A dilemma discovered while unpacking.

I love a neat space, one with minimal clutter and maximum organization. One with just enough photos and art to make it personal, but with an absence of excess that makes it both difficult to dust and a pain in the ass to move.

I also love to make things. To knit, to crochet, to cut and paint and glue. To string beads and bend wire. To sand, stain, paint, and make beautiful.

And I have children. A lot of them. And the whole pack of them like being able to create on a whim.

Many a piece of productivity and organization advice have I read that emphasizes decluttering.

Many a piece of creativity and thrifty advice have I read that emphasizes using what you have, recycling bits and bobs to give them new life, and keeping supplies on hand to enable one to just go when the creative spark strikes.

If I follow the advice to declutter, I won’t have the bits and bobs laying around to make things, which keeps me sane.

If I keep all the bits and bobs to make, I won’t have the tidiness and organization, which keeps me sane.

Apparently I am destined for the looney bin.

Or for Ikea, where I can live in a small space and hide all of those wonderful pieces with which to create hidden in just-the-right-size drawers and bins.

So readers who can sympathize: How do you meld desires to live both minimally and creatively, particularly if your creative ventures require stuff (twenty crochet hooks, anyone?)? Any tips as I wrangle this apartment into order?

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