So the time has come to accept the fact that I may never have a studio space like the one in my old house, one that measured about 22'x 10'. It was huge.
You can see the rest of it in my side bar... I LOVED that space. I loved having two table tops (one for sitting and one for standing), I loved how it was divided by function, I loved the organization and how it looked good together, but most of all, I loved how it functioned. It worked. I knew where everything was from my multimedia to my jump rings. It was roomy enough for several friends to share with me, and it was colorful, which made me happy and inspired.
But life happens, and I found myself moving from my 3 BR, 1500 sf home to a 2 BR 1000 sf home. It was time to downsize. And downsize I did! My new space is a whopping 9.5' x 7' and doubles as our dining space, which means the counter and dining table need to stay clean and open. So, when I unpacked and rearranged, I was left with this:
And that brings me to:
Small Space Solution #1: Keep only what is essential.
I purged ALL my 8.5 x 11 cardstock - ALL of it. Let's face it, if I want 8.5x11, I can cut it down from 12x12. That allowed me to release the mailbox slots, which I donated to school. I also purged the majority of my patterned papers.
For a while, my space seemed at least functional. It took getting used to, but there were two significant problems: I didn't feel it was pretty or colorful enough which in turn kept me from feeling inspired or happy in the space, and second, it was crowded and cluttered.
- I kept knocking things over on top of the Expedits,
- the album pages would fall through the slats on the shelf and hang,
- the green photo boxes were hidden behind the ugly black plastic drawers,
- I hated the polka dot and kraft boxes that didn't seem to go with anything else
- and there simply wasn't enough table space.
I decided what I really needed was more shelf space. So, a 5.00 coupon motivated me to check out my local Bed Bath and Beyond store. Here I found this:
For 50.00, I afforded myself SIX more shelves! They are not as big as Expedit ones, but they have lots of fun options. There are added shelves you can buy to make the squares more divided as well as one that is a cross that makes four mini spaces. The bamboo and canvas bins were also purchased there, and the brand is Real Simple. Although it's not an Expedit size, it fit my one little 2' space of wall that I had left. The angle on the photo is bad, but it really does sit just inside the doorframe (rather than covering it up like in the photo). And that brings me to:
Small Space Solution #2: Make Use of Any and All Shelves.
That means buying units like the one above, but also, this:
My table stands directly in front of the window. Since there is no wall space, I utilize the windowsill as a shelf. Here I store my general embellishments in glass jars so I can always see them (thereby remembering to use them more). I also bought this at the same store as the shelf above.
And with that shelf and spinner, the reorganization began. I have a tall bookshelf in my living room from which I moved a bunch of work and school related materials to my office on campus. Then I moved my albums which were driving me crazy on the bottom shelf to the bookshelf in the living room. I did a ton of other rearranging of embellishments, emptying drawers, using additional boxes, and condensing. In doing so, I opened up space both on top of the Expedits AND my scrap table. We also added a dining table which was a hand me down from my dad which he no longer needed when we moved him out of his apartment after my mom died. So, here's my current view:
Here's where we are left now:
I finally feel like I can breathe again. Even though there is more furniture in the space, there is also more table top space - which makes it feel more open - and best of all, is more functional too.
Come back tomorrow and I'll share the details of how I've organized things like photos, Project Life and Life Documented materials, etc. I may even give a video tour if I can figure it out!
'Til then, I'll be scrapping and enjoying my studio.