I’ve been able to avail of some major perks now that I live in the city. There are amazing places to eat, amazing museums to visit and amazing parks to flake out in. All of which are 20minutes away from my doorstep (or less). A new experience for me was that I had to downsize my operations.
In the past, I have always lived in the suburbs and had the space to operate a studio room for arts and crafts. This room would be a cluttered chaotic room which I’d have loads of shelves stacked with art books, random paints, materials, electronics and toys spread throughout the room. Paint would be slung across all the walls from past projects, I would have several eclectic projects going on at the same time and there would be no time limits or curfews on when I could use that space. It was my unsupervised playground which I felt comfortable in the chaos.
Since moving into the apartment in August 2017 I’ve not had the privilege to have a spare room and I’ve downsized my possessions several times. Anything that I have true sentimental value to, I’ve boxed up and put them into my dad’s attic for storage. Everything else has been shipped to charity shops, recycled or binned. Every time I released trinkets out of my life, I felt great, like I was lightening a load and giving my state of affairs some focus. However after a while I would have the urge to downsize again which I turned the act into a rinse and repeat situation.
The key for me wasn’t downsizing, it was decluttering. Also before I go on about decluttering, it took me months of practice to get into a decluttering routine and I’m still only on training wheels during this whole process. Once in routine, decluttering allowed me to respect my space and respect myself. Once my space was decluttered it allowed me to concentrate and understand what I was looking at, gave me the time to analyse, think and execute what I needed to produce.
To date, I’ve been successful in decluttering a lot of my space, as well as maintaining a decluttered sanctuary to work in. There are a 101 different blogs you can read and get tips from about minimalism and decluttering. I had to do a lot of exploration to make a compilation of ideas that suited my lifestyle and what I wanted to achieve. One of the biggest rules that I needed, was that everything I had, had to have a home. This meant that my workspace had no excuse but to be clean and ready to work on at any given time on any project. Decluttering does not mean white space and sterilisation, its reclaiming space to do things in, so once happy with my space and routine I was able to add hygge elements above and around the space. These would be non-intrusive warm homely things to make the working space less sterile and more welcoming for creative work.
Having this blank space that is always ready to work on, allowed me to be more focussed, imaginative and efficient in my goals. Personally it was a revelation, as I thought being calm in the chaos was where I was most comfortable, but in hindsight the chaos literally fogged my vision up and drove me insane. Working in this new format, I found out I could execute to a higher standard and get a higher sense of accomplishment/achievement out of myself when finishing work.
As I mentioned, it took me months to build up into a routine of decluttering but once I respected the space more, it gave me inspiration and drive to get creating.