I mentioned earlier this week that I am finishing up my move across town from my downtown apartment to a townhouse in north Buffalo. It has been quite the adventure, but the benefits of moving into a new space have already had some serious benefits for me. My old apartment had the strangest layout, instead of having rooms it was essentially two long hallways that ran parallel to each other. While you might imagine a hip open floor plan, the space was narrow and long, anything but open. One hallway contained my bedroom, bathroom, and workspace. The other contained my living room and kitchen. My new house has a workspace separate from my living/sleeping areas, it has only been a few days and I already love having a dedicated space for work when I am not at the studio or on location.
The process of packing and moving motivated me to do something that had been on my goals list for a long time – to eliminate clutter, edit my belongings, and simplify a lot of stuff prior to the move. I found myself taking inventory and making a lot of decisions on what went and what stayed.
• Clothes were culled in a classic closet edit, with the remnants going to charity. Managed to cut out a lot of stuff I just hadn’t worn in years but was still holding on to.
• Office materials, old papers, forms, files, and more were scanned and archived to get rid of a lot of the paper clutter that always seemed to be obscuring my actual desk when I was working from home. Trying to keep as paperless as possible at the new place, in fact I was able to consolidate down everything down to one lean file box.
• Old furniture (some of which I had since college) was deleted, especially the old busted couches that had essentially become Frankenstein’s over the years as they were broken and rebuilt. I am working now on tuning up my workspace and living areas keep things cleaner and leaner. I was also able to travel a lot lighter during the move.
• I even got a chance to revisit and edit some of my notebooks that I jot shoot and project ideas down in, copying the ones I was still really passionate about over into new files and editing down some of the older ones that I had lost my taste for.
So many things were cut, edited, given away, tossed, and repurposed – aside from the obvious benefits of having less stuff physically to bog me down, I have also found that I mentally I have become a lot more agile the past few days. trimming that fat has let given me a lot more focus as I realized that all the clutter and chaos that can build up in our lives was often distracting me and keeping me off task.
I think that taking stock of your clutter, both physically and mentally is a great goal, and often a necessary one for creatives. It lets us clear out the excess baggage that can often get in the way of us generating and following through with new ideas. How many times have you intended to take on a task or start a new project only to get delayed because there was some sort of perceived mental or physical clutter that in the way of you getting to your destination? Make it a point to lighten your load a few time a year in the name of simplicity and sanity.
Speaking of editing and refining, I have made some substantial changes to lukecopping.com the last few days. New work has been added, old work has been culled, and some other elements have been twisted up, mixed around, and spit back out in new updated forms. My online portfolio totally leveled up.