Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hints + Tips - Cleaning and Organising A Creative Space


I doubt that there are many creative spaces that looked as bad as mine did a few days ago. To set the scene I had it in two spots a growing mass in the garage and a smaller ever spreading pile in my room. Boxes, bags, tins and tubs full of random items from glitter, mosaic tiles, glue, sandpaper, brushes, paints, stencils and unidentified objects.

On the weekend I spent a good 3hrs going through my creative mess and doing a huge tidy up. I know that one method of keeping tidy and organised maybe good for one person but not so good for the next and that I’m not yet finished in getting it all tidied yet but I would like to share with you some organising ideas that have worked so far.

1. Empty The Space
This really only works if you have time to do it otherwise you could have a bigger mess on your hands than you first started with. Clear the space you plan to put everything into. I have a wooden desk, with draws, one of those hanging compartment things from Ikea and wall space used for storing paintings all of which I cleared everything out of and around and gave it a good wipe/clean.
In doing this anything I came along that was broken beyond repair, no good or simply I don’t want went into either the bin, recycling or a box I’m filling for a second hand sale. This gives you a clean slate to work with.

2. Keeping It Different
I’ve different types of storage, as mentioned above I’ve a hanging storage compartment thing, a desk with draws, tubs, tins, jars boxes and a wall for my artworks to be stored against. Depending on the items size, shape, type, frequency use or accessibility required you need to certain items will also depend on what you store you store them in. As an example in my hanging storage compartment thing I’ve my mask, gloves and goggles in one compartment as these I use almost every time I stencil and in another is everything I use for hanging works because these I use at the very last minute sometimes and need them in easy reach. Whereas I store most of my stencils in a large flat cardboard box that props up against my desk.

3. Label
So that everything has it’s home and is easy to locate I’ve used some small labels and a trusty typewriter. This way rather than having to look in each draw for the hair dryer to dry a painting, I know where it is, or if someone needs some sandpaper they know where to go without rating through everything. Yes, it’s a bit over the top but I once mocked the idea too and now I love it! Though I do draw the line at pretty tins that have Tea written on them, what if you want to use them for something else?

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