Reorganizing my n*Studio or …how does your brain work?

I have been reorganizing my Studio and it is all Julie‘s fault – LOL. My problem was that I had this picture in my mind that my studio has to look super pretty and decorative. You see so many amazing rooms and they are decorated and organized in this beautiful way – Well – if yours is super pretty and decorative- AWESOME! – but my problem is that I can’t keep it up that way. So let me show the before and after and talk about it:


I had tried to make it pretty and my shelves would look like this after a couple days – some cubes are filled with piles of stuff, others still ok…

I just didn’t know where to put the stuff when I used it or got new boxes for DTs or assignments or workshops and kept piling them on the floor.

This was my desk when I was able to keep it clean but things were piling up like crazy and every time I reached for an ink pad or paint on top of the shelf – things were dropping off.

My spray paints on this stand – but every time I came back from a workshop with more open bottles or new color editions would arrive- I would have a problem of where to put them…they started piling up outside the stand….

My stamps and stencils in a huge drawer – at least I had them in ziplock bags….well until I needed some of them for workshops and then I would pull them apart and after cleaning for hours after a workshop, I was too tired of putting them back into those themed zip lock bags knowing I would have to pull them out again a week or two later for other workshops. So where did they end up? On the floor! Of course.

So when Julie was here for a week and wanted to have an art day with me… I told her we should go into the dining room since my room is so messy. And she kept telling me every day we have to reorganize it. I was so not going to do this. First of all- who wants to reorganize and clean up when you have a visitor?  And second….just the thought of going through all this stuff made me sigh and not want to do this. But Julie had no mercy- she really made me do it…and in retrospective – it was the best thing ever 😉 I’m not done yet- but getting there.


First she asked me how my brain works when I create. Well…it doesn’t work…hahaha- just kidding- LOL – she asked me “What are the ten things you would bring to a deserted island to be still able to work?” Ouch…LOL. So my list looked like this:

  1. Paints (acrylic paints, spraypaints, inks etc.)
  2. Media
  3. Stencils
  4. Paper
  5. Tools
  6. Markers
  7. Chipboard and Sticker Letters
  8. Stamps
  9. Adhesive
  10. Electronics

Then she had me go through each one of these and have me say if what I owned in this group was a “use always” or secondary used”. For example tools like a paper cutter that you used almost with every day versus an iron that you use once in a while.

So I put ….ok Julie put…;) my stencils in page deviders and stored them in those containers.  On the right you see the ink media that I do not use that often. So on my working desk I was only allowed to keep the ones that I use all the time. (She can be pretty demanding this Julie girl – LOL)

Everyday paints – in five cubes. Only showing those 🙂

Media cubes- two 🙂

All layouts without a home collected in a box and waiting for albums on the shelve. And one cube is now storing all my Prima materials and one is dedicated to Tattered Angels -no picture 😉

The stand now the “Found Object” Stand – love it- right at my desk , I can just peak in and reach all easily.

Stamps I’m using all the time- right at my side in a drawer

Stamps I love but not use in ALL the time.

Markers and pencils and journaling pens transfered from four different locations into one drawer right for my reach.

My favorite Letters – all collected and put in one drawer – easy to see and go through.

And on the shelves around – my artwork – as well as on the wall – that is then the for me pretty and decorative part- this makes this room so ME 🙂 This made me then be in peace with the not so pretty looking but organized shelves…this is when I was like “Yeah- this might work for me” – after I told Julie to stop for a million times and she laughed evil- hahahaha- saying that now I pull my “baby voice ” on her 😉

I love it- I worked in here and I actually as refreshed in my creativity -and it was already so easy to put everything away.


I have to label all the cubes in the shelf which should`nt take too long ….

Then this counter: the top left drawer is organized….still eleven more to come. Some of the stuff belong to the already organized cubes- and some I ‘m thinking of new categories. Like Chipboard Embellishments , Embellishments?, Buttons, Grungepaper/board, Meltingpot and Utee /Embossing Drawer.

Any suggestions? How do you organize your room? Am I the only one that is ….WAS…that bad?

have a great day


P.S. I will be joining Julie’s Art Journal Every Day for December 🙂

Art Journal Every Day


  1. I’m happy to read that I’m not the only messy person on that planet.
    It’s like cleaning away one item and get 3 new items in my way: one on my desk, one on the floor and a third at the wrong place in the shelve. It’s like magic…

  2. Hi Dear,
    looks so much better now!!! Love it….will you show us how it is in a couple of weeks, too??
    I am always fighting with my organizatin and I got some new ideas from reading this post! Thank you to you and Julie for it…;-)

  3. I’d love to have Julie come and help me too but I think she had some good points on how to get you organized. I love the idea of having your artwork hanging plus also close by too. Your space looks really neat.

  4. OMG Nat, as I read this post, I thought wow…that sounds like my room right now! I’m inspired…could you please send Julie my way lol?!

  5. I love how it’s coming along, especially love your ikea furniture. I’m looking for a new desk with drawers I can have my 10 Island Getaway things in…ha! It’s taken me a lont time to figure out what works for me and what doesn’t — I’ve been through so many different evolutions in my studio — but the good thing is it’s easy to narrow it down to what works and what doesn’t after a while! 🙂

    So, you asked! I have my drawers organized by category — and in rows — so in one row — top drawer ink pads, next drawer stamping accessories, next drawer embossing powders, stackable pads, clear stamping blocks, bottom drawer – clear stamp sets. Another row has all my sewing things organized in the different drawers. Please don’t ask about my fabric.

