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I used to clean up my studio every year on New Years Day. But what with breaking my foot and several other challenges, the last few years I didn’t do it. Being prone to clutter anyway, it was becoming impassible. I set up extra tables to work on specific projects, but then those too have become a problem. It has been accumulating layers of “sediment”: stalled projects, trays of related materials kept together for a series, and supplies I can’t put away, because there is stuff in the way. When I had to reorder  something I knew I had already bought, that was the last straw.


Would anyone like to do this with me? We could post “before,” “in progress,” and “after” pictures. Having to be accountable might help. Provide reinforcement!


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where are you located?

oops I just figured it out... Im in California... thats a little far to go  LOL!


I think this is more in the nature of a "cleaning buddy" project where we're comparing studios, right? It's sort of like an exercise buddy to push you on to continue and not give up. If this is what you have in my mind, you're on Sister!

My studio is a two car garage where I do my print matting and framing. Right now it is piled high with everything imaginable. BTW, it's not seen cars inside there for 25 years. When I first moved in, I taught classes out there on darkroom work with 5 enlargers set up, and of course matting and framing. Right now there's a snowblower out there with a bunch of stuff my adult kids have "temporarily" left behind, and the place looks like a "before" shot of a hoarder's home.

I'm up for the challenge as I need to declutter, toss, and organize so I can start doing some serious artwork again. I do have a helper lined up to do the heavy lifting as the place is so bad, the only way to do it is to haul everything outside and bring in back in. If the weather turns nasty again, I may have to put up a couple of art fair tents in the driveway to have a place to move the stuff and keep it dry. Yikes!

BTW, you'll see what I do for organization out there. I built 2x4 shelving spaced to take 18 Gallon Roughneck totes for the standard storage unit. There's about 70 or so totes out there, so I think mine's worse than yours :-)

Yes, Robert, that’s what I had in mind. I didn’t realize until I read Annette’s comment that it could be read like I wanted someone to HELP me clean up! I’d be way too embarrassed to request that! No, I should be the only one to suffer through straightening out my mess. I am hoping to be able to keep myself on task by needing to report progress. It’s harder to flake out publicly. A friend and I became writing buddies: we provide reminders not to let our projects slide. And reading each other’s further permutations provides reinforcement.


So take some pictures! And anyone else who needs to do the same, get on board! But it might also be fun to see others’ “Before” shots, in the sense that watching a train wreck is entertaining.


I’m amazed you could fit so many totes out there: must be all the way to the ceiling! You might have a larger scaled “mess” than I do, but I have all this tiny little stuff.

Yep, they do go to the ceiling. The bottom row is for tall tubs I've made out of an 18 gallon tote and a 12 gallon tote. The lids are glued together and the center cut out. The small tub becomes the lid. I can drop in 18x24 matted pieces that way, or 16x20 framed pieces. The rest of the shelves have 2 inches clearance for the 18 gallon totes. The top shelf next to the ceiling has enough room for 15 gallon totes or those Sterilite flip top containers. You'll see the horrible mess in a day or two ;-)

I look forward to it! :)

Here's a few to start!

Floor? Who needs a floor?!

One of the "temporary" card tables I set up, because my workbench was too full. Bad idea: it stayed there for the next 2 years. Luckily I can get at some racks from either side. The space under the table is, of course, full also: file boxes, wood for pedestals, and sheet copper for sculptures.

Why, just this morning I did a sort of upper level cleaning.  I added a couple of nails to the open rafters to hang patterns from and moved two hanging work lamps and in doing so noticed horrendous cobwebs and dust everywhere up there, plus zillions of dead bugs in the wall sconces.  I swept the walls, used compressed air in the sconces, and dusted the top edges of everything.  What a mess it created as it all rained down on everything below.  It was just cleaning, not organizing, but that will come next!

Well my studio is fairly clean but I've been planning for some time to clean out the shed.  We moved from a house with a 4 car garage to a house with no garage and everything not immediately needed went into the shed.  I recently bought 4 of those plastic shelving units and I'm ready to go for this weekend.  Like Robert I am going to have to pull a lot out to even start but I don't have a tent I can quickly put up so I may get a late start if it rains this weekend.  I'll take some photos to post a little later today.

Great! I look forward to seeing them!

My studio becomes the catchall area for home improvement projects too. So not all the mess is strictly work related. But if I can get that stuff consolidated and moved elsewhere, I’ll have more room for the work I need to do down there.

Linnea you must have been in my head.....I've been promising myself time to clean, straighten, and actually organizing my work area. It's gotten so bad that I can't tell where my work area ends and the mess of our remodel begins. Your area really looks very neat compared to mine. I guess that we all think about our own mess-that it's the worst. And, that's because not only is it a physical mess, but, we (well, definitely I am guilty of this)--the mess has also moved into my head....I think/hope that once I get my studio back, I will be able to create again. Right now, I am 'crippled' by the physical mess-which affects my mental creativity. Yes, I want to join in this 'fight' to gain our work space!!!!


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