Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Your Bead Room

So this book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Affiliate link) by Marie Kondo, is popping up everywhere and becoming quite a trend. I finally ordered it on Audible and listened while I worked on beads this weekend. I highly recommend listening to it. 

I won't get started on my household tidying adventure until August because I'm in the middle of writing a book, but I have began tidying my studio. Which is my office and workplace. The book has a very specific order to organize your house and and the misc. craft supplies are pretty far down on the list. But this is where I need to start. 

1. Gather - The first step is visualizing what you want from your space - not just how you want it to look. So for my studio I want a place to inspires me and gives me more time to create (and less time trying to find stuff.)

2. Purge - The second is go put everything (everything!) out in one category and go through touching each item. If it sparks joy, you keep it. If it doesn't and you are keeping it because you feel you may need it someday or you feel guilty about throwing it away - it's time to let it.

In the book she recommends thanking the item for doing it's job, so maybe it's being thankful for the thrill of finding it at that bead show, or thank you for inspiring me for this time. It's hard to let go of things and this little ritual is a helpful part of the process. You'll pack away all these things that are no longer bringing you joy to donate, giveaway or sell. 

3. Organize - After you only have the items you love and they are all set out, think through and even ask each item how they would love to be stored. (Yes she is a bit quirky in this aspect, but it makes sense to honor our belongings and consider the way you store them.) 

The author suggests storing things vertically whenever possible and not stacked up in piles. She also suggests storing all like items together rather than by use or other categories. 

She is also completely against going out and buying new storage items or storage systems. She loves shoeboxes for organizing or things you already have on hand.  (She is a recovering storage system addict - she's been obsessed with organizing since she was a child!) 

After every item has a home, you'll put it back after each use because your belongings like to go home after a hard days work. 

The end goal is to have less stuff so you can enjoy what you have more. Store things so they bring you joy and inspiration. 

Getting Started and Being Real! 

Now a bead room can seem daunting. So I am breaking it down into categories to go through each category one at a time until my room is done. I'm also taking big chunks of time out of my weekends to do this over the next few weeks. I will let you know how it goes. 

Since in the book she starts with clothes because they are less personal and we feel less attached to them I took the same principle in my studio and started with something I feel less attachment.

This is the order I am going to organize my studio.

Paints, embossing powders
Glues, mediums
Polymer clay tools
Polymer clay
Jewelry tools
Wire, leather, sari silk, cord
Office supplies and packing materials
Display/show stuff
Seed beads
Stones, glass, wood, metal beads
Art beads

I'm ending with jewelry and UFOs because those are the hardest and most sentimental to go through for me. I have several large boxes and items just tossed in because I didn't know what to do with them but couldn't let them go at the moment. How sad for those creations, just tossed away and stored out of sight. 

(Storing my paints upside down let's me find the colors quickly)

I finished my paints the other day and thought about the best way to store them. They are out in the open where I can see them and find them most inspiring. I also took a moment to arrange them by color that makes me happy every time I look at them. I also cleaned off three of my desks in the process so I would have a place to organize. I stored each type of paint together, so acrylics, alcohol inks, patina paints and Swellegant all have their own boxes. 

I can tell you just this tiny change already makes me happier and I feel more creative. And it was a snap at the end of the day to tidy up my work area. 

My goal in all of this is to have a bead studio that is set up for creating, not just a space to pack away and store beads out of sight. I want a space that gives me that thrill of going into a bead store - because basically that's what my studio is - a bead factory and store! 


Unknown said...

You can tell a creative person by the mess in their workroom. Mine is an organized mess. While I'm creating it's a "pile of", table. Eventually I get to the point that I clean it all or I can't work.
Nice to see someone elses program!

Lotus said...

I love the idea of storing paints upside down. I have seen nail polish "shelves" used for alcohol inks, and I think I will try that. Terri G

Rebecca said...

I hear you, but I just....not......sure........I...........could............!!! I am the worst for 'these beads might be useful one day' - the WORST.

Unknown said...

Be sure to let me know when you get down to the destashing part :O)

Elizabeth said...

This was such a lovely post and spoke to where I am right now. I have two rooms in desperate need of reorganizing: my workout room and my beading/creative space. Having lived in Japan, it is very common to see people thank "things" for serving their purpose. It is an extraordinarily grateful society and culture.

I'm definitely taking a look at that book.

Thanks again.