Creative Environment: Working in a Small Space

May 23, 2016

One of the things that I believe in is organization.  This has always been a source of contention between me and anyone that ever had to live with me.  Sometimes the compulsive side kicked in and I just couldn’t help myself.  🙂

As I was going along, learning more and more about sugar art and cake decorating I started accumulating more and more books & tools.   Each new creative idea or technique I learned sometimes required a specific tool.  Since I was working as a Wilton Method Instructor I also at that time had a discount on Wilton Products as well as a Retailer Discount at the Arts & Craft store I worked at so this also contributed to my build-up of tools as well.

Now that I live in a two bedroom apartment as opposed to a 3 bedroom home, utilizing space efficiently is paramount because it is limited.   This is where thinking about the space and how it can be used is important as well as finding things that could be used to organize your tools and supplies.

Closet Space

This originally was the closet that held a majority of my cake decorating and sugar art supplies.  Everything else was in my actual clothes closet and was taking up way too much space.  It was beginning to look cluttered so I spent a few weeks going through everything, throwing out a lot of junk and reorganizing.  I also realized that I was not spending a lot of time doing anything creative.  I am a creative person by nature and the depression was suppressing that part of myself.  So it was time to start again with being who I am and it has helped tremendously with the depressive thinkingStorage Closet.

Bringing all my creative tools out into the open and finding inspiration again.

Cake Tools & Supplies

 Defining your Space

When you look at the space, determine what each area will be used for and map it out.  I normally will make a list out or diagram it to determine how much wall space I have, where the plug ins are and if there are any obstacles such as the availability of lighting.

In my living room it has a vaulted ceiling, a patio door that takes up one wall, a fireplace at an odd angle, stairs, plus a small open counter top that juts into the space.  So this area is big but the actual livable space in small.   The need to define the specific areas was important.  Once my internet and cable was installed this helped determined the position of things since there was only one port available.   So it is split between the family space with the couch, single chair, television and my work space.

The work space is utilized for everything that I do from being creative and actual work.  Whether it is doing internet research, working on homework, paying bills or just listening to music.  This small compact space is organized so that everything is within reach.

Work Space

Organization of Tools

Labels, labels and more labels.   I personally work more efficiently when I know where things are and when things are visible.  So if I have a specific technique that I am working or want to try it makes it easier to get started.  This helps eliminate the time consuming process or hunting for things which for me can be a distraction and make me lose momentum.

Labels

Unique organization tools

When I was organizing my tools and supplies some items where small, numerous and used quite often so trying to find a storage box or way to organize it better so it was easily accessible  was important.  This is where finding other organization tools and re-purposing them became useful.   Here are a few examples are this acrylic make-up box, jewelry travel bag and tool drawer organizer.

Creative versus Chaos

No matter what space you have, an unused closet, underneath your bed or single rolling plastic organizer there is always a way to keep things organized.  I didn’t realize until about two years ago when I started this process of change that the way I was managing my household prior to that which was organized but terminally cluttered was actually a sign of my depression.  I was becoming a collector of things.  Things that didn’t necessarily serve a purpose but at the time they were purchased gave me a sense of control.   I was actually out of control emotionally and was seeking a way to level it out.

As I said before, I’ve always been a creative person.  I dabble in a little bit of everything.  Sewing, crocheting, knitting, drawing, painting and bead working.  When I decided to end my marriage and start over, I also had to decide what was important to me.  I went from having endless plastic tubs of arts and crafts things down to what I posted today.

I’ve narrowed it down quite a bit and have learned that it’s okay to get rid of things that I don’t need which was the hardest thing to do, letting go. Memories good and bad were tied to everything.

Now is time to focus on the good, let go of the bad and continue moving forward.

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