Tag Archives: Systems



The other day, a writer I follow on Instagram (hellbentonbliss) posted the following quote by author Octavia Butler:

Octavia Butler, October 2005

Octavia Butler, October 2005

“Forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.”

This quote absolutely sang to my soul.

As a person who is in the School of Wisdom, for whom decision-making can be angst-ridden to the nth degree, habit is a godsend. It eliminates the need to deliberately think about every action I take.

We all have basic habits, such as brushing our teeth, or exercising, or walking the dog before breakfast. For me, some of those habits were drilled into me as a child, and I haven’t really thought about them since. Others, such as exercising, are the result of a deliberate choice. Making exercise a habit means I don’t stop and think about whether or not to do it every day. It’s just part of the program.

But I can easily slip into some less-than-helpful habits, too. These aren’t habits that I have deliberately chosen, and practiced until they have become automatic. They are the easy-way-around habits, such as diddling on Facebook rather than painting. Replacing such a ‘lazy/comfort’ habit with something more meaningful requires me to think, choose, act, and repeat. Repeat until that deliberate choice becomes automatic.

Thinking and choosing, taking small steps in the right direction, then taking those steps over and over again, has been helping me create new habits around one of my concerns of long standing: managing my clutter. If clutter is an issue for you, too, master coach extraordinaire Mary McDowall and I have created a unique way to approach your habits as they relate to your stuff—our upcoming KMI Master Mind, Creative Clutter Clearing: 10 C’s to Move You from Chaos to Calm. You can learn more about it here.

This Master Mind can create a life-altering transformation of your relationship with your possessions. It’s supportive, filled with tips and tools, and it’s actually fun. Oh, and there are some impressive early bird goodies if you register by Friday, September 23rd!serif-circle-emboss-inner-glow-stroke-dark-purple

Clutter Clearing Meets the Creative

Clutter Clearing Meets the Creative

Once upon a time, I did a lot of sewing—garments for myself, my children, wedding dresses for my daughter-in-law and my sister-in-law. All of that clothing construction meant a lot of fabric, a massive variety of trims, fastenings, elastic, interfacing, zippers….Fabric

Now, I spend more time drawing and painting than sewing. Canvases, watercolor blocks, drawing pads, paints, brushes, palettes, pastels, charcoal, markers….

Art Supplies

And, as I was pondering in my post on downsizing, I’m wondering about how to (and whether to) pare down my creative supplies.

Since my business partner and I are presenting a clutter clearing mastermind circle (email me to learn more), my coach asked me today what benefits come from clutter clearing.

The first, and most obvious for me, is that I can find what I’m looking for. On more than one occasion, I’ve gone out and bought something I knew I had (somewhere), simply because trying to find it took more time and energy than a trip to the store did. Another benefit is easier access to the things I do have—no more pawing through, lifting down, and shoving aside in order to grab what I need. A third is that the clothes I actually wear don’t get crushed and wrinkly, smashed between a lot of unworn garments in the closet.

But how does all this apply to my ‘creative stuff’?

The editor of Threads magazine (a fabulous sewing journal) addressed this question in an editorial a couple of months ago. Are our sewing supplies —that fabric stash, those old patterns, that once-in-a-blue-moon specialty tool — actually clutter?

And how about our art supplies?

When I stop to think about it, those artsy items need organization, so I can find what I want when I want it, can know they’re accessible, and can keep them in good repair. But the clutter clearing criteria I may use for cleaning out my closet or my overloaded kitchen gadget drawer don’t apply to the tools of my artistic trade.

Those tools are creative fodder. They inspire. Even when that piece of vintage fabric isn’t, right now, finding its way into a new skirt, it holds potential and possibility. It’s a reminder of how and why I got involved in sewing in the first place, and it draws me back to this particular form of creative expression.

I believe artistic tools of all types have that potential, and we need some flexibility when it comes to discarding them. When they overwhelm, they need some weeding-out attention. But for me, clearing my ‘creative clutter’ falls into a category (and a process) all its own.

How about you? Do you see your creative supplies as ‘general clutter,’ or do they merit a classification that’s unique?