Focus | Simplify + Clear out clutter


This quest for focus has been quite the uphill  journey for us. It has been rife with self reflection, tough questions, analysis of every aspect of our work lives, crystal ball reading (or attempts at it anyway), and seeking advice from trusted friends and family. Consideration of all of the variables has been EXHAUSTING, and left both Tristan and I feeling drained and overwhelmed for weeks. Ever the optimists, we were determined to find the light at the end of the tunnel, and after roughly a month of soul searching, the light appeared with glaring clarity (a giant lightbulb may have floated above our heads at that moment).

So now that we have our sights set on a specific target, we have to figure out how to move toward it. As with any new and ambitious project, the to do list is long and constantly evolving – in other words, yet another opportunity to feel overwhelmed. Speaking for myself,  I’m going to need every ounce of brain space I can muster, and that means clearing out any residual clutter both figuratively and literally.

Here’s my confession: the studio closet has been haunting me daily with it’s overstuffed shelves (Tristan isn’t even allowed to peek in there!). My Mom is an artist who always claims she couldn’t paint with dirty dishes in the sink. Even if clutter is out of sight, it’s lurking somewhere on your mental to do list, trying to steal your focus. This week, while Tristan has taken a rare and much deserved break, I have fought the beast… and won.

Have any of you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up? I haven’t, but my sister in law gave me the cliff notes. She was greatly inspired and took the book’s message to heart (but did point out that in order for there to be significant life changing magic, everyone in the house would have to read the book). I made a huge mess pulling out every single item in the closet and dutifully asking myself “does this spark joy?”. Unfortunately, as is the case with many designers, YES – the stacks and stacks of paper samples from Neenah and Mohawk do bring me joy, but I can’t recall the last time I needed to reference one of them, so they had to go.

I also completely dismantled our old mood board (mood wall actually), and replaced it with an inexpensive but freshly painted white canvas. We’ll tack up inspiration with artist tape to keep things tidy and fluid. The stage is officially set, now for that to do list…



The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up


Artist Tape

I even ordered this pretty white table to replace 2 old desks, so exciting!


Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, and the co-creator of Foto Rx Premium Photoshop Actions. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.