I had to call in reinforcements! My artist friend, Wendy Lee Lynds, is also an organizing wizard with her company, D'Clutter Bunny. I bribed her to come help me - lucky for me, it didn't take much!
an aside...alas, the tale of the poor starving artist is true...most of my artist friends have other jobs - one is an art/math teacher, one is an optician, one is a picture framer, etc, etc, etc...its tough to make a living as an artist and so we squeeze it in, during those minutes (or god bless hours!) when all hell isn't breaking loose!
Before Wendy arrived, I had cleared off my work table - only to be left with a mound of stuff that needed to be stored...I looked around for what I could use. In my closet, I had a stack of plastic shoe boxes, all holding shoes from my previous life, i.e., professional shoes. I had held on to them, thinking that if I had to re-enter the professional world, I would have the wardrobe still at hand...its been over 10 years...I'm not going back...I emptied out the boxes and donated the shoes to Goodwill. (ok- I confess - I kept the calfskin black heels and the woven Italian leather loafers.) Now I had 8 boxes to store art supplies.
Wendy suggested that we sort through all the paper - wisely she commented that it would be hard to know what kind of storage would be needed until I figured out what/how much I would be storing. So we began...textured paper, paper with text, cardboard & substrate, patterned paper, maps, magazine clippings, how-to instructions or ideas, etc, etc, etc... Wendy also commented that its gonna get worse before it gets better...
There were two breakthroughs -
1 - I can see (and walk unobstructed!) the floor of my studio.
2 - I removed the chair from my office which was a pile-magnet. In its place, I made a worktable so that projects-in-progress can live here rather than on the dining room table. The work table is a happy marriage between two interesting metal pieces - the rusty metal base on casters has a crank that lowers and raises the tabletop...this is perfect for me since I like to stand and work at counter height when I am constructing collages...even more perfect was the fact that the metal base was free at an estate sale. The table top is stainless steel - easy to keep clean. I picked it up at a yard sale years ago...I always knew I would find the ideal use for it. On one end I attached a vintage towel rack - great for hanging a damp rag to clean up sticky messes.