It started innocently enough. A neat little object here, an interesting box there. “I could use that in my art,” I thought. Over and over I thought that, until I had a studio busting at the seams with neat and interesting objects. So many in fact that they spilled off of the shelves and out of the closet. Working on any project involved a balancing act of pulling out tools and supplies while trying not to tip off an avalanche. This is no way to work and it was starting to become a deterrent to working.

I decided to practice radical downsizing. Many neat and interesting things are now in a pile headed for a yard sale. It wasn’t easy to part with some of this stuff, but once I got started I was on a roll. Throwing things out became exciting, even empowering. Heck, the cat is lucky she is not on that pile!

Visual clutter, for me anyway, becomes mental clutter. It got to the point in the studio where I couldn’t think straight, much less get motivated to make art. I knew I had hit the danger point when the studio became a place to avoid. Action was called for. Now the containers are back in their proper places, organized by size and type and neatly labeled of course. There is even, gasp!, open shelf space. The work table is still covered with paperwork that I need to sort through, but no longer will it be a storage place. I have a cabinet full of glue and paint and one full of beeswax collage supplies and tools. All the power tools are in the closet and easily accessible. Beads and sewing supplies have their spots on the shelves and the sewing machine even has its very own shelf now. All the books got moved to another room and all the old art therapy journals and articles are in the yard sale pile.

It feels great to walk in here now. I know exactly what I have and exactly where it is. I feel inspired to work now. It is a clean, well-lighted place. A room of my own. This is the pile of everything that is headed out the door. Hallelujah!


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