Saturday, July 26, 2014

Does Your Craft Room Drain Your Energy

Craft Room

Okay, I said I was back from vacation and ready to go. And I am. I have lots of creative energy flowing, tons of great ideas and I can't wait to get crafting.

...until I walk into my craft room

The minute I walk in, I feel overwhelmed.  My chest tightens, my stomach sinks, and all I can do is sit and stare at the mess, the clutter, and the excess supplies. Sometimes I muster up enough energy to pull out some paper and embellishments and try to make a card or two. More often, I give up and go out into the rest of my house to clean and tidy...there I feel more in control.

The rest of my house is generally kept clean and organized. Why can't I do this in my craft room? Don't get me wrong, I do clean my craft room regularly. Usually once a week. But within a few hours of cleaning it, I'm right back to the same messy, disorganized space.

Craft Roomcraft room

What is my problem?

I looked to the internet for answers. I couldn't find any that really fit. I found some generic getting organized tips. Nothing that really got to the root of the problem. I know how to organize just not how to stay organized. 
Besides, I'm not really sure that disorganization is my only problem. I think it might be more than that. 
So after some soul searching, I came up with these points.

My craft room is messy

My craft room is very messy. These photos were taken on a relatively "tidy day". I also can't stand clutter. It makes me nervous, anxious and exhausted. The same feelings I get when I step into my craft room (no surprise there). So when you combine my intolerance for clutter and the perpetually messy state of my craft room, we have the recipe for creative blockage and avoidance. 

Why is my craft room messy?

  • I don't put things away when I'm done (no brainer). I don't see the need...I'm going to use it again in a little while. You know, I'm being efficient. Except that everything stacks up, I have no room to work, and when I do need something I have to search through piles to find it.  Note to Self: WAKE UP! Just put the stuff away!
  • I don't complete one project before starting another. At any given time I may have 2 projects 98% done sitting on my work space (along with all of the tools and materials to complete them) And what do I do?  Finish them you say?  No, I push them aside to start yet a 3rd project with all the creative crap that entails. And before you know it, I am drowning in creative chaos. Note to Self: Finish what you start! For your own sanity, finish it and put it away!
Craft Room

 I have way too much stuff

I'm sure you've heard the phrase "too much of a good thing". My supply stash gives that phrase a new meaning! I have more paper than I will ever be able to use. I get overwhelmed just looking at it. I also feel guilty looking at it.
Why in the world did I think I needed so much? Everything looks so great in the stores and in the catalogs. I have tons of ideas. But then I get it home and it just sits on the shelf...sometimes on the floor, in the bag I brought it home in. There it sits, invoking guilt every time I glance at it. 
 Notes to Self: 
• Stop buying stuff you don't have an immediate need for. (It will still be at the store if you really need it later!)
• Just because it's on sale, doesn't mean you need to buy it. (Spending money on something you aren't going to use it not a savings...even if it's on sale.) 
• Be realistic about what you are going to use. (All of those projects sound great, but don't forget the other hundred unfinished projects you have stashed away)
• Donate the excess to charity (Instead of guilt, maybe you'll feel a little goodwill!) 
• It's hard to put things away when every inch of storage is crowded with things you will never use. 

The "feel" of the room does not inspire creativity

I've decided that I just don't like the feel of the room. I'm not sure exactly what it is. But here are some thoughts.
The color is too drab.The room is painted a dull grayish green color. While I think it's a nice color, I also think it tends to sap my energy. I read that purple is a creative color.  Note to Self:  Check out some paint samples.
I hate the furniture.All of the furniture in my room are discards from other people and other rooms. While I would love a whole IKEA room, financially it's not going to happen.  But maybe I can give some of the pieces a face lift. I would also like to somehow rearrange it and somehow fit in a comfy chair.  Note to Self:  Get creative with the furniture.
There is too much visual clutter. I think this goes hand in hand with having too much stuff. Not only are there piles everywhere, but there are too many supplies stored out in the open. I think I need to have more "hidden storage". My biggest problem with this is that if I don't see it...I forget I have it. Note to Self: figure out a way to visually "hide" my supplies. 
The clock is ticking.No, literally, the clock is ticking. I realized as a was sitting here typing that there was a constant tick. tick. tick in the background. Making me constantly aware of every minute that is passing. The feeling that I was running out of time was stressing me out. So, I took the clock with it's constant tick. tick. tick. and put it in the goodwill bin. Note to Self: Buy a quiet clock. Remember, sometimes it's not just visual cues that set the atmosphere of a room. Be aware of the background noises and smells. They can have a profound affect too.

Okay. Enough self discovery...stay tuned to see if I can put my plan into action.



  1. So how are you doing with all this now, nine months later? I could've written this, every single thing you wrote is true for me as well. In fact I found this blog post because I googled "feeling overwhelmed when I walk into my craft room"! I am a beader, and also sell my jewelry online and have been contemplating quitting that and just beading for myself/fun/ I think that dilemma is also adding to my inability to be productive. While all the suggestions you came up with have also occurred to me, I think there is something else going on too and not sure what to do about it! I feel like I just can't make a decision! I have tons of projects in progress, or waiting to be made, a billion ideas and I don't do anything about it even though I've got the supplies right here.Every day I ask myself what my problem is and wish I knew the solution. It's just so overwhelming. Curious to know if you "fixed" yourself from stuck mode. :-)

    1. Hey Susan,

      I'm still working on it. I am doing much better about not buying things. I have been avoiding both Michael's and Joanne's...the temptation is just to great :-) I have pulled a lot of supplies off my shelves and put them in boxes to donate but I haven't actually donated them...It's so hard to part with my treasures. I hope to paint and come up with some furniture options that aren't too expensive this summer.

      I think part of my perfectionism...I've I can't do it perfectly, I have trouble doing anything at all. Keep me posted on your progress. :-)