Paper Scissors is one of my favorite magazines (but I steer away from mags that are all about being organized since it just gets me frustrated!).

  2. I took on a massive decluttering project and haven't been in peace since. This weekend for sure, I'm buckling down and decluttering until I have a completely organized home. It's so hard for us clutter collectors!

  3. I read this and I can't wait to have a space to call my own and clutter followed by decluttering :-)I hope that my walls are eventually covered in such an artistic way as these photos above.

  4. I'm bookmarking this post! I'm in the midst of reorganizing my incredibly tiny workspace and this is so helpful. Now I'm off to find me a copy of that magazine! thanks again! -diane

  5. I love being organized! Thanks for linking up @PonyTails&FishScales!


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