Weekly smARTips: Edges and Lumps

Bridge the gap between making art and making a living,

… one tip at a time

smARTist_clear the clutter

Your smARTip for the week:

Edges and Lumps 

I don’t know about you, but when my workspace gets too cluttered, I can feel my brain shutting down and my creativity tanking.

A certain amount of useful clutter is okay. But I have my limits (and today I’ve definitely reached one of them!).

So I went back into some notes from the Organizing Queen, Jennifer Hofmann and loved this idea of edges and lumps!

———————From Jennifer————————————

So, call me a nerd:  I’ve been studying the brain recently, because it has such a profound impact on how you concentrate (or not), and how you organize your stuff.

Turns out there are specific neurons in your brain that process the edges of objects. Sounds crazy, but my guess is that this edge-noticing ability helped our ancestors track prey and predators.

You’re not hunting buffalo or running from an angry mastodon, but this is relevant to organizing your studio.

Take a look around.  You’ll find object edges everywhere.  Your computer screen has them.  Papers have them. Books, files, pens, all your art supplies – you name it.

It stands to reason that the more edges your brain has to process, the more likely you are to feel overwhelmed.  All those edges!

When you lump stuff together into piles, you give your edge-processing neurons a break.  And you feel less overwhelmed.  How cool is that?

The trouble starts when you can’t find what you need in your lumps.

But you can create helpful lumps – lumps that allow your brain to process fewer edges and allow you to find what you need.

You can use things like stair-step vertical files and wall-mounted file organizers to create helpful lumps.  Or file bins – preferably without lids so you can see what’s in there.  Trays and baskets lump together sets of art supplies.

Do you have a bunch of random things that make your brain process edges?

Play with putting them into helpful lumps and see what happens.  You may be surprised!

Your smARTist Move of the week

Here’s the deal. If you think you have to clean the entire room before you can even start, chances are you won’t start.

So right after you read this, turn around, look at the space around you and pick just one area that you can clear in five minutes or less.

Just one.

And in a couple of hours, of tomorrow, do it again. Just one place that you can clear in five minutes or less. And see if things don’t begin to feel lighter and more fluid all the way around.

Do you have any favorite organizing tips you’d like to share?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below…

P.S. If this smARTip has resonated, for just $39 you can get a whole hour of equally fabulous tips from Jennifer Hormann’s smARTist Telesummit presentation.

Click here to add Jennifer’s organizing tips to your Art Career Library!


  • The case for gentleness: Why organizing is useful but not the only answer
  • The gift of clutter: The hidden value in the things around you
  • How you can use creativity to help you become more organized and mindful
  • How to organize your space for your creative spirit
  • >Which 3 tools will increase flow, clear space, and creativity.

hofmannJennifer Hofmann was not born organized. In fact, her creativity and ADD meant she started projects she never finished, was surrounded by clutter, and struggled to keep up with everyday tasks. Today, Jennifer still isn’t the poster child for House Beautiful, but she understands people who struggle with clutter and overwhelm and offers unique solutions that help small businesses grow and thrive. 

$39  Add to Cart


Click here to add Jennifer’s “clear the clutter” tips to your Art Career Library!

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