Don't laugh but I'm a little afraid to work in my studio today.  Have you ever organized something to the point where you're afraid to move or even breath?

My studio is CRAZY organized right now.  I was watching Restaurant Impossible last week (for some reason we're hooked on that and Chopped in my house.)  They go into failing restaurants, fix the problems, and re-open.  One of the issues they're always fixing is poor kitchen layout.  It finally hit me that I needed to launch a Studio Impossible project because my layout was a disaster.

I didn't take "before" photos.  Not that I didn't think of it; I just couldn't bear to preserve that nightmare.  But I have some "after" photos for you.

The first photo shows an older workbench that I made myself.  Don't be too impressed because my husband Kevin had to reinforce it later.  It's kind of a semi-dedicated flexshaft station now rather than a free-for-all.  (A flexshaft is a power tool with a gazillion uses and attachments.)  

Notice all the open floor space.  Take my word for it; that's new.
The main problem was the mix of tools with paperwork, photography, and laptop all in the same room.  I decided to move everything OUT that isn't specifically used for art creation.  Because three of my four girls are grown up and out of the house, I had another under-utilized bedroom.  I moved anything related to office, business, photography, or show/display to that room, where it fits nicely (sorry, guests, it's going to be a bit cramped in there.)

Then I bought a sweet 6' wooden work bench from Harbor Freight.  Thanks Sam, Kathy, and Kevin for helping me put that together.  If you need a bench, look at this one  http://www.harborfreight.com/60-inch-workbench-93454.html .  It would be a steal for its regular $229 price but I had a coupon to make it $149.  It's so gorgeous I almost hate to hammer on it and scuff it up.   
My daughter Lindsay should note the presence of a new grease board to track my projects, as per her advice -- empty right now because I forgot to buy markers, but soon it will help preserve my sanity.  Lindsay, by the way, has always been my organizer when things got crazy.  She will be so proud of me :-)
I do have before and after photos of a broken lamp because it was a stroke of genius ;-)  
This black lamp was about to go in the trash.  It's supposed to clamp onto a table but the connectors were cheap plastic and broke almost right away.  Actually I had two of these lamps and they both broke.  Whatever happened to metal parts, people?   
Then it hit me.   The new bench has holes in the top (so tools etc. can be attached) and the lamp has a rod at the bottom!  Into the hole it goes, and now I have the perfect bench light.  I would seriously buy this lamp just to break it and use it here.
A couple more messes-turned-organized...
 All my silver is filed away in a portable file, organized by type, gauge, and shape... along with the various sandpapers used to get that nice finish on the metal.
All of my spikey tools (files, burnishers, dividers, bezel pushers) are stuck in an 8" Styrofoam  cube covered in white felt... instead of haphazardly thrown in a container.  Pliers, wire cutters, sanding sticks, and rulers are in a divided box I found at a thrift store.
A ton of other tiny stuff is all filed away in small drawers.
Forming, cutting, measuring, and stamping /texturing tools are corralled in the work bench drawers.
So now the question is when will I bring myself to disturb this little haven of organization?  And even more to the point, will I put my tools away?
 

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