The task this week was: Play and Creative Areas.
As most of you know, I went to art school so this was not an easy task for me. Meaning, I can think of a use for everything! I find that most creative people are like that which makes it difficult to declutter supplies (even if you haven't used them since art school!)
I have an entire studio dedicated to jewelry work and metal/gold smithing, but that is basically my workspace and it's outside of my home (and currently in disarray due to moves and other things).
So, a few years ago when we put our master bedroom addition on our house and added a small coat closet under the stairs I asked Ken if we could convert our coat closet into an "art closet." Of course he said yes (because he is awesome!) He added a ton of sturdy shelves and then I proceeded to fill it right up.
This is how it looked:
I have tried to organize it over the last 5 years by adding things like the rolling cart from Ikea and the metal organizer on the back of the door. But, what was missing was the simple things that make being organized easier. Things like decluttering first and labels and stackable containers.
I really wanted to make this closet feel finished, so I decided to take everything out.
This is the part I (and my husband) hate because it just makes a huge mess and it usually takes a few days to get the project done.
I started by priming and painting the shelves with paint we had on hand from our mudroom. It was already so much better.
I also decided to rip out the old scrap of frayed carpet. I found a runner that was basically the right length and I just cut it where the box is that our dryer vent goes through. I think it came out pretty good considering what it looked like before.
I decided that all my decluttering efforts deserved some new storage bins that were clear and uniform so I could see the contents and they would stack easily and take up less space. (I ended up with a few too many so I will return some).
I spent 2 days staying up late sorting every last bead, button and paint brush and then put everything back in a way that made more sense and better utilized the space in this closet.
This is how it came out:
I really made sure to think critically about what I would actually use. Melissa says in her book not to save things to use someday, because let's face it "someday is not a day of the week." That really hit home because it's so true! While I kept most of the kids art supplies, I decided to keep things that could be used for the three most important categories to me (besides metals of course): calligraphy/drawing, knitting/weaving, and card making.
I organized everything and with that in mind. I also labeled the bins so I everyone is sure to know where things will go, and I made sure to put the kids stuff low enough that they can get it out and put it back on their own.
I am really happy with the result and I think I may actually be able to do some art projects now that I can see where everything is!
Next week is the final official week of the challenge, but I plan to keep going. I have a new found purpose in my decluttering thanks to the book. It's no longer just "getting rid of stuff" but making room for what you love so you can feel free from the burden of the things that don't matter.
Here's the final Before and After: