Spring Cleaning My Studio

This post is part of a Clean-Up Challenge and blog hop hosted by Sharyl McMillian-Nelson of Sharyl’s Jewelry on ArtFire.

This is, for the most part, a reprint of a post I did for the Art Jewelry Elements blog.  I had hoped to continue my organizing efforts and have more to add to this today, but I ran out of time.  If you are reading this on Saturday, I am vending at a show today.  And well, you know how that goes.  Preparation for shows takes over everything else you may have hoped to accomplish.

But I’ve got a good start on the clean-up effort and I’ll work toward finishing up after the show.  I’ll post my progress as I move forward.

If you’ve been following my posts then you know that I’ve been experimenting with polymer clay and torch fired enameling recently.  I’ve also been slowly adding a few metalsmithing techniques to my skill set.  This is all wonderful except…. When I set my studio up in our spare bedroom I had mega-tons of beads, but no torches, hammers, enamels, polymer clay, pasta machine etc.  Well you get the picture.

As I added more things that didn’t have a designated space, my computer desk got overwhelmed with junk tools, metal and clay.  My computer got ousted to the living room, my studio floor became littered with papers, magazines and whatnot.  Add this to the fact that I am  not a naturally organized or orderly person and you have chaos!

It was getting so bad that I couldn’t even find space to work. I was becoming annoyed and thus began avoiding my studio. I finally had enough!  That’s when I saw that Sharyl was hosting this blog hop!  The timing was perfect.  So I began burrowing out of the mess.  Unfortunately I didn’t take “Before” pictures right away.  The pictures I do have were taken about a week after I began Operation Studio Renewal.  You know how things actually get worse before they get better?  These pictures attest to that.

I’m not all done yet, but I thought I’d post some mid-project pictures, to show the progress so far and to help hold me accountable for finishing what I have started.

I’m actually typing this post at my desk, but here’s what it looked like near the start of the project.

And this evening it looks like this.

Here’s a daytime shot from earlier this week.  I’ve got the polymer clay pasta machine on the left side of the desk.  It can stay set up there, but out of the way.

The  polymer clay and tools were scattered all about, but they are now nicely corralled on shelves to the left of the desk. Here’s what the shelves looked like before I went to work on them.

The shelves were not a complete disaster, like my desk was.  They were somewhat organized, but I needed to make room for the polymer clay and enamels without having to invest in new shelving or expensive storage items.

Another goal I had was to reduce visual clutter, as well as physical clutter.  I think I’ve accomplished both goals here.

Let’s start with the top shelf.  My before picture shows that I had the same white plastic storage drawers up there initially, but they were all stacked at varying heights.  And then there were smaller purple storage boxes stacked up on the right side of the shelf.  Its hard to see in the before picture, but on the left side of the top shelf was also a round plastic jar of furnace glass beads.

I removed the purple boxes and the furnace glass and I spread out the white drawers so they are all the same height.  Now the eye can rest on that shelf comfortably and not be jarred by all the conflicting heights, colors and storage boxes.  The only non-white item now is a wood and papier-mâché diorama from Mexico that is on top of one of the storage drawers in the corner.

The 2nd shelf down is mostly empty right now, but that’s OK.  I’m not done cleaning the whole studio yet and I might still need the space.  One trick to give yourself extra space for smaller items is to use hanging wire baskets that hook onto the shelf above.  You can see that I’ve used one of these above the second shelf.

I’m quite pleased with the 3rd shelf.  I picked up a number of these inexpensive, white cardboard boxes at IKEA.  They are a bit tedious to assemble, but they are sturdy, come in at least 3 sizes and are white, to go with the other things on the shelf, (though they come in colors too).

I moved all my polymer clay supplies into these boxes and used my trusty label machine to label each box.  There is still extra room in the boxes for more, as I expand my stash.

Although I forgot to take a picture of it, I’ve also cleared out all the clutter that was on the floor by these shelves.  One can now reach them without danger to life and limb! 😉

 I’ve also organized a shipping station for items purchased in my online shops.  I used to keep padded envelopes, bubble wrap and tissue paper in baskets under my work table.  Thank you cards were next to my work table.  Business cards were on my antique printers cabinet, postal tape was in the kitchen.  Oy vey!  One of the cardinal rules of organizing is to put like with like.  This is so much better!

You are probably curious about where I actually make my jewelry.  I’ve just barely started organizing it, so it’s mostly still a wreck.  But you will notice that I’ve cleared a small bit of real estate in the center of the table and even this little work space has re-sparked a creative drive in me that I welcome.

