Organization Bomb

Showing you my studio space is helping to to understand what needs organization and how I would like to achieve it. Embroidery and stitch have become really important to me. I had skeins of thread tucked in several different places, hand dyed skeins were in 3 ring binders, I had a box of floss organized by color tucked into another storage bin, and stuffed all around that, more skeins.

So I bought 4 organizer boxes and a couple extra bobbins and got to work. 

Or, erm, um. I put everyone to work! My mother got in the act, David even lent a hand, all together, we used 125 bobbins. Now, all of the thread is organized and grouped by color. I integrated each type of floss, cotton, silk and rayon, variegated and solid. I am preparing to dye gradations of colors and now I can see what colors I need. I filled 3 of the 4 boxes I bought for the purpose.

Phew. When I first opened the shipment and looked at my purchase of plastic, I was disappointed that I bought plastic in the first place. I was almost in a panic about it! I convinced myself that I wouldn’t like the look of the thread in the boxes, that there was probably another way to organize that I hadn’t thought of that would be better. But then the threads started looking like candies, grouped together with their fellows and I knew that my neat and orderly side had been appeased.

I honestly feel that keeping tidy helps me be a more prolific artist. Beside which, living in a tiny apartment really forces me to be neat and organized. I like knowing where every last thing is. I like being able to reach for a box of red embroidery thread, beads organized by color and size (at one point Deb Lacativa called this a bead prison! LOL. While I appreciate the sentiment, I do like bead prisons), I like being able to remove a drawer and bring it to my workbench and return it again. 

I often hear comments that folks have messy studio space. What is your space like? Does it work for you? Inspire you? Does it make your work easier?

10 thoughts on “Organization Bomb

  1. I personally need organization to be my most productive. I don’t want to waste time looking for items when I am creating! I want to know exactly where supplies are and not loose the “flow”. I do think that smaller work spaces forces organization.


  2. I’m with you in that organization helps me be more efficient and productive. But….. when I’m working on something, all the bits and pieces are strewn about and my workspace itself looks quite messy. I can have two or three piles or drifts for projects at a time, but much more than that and I get overwhelmed. So, organized supplies + messy area while working = my MO.


  3. Hah! I think I see a new book in your future! Tips on Organizing your Studio! I am always inspired by your posts describing how you are tidying up your space… goodness knows, my studio is always in dire need! It’s fairly small, and is taken up by two work tables and my sewing machine table, along with some storage drawer units and a ton of stacked things for dyeing, stamping, screening, etc. I’m constantly having to clear off space for whatever I’m working on, because I have a variety of things I’m working on at once. Sometimes I wish I could do one thing at a time, but it’s never worked that way for me! So I guess I’m doomed to work in a messy space, but I do have a door I get to close on it when I need to stop, so it’s my “dirty little secret”!


  4. Your last couple of posts have caused me to stop and think about were I like to work (which is not my assigned room) and why. I realize that I need to have a view of outdoors and if I could, I would work outside all year long. Since that isn’t going to happen, the goal this fall is to arrange a room that facilitates looking out. I have been organizing since March. I take one area and sort, purge, put away. I will stop and evaluate how the set up is working. To my surprise, what I thought was a solution, sometimes turned out to look pretty but wasn’t very functional. It is taking too long, but I know that when I get done, I will want to create and not have to hunt through storage or piles to find what I need. I invested in the plastic boxes, too. Once I got over the plastic (I tend to like wood or baskets), I really liked being able to see the floss at a glance. It was also good to see where I had used up some colors.


  5. Your threads are beautiful! I love to have my space organized – a space for everything and everything in its place. I make a big mess with a project or two and then I have to stop and get it all put away. The parts that drive me absolutely insane are the child (teenager) who is very creative and creates projects as well and leaves it all out everywhere. She helps put stuff away when I can’t stand it any more but I have an easier time with my own messes than I do with others which doesn’t seem to make much sense does it?


  6. I’m like you, if I’m not organized I just can’t work! And at the moment I’m really not organized! But I’m working on it! Plus, I am forcing myself to take time each day to draw! 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration


  7. When my mom passed away three years ago, I found four containers full of the embroidery thread – all wound up, labeled and placed in numerical order. Then I found apx. 30 skeins that were not wrapped yet. I had to laugh because I had about the same amount at my house! I find this method of organizing the thread works for me. I just scan the boxes, find the color I want and then pop them back in when I get finished. And with the number on the little bobbin, it’s so easy to replenish when I need more.
    And about organizing the studio – huh?
    We’re supposed to organize!?
    Lol but I do try to keep like things together. I love plastic bins with removable lids.


  8. My studio is a total wreck. The more space I have, the more things get spread out. I end up with less workable space instead of more because I succumb to the illusion that a bigger studio and more tables = more space for working. Wrong. I just fill up every space until there’s a constant workable space of about 3 square inches. I envy your organization and think I would be more productive and more creative if everything is put away because there would be less clutter. I have started putting many of my books into boxes in a closet (indexing them first) because I began to feel anxious and stressed about all the books I need/want to read on various subjects and techniques. Instead of inspiring me, they clutter my mind. I do feel less pressure…now the rest of the studio! Your peg boards have spurred me to think about other “furniture” and storage options that will truly work for me.


  9. My space is such a wreck right now that I can’t even bring myself to go in there. I feel the need to clear things in order to make room for creativity but the chore of cleaning it up is just that – such a CHORE!

    OK. No more excuses. I’ll go clear one surface right now. Well – let me just finish up an email first….


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