Less than a month into trying to incorporate more analog creativity and writing into my day-to-day, I encountered my first major obstacle.
More precisely, lack of organization.
I had two main problems:
1) Nearly all of the art and craft supplies I had acquired over the years were shoved into my closet in various boxes, drawers, and shelves. While this got them out of the way, they were not easily accessible. Heck, I barely even knew what I had in there.
2) My newest pens, pencils, and notebooks were scattered and taking over my main workspace. There was no rhyme or reason to where any particular item landed on a given day. I found myself either searching for things or overwhelmed by them.
In my one bedroom apartment, there isn't room for a separate office space. So instead, I have divided things into two desk areas. One lives in the bedroom and is meant to house a majority of the supplies. The other is a very large bar height work space in the living area. Ideally, this minimizes the number of items in my actual work/ creative space. Clearly, the system was failing- as my work space was messy and cluttered and my supplies were almost exclusively hidden away in the closet.
It was time for a reboot.
I turned on the Art Supply Posse podcast for inspiration, dug to the bottom of my closet, and cleaned more than half of everything out to give away or throw away. Then, once I knew what I had- I prioritized. I knew I wanted my writing tools (gel pens, markers, pencils, colored pencils, fountain pens, etc.) to be most readily available. Going to the internet for inspiration, I repurposed a pegboard I already had and cleared the way for a series of mason jars.
I was able to neatly organize the remainder of my art supplies in two large, labeled plastic totes. This left my workspace mostly clear with only my fountain pen collection and a small selection of contained notebooks.
Importantly, I also made room for one of my favorite pieces of art by Ella Luna to live on my desk.
It's not a perfect system, but by releasing some excess supplies and organizing the rest in a way that is accessible, I eliminated one barrier to implementing and maintaining a creative habit.
And maybe even more importantly, I created spaces that are less likely to overwhelm me and more inclined to inspire me.
“It is here, standing at the crossroads of Should and Must, that we feel the enormous reality of our fears, and this is the moment when many of us decide against following our intuition, turning away from that place where nothing is guaranteed, nothing is known, and everything is possible.” ― Elle Luna, The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion
Visual inspiration for supply organization:
Tips for organizing creative spaces:
More from Ella Luna: