Mess has always been my ‘thing.’
When I was a kid, my friends would come over and compare my bedroom to a place wiped out from a mild tornado.
As I entered college, it became clear that I just wasn’t good at finding a system for keeping my stuff organized. I loved to create, but I created a lot of chaos in my space while I was at it. And wasn’t too keen on putting in the effort to clean up after.
When I graduated and got married, my husband and I moved to Malawi, Africa as missionaries. We moved into a house that the previous missionaries had inhabited. At that time we were to be there temporarily and they were planning to come back, so their house was full of stuff. Their stuff. In piles all over the house.
And we were not allowed to move it.
Any of it.
Can you see the boxes and piles in the background? Even back in that dark hallway?
Oh my word! For the first time in my life I began to realize what a trial piles of stuff could be to a person! Literally. We are talking about stacks of paperwork that were probably destined for recycling. Odds and ends that would typically be stashed in a junk drawer on every surface. Cupboards and drawers filled to the brim. And no space to make a home for ourselves while we were there for six months.
Coming back to the States I had a revelation. As we unpacked our boxes of ‘stuff’ from our wedding and college days and childhood paraphernalia that our parents wanted out of their houses, we had too much. I was no longer comfortable having heaps of ‘stuff’ around me.
Thus began a process of de-cluttering (and learning to put things away. You’ll be glad to know that, if you bop in for an unexpected visit, my home is now at least respectably tidy!) We donated the obvious excess and found spaces to stash the rest.
Fun fact: for four years we moved yearly, each time to a bigger apartment, and each time discovered that we had waaaay too much stuff again! We left Seattle with less than we brought there despite having more space.
Anyway. My point. I’ve grown a lot in my ‘stuff management’ skills. We’ve done the KonMarie thing where we keep what brings us joy. I add practicality and potential future use to the list (which was brilliant, because when our second son was born we had everything we needed!). I’ve been inspired to try a capsule wardrobe, even though I’ve not yet committed to a minimalist closet and have clothes stashed in a cedar chest while I work up the courage to donate them. We only keep kitchen tools that we actually use (and wow! There were some odd things lingering in our drawers!). I’ve even begun to dig into clearing out the digital clutter. I’m making great progress.
Except where craft supplies are in concern.
Craft supplies are my achilles heel. Seriously. I have craft supplies galore for the things I love, like quilting, knitting, cross stitch, sewing, and crochet. And then I have supplies for crafts I don’t even do! Beads. Random cords. Stuff that I’ve not parted with because I always think, “But what if I want to…” Scrapbooking supplies, even though I don’t scrapbook and don’t feel the urge to. Ever.
Please tell me you understand!
Anyway, as the weather has cooled off and I’m spending more free time indoors, I’ve started to use my craft room more often. And it has become clear to me that I made one tremendous error over the summer.
I started to use my craft room as a massive junk drawer for everything of mine in the house that didn’t have a place.
So my mission today is to prepare my craft room as a space to create.
Cut the chaos.
Clear the unnecessary ‘stuff.’
Organize what I have so that I can actually use it when I need to.
Make the space work for me.
My goal is to have my craft space organized and useable by the time the new year rolls around. I’ll be posting photos of my progress and tips about what I’m learning along the way. I’d love it if you want to join me in the challenge of creating a space to create! I’ve made spaces to create in apartments where I didn’t have a separate room as well as houses where there were designated rooms for creating. So don’t let your own personal space circumstances keep you from getting a crafting space together – where there is a will, there is a way! You can follow my process of creating a space to create on Instagram and add your progress using the hashtag #spacetocreatechallenge.