Natural Born Organizer

I am a natural born organizer!!!

colorful storage drawers

Lucky for me, because I am also a natural born collector of things!!!


If I DIDN’T organize all the things that I collect, I would appear on the Dr. Phil Show as someone with deep seated problems or I would go on one of the many Hoarder shows and simply let their people tell my people which plastic box my stuff goes in and then they could all pile it on top of each other placed on neat shelves in a garage or basement!


Instead, mostly as an artist and part of the time as a collector, I spend an extraordinary amount of time “Organizing”.


Now that Spring has arrived here in North Florida, it is my pioneer instinct to clean and straighten and Organize everything in sight! I have even tried lining my four cats in a straight line, but to no avail!!!


Since the invention of modern electricity and the gas or electric furnace, we don’t need to clean the way my Grandmother had to.  She had a coal furnace and after a long winter of that behemoth blowing warm air and charcoal dust, my grandmother, on the first warm spring day in Michigan, would throw open the windows and be laden with buckets and rags and begin the long task of cleaning EVERYTHING from TOP TO BOTTOM!!! Windows and floors, closets, chests and shelves were her enemy and she attacked them all with such a pine sol infused zealotry that you couldn’t help but to stand in awe and wonderment as her home began to shine from TOP TO BOTTOM!!!


Nowadays, spring cleaning means putting the sweaters away and raking the yard for the old dead weeds from last fall.  But, I choose to add to that list – ORGANIZING!


As an artist, I have a “thing” for art supplies.  I tend to wander into Michaels or Hobby Lobby or A.C. Moore (sure wish we had a Dick Blick nearby!) at least once a week.  I go with my 40% off coupons and shop with a list; but the dollar tables and the clearance aisles draw me in like no other project can!!  I load up with every possible art supply you can imagine!  It always surprises me when I actually end up using all of these odd little doo dads in my work.  But, where do I store everything?? It is a problem, one that is very familiar to every artist I know.


I have visions of really, REALLY attacking the garage and its piles of junk, empty boxes and weird things that have literally, been dumped into the space.


Garage Interior



I would like to toss the old boxes (having moved over 50 times in my life, I tend to save “good boxes”), rid myself of “doubles” of tools and get all the Christmas decorations into plastic containers, labeled and neatly stacked. Perhaps it is just a dream.


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I know it looks daunting!!! But I MUST Persevere!!!!

Front of Garage



But, happily, I can report, things are fairly organized in other parts of the house!!!

Since I use the entire home as my studio with projects in some sort of stage of completion in the kitchen, dining room, ironing room and office, I have the need for storage shelves, drawers, cupboards, bins and boxes in ALL of these rooms!!


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These rooms are about the standard small bedroom size (10’ x 11’) and I basically use them as I would a storage unit!  But, it would be nice to move everything out to this “Dream Garage” so that when perusing my Loot for ideas for art projects, it would all be in one area!!! I know….a Dream!!!!


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Because I use paints and scraps of paper and vintage this and that, shelves tend to get dirty and painted on and speckled with glitter and glue.  I like everything that I store my supplies in to be made of plastic so that it can easily be washed down and cleaned all the way to the very deep corners!


The cheapest storage for organization is plastic drawers!  Every big box store carries a multitude of sizes and shapes and colors of drawers!  I’m a multi-color kind of person so if the color is bright, I gotta have it!!!


colorful storage drawers

I use these drawers for paper, plastic, foam, paints, jewelry, punches, embellishments, pictures for decoupage, flower parts, buttons, strings and sculpy by the tonnage!


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Then the imagination hits Big Time as I try to find unique ways to store all the other “Stuff” I absolutely NEED to create ART!!!


An Old CD Rack with little Dollar Store plastic pails for pens, pencils and Sharpies:


pencil and pen shelves


A Hanging cloth shoe storage organizer used for ribbon instead:


Ribbon storage



Metal Belt Hangers:


ribbon storage on door


Metal Pants hangers for ribbons:


ribbon storage on back of door


A Colorful Picnic Basket for yarn and bins full of even more yarn:


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Colorful shoeboxes hold tons of treasures


shoe box storage


And Binders full of Ideas and Ideas and Ideas!!!


art binders



But my real desire is to have the space and the storage to be able to create my artwork with everything in its and a place for everything!!!


My friend, Phyllis Peterson, of North Carolina, is an incredible artist and a true inspiration!  After the first of the year, Phyllis decided to attack her studio and really REALLY get it organized! It took days of planning and moving things and rearranging and figuring out just how it all fit together!  And this is the result!!!


Pictures of Phyllis’s Studio

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Sigh! I am so envious!!! Well, it’s off to go through boxes!!

Tomorrow IS Garbage Day!!!

Amy's Heart


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