If you’re wondering why the radio silence these past couple of days, I have an explanation – a very good one, I think! – for why: I’ve been getting organized. I mean really organized. Not just running laundry through and slipping a Swiffer over every surface and calling it good, but pulling everything out of drawers, cleaning baseboards, shredding, and generally getting rid of as much clutter as possible. Which, as you can imagine, has taken me some time since I’ve gone through the whole house (not kidding, the whole thing).
All this organization has made me realize something: if my house isn’t clean, I don’t feel like I can be creative. At all. I can’t even decide what color to paint my nails if the room I’m painting in isn’t tidy. So all of this leads me to my thought for today, which is to carve out a creative space for yourself and keep it neat.
Here’s mine! In our house, I took a spare bedroom and turned it into our study, which accomplishes a variety of tasks: bill paying and organization, filing of important paper work, shredding, checking email, writing, reading, relaxing, and working. Thus, it needed to be sleek, functional, and, since I’m the one primarily in it, pretty.
Speaking of pretty, here’s a shot of my desk!
I’ve been infamous for making my space organized and creative as long as I can remember, especially in college when I didn’t have time to deal with clutter amidst all the socials and serving events, and it looks like that trait has carried over into my adulthood. Here are some tips and tricks I think make for the perfect get-it-done space!
CHOOSE YOUR SPACE
This is probably the most important part of the whole thing. I chose a spare bedroom off the den that doesn’t have a lot of noise so I could focus when I needed to, but even a desk in your bedroom or a tray with your art supplies and a designated spot in the garage can do. Think through the noise, airflow (sometimes that matters!), location, and setup of the space before you put down roots – you’ll be so happy you did.
PURPOSE YOUR SPACE
I’ve always had to balance my inner list-maker with my inner poet, and it’s a tedious tightrope trick, let me tell you. What really helps me out is to have a mix of the pragmatic and bohemian parts to satisfy both of them, which is why you see colored pens and markers on my desk so I can create at a moment’s notice, but also why they’re color-coordinated and organized by type so I can whip up a list in no time flat. Purpose your space to suit you. Web designer? Dim the lights, get some fancy noise-cancelling headphones, stack up a book of reference guides, and get to it. Painter? Grab you easel and supplies, some inspiration, and a way to store everything between sessions. Writer? Stack up your books, pens, notebooks, and writing prompts in such a way that you can find them quickly and easily, and put up some provocative art to get the creative juices flowing. You get the idea.
I’m not usually big on color (read: our whole house is gray, silver, crystal, etc.), but I thought the creative space would be a beautiful exception. I chose to work with a gorgeous sea-foam desk accented by the usual Kate Spade color palette: hot pink, orange, gold, bright green, turquoise, purple. Since this space is purposed for something different and it looks so different from the rest of our house, it’s easy for me to mentally shift gears when I want to be creative (which is, after all, the whole point!). I recommend starting your space with a great desk and working your way up from there. Set up a color palette, create a Pinterest board, and get going!
HAVE FUN WITH IT
It goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway: have fun with your creative space! Make it you in every sense of the word. It doesn’t have to be neutral, sleek, fussy, frilly, or whatever you think when you think creative. But it does need to help you create / get organized, and it will when you listen to your intuition as you plan everything out. If you’re totally stumped, take a sweep through an interior design magazine or watch a couple videos of home tours – you’ll see what speaks to you and you can emulate that on your specific budget, timeframe, and space.
CREATIVE SPACE ESSENTIALS
Finally, here are some things I’ve found I need in every kind of creative space I’m in and I think you’ll find them helpful!
- Something green. It can be silk or real, but you need a succulent, orchid, peony, rose, or whatever floats your botany boat. I love real orchids because you only have to maintain them once a week with a couple ice cubes and silk succulents because you absolutely can’t tell they’re not alive!
- A calendar. Even if you’re more Pollock than Pythagoras, you need to keep track of your days and projects just so you can see your progress. Log the time you’re devoting to your creative pursuits and take a look every month – you’ll be impressed with how far you’ve come!
- Your favorite book. Not a reader? Doesn’t matter – grab a magazine or photo book that means something to you and bring it to your space. When you have a day where inspiration is light, and they will come, you can go to your favorite poem, story, photo, illustration, or whatever you like and draw inspiration from it. Some of my favorite poems have been a direct result from free writing using a photo – find what works for you!
- Good pens and paper. Whether you’re jotting down notes to reference later or drawing up the next Space Needle (ever see the original sketch? Take a look here), you need to have a pen and paper on hand when your creative genius strikes.
I hope you’re having a great weekend!