When we moved into our home with 4- and 6-year old daughters, we felt the small bar in our basement would be the perfect place to set up a creative space for them. It had plenty of storage, a sink and great work space. Plus, it’s in the large, open part of our basement which includes our home office and family room areas. I pictured it as the creative hub of our home.

I’m sad (and surprised) to say it’s never functioned like I imagined. In a word, it’s a mess. I invested in large, plastic drawer storage to fit behind the bar and house supplies. The tops of the drawers became a dumping ground. No matter how many times I tried to reorganize and label them so that things could be kept tidier, the area was still a mess. The biggest eyesore has been the top of the bar.

messy kids craft bar

Typically, what happened is something like this: The kids would get some supplies out and start a project. It would require drying or other steps before completion, or they would be called away without time to finish. Because it was not done, it would be left (along with all the other supplies) on top of the bar. Since this is a highly visible area of our basement, the clutter caused a great deal of stress for me and my husband. Eventually, we would give the children a deadline for cleaning off the bar, or else my husband would do it himself. Either way, the result was stashing creative supplies out of eyesight, not putting it away in its rightful place. Bottom line? Each time this happened, we’d have an even bigger mess behind the bar.

I was excited last summer when Aby opened her brand new Organize Your Creative Space online workshop (now available in self-paced format.). It was exactly the help I needed! So I dove in, immediately taking stock of what did or did not work. I knew that the drawers had to go, and my sweet husband put in shelves for me so that things could be easier to access and to put away. In the meantime, I purged a lot of supplies, which felt great. I also got inspired to create a sort of soda shop or candy bar vibe, since our creative space is a bar after all. And because I love being thrifty, I began stockpiling containers I’d find at thrift shops, along with containers destined for the recycle bin. For example, the honey wheat pretzels I adore come in a big, clear container that’s perfect for things like feathers or pom poms.

Unfortunately, that’s where my project stalled out. I think it was a combination of things that led to my halt. My biggest challenge was that it was summer, which meant having the kids home from school and having a lot of other demands on my time. It was hard to feel like I had a chunk of time to focus on getting this done, and it didn’t feel like something I could easily break into bites.

I also felt overwhelmed over how to store things. I was trying to envision the end result before knowing what to do next. After a great discussion with Aby last week, I realized this was a huge obstacle for me. Now I realize that I don’t have to have everything figured out in order to keep taking steps forward. That’s so liberating!

messy kids craft desk

Aby has given me a great process to use, and now thanks to her additional motivation and some specific advice on how to set up my space, I’m happy to tell you this project is back on track. Yay! If you’d like to follow along, stay tuned for my pics and progress updates throughout the month.

Have you ever stalled out on an organizing project like I did? Did you resume the project, and if so, how did you get motivated? Are you still stalled? Tell us about it. Maybe we can help.

Happy Organizing!