Tour of Shame

The mess in my studio has driven me away a couple of times now. It needs cleaning and reorganizing so badly, but I am dreading the task. I have decided to show you the shameful condition I have let things come to, in an effort to force myself into taking at least the first positive steps to redemption!

Of course, being technically challenged, I have to first learn how to upload a video to YouTube and then embed it in my blog, ’cause that’s the only way I can do it here for free. If I wanted to pay, I’m sure there are other ways…but I’m cheap!

So, after seeing this little video, can you understand why I don’t even want to walk into the space? I have to be careful where I step so I don’t knock something over from all the piles around the room. And I actually have a huge space–but you could never tell because of all the STUFF I have. I MUST get rid of things that I will never use.

I am using you to help me be accountable for making some clean-up progress, even if I don’t do a wall-to-wall reorganization. Hope this works, because I am highly UNmotivated to actually get in there and clean.

But I need to create and so I need that space to be useable. We all know about creative blocks, but I’m suffering from a clean up block! Aarrgh!



18 thoughts on “Tour of Shame

  1. Hi!

    After reading your post, seeing the video, photos, whatever – and reading the comments so far – I have a Couple of comments, which you are free to absolutely discard!

    I just completed a studio renovation, and I quilt, paint, do mixed-media, collage, make jewelry, make clothes, – basically, name it. I make books, artist trading cards, greeting cards, etc. I’ve got ALOT of supplies.

    Since you self-identify as a quilter first, it seems to me that just begin by sorting through your fabric. Get it Organized in whatever way makes sense to you. I have mine my color mostly, but a shelf for backings, a shelf For flannels, and a shelf that holds a bin for my scraps (of anything). Another shelf holds a bin for odd fabric Like metallic lame, tulle, satin, etc. Have a huge garbage bag with you, and AS YOU GO, start throwing away Anything that you deem to be garbage. That is a start.

    You can next move to your painting area. Do the same thing there. Gather your brushes, sort if necessary, by type, grab your paints (sort according to acrylic, oil, watercolor). Get a basket, box or bin, and put your markers In that. Etc.

    Do maybe 20-minute segments – you can probably fit in two of those per day. You will be shocked by how Much you can accomplish just doing that. I know I was!

    Another note – my studio has white walls, floor and ceiling. The furniture is mostly white also. That helps to Make the space seem larger. I use plastic 3-drawer units to store my rubber stamps in, collage materials, etc. Next step, is to label all them.

    It is a process, and will take time. If you have a deadline for a quilt, then for certain start on your fabric. Then Clear off a workspace and go to town. Whatever you do, if you do just a little bit at a time, when LIFE doesn’t Interrupt, you’ll get it done.

    I’m going to attach some photos of my new space, renovated (although I have not re-painted the walls yet – will Do in the spring).

    I hope something here helps, and what the heck – I get to share photos of my renovated studio! I should add A photo of the BEFORE picture, but I’m thinking you already pretty much know what that looked like! LOL 😜

    Peace, Annie

    🐾🐾 Annie🐶

    “I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s affections and the truth of the Imagination.” — John Keats “The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.” —- Leonardo Da Vinci



    • Some of your suggestions are already in place as far as areas and storage. I have totally exceeded my storage capacity, though and extra things are piled on top of all the “too much of everything”. One of my problems is that most of it is NOT garbage so the black bag will help but it’s not the main answer! Ideally, beginners would be my target audience for the overflow…basic cleaning will commence very shortly, and I WILL be starting with my fabric! That takes up the most space!


  2. It must be the time of year, I am cleaning and reorganising my work room too, it is an ongoing process 😦
    I think the best way for you to tackle it, is to work on the areas that you need for your deadlines, finish the deadline projects and then spend a couple of hours (or more) each day cleaning up the rest until you are done.
    Be ruthless, consider whether you still love the fabric, if you don’t – out it goes. You might want to put things you are not sure of in a box, tape it up, put the date on it and if in 6 months you haven’t opened the box, get rid of it.
    I have been a bit of a hoarder in the past, but I really don’t want to die (and I’m not planning to anytime soon) and leave it all for someone else to sort out.


  3. I can totally sympathise with this! As I’ve got so little storage, it’s really difficult not to drown my space for actually doing something creative in with stuff. Where I tend to start when it comes to tidying is just to go around with a black bag and anything that is either actually rubbish or is just scrap stuff that isn’t useful in any way goes straight in. Sometimes it helps make it look a bit more manageable and you have a smaller overall volume of stuff to work with.


    • It will certainly take a big black bag for me! I do have lots of trash laying around, though, and that would help. It would make the place *feel* cared for, even though it’s still a mess!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Actually, it doesn’t look too bad. Maybe you think it is worse than it is. Seems like you know where everything should go which is three quarters of the battle. My advice…you know what they say about elephants, you can’t eat one all at once so eat it a mouthful at a time. Do just one hour tidying a day, in one spot only. Don’t jump around because you will achieve nothing and just make it worse. Then spend the rest of the day working towards your deadline. Next day another hour with the reward of working (creating) to meet your deadlines. Never promise that you will tidy for an hour after working because you won’t do it and you will feel guilty so you won’t be creative.
    Now, this all sounds fine but I must just tell you this is the pot calling the kettle black. However I did have a clearing and cleaning session myself recently even down to dustpan and brush! I am still convinced that having homes for things is the best plan, even if it is just ‘paper shelf’, ‘printing stuff drawer’ etc. As long as the right stuff gets to the right place you can do the itty bitty tidying a bit at the time later. Oh, the other important thing is …. take dustbin bags in and make sure they get filled, be ruthless, and put them out by bin day! Or do I mean trash day?

    I wish you well, Merry Xmas

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do have general areas for each type of work that I do and TRY to keep supplies in the right spot. Truly, my major problem is having too much of everything! If I can fill those trash bags, it will be a big accomplishment.


  5. Maybe you need an “assistant” or partner in clean-up?….more hands make lighter work? I too know one of my downfalls is not cleaning the remnants of past projects or putting away fabric pulled for inclusion on current ideas. How about giving yourself a set time limit, say 2 hours. Clean up as much as you can for that set time amount. Irregardless of how much you achieve, you will have made progress and feel better, recharging creativity a bit. My space doesn’t look any better than yours even though I spent a bit of time yesterday putting away some bits and new purchases.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I psych myself out by saying that a couple of hours wouldn’t make any difference, even though it really would be a good start! I just need to get in there and do it!


  6. Ok, you have motivated me to get in there this weekend and mean business. I have 2 studios; one for painting and one for sewing. Both are a mess right now and Christmas is coming. I promise you that this will happen.


  7. You have to be in the right mood to clean and sort. Maybe start in just one small area? The urge to keep going might hit you then. It’s not as bad as you think it is!


    • Dilemna–do I try to work in the mess to meet a couple of deadlines or do I clean up enough to have better working conditions to meet the deadlines? I think it IS really, really bad and starting in one area will be a drop in the bucket…hope it does inspire more cleaning once I start!


    • I’d like to think I’m not alone in this hoarder/messiness madness, but right now this is worse than I’ve ever been! I’m betting that you have never had this kind of a mess!


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