a place for everything

Marian ParsonsDecorating, Organizing, Running a Business13 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, we started organizing the studio.  As I said before, it was overdue.  I am generally a neat and tidy person, but when I am in the middle of creating, I don’t like to take the time to pick up after myself or put things away properly.  I’ll just shove a piece of fabric on the fabric shelf or barely open a bin in order to drop something haphazardly in.  Over time, this behavior leads to disorganization which makes me cranky when I’m in the middle of creating and I can’t find what I’m looking for when I’m looking for it.

The two things that help me with upkeep more than anything else is…

#1 – When stuff isn’t cluttered

#2 – When there is a place for everything


So, as I’ve been organizing, I’ve worked towards those two goals with each cabinet, drawer, and shelf we’ve tackled.


I bought some drawer organizer bins for the art cabinet while I was out shopping last week.  The drawers in this piece are deep, which is great for storage, but smaller items need to be contained or they will get lost in the back of the drawer.  These bins address that and also keep like things together.

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I even took some time to organize a new watercolor palette.  My old palette didn’t have enough wells in it and some of the larger wells had three colors in them, which wasn’t ideal.  And the colors weren’t labeled, so it was a bit of a guessing game with some of the pigments that look similar when dry.


My desk drawers are also all tidy, and several are even empty.  (As I shared before I have this weird thing that I like great storage pieces, but I prefer to have them empty or mostly empty.  When I posted about that, my brother shared that he is the same way, so maybe it’s a genetic thing.)


I even picked through and purged my magazine collection.  I only kept my very favorite issues and ones that I am in, in some form or another (contributor, featured, etc.)  It was pretty humbling seeing them all together.  (They are the group on the third shelf.)  It had been a dream of mine to be featured in a magazine for years and I never, ever thought it would actually happen, much less that I’d have a whole collection.


The drawers and lower cabinets were organized as well.  Most of our furniture painting supplies are housed in there.


While we were out shopping, I picked up a desk chair as well.  It was even on my shopping list, so that was a lucky find!  I love the antique Eastlake chair I had there, but it didn’t roll very well and wasn’t comfortable for long-term sitting.


As I’ve been browsing for desk chairs, I realized I don’t really love any of them.  So, if I can’t find one that I love, I’ll focus on finding one that is functional, inexpensive, and neutral.  This chair was on clearance at TJ Maxx for $64, so after sitting in it and rolling around in the aisle, I decided it fit in all three of the categories.  Maybe someday I’ll find one I love, but for now, this is a good solution.  I worked in it most of the day today and it’s much more comfy.

We also organized the storage room.  This was quite a task, but we worked on it over a few days, going through each bin.  As I shared, we got rid of bags and bags full of stuff and created so much more room in the process.  (As I’m saying “we”, I mean Kriste and I worked on this project when she was in the studio and then I did some work on it by myself.)


Sigh…I just love stacks of fabric and linens.

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Now, I’m all ready to mess it up again in 2017…

a place for everything

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13 Comments on “a place for everything”

  1. I LOVE the cabinets and how you have arranged the various areas of storage in your studio. I am like you in that I love a tidy environment but when I am in the creative “zone”, things get placed willy-nilly in the process. A good purge and organizing session is needed to feed the soul AND the creative spirit! Also love the desk chair – I think it fits beautifully in the space!! Happy Holidays!

  2. I commented on how unsteady those old 4 legged wheeled office chairs can be. Your old chair also didn’t look very ergonomic for the kinds of work you are doing. I am glad to see you got a safer chair but speaking as someone who spends a lot of time at a desk, you may want to consider an even more supportive chair with arms and back support. A real office chair. It makes a difference.

    I also commented once that the broken drawer fronts on your storage cabinet would be more obvious when the piece was painted white.. I still think so. When I look at the cabinet, I can’t help noticing the two broken drawer fronts, but I think it looks interesting and quirky.

    I also commented at one point that I envy your craft and art room. I used to have one but have now downsized and only have a secretary desk for my space. Your room is coming together very well and I hope you accomplish everything you want to.

    One thing I really appreciate about your blog is how you don’t feel you have to mention your faith often. It is part of you and your life. I think that your faith shows through your actions, and it is not necessary to call attention to it or highlight it for others to notice. Have a wonderful holiday season and don’t forget to take some time off for family, friends, and retreat. Eat some cookies.

  3. LOL, those are the cleanest acrylic tubes of paint I have ever seen in an studio! I agree with Bee, look at getting a real office chair – you can always cover it in hemp/linen and make it look more Mustard Seed. My sister nagged me for years to get a real chair and when I finally gave in, I realized how right she was. It will make all the difference.
    P.S. will Kriste travel to help others who are organizationally challenged? 🙂

  4. It’s so satisfying to have a place for everything and everything in its place–especially when it is such pretty storage!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours from Canada ?

  5. Looks wonderful. That is a lot of work! I am continually cleaning/organizing/purging. Just when I think I’m done…well, I’m never done. That’s okay, as this isn’t a perfect world.
    Yep, that office chair can always be “Mustardized”. Sometimes, function has to come first, and form may or may not follow.
    Looking forward to a 2016 Mustard Seed Family Christmas Caroling video…

  6. Your photos make me want to take down all the Christmas and start on my spring cleaning! (the frigid weather has got me longing for spring). I love an organized drawer, bin, closet, etc. Great post.

  7. so luxurious that you have that great wooden trug in a drawer as an organizer!!! makes me want to keep looking in the drawers! very inspiring! might be obvious, bt can you share how you hung your scissor collection?

    1. Yes, please do tell us how you hung your Scissors! I have picked up several pair I plan to display in my craft room.

  8. I am all about organization. I find it helps with my creative process instead of focusing on being frustrated by not finding things.
    A great resource is Peter Walsh. He is on FB and such a great inspiration for keeping and letting go.
    Looks great! WTG

  9. I make a mess when I’m creating too, not putting things away properly. But when I’m finished, I binge organize and clean. I was the same way in college. When it was crunch time with a paper or exam, my dorm room was a mess, but when the stress was over, I relaxed by putting everything away (fortunately, my roommate was the same way, so we didn’t drive each other crazy). I don’t start a project unless my work area is tidy and I know where everything is, but the in process mess doesn’t stress me out because I know when it’s done, I’ll celebrate by organizing (I guess its a sort of closure to the project?). My husband still brings up the time 25 years ago when I was really upset about something and emptied out the entire linen closet into a big pile on the floor and refolded everything.

  10. A Place for Everything…is such a powerful statement. It generates a feeling of power, control, peace and calm, all at the same time. I GET why you leave drawer and spaces empty; it speaks to the future of new growth. I like leaving empty spaces too – opening a drawer or a shelf that has open space is comforting and refreshing. Thank you for all the beauty and inspiration you bring us. Best wishes for a wonderful warm and happy Christmas!

  11. You keep Inspiring me to continue working on purging and organization. THX! Btw.. LOVE storage pieces. I cant help it.. All those drawers look so awesome! (but empty at my house as well…)

    Have a lovely Holiday.. Wishing you and Kriste a delightfully organized break!

    p.s. Look at the Haworth Fern Executive Office Chair. It is commercial grade and can stand up to everything. It is expensive but well worth it for the ergonomics. Seriously. You will never want another chair your entire life. (Sit well, feel well, work well).

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