So that’s it for now.  I’ll do an update when I finish the task. I look forward to visiting the other people’s blogs who joined this clean-up challenge. And I’d encourage you to do likewise, (see links below).   I know I’ll pick up some cool organizing tips from them and that I’ll gather increased motivation to get this job done!  Thanks Sharyl for hosting this challenge!

I am always delighted to read your comments!   Hope to hear from you.


Linda Landig Jewelry – ArtFire 
Linda Landig Jewelry – Etsy


Participant List:

Host: Sharyl McMillian-Nelson … http://sharylsjewelry.blogspot.com

Donna Millard http://fyrebeadz.blogspot.com/

Beda Hendrix … https://www.facebook.com/SasijuhlsThings

Ann Schroeder… http://www.beadlove.wordpress.com

Pamela Rachelle… http://crazycreativecorner.blogspot.com

Kristin L Oppold… http://www.yayjewelry.blogspot.com

Heidi Kingman … http://heidikingman.blogspot.com

Andi … http://strungoutjewelry.blogspot.com/

Patricia Buchanan Click “Blog” on the menu bar at http://www.braceletstoo.artfire.com

Helen Simon… http://helensharvest.com/

Kashmira … http://sadafulee.blogspot.com/

somethingunique … http://somethinguniquebylana.blogspot.ca/

Renetha … http://lamplightcrafts.blogspot.com

Kathy Lindemer … http://bay-moon-design.blogspot.com

Swapna Dinesh … http://www.swardaa.com

Linda Landig … https://lindalandig.wordpress.com/

Ann Schroeder … http://www.beadlove.wordpress.com/

Beti Horvath … http://stringingfool.blogspot.com/

Sam S … http://samsbeadshopandjewelry.blogspot.com/

Christina Miles … http://wingsnscales.blogspot.com/

Islandgirl … http://islandgirlsinsights.blogspot.ca/

macmillanmarie … http://www.macmillanmarie.blogspot.com

Emma Todd … http://www.apolymerpenchant.com

Neena Shilvock …

Dee Clark… http://biz-e-bead.blogspot.com/

motidana … http://kalaabhushan.blogspot.com/

Here Bead Dragons … http://beaddragons.blogspot.com/

Carol D. … http://dillmansdallies.blogspot.com/

Pam Sears … http://crazycreativecorner.blogspot.com/

Nan Smith … http://wirednan.blogspot.ca

AliMc … http://northwoodscreativestudio.blogspot.com

Kari Asbury … http://hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com

Shirley Moore … http://www.beadsandbread.blogspot.com

PyxeeStyx … http://travelingsideshow.blogspot.com/

Jayne Capps … https://mamasgottodoodle.blogspot.com

Louann Elwell
… https://plus.google.com/117746558861718110652/posts

Rain … http://honeyandollie.com/

Lori Bergmann … http://www.LoriBergmann.blogspot.com

Helen Simon… http://helensharvest.blogspot.com/

Arlene Dean … http://aglassbash.blogspot.com

Sandra… http://city-of-brass-stories.blogspot.de/

Alicia … http://www.allprettythings.ca

Natalie Pappas …  http://blog.nkpdesigns.com/

Mike Flint …  https://www.facebook.com/bagomag

9 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning My Studio

  1. Great job, Linda! I feel your pain, as my upstairs studio is in a big transition, trying to get rid of all my papercrafting supplies in favor of my jewelry making ones. So hard when everything is already stuff to the gills! LOL I have those IKEA boxes too and love them. Good luck at your show too! *Ü*

  2. Linda, like you, time got past me a bit. Hope you are having a great show today! You’ve done a great job at geting things organized. I’m sure your jewelry bench is probably worse than the photo at the moment… at least I know my own space sure looks like a bomb went off just before a show. 🙂

  3. I love the idea of reducing physical and visual clutter. I’m keeping that in mind as I continue to organize. Thanks for the post. It was fun seeing your studio!

  4. I love your desk, if you can msg me on facebook (donna millard) and let me know where you got it, I’d appreciate it. Yes, you made loads of progress, go you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. I totally agree with the visual clutter concept! That was a big part of what I tried to do with my bookshelves, too. It’s an inexpensive way to bring some “zen-ness” to the creative chaos. Way to go! Hope you had a great day at the show, too. 🙂

  6. it’s almost unbelievable how much difference just stacking the drawers @ equal heights made. & you’re right, it is so much more soothing, I never thought of it that way. as you saw in my post, my shelves are still @ the chaos stage :(. I need you here now for my stage two

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