Declutter for a Purpose

Declutter for a Purpose - student project


Declutter for a Purpose - image 1 - student project

Declutter for a Purpose - image 2 - student project

Declutter for a Purpose - image 3 - student project

Declutter for a Purpose - image 4 - student project

Declutter for a Purpose - image 5 - student project

Holy Cow!!!  Every time I walk in here, I wonder what has happened...I have more than enough storage, but I seem to be working on too many things at once and nothing gets finished or put away...

I recently rented desk space to a lovely couple - the glass desk and lockers are theirs.  They do everything on the computer or on their small desk top and I take up the rest of the space with SO MANY THINGS AND PROJECTS.  One reason for renting the space was to have other people here so it would "force" me keep more reasonably organized...Doesn't seem to be working. 

I do currently have an inventory-based business, so the items on the metal shelves is all inventory.  I went through a huge decluttering before I rented out the corner and am now in the midst of closing out my business to go on to other things.  It's very hard to figure out what to just give away and what I can still sell.  It's taking much too much time and space to make these decisions.

I am hoping that by following these prompts, I can move on to decluttering and having a fresh, relaxed, clean, inspiring place to start my next business.


Declutter for a Purpose - image 6 - student project

After 22 years of being side-tracked into a business that no longer brings me joy or fulfillment, I am ready to start working on all those projects I've been putting off until "later." 

The spiritual connection is not only reconnecting with myself, but my intended project connects the spiritual meaning of words with an art form.

To create with and for JOY is a double entendre as my middle name is Joy. 

So often my ideas are beyond my technical skills, so this will be a year of honing old skills long out of use and learning new skills to adapt to the constantly changing world of social media. 


I would love to take the time to go off to some galleries and museums, but that's not in the cards for this week...

So my "artist inspiration" trip has been through my INSPIRATION and CREATING bookmarks on my browser, going all the way back to 2009.  I realized in my decluttering that I had cards, tear sheets, websites and more, saved in all kinds of files, boxes, Evernote, browsers, etc.  In the process of reorganizing (or more accurately: organizing) them, I cleared out lots of defunct sites and notes  but also explored many artists' blogs and sites that are still inspirational.  It certainly did feed my desire to continue this process until I can finally get down to doing my own work!


Declutter for a Purpose - image 7 - student project

I've spent weeks trying to figure out my next steps, but this exercise has put everything into focus in a very powerful way.  I can see where stating my creative mission and my 3 big projects (and there actually have been three in the works all this time!), I suddenly have clarity and focus that have been missing.

I hope everyone in this workshop/class is doing the work because it is POWERFUL!!!


I've spent two days clearing off my computer desk(s): 4 baskets of paperwork - almost done!  One thing I"ve realized is that two of my file cabinets are too full, causing me to avoid doing filing.  I've shifted things around and eliminated some files so that all can be used easily.  It was also a good time to remember that the items from my old business that were kept close at hand no longer have to be so.  Having these files out of my visual sight brings some relaxation.

I will be ready to photograph tomorrow!!!

I made a notebook today for the class paperwork.  My mission statement is on the cover and my 3 goals on the inside cover. 

3  Big Milestones:

Business divestment:

All inventory items from my business will be gone, either sold or donated. Will have one more renter in my studio for income

Stranded Meanings:

Will have a blog and published materials

Income-producing patterns:

Will have patterns on 3 sales sites, possibly kits

 DAY 5

Almost done with the desk tops - need to clean surfaces, but wanted to get this up before leaving the studio...


Declutter for a Purpose - image 8 - student project

The one basket on the desk holds items and papers that need follow-up this week. The timer has been out of use for a while - great for getting things moving, as Kelly Jo has suggested in her video.  It was lost under so many papers, I was forgetting to use  it.  Unsorted business cards are in the orange box.

Declutter for a Purpose - image 9 - student project

Declutter for a Purpose - image 10 - student project

4 drawers cleared out - 1 is even empty!!!

Declutter for a Purpose - image 11 - student project


Cleared 5 boxes/baskets of paper work, tear sheets, etc...

Declutter for a Purpose - image 12 - student project

These cute little baking pans from the Container Store were used for displays, but worked perfectly for pen & pencil storage as well as other small items that get lost in drawers.  They're sturdy and very inexpensive.

Declutter for a Purpose - image 13 - student project

Declutter for a Purpose - image 14 - student project

I spent several hours yesterday putting the elephant puzzle back together again...He's been with me a long time and I love having him on my desk. More years ago than I care to say, a question was asked in a workshop for freelancers: how do you wear so many hats at once and get anything accomplished? The leader's answer: "It's like eating an elephant.  You take one bite at a time."

Tomorrow is the 21st and I am a long way from decluttering all my space, but  gaining clarity on my mission, my 3 big projects and my 3 major milestones will get me through the rest of this effort.


No present need for changes, the studio was reconfigured recently for renting space.  Once I am divested of my old business, I will reconsider the entire layout.


Kelly Jo hit it on the nail: I tend to save things until I can find the perfect person/group to give them to.  I can hold on to a box or bag of goodies for years waiting for the perfect recipient...

I also have an exagerated idea of the worth of goods - I have wasted more time in the past two months putting items on Ebay or Amazon and thinking they will sell, when the reality is that the world is changing rapidly and what had value even a few years ago is worthless today.

It's been helpful to hear someone else say "GIVE IT UP!!!"


Declutter for a Purpose - image 15 - student project

Next Challenge:  Studio Schedule

I have resisted this completely - hit a wall of resistance.  One reason I work for myself is that I hate adhering to a schedule.  It seems that the world revolves on a 9-5 axis and my circidian rhythm is quite different.  I know that a "schedule" doesn't mean that I have to keep office hours, but over the years, being on my own, I have functioned with no schedule at all.

This is an opportunity to examine my beliefs and blockages and work on this...


Studio schedule to commit to:

I will be in the gym or in the studio by 11:00 AM at least three days a week.

This allows for the other days to have no particular schedule and is a soft landing for committing to specific times.

Another Day of Decluttering

The metal desktop is clear!!!  The only items left on the table are textile books that have been listed for sale on Amazon one small project in process and a book to be delivered to a friend the next time I'm in her neighborhood. 

Declutter for a Purpose - image 16 - student project


Since I have no one else to contend with in the studio, the rules are for myself only:

  1. I will tidy up all surfaces before I leave the studio, clearing as many surfaces as possible except items still in use.
  2. I will spend no more than 15 minutes on arrival to check emails, blogs, news sites, etc.
  3. I will only stop to read emails, blogs, news feeds, etc. once in an hour (unless the blogs pertain to and are essential to what I am working on).
  4. I will commit to a daily schedule that includes work towards my 3 Big Goals Milestones at least one hour of the day.


Between taxes, orders, etc., I've slacked off a bit but at least have kept working on clearing out my email inbox. With 3 email accounts, every time I take a few days out of the studio, I end up with 600 or more emails piled up. I've spent several days purging, answering, unsubscribing and archiving emails until I am down to about 200.  I found that I was coming in and spending an hour or two just going through emails rather than the 15 minutes I had made as a rule.  I hope this helps!!!

The other decluttering I've done is less visable: shredding papers, a thankless task.

Still have several cabinets, shelves and table to clear...but this class still gives me more incentive to complete the task.  Having STUDIO RULES is a tremendous help!!!