Studio organization

I am a fiber artist on a mission to clean up my space!

I have been planning this clean up for almost a year. I’ve been planning while waiting– for (neat-nik) DH to go out of town for an extended period of time. As I was explaining to my mother, if he’s out of town when the big clean up occurs, he won’t be nagging at me to get it put away and out of the living room and off of the patio floor. Darling man that he is, ahem, he overheard the conversation and promptly informed me that he will still have to say that. I resent the implication, sir!

Now, to the mission: I am a fan of the tv show Clean House (could it be because their mess is always way worse than my studio mess??). Miss Niecy, the hostess, would be all over the foolishness and mayhem in my studio. While I agree with her on one hand, on another hand, it is foolishness and mayhem wherein great creativity lies. That’s what I’ve been telling myself. But lately, not so much great creativity has happened– it’s dispiriting to walk into a room packed with so much stuff that you can’t use any workspace. Where you have to jump over piles, and in truth, the piles have piles.

It was all closing in, and time to call in the big guns. To wit: one of my BFF’s, Shannon.

I have known Shannon for years and years, and I know that every time she walks into my studio, she’s only pretending to listen to me talk. Really what she’s doing is looking around, planning a remodel and a throw-out party. Well, guess what? That day has arrived!! We discussed a plan of action, and agreed that getting everything out of the studio, piling like with like (you know, office nonsense all together here, shiny silliness all together there…) would get the job done. Then, she promptly found something else to do and vanished. Hmmph!

I began fairly simply, with the goal to clear away one problem area. My regular sewing machine and serger have been sharing a table meant for one machine, hunkered down in a corner surrounded by towering bookcases. I complain regularly (to no one, since no one ever listens to me) that I feel like I’m sewing in a cave. Shannon asked me why. Put it into words, she said. What makes that area uncomfortable. Hmmm.

The big oak bookcase to the right, but not the white bookcase behind. The fact that the two machines are on a space meant for one. (We’ll ignore the offending piles of stuff on the shelf unit in front of the table, which is behind the piles on the ironing board in front of that. For now.) Oak bookcase, j’accuse!

And just like that, I pulled everything off of its shelves (like with like) and moved it into DS1’s room. Where he needs a bookcase, and said furniture is now cheerfully holding lots of lovely books, in a space meant for an oak bookcase. Wow– how about that!

That area can breathe again. (Imagine it with a towering dark brown bookcase all messy where the serger is now) It looks open and inviting-ish (come on, it’s only been like 5 minutes. Give me time to really get it cleared out!). I went to the local thrift store, and what was waiting for me there? A $7 sewing cabinet (sans machine). It fits perfectly at an “L” with my regular sewing table, so I can turn to the right to serge, turn straight ahead to sew. My longarm bobbin winder fits on the opened out part of the “new” sewing table, in the space which used to house my filing cabinet.

Uh, back up! Why was the filing cabinet on the other side of the room from my desk? Conveniently located behind 97 piles of fabric and projects so that I got a work out just hurdling over to file an invoice. Filing cabinet, j’accuse encore! Go sit over by the desk, ‘kay?

Yesssss. Now we’re on a roll. What can I put under the opened out table part? Something that won’t need my attention. How about the boxes of unpacked delights (antique pottery which awaits a house with space for it). Those boxes have been sitting unopened and unmoved, under my longarm table, for 4 years. Perfect!

Now, I know you really want photos. After all, what’s a little humiliation between friends. I promise, the gory with the good will be shown. But I think I’ll do a real before and after post, in a day or two. Until then, I have to go continue hauling my creative resources out of the studio. But not onto the patio, and not into the living room. I’m no dummy– it’s hot out, DH is gone, and he’s got a nice big office.

Where do you think I’m going to sling all those boxes?

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Studio organization

  1. This makes me feel very guilty about the state of my supplies so I am going to stop reading now.
    Good night.

  2. Oh Susan, Susan, Susan………….”Don’t put it down. Put it away!”………..LOL

  3. Wht a lot of work – but worth it int he end. I did that about 5 years ago. It took 3 months because EVERYTHING had to be removed for new carpeting. In the end it was one of the best things I have ever done for my creativity.

  4. Yep, use hubby’s office. No need to sweat more than necessary. It’s going to look great when you finish.

  5. Doreen Kinkade

    Well….I am glad to see that I am not alone. I have been trying to clean up my tiny space for 3 weeks. I need my DH to take a trip somewhere for about 2-3 days, cause the only way you can really do it, is to empty stuff out to another room. You are doing a good job. Keep going. And more pictures please, as you find a place for all those boxes. Don’t forget about under ……beds.

  6. lynda

    you think that is bad? I thought all sewing rooms looked that way- mine does- it is bright red. It is youngest ds old room, he moved out went in Marines- mom took his room. I’d really been wanting a corner of the house for me. I do miss the kid. ( :

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