Creativity and organization. Two categories people feel they either fall into. For some reason, we are taught that you can either be creative or you can be organized, but you can’t be both. Well I strongly disagree with that belief. I feel I am both a creative and an organized person. I mean, the name of this blog is called The Organized Mama, so I feel like I better represent in the organizing world.
But I have always been a creative thinker. I love getting messy with paints and glitter. DIY projects make me happy. And watching my kids color sparks joy!
So what have I done to create an organized home when I am a creative by nature? I have a few tricks I have learned along the way!
Plan Your Day
Start each day by making a plan. Not of the tasks you are going to do, but the time you want to spend during the day on tasks. Some people call this time blocking, while others just call it planning your day. Get a planner with a time breakdown already in it. Then fill in your appointments, drop offs, meals, etc.
Next, put your tasks into the time blocks that are left. I have to do this in the morning. Since I am more of a creative mind, I can’t plan all my tasks the day before. When I wake up, I look at my long to do list and pick the tasks that I am drawn to. The “have to” tasks like billing and invoicing are always done first. But the rest of the day can be left to complete projects that really speak to me at that time. If I am in the mood to draw, I will pick a project that involves drawing and work around that particular task in my time block.
My Favorite Planners, Pens, and Notebooks
When I am working in my time block, I try to avoid distractions. I will try to put my phone in a different room, limit music with lyrics, and have a clutter free work space. This really helps keep me focused on the tasks at hand. Start by creating a clear space. Not clean, just clear. If that means moving piles of paper to the floor so your desk is clear, then do it. Worry about the piles later. Give yourself uncluttered space to think and spread out.
To limit my distractions, I really try to limit holding onto unfinished projects along with other things.
I also have created a project planning board. This board helps me jot down a project idea and gives it a designated space for it to go. I always check my board daily to see what projects I have and I don’t have to worry about forgetting a task or project because I make sure they are all on the project board.
Limit Hoarding Tendencies
As creatives we love to hold onto things that we might use one day. Unfinished projects, unused craft supplies, scrap paper. The list goes on because we feel we could turn this trash into treasures.
But if there are supplies that you haven’t touched in a few years. If there are projects that are taking up space when you know in your heart you won’t be able to finish. Then you need to declutter to make room for all the new creativity you are bringing into your space.
Start by asking yourself if your future self will complete this project. “Will future Jessica knit again?” Honestly, probably not. Maybe if one of them wants to learn how to knit. But that is a big maybe. So I found a local organization through the children’s hospital that takes knitting supplies. The woman turn them into hats for cancer patients. To me, this is a much better use of my knitting supplies than in a drawer collecting dust.
This process wasn’t easy. I really had to be honest with myself about if I would actually use these items. Some things I gave myself time limits. I set a reminder on my phone to check to see if I used it in 2, 4, or 6 months. Some things were seasonal, so they went in the seasonal box. If I didn’t use them after that holiday, they would be donated.
Simply limiting the amount of extra supplies will significantly help when it comes to being creative and being organized.
Create Zones First
When you are creating zones, don’t just zone areas for where your supplies are going. Make sure you zone off areas for your work space. Where are you going to create and where are you going to do office work? Where are you papers and billing being stored? Think about all the different zones you need in your workspace. Then create a plan for where you work best on your computer. Make that area your “office”. Store all your office supplies near your “office” so you can easily grab when you are working on billing or invoicing.
Where do you do your creating? Store all the items you need near the creating zone. You may need all your paint, brushes, and pens near your creating zone.
Have an abundance of other supplies you use occasionally? Store these supplies in an area that is still accessible, but not in arms reach. Keep the things you use daily close, and the rest can be stored around the room.
Start with creating zones. Then find containers that fit. Never the other way around.
Labels Are Your Friend
Use labels to write down where everything goes. Craft up some fun and decorative labels. Make the space your own. But don’t skip labeling. It really does help when you clean out your work space. You can quickly plop things back in the drawers or shelves that they belong because they are labeled.
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How To Be Creative And Organized
Start by planning out your day then filling in the tasks around your creativity that day. Remove distractions during work time. This helps you feel productive and focus on the task at hand. Limit your hoarding tendencies. We all want to keep and reuse interesting items. But if those items or supplies haven’t been touched, it is time to donate. Create zones in your workspace first. Make sure you create an office zone and a work space zone. Then find bins or shelving or containers that fit your stuff, not the other way around. Finally make sure you label everything. This helps when you want to quickly clean up your work space because you don’t have to think about where things go. You just read the labels. By focusing on your creativity and creating your space and day around that, you can easily be an organized creative person!