Lately I've been following Joshua and Ryan the minimalists on their Instagram 31 day autumn clean out here and I've really been enjoying reading their tips on minimalism.
On day 13 two sentences really stand out for me
"The easiest way to organize your stuff is to get rid of most of it."
"Ultimately, organizing is nothing more than well planned hoarding."
I have to say here that I'm guilty of organizing and reorganizing my art and craft supplies and other areas of our home. In the past year I purged art supplies before we moved and then again a couple of months ago but it seems that it needs to be done again and much as I'd love to purge everything and have nothing to organize and continually tidy, I do love my hobbies and they come with a certain amount of stuff. Sometimes determining which stuff should be kept and which stuff isn't really needed is difficult.
As you can see in the picture above, I try to keep the clutter down as much as possible and create peaceful pauses in between the mayhem on the other shelves but somehow the shelves become overfull and the peaceful shelf starts to look like a great place to put the over-spill. (I should mention here that there are another two levels of shelves below this that are full of box files and paints. I couldn't fit them in the picture because of the dining table but the table doesn't disguise the mess in the shelves above)
Part of the problem could be that I'm storing my cookbooks in one of the shelves now when I used to have them stored in the kitchen at our last house. Unfortunately I have nowhere to do that in the kitchen here, yet.
Another part of the problem is having no spare shelves to put new art supplies when they come into the house. The 'one in one out' approach doesn't really work if, like me you buy a new tube of paint or art pad etc before your old one runs out so that it's there ready when you need it.
Magazines are also becoming a bit of a problem on my shelves. I only buy 2 Photography magazines, one is monthly and the other bi-monthly, but I keep them for a while and Mum reads them too before they get cut up and used for collages and school projects. I started pulling out useful Photoshop tutorials and keeping those in clear file folders but as you can see on the top shelf on the left, I've collected far more files than I intended to so they too have become another area that needs to be sorted through. They've even displaced some of my photography books now.
The magazines in the top right shelf are house and garden themed and were given to me by Mum when she had finished with them. We're currently doing up our house so these are a great source of ideas for now. Eventually they'll join the other magazines in the box for cutting up.
Add to all of this the seemingly continuous flow of paperwork coming from my children's schools and the steady stream of bills and other assorted junk mail that comes across my desk and it seems increasingly hard to find peace in the mayhem.
So, somehow I have to find the middle path between total clear-out and organized hoarding before I run out of space to work :D
I'll let you know how that works out. Have a great week :)