"ART ROOM" is no longer a 4-letter word (Major Studio Cleanup!)

January 30, 2018|Annie Salness Artist|12 Comments|Blog


Back when I was living with my parents and taking three college art classes a semester—all of them with weekly projects due—my art room (aka my brother’s old bedroom) was a complete shambles!  In fact, “Art Room” was like a four-letter word in my family, something we just didn’t discuss. I was embarrassed and ashamed about the state of my space, but I didn’t know how to fix it.


    My solution: I kept the door closed. 

Since then, I got married, moved, and homeschooled our four kids.  While the rest of the house remains pretty clean and organized,  my art studio has always been the last place to get attention.


It’s a little chaotic.


Actually, it’s a LOT chaotic.

I figured I was destined to be the kind of person who shoves drawings, notes, paint, and brushes and God-knows-what-else in every cabinet and drawer. I’d straighten up a little for Open Studios or after I finished a big project. I have held the belief that “real organization” in the studio was not only impossible—but also kinda scary!

And my solution has STILL been to keep the door closed! (Luckily, the studio is in the basement!) 🙂


So, I made a big decision. I took off the entire month of January and cleared my schedule of everything that didn’t have to do with organizing. I didn’t do any commissions, start new work, post (much) on social media, or go to meetings.

Was I scared?  Yes.

Nervous? Yes.

Excited? Yes!


Here’s the thing: All the times I have tried to do this on my own, it has NEVER worked. I toss out a few things, wipe off a few surfaces, then I get distracted, and start looking at my art books or photos or start a new project. This time, I knew I needed to invest in this process to make it really happen. 


So, I’ve been working the last few weeks with two professional organizers, Devon Burton of ZeroChaos NW  and Erin Oling of Be Oregonized, along with a local high school student. They emptied all my drawers and cupboards and put everything back organized and labeled.  Now I know EXACTLY what I have and where it is. This has allowed me to relax and smile. 🙂 I am so grateful to each of them.

Check out the before and after pictures:


Now that this deep cleaning and organizing is done, I’m very excited to see what happens in my life and art business as a result.

What is possible for me now?

  • Will I be more decisive?

  • Will I unleash a wild, new creativity?

  • Will I work more quickly and efficiently?

  • Will it change the way I teach and work with my clients’ projects?

  • Will it help me shed that old belief that I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m faking it in my business?

I don’t know what will happen, but I DO know that I am excited to be getting back to my artwork.


If you’d like to tap into this newfound clarity of mine, I’ve opened up some space to take on a few new commissioned works. Just reply with an email if you’d like to chat about some custom art for your space.


Here’s to more clarity and spaciousness for all of us in 2018! (and a hope that I will put everything away where it is supposed to go.) 🙂





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