How do you organize?

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I’m always intrigued by other people’s organization. I never feel that I am organized enough and I’m a little bit neurotic about implementing new organization in my office/workspace.  I could spend hours in office stores, at Ikea and other stores drooling over organizational supplies and organizational displays. I also love to read decor & design blogs & mags to see how other people solve their organizational problems.

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only on this ride either, and that’s why I thought it would make sense to start a feature on organizing. Specifically, to show you how others organize their spaces.

To start the whole thing off, ceramicist Tasha McKelvey shares her pottery studio and some of her organizational solutions & problems. She has really come up with some wonderful space utilizing organization!

If you want to share your organization solutions, problems, before & afters or anything relating to organization, send me an email. I’d love to take a look.!

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1. How would you describe your studio’s organization? Is it more “everything has its place” or “a little clutter breeds creativity”?

Definitely more “everything has its place,” but I didn’t always work that way, organization came with experience and maturity.  Nowadays, I can’t really focus on being productive in the studio unless I have met a minimum level of organization—especially since my studio is pretty tiny.

2. Can you give us a little tour of your workspace? What’s the layout like? The flow?

My studio is located in a small L-shaped room, its only about 6 x 8 feet.  You walk in and there is a board with all my orders & current projects written on it.  Then you come to a work station, which I normally use as a clay-free zone for reviewing orders, using the laptop or finishing my already kiln-fired ceramic jewelry.  Next to that on the left is my main work table, with a big window that looks out onto the street.  To the left of the main table is a wall of shelves, where I store pottery that is drying or waiting to be glazed.  At the bottom of the left side of the wall of shelves is my potter’s wheel.  Finally to the immediate left of the wheel is a wall, where I have installed a bunch of hanging cups and hooks where I store most of my clay tools.  I actually only have one chair in the studio – it is a swivel chair so I can access the different work stations just by moving my chair around.

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3. Love your whole clipboard system, how did that develop and does it keep you organized?

Actually there are no clipboards, just a bunch of little hanging clips on a long bar under my order board.  When a wholesale or custom order comes in, I write it on the board.  Then I either print it or write it out by hand, to be clipped under the order board.  I do most paper work in the office I share with my husband, but I do like to keep my orders in the studio to better keep track of what I need to be working on.  The hanging clips allow me to grab an order and clip it over the wheel or work table in case I need to see how many of such-and-such to make for a particular order.  I really like this system because it keeps all my orders in plain sight as I enter the studio, which helps keep me motivated!

4. Share a storage or organizational problem that you solved.

When I first moved into my current studio, my tools took up all my shelf space and I didn’t have much room for my pottery.  I solved this problem by visiting IKEA, I figured that their bar, hook & hanging cup kitchen storage systems would also make great studio tool storage as well.  I bought a few items last Summer and was happy with the effect, so I went back in the Fall to get more components.  Now I have very few tools on shelves, instead everything is hanging on what would have otherwise been wasted wall space.  Then there is the added benefit of everything being super organized and easy to find.

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5. What’s still a problem child for you in terms of your organizational set-up?

I need to figure out a better storage solution for my dipping glaze containers.  Right now the are stored under my work table.  I would like to find or build some sort of cart to store them on that can slide under one side of my work table.  Then the top of the cart could also be a work surface for glazing.

6. What’s your very favorite part of your studio?

The big work table with the window that looks out into the trees and street below.  I get to watch birds & squirrels while I am making pottery with birds & squirrels on it.

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4 thoughts on “How do you organize?

  1. I think this series is going to be wonderful, I can’t wait to see how other people organize their workspaces! I’m still in the process of setting mine up, unpacking and all that, and can use all the help I can get 😀

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