My work and study area is nowhere anyone would like to be, sometimes me included. Since there’s always work to be done, cluttered has become its default state. I like to be organized, but when it comes to this particular section in the house, organization is very hard to maintain, even if I will it. I am always doing different activities at any given day. So there is always a half-finished pattern, a half-read book, a half-sorcery of any kind. A classic case of so little time, so much to do…
Focus really isn’t my best asset. It’s not so much that I multitask, it’s that I taskhop a lot. Alright, maybe I made that word up. But it always happens that while in the middle of doing a certain project, a new idea comes to mind. As retention is also not my best asset, I’ve always figured it better for me to quit what I'm currently doing and start on that something new before it slips my mind, then simply go back to what it was I was previously doing. No mojos, no momenta. That’s easier to remember given that I need only turn and the unfinished task would be staring at me right in the face. There, no retention required.
On lucky days when I’m less busy, though, I make keen attempts to establish some sort of order. It’s days like these when I am able to come up with something ordinary, maybe even utterly unnecessary in general, but somehow gives me back my sense of peace and control amid the chaos of my table. Something like uniform labels.
Yes, I make my own labels for practically everything - from the essential (documents), to the natural (spices and sauces), to the fancy (books and dvd covers), and the downright odd (ink, glue and gel media in bottles and containers). It's just that in the chaos of my work command center, when my mind and hands are all busy loading and processing and saving important stuff, at the back of my mind it drives me crazy to see rows and rows of bottles of red, yellow and blue labels, all different, all independent of each other. Of course, at the back of the back of my mind is a whisper: "There's absolutely nothing wrong with the bottles, but we're not so sure about you".
As implied, there is no urgency for this kind of projects. The simple fact is that it relaxes me to see random stuff undeviating and no longer random, as opposed to being loud, separate and colorful. And if it is the same in your case, by some means, do it yourself too. Just remember to be resourceful with time and materials. There is never a call to waste anything.
I make these labels in one of the simplest designs I can think of so it does not take too much time and I use recycled paper or the back of used white paper. I have a box full of white receipts (the ones with ink that fade out in time) and paper scraps and they prove really handy for something like this.
I like them this way better (unfortunately, I was unable to take photos of them before the labels but I'm sure you have a general idea of how Mod Podge bottles look like). I am not getting my expectations shooting up the roof, though. After all, some things like ink and paint are better off a far distance from anything white, unless intended. I've been lucky and careful so far but I can't expect it to keep up.
It has been commented upon that looking at my set of art supplies is like looking inside a medicine cabinet. Maybe to a certain extent there's actual truth in the statement. These clean, generic look does work wonders. My head doesn't feel like exploding all the time anymore and believe it or not, I do feel that the place is actually neater and more spacious than before, even if there was no actual rearranging done at all.