Reclaiming My Creative Space: De-Cluttering

I participate in a wonderful online creativity group called Coach Creative Space (check it out: CoachCreativeSpace). My most recent inspiration to evolve from a group thread was to de-clutter my work space. Sharing in this journey with fellow creatives was motivating, especially learning that I’m not alone in how clutter can suddenly take over a space and deplete your creative energy and drive. After two weeks of serious de-cluttering, culminating in too-many-to-count bags of trash and a total of 6 donation boxes later, my space has emerged as an open, inspiring place for me to be…and most importantly, to CREATE!

I humbly share what lessons I’ve learned and my progress in the blog realm with you now, cringing as I show you my before pics–yet happy to share my “afters” right along side. I also look forward to sharing–every now and then–my creative space as it looks in use while continuing with assemblage and paintings—deeming it a proper studio space as intended 😉

Work space before and after.

Work space before and after. Months of procrastination and collecting of boxes coming from other rooms, thrifting, and welcomed material from friends and family eventually shrunk my space down to a path and a computer-width space for work–forget any art! It also helped to push the table in foreground back against the wall. 

My desk space before and after.

My desk space before and after. I love having a place for writing and a place for art, including space for my new easel (not pictured)!



A couple of things I learned during this cathartic process:

1) I held on to much-too-many “things” believing I would some day use them in a future piece. I’ve heard this is a common problem for artists (material hoarding), so I sort of take it as a compliment LOL But for now, if something doesn’t come IMMEDIATELY to mind, I’m NOT keeping it. I have had two opportunities to implement this new way of clutter-free thinking (successfully!).

2) Learn to say, “no thank you.” Saying no to materials, especially found object goodies is HARD! But I refer to my lesson learned in number 1…if I don’t have a piece for it now, I’m not storing it for later, to be forgotten, hidden under other forgotten things. I just don’t have that kind of space in my room or my head anymore 🙂

3) Don’t keep art supplies of stuff you’re not currently creating! I had tons of “stuff” I kept for other things to make (like embroidery thread for example). I don’t do embroidery. I wrap sage bundles with it every once in a blue moon…donate! Don’t keep those cool looking raffia bundles, or that neat rubber trim stuff that’s bulky. Donate! Why store old paint supplies under piles of creativity-killing clutter?

I would love to hear your de-cluttering successes and input. Please share your “de-cluttering” experiences 🙂

This entry was published on January 27, 2014 at 4:33 PM. It’s filed under Other and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Reclaiming My Creative Space: De-Cluttering

  1. Day and Night! I am inspired to work on my creative space…..hundreds of quilt ideas are swirling around in my mind, but my work space is even worse than your “before”. I barely have a six inch path cleared to the bathroom! As for creating, every space is filled….no open place or free workspace….I have to admit, I’m a hoarder! And before I end up on that TV show, I’m going to liberate myself and my space! Thank YOU!!!!


    • Thank you! Yay! I completely relate in that I had so many ideas in my head lately and no space to create, I found my previously tolerated “controlled chaos” transformed into detested piles of clutter. I am right there with you, and I can’t wait to see your beautiful quilts come to life again!


  2. Fantastic before & after! Clear, clean, open space feels so wonderful! Here’s a post I wrote about my de-cluttering experiences … my issue has always been paper clutter. Now it’s night & day from what it used to be.

    I find SoulCollage really motivates me to clear out and share my old magazines! Btw, I mentioned awhile back that I hadn’t found images for my Soul Essence card–that I knew of. Well, I think I actually had found & saved the primary image. Now I just need to make the card–I have a couple I want to make right now 🙂


    • Heather, thank you, it sure does feel wonderful! And thank you for sharing your blog link, it is a wonderful post on de-cluttering, including some very helpful pointers for tackling clutter AND staying clutter-free!

      You’re right, SoulCollage is a GREAT resource for clearing out old magazines, as a Facilitator I love getting any magazine donations too! I am excited for you (re)discovering your SoulEssence main image, it is such a good moment to feel the components for a card come together, like a completing a puzzle with the final puzzle piece.

      Keep us posted!


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