Clearing the Way…

I like to imagine my clutter is comparative to how my life is, the less clutter I have, the more room I have to be open to possibilities.

So, while my studio is not in need of cleaning, I am all about de-cluttering…all about creating space for the things I want in my life: new projects, new art, and loads of  creativity.

In the last couple of months, the de-cluttering bug has hit my studio. I decided to get rid of stuff, in which I stored paint and all manner of odds and ends, that were falling apart and replace them with sturdier pieces.

Granted, there’s only so much I can do in my studio, because of space limitations. Reorganization of clutter can just as a wonderful experience as moving to a new studio! The changes I’ve made, already feel, more open and inspiring. I rearranged the furniture, along with my books for inspiration and the rearrangement of my wall collection. Changes as simple as that make such a difference. I’m totally enjoying my space again.


Above you can see part of my books, my desk, and my inspiration area.

I’ve done a lot of clutter clearing in my office/studio space and it’s felt fabulous to unload so much. It’s amazing to me how much clearing my physical space clears my mental space as well.

A few months ago, I spent a couple weeks doing thirty minutes of clutter clearing every day. That worked well for awhile, but after a couple of weeks, I was ready for a break. The major advantage of doing clutter clearing regularly every day, is that it takes the planning out of it. I just knew that every day, I was going to spend a half-hour doing this clutter clearing business and then it would be over.

Working in small chunks of time is good. Planning a specific time is also good, although for me it doesn’t always work. But at the rate I was going, even with this small space, did I want to be doing this for weeks? The other thing I noticed was that I was avoiding a couple areas.

One of those spots was around and under my studio desks. (In my studio space, I have two desks. One for sketching, cutting paper, idea layouts, writing and art unrelated to painting. The other desk is for painting, collaging, anything wet.)

This area was out of control and it was growing. The dust balls, yoga mat and yoga blocks, some old storage containers, bags of reference materials….did I mention the dust balls, I don’t have dust bunnies, mine are more like the tumbleweed you see blowing across the desert! All of this around me and under my desks.

Doesn’t seem like a big deal perhaps, the junk was under my desk and out of sight, but it was weighing on me. I knew it was there and it was also expanding to the point where I couldn’t put my feet under my desks.  At the rate it was going, I was building a storage facility around me (think hoarding)!

The question, I asked myself during this process was “Does this support who I am and where I’m going?” Asking this sort of question helped make it so much more clear and easy to get rid of the stuff that I’ve been unsure about what to do with.

It was when I started questioning myself and getting answers that prompted me to another level of de-cluttering.  I spent an entire day cleaning out the space under my desks and around my room divider, getting rid of some crap behind my utility shelving and clearing off my inspiration board. And lo and behold, I immediately felt a sense of openness (physically and emotionally)! During that day of intense cleaning I realized that I used my sense of planning and time to procrastinate more.

So, what does this have to do with art, inspiration or creativity?

Well, clearing space helps make room for new things to bloom and develop, whether in your business, in your mind, your life or in your art. Physical space relates so much to our mental space. I find this happens with selling my art too.  I simultaneously love helping to brighten someone else’s space with art and when I move art out of my space, it helps make room for new art to be created. It has something to do with flow, keeping things moving, feeling expansiveness, openness, and room for possibility.

Are you finding creative ways to stall and procrastinate? When you look around your creative space, do you see things that do not support you in you and your creativity? Try removing (tossing, storing, giving away) just a few things and see how it makes you feel. What might it open up for you? 

  1. I so need a good long day just to reorganize my studio. I often change it around to create new energy. I love how it is set up, so I need just good old fashioned cleaning to fuel my creativity.

    Comment by colleen attara — December 10, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

  2. Colleen, I hear ya! :) Maybe thinking of it as a way to bring a fresh start to the new year, might set a little flame of energy for you! I just love seeing your studio photos! :)

    Comment by indigene1 — December 11, 2012 @ 12:10 am

  3. ..the wisdom here is so think that you could cut it with a craft knife!…I love your reflections about physical and mental space.
    I love that you mentioned that yes, you were avoiding certain "tricky" areas. Gee, I don't do that *insert eye roll*
    The value of a clean space is stunning, isn't it? it's loike our left brain always KNEW that, but we had to experience it first hand, wander into our own personal Valley of Stuff.
    You are a virtual Font of Smarts and I love the way that you think out loud on the page.

    Comment by Lisa Hoffman — December 10, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

  4. LIsa, you always make me laugh out loud! We are too much alike. :) I'm starting to believe that my left brain, has to trick my right brain into sensibility at times…I find that I'm still learning to find new ways to procrastinate, when the old ways get found out, LOL! I can only imagine what my Grlmlette has me set up for in 2013! Thanks for stopping by. :) :)

    Comment by indigene1 — December 11, 2012 @ 12:14 am

  5. I LOVE the feeling of cleaning my art area. I also tend to work in little chunks over time as it feels good to get a little done daily. I love seeing peeks of your studio! Thanks for sharing!!

    Comment by Kelly — December 11, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

  6. Kelly, I try to clean after every art session, because doing a little a day, feels futile to me right now, since I know this can turn into procrastination for me, too! What I should have taken pictures of was underneath the desks! I'm so proud of all that clean area! LOL!

    Comment by indigene1 — December 11, 2012 @ 8:37 pm

  7. Indigene great post!

    I so know and have learned the hard way, the connection between cluttering and procrastination, and the correlation between our inner and outer spaces. I always can gauge my stress and degree of tiredness , by just looking around. You know, there are things that might look like they are morphing into science projects!

    I am often reminded by what an old A.A. friend said, about the definition of procrastination. It's like masturbation. The only one you screw is yourself!

    Comment by Catherine Meyers — December 11, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

  8. Catherine, I will definitely be using what your friend said!! :) It's so true!!!
    Hmmm…I'm thinking mine would look more like a diabolical science project, besides I hear that many scientists are controlled and keep their labs that way! I don't think that they'd let me or you in there! :) :) Thanks for stopping by. :)

    Comment by indigene1 — December 11, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

  9. i definitely agree, i find it very very hard to work if my space isn't clean and organised.

    Comment by janine whitling — December 11, 2012 @ 10:12 pm

  10. Janine, thanks for stopping by! I hear ya! :)

    Comment by indigene1 — December 13, 2012 @ 12:35 am

  11. I couldn't agree with you more. I suppose that means that I should clean up my studio too. (groan) But you're right, if it doesn't serve us, then why is it cluttering up our lives? Great post.

    Comment by Linda Hensley — December 12, 2012 @ 8:21 am

  12. Linda, LOL! Why do I see you as organized with no clutter?! Thanks for the encouragement. :)

    Comment by indigene1 — December 13, 2012 @ 12:36 am

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