There is so much joy in the creative process: energy, inspiration, passion, — messes…. I mean, really, how can a mess evolve so incredibly quickly? And add to children to the scene and prepare to be amazed. The tiny bits of paper and the splatters of paint – the pieces of food and all the stickers.
Maybe it is because of this revolving, ever shifting mayhem, I place a high priority on order and peace.
There is nothing wrong with a mess – heck, I can’t begin to live without one! Messes show signs of progress and change – they are good and should be welcome! …but there comes a point in the day when you just have to clear your head and clear your space of visual clutter.
Here are a few tips for maintaining visual order in your creative space (even if you have kids in the studio):
1. Think of your supplies less as tools and more as functional-decor. The objects we use to create are often super beautiful and hold a lot of passion and meaning.
2. Buy so many containers – sounds basic, but have many, many containers. More than you expect you will need and in a variety of sizes and shapes.
3. Hiding places. Not all tools are beautiful. Hide the ones that aren’t. Remove ugly and distracting things from view like its your job!
3. Allow your kids to belong in your creative space. Give them places that they can own: like a drawer or a corner of the room.
4. Place a value on order – really. Reward yourself (and your little ones) with something special when you finally restore the space to order.
5. messes are going to happen, kids are going to experiment and create in the sloppiest way imaginable, you’re going to spill paint, and that’s totally ok! Have the right (aka, most efficient) cleaning supplies easily accessible. My current fave is my new fancy-pants Shark steaming mop. Seriously, my floors have never been cleaner (bonus points – my 4 year old is a mopping maven.)
6. Preserve your studio space for only creative objects. This is especially important if you work from home! Keep everything clutter-y, distracting thing outside your studio doors.
7. Rearrange and revive your space as often as you would like. You need a fresh perspective more frequently than you know!
8. For oil paint & wood stain (and pretty much any other grimy, sticky, slimy, staining, nasty stuff that gets allllllll over our hands…) instead of washing with chemicals 100x a day, try a simple sugar scrub with essential oils. It’s magical and it restores your skin.
These are just a few of my personal “studio order” tips.
They are rules I try to live by (and fail in…) every day. It’s hard to remain sane in a full and active creative space – but when it works, when everything is in harmony, busy though it may be, it is the most wonderful place in the world.
That is totally worth fighting for.