    Next row: tools I use more often than my craft iron, next drawerr adhesives, foam dots — other staples, next drawer – hand tools — dremel — and supplies for that, scotch tape runner and other larger tools, bottom drawer — punches.

    Next row: top drawer: markers, w/c crayons, pencils, paintie pens, gelatos and anything I write with, next drawer down: computer accessories, next drawer down christmas workshop supplies, bottom drawer: large alterable items.

    well now — you get the picture. I also have a lot of bins and things that I use — it’s easy to pull the entire bin down off the shelf and get what I need then put it back.
    I love Julie’s idea of the magazine holders for stencils — I might use them more if they were easy to get to.

    • The ikea furniture is a kitchen actually- we have the same stuff in our kitchen- LOL and I have to say it is really practical! Well if it is organized- snigger.
      Wow- you sound REALLY organzied. Love the idea of large alterable items – I have a problem with my little cube for the “for later projects”
      Do you have all labled too?
      Thanks for sharing cat!!!!

  6. Yep, it looks like Julie was a hard task master, but….look at your fabulous space! There’s lessons for all of us here in thinking about how we use our materials. I also make the mistake of thinking everything has to be ON the work table. I’m visiting from Julie – gotta love the girl!

  7. Kate Burroughs says:

    I wish I could get Julie to come to my house too! I have entirely too much stuff that I don’t use and the worst part is I can’t make myself get rid of any of it! And now that I am doing art journaling it is even worse as I can’t throw any little piece of paper away because I could use it in my art journal! I really like the top 10 idea. TFS
    Aloha, Kate

  8. Looks terrific, Nat! I don’t have a studio but am carving out a space in the garage to better organize my growing collection of creative shtuff. I took over an old CD cabinet for my inks and punches–perfect little shallow shelves. I look forward to an update from you on how you tackle/organize all of your papers. Thanks for the inspiration, both art-wise and organization-wise!

  9. I love your post – wish I could get Julie to help me at moment. I feel like I get it to a working point and then things change. Now I’m doing mixed media, it’s gotten a bit out of control altho’ I’ve tried to put the things I like most closest. It’s my stamps I’m having the most trouble controlling. Great ideas and thank you for sharing!

    • Deb, so far the stamps in the drawer are a good solution but I guess you have Way more stamps when me 😉 because you are the stamp dancer! As for the other stamps that I put in the pile not used that often- I guess those might be lost and not much looked at anymore 😦

  10. Looks great! You two make a good team :-)) I know exactly what you felt before! We just moved to a new place, and I just can’t do anything right now, because my stuff needs organization. So I don’t do it – not organizing OR creating – terrible! I need to find me a Julie around here.. :-))

  11. It looks gorgeous and I had a lot of fun forcing…er helping you organize your space!

  12. You must feel like a weight is off your shoulders with everything newly sorted and ‘reachable’. I have similar storage/grouping categories and just need to find a day to deal some things that have strayed… all in all though I can usually find what I need within a laughingly reasonable amount of time. Thanks for sharing all the pics!

  13. Great job, girls! Its so nice to work in a well-organized place – until it all gets messy again. But once you really *know* where and why to store your stuff, it will be easier to keep it that way. It was a great weekend!

  14. Oh I think your space is FANTASTIC! ❤ Messy or not. 🙂

  15. Sue Clarke says:

    Although the found objects are great right on your desk, I always thought that the glimmer mists on there looked fabulous! Julie did a wonderful job and the space looks great. My space is stacked stuff on the floor. I keep putting off doing it because I really need more shelves and room in general to organize. My current project is to get rid of supplies that I haven’t used yet (more than 2 years).

    • That is a good plan – I was shocked to see how much stuff I horded because I waited for the right moment to use it and now I don’t like it anymore! There was paper from companies that folded many years ago…LOL

  16. oh … ich bräuchte auch mal eine Julie hier … ich bin sowas von unorganisiert !!!
    Und ich werde bestimmt den ein oder anderen Tipp von dir/ihr aufgreifen.
    LG Dörte

  17. Well you and Julie can now come & organize mine…I’m going to actually use that question about the 10 items & a deserted island as a journal prompt…great ideas!

  18. I like what you did. Now let’s see how long you can keep it up. 😉 I need Julie to come over to my place too.

  19. Can Julie come and organise my space ? I am really stuck atm, need to organise for the millionth time, but just can’t get my head around it, so no creating going on. I come in here and just sit, paralized I think about the thought of starting. Your room looks great Nathalie
    Mary x

    • That is how it was for me too Mary- I was jsut paralized. It really helped to have someone to just take over in the beginning and force me ! You need your friend come over 😉

  20. you and Julie have done an awesome job, she needs to come down under to Australia and visit me!!!!

  21. Wow Nat, wonderful organized studio 🙂

  22. great organisational ideas there Nat and helpful to understand the process of organising tools

  23. I’ve successfully helped my friend Liesbeth with organizing her craft space… But I can’t get my own to ‘work’ ;-). I have mountains of stuff everywhere :-s.
    You know who has a very pretty and more important: functional work space? Birgit! She has these IKEA drawers with IKEA drawer inserts in them: super cool and super handy. These inserts/dividers might work for you too… ‘Cause I can see you pulling all of the little bottles out just to find the one you need at the very back of the cube with the mists… And I’m sure there is one that fits in the cubes! She has her mists in one of them and takes it to her table when she needs them.
    Enjoy your newly organized space!!!

  24. I think Julie should add “Organizer” to her resume. People pay for this time of help. Especially a creative person helping a creative person. And it’s so hard to do it yourself. You need a outsiders unattached perspective. She can be the “Paint Whisperer.”